Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fine Young Cannibals - Johnny Come Home

Named after a 1960 movie, Fine Young Cannibals were a British pop/soul band formed from half of The Beat (The English Beat to Americans), who were previously featured on ERV for "Save It For Later."

The Beat broke up in 1983, surprising guitarist Andy Cox and bassist David Steele, who were notified by their accountant that vocalists Ranking Roger and Dave Wakelin had left the band to form General Public.  Once Cox and Steele decided to continue making music, the first order of business was to find a singer, which proved to be a difficult task.  After eight months and 500 demo tapes, the duo finally settled on Roland Gift and set about recording their first LP.

The first single off their self-titled first album was "Johnny Come Home," a cool piece of post-ska fusion.  While the song only reached #76 in the U.S., it broke the top 10 in the U.K., leading to significant success there.  Four years later, the band's second album, The Raw and the Cooked became a huge international success, reaching #1 in both the U.S. and the U.K.

There seems to be some controversy over whether the band officially broke up, but Fine Young Cannibals never released a third album, and have only occasionally worked together since The Raw and the Cooked.  This is a shame, as they created some of the best jazzy, soul/pop music of the decade.

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