Classix Neauveaux to end the week. A name which may not ring a lot of bells even with fans of the New Romantic period of the 1980s, but a band which could claim being one of the first of the spearhead of New Romantic bands coming over from the UK at the time.
In 1981, the first Classix Nouveaux album Night People was released along with two moderately successful singles “Guilty” and “Tokyo”. Both singles reached the UK Top 75, and “Guilty” reached the Top 20 in Sweden and No. 25 in Australia. The album itself peaked at No. 66 in the UK. In September 1981, Classix Nouveaux hired Finnish guitarist Jimi Sumen to replace Gary Steadman. Sumen had been a member of the support act at their Helsinki gig.
The second Classix Nouveaux album brought the band its biggest hits. La vérité was released in 1982 and the single release “Is It A Dream” brought the group its only British Top 20 hit, peaking at No. 11. Their next single, “Because You’re Young”, peaked at No. 43 in the UK, while the album itself peaked at No. 44.
The third and final Classix Nouveaux album, Secret, was released in 1983, produced by Alex Sadkin. The album, and its singles, were unsuccessful in the UK, but the band had number one hit singles in Poland with “Never Never Comes” and “Heart from the Start”. The band toured and played to 25,000 people in Helsinki, but by now Solo was the only original member remaining after Jimi Sumen was replaced by Rick Driscoll and BP Hurding was replaced by Paul Turley.
Classix Nouveaux broke up in 1985, by which time Sal Solo had already begun a solo career. He had a UK Top 20 hit with “San Damiano” which reached No. 15 in early 1985. He released an album, Heart and Soul, the same year, and further singles, “Music and You” and “Forever Be”, but none of these was successful. He went on to record and perform with the French/Italian space-rock and electronic band Rockets, before becoming heavily involved in Catholicism and releasing several Christian-oriented albums.
Mik Sweeney moved to Los Angeles where he built fretless bass guitars and did studio session work; he currently lives in Ireland. Gary Steadman went on to join A Flock of Seagulls. Jimi Sumen became a record producer in Finland and released a number of solo works there.
The first Classix Nouveaux compilation album was released in 1997 via EMI Records and was reissued with a slightly different track listing in 2003. Beginning that same year, the band’s original albums saw reissue on CD by Cherry Red Records. In 2005 River Records released The River Sessions, a live album recorded at Strathclyde University in 1982 and, in January 2010, all the band’s singles and associated B-sides saw release as The Liberty Singles Collection, again via Cherry Red Records.
So now you know – all you have left to do is hit the play button and crank it up – and get ready for the weekend.