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Classix Nouveaux

Another bunch of synth-mongers to make it to the big time thanks to an appearance on the Some Bizarre label sampler, Classix Nouveaux and their singer – the Hatfield-born Sal Solo (real name Sam Smith) – made an immediate visual impact thanks to Solo’s bald head.

They signed to the Liberty label in 1981 and scored a handful of hits in the same year – Guilty, Tokyo, Inside Outside and Never Again (The Days Time Erased), all of which hovered outside the Top 40.

The sound of the band was more guitar-heavy than some of their New Romantic contemporaries, such as Japan, but their over the top fashion sense and infectious keyboard rhythms kept the band’s feet firmly in the new romantic camp.

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Their strongest tune was Is It A Dream? (March 1982) which reached #11.

The public flocked to hear the wailing, Nosferatu-like Solo and his band, encouraged by their obligatory Top Of The Pops appearances.

For Classix Nouveaux, the time at the top was brief. Is It A Dream? lingered on the charts for nine weeks but further success eluded them. Because You’re Young and The End . . . Or The Beginning? made little impact and the title of the latter proved to have one irrevocable answer.

Sal went solo, releasing an album called Heart and Soul in 1985. He charted with two singles, one of which (Music and You) was a collaboration with the London Community Gospel Choir – a full 14 years before Blur recorded with them on their Tender single.

Sal Solo (Sam Smith)
Vocals, keyboards, guitar
Jak Airport (Jack Stafford)
Guitar
Mik Sweeney
Bass, keyboards, vocals
Paul (BP) Hurding
Drums
Gary Steadman
Guitar
Jimi Sumen
Guitar
Paul Turley
Drums
Rick Driscoll
Guitar

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