April 23, 2024

College friends, vocalist Cy Curnin and drummer Adam Woods decided to have a crack at starting a group. They placed an ad and recruited guitarist Jamie West-Oram, keyboardist Rupert Greenall and bassist Charlie Barret. They originally called themselves The Fix but found that there was already band using that moniker so they quickly added another ‘x’.

Two years later, in ’82, this line-up recorded “Shuttered Room,” containing “Stand Or Fall.” With the group’s debut finished, Barret left and was replaced by Alfie Agius. But his tenure was equally brief, departing while “Reach The Beach” was recorded. But it’s Agius playing on the hit single “Saved By Zero.” The group’s third bassist, Dan K. Brown managed to stay well into the 90s.

Their angular Brit pop-Wave sound and Curnin’s energetically urgent vocals were the main reasons for the group’s success.

The next year, “Reach The Beach,” their best effort, arrived with an impressionistic painting of a swimmer grasping the shoreline. It had the aforementioned “Saved By Zero” and the group’s biggest chart success “One Thing Leads To Another.” The set also held the minor hit “The Sign Of Fire.”

A couple more albums rolled out (“Phantoms” and “Walkabout”) and the group managed to chart singles (“Are We Ourselves?,” “Secret Separation” and “How Much Is Enough?”) but they were clearly on the downhill slide. ‘87 saw the release of the live/greatest hits effort “React.”

Albums after the mid-80s are for the band’s relatives, hardcore fans and people who hang a framed reprint of the “Reach The Beach” cover in their bathroom.

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