Before I get underway, I want to thank Moezy for her kind words in the Marsden Theatre chat room last night. I took last weekend off because I was getting over “the crud” that’s going around here like a wildfire fueled by gasoline. Moezy told me she missed my weekly “Criminally Underrated” feature. That meant a lot to me because at times it feels like sharing my thrill for underrated 80’s New Wave and Post-punk music is transmitted into a vacuum. So, thank you Moezy for lighting a fire under me to get this written.
Last night on 94.9 The Rock, David Marsden played “Robots Dance” by Classix Nouveaux. That was my inspiration for today’s “Criminally Underrated” piece. When I hear a fabulous group from my favorite era, many times I am astounded by the “six degrees of separation” information that my subsequent research uncovers.
Wikipedia tells me that Classix Nouveaux was formed by former X-Ray Spex bandmates Jak Airport and B.P. Hurding, along with Sal Solo and Mik Sweeney. They first recorded a 4-track EP that included the aforementioned “Robots Dance.” The song ultimately caught the attention of United Artists, and the band was signed.
Classix Nouveaux is lumped along with Japan (David Sylvian!) and Ultravox in defining the term “New Romantic,” a sub-genre of New Wave. While I recognize the parameters that define the New Romantic genre, looking back lovingly on the rich 80’s music scene as a whole, I find it an unnecessary classification. To me, the music that defined the era can be easily classified as simply New Wave and/or Post-punk, with a smattering of music that fits into both.
Classix Nouveaux was, unfortunately, short-lived which seems to be the fate of so many criminally underrated artists and bands. They produced three LPs of material, and by 1984 were experiencing major personnel changes. The group managed to score a number one hit in Poland before completely fading into obscurity. Sal Solo made the UK top 20 with his “Hardest Hits” entry “San Damiano,” which also came in at number one once again in Poland. In 1985, the final iteration of the band toured more as a support for Sal Solo, then quietly disbanded.
Classix Nouveaux music is still available here. Sal Solo’s website provides more insight into the group’s short life. And then, of course, there are a few select videos on YouTube that you can preview. Feast your ears, and perhaps you’ll decide to make Classix Nouveaux a welcome addition to your obscure and underrated 80’s New Wave and Post-punk music collection.
“Guilty” via YouTube user kiilakas777:
“Never Again” via YouTube user astronaut2005:
“Is It A Dream” via YouTube user R4949:
“Robots Dance” via YouTube user cujo80676: