Sharing a passion for post-punk, the group began life as two men: Gary Daly (vocals and keyboards) and Eddie Lundon (guitar). The duo began composing music near Liverpool in 1979. After drummer Dave Reilly joined them, they became known as “China Crisis” and released a single in 1982 called “African and White.” It eventually reached number 45 on the UK Singles chart.
Their first album, Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms, Some People Think It’s Fun To Entertain peaked at number 21, firmly ensconcing China Crisis into the UK music scene. Early in the following year, their sophomore single “Christian” climbed to number 12 on the UK Singles chart. Reilly left and Steve Levy (oboe and saxophone) joined, and China Crisis gained a spot supporting Simple Minds on their tour.
In November 1983, China Crisis added Gary “Gazza” Johnson (bass) and Kevin Wilkinson (drums) to the line-up and released a second album. Working with Fire and Steel – Possible Pop Songs Volume Two catapulted the group into the forefront of the 80’s music scene. Their third album release, Flaunt the Imperfection, also did very well, but the single “King in A Catholic Way,” which charted at number 19, would prove to be their last big hit.
As with so many promising and criminally underrated bands, the remainder of the 80’s brought more personnel changes. China Crisis released two more albums before deciding to call it quits in 1994. Kevin Wilkinson, China Crisis drummer during their latter years, committed suicide in 1999.
Although they definitely had a longer and more satisfying run than so many other underrated 80’s bands, the fact remains that China Crisis did not reach their potential stature here in the states, which is a very big shame for us, indeed. A band with this much talent, with the right type of promotion, would have done very well. Lucky for us their music is kept alive by DJs-in-the-know like David Marsden and Ed-FM.
Purchase China Crisis music here.
China Crisis official myspace page.
“Working with Fire and Steel” via YouTube user 18289:
“King In A Catholic Style” via YouTube user backporchvideos:
“Black Man Ray” via YouTube user popdjdysh:
“Hanna Hanna” via YouTube user maffjon:
Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms, Some People Think It’s Fun To Entertain (1982)
Working with Fire and Steel – Possible Pop Songs Volume Two (1983)
Flaunt the Imperfection (1985)
What Price Paradise (1986)
Diary of a Hollow Horse (1989)
Warped By Success (1994)