Songs of innocence and experience, a love story.
Part one: Innocence
Pull the curtain back. Cue the strings.
Before 1982 my heart had not been broken. Before 1982 my heart hadn't been even bruised. The cellophane wrapper that surrounded it was still squeaky clean and pristine.
I was 19, had bad skin and was in love with pop music if nothing, no one, else.
And then that autumn I left home and met a girl. For a while she ignored me. And then she didn't. At which point the cellophane – already looking creased and wrinkled - came right off.
But how do you know what life is, what love is, at that age? Where do you look for models? I looked to the one thing I already knew how to love. I looked to pop songs.
We would go to her room and listen to records. Singles like Party Fears Two and Temptation ("ooh you've got blue eyes," I'd sing to the girl) and Love My way; albums like New Gold Dream, Imperial Bedroom, Songs to Remember, Sulk, Too-Rye-Ay, Living My Life. All the music that meant something (to us at least) at that moment in pop time.
And after we listened to all of those we'd then put on The Lexicon of Love. A record about desire and pain ("who broke my heart? You did. You did."). A record that shimmered, a record that swaggered, a collection of songs that remade pop anew and made it sound so thrilling, so poised, so potent, it made us giddy to listen to it. Jesus, I loved that record........
Cheri Burns, Assistant Content Editor (Live) / Wednesday 28 October 2015 Glasgow Evening Times:
Since Tears Are Not Enough, ABC's first single, made the UK top 20 in 1981, lead singer Martin Fry has been on what he describes as "a rollercoaster ride."
During a decade filled with era-defining hits from their six studio albums, the group went through numerous line-up changes and departures, until Fry was, eventually, the only continuing member.
Looking back on how he has withstood the test of time and is able to still be doing what he loves under the same guise more than 30 years later, the 57-year-old reflected: "It was all about growing up in public then, I guess - I've been on one helluva ride over the years, really. When I look back on it now, I say the apprenticeship is over."
When he first started out, with a new wave sound that signified the 1980s, and in the infamous gold suit that he teases has been the secret to his success, the music industry was a very different place.
So, what does someone whose material has spanned the generations think of the changes and of what artists and music itself are now?
"For me, writing and recording are two very different mediums. your soul has to shine through in both for it to mean anything, and that will always be.........
"The Capitol Theatre will host "Turn Back The Cap: 1980's" on December 13, celebrating the biggest hits of the 80's with beloved tribute band Jessie's Girl. They'll be joined by iconic 80's artists including Martin Fry of ABC (whose hits include "The Look Of Love," "When Smokey Sings," and "Poison Arrow"), Mike Score of A Flock of Seagulls, Tiffany—who will perform her Billboard #1 single "I Think We're Alone Now"—and Rob Base, who will perform "It Takes Two" and "Joy and Pain." The show will be followed by a DJ set by The Roots' Questlove paying tribute to the music of 1984.
The show is presented by Capitol Theatre owner Peter Shapiro along with Marcus Linial, who began his career in music 25 years ago producing by his first concert at The Capitol Theatre with reggae star Jimmy Cliff. "Walking back into The Capitol Theatre 25 years later with the help of my friend Peter Shapiro is a dream come true," says Linial.
Since reopening in September 2012 with a sold-out performance by Bob Dylan, The Capitol Theatre has hosted over 100 shows by an incredibly diverse range of artists, from My Morning Jacket and Fiona Apple to Morrissey and Al Green. Rolling Stone called The Cap "one of the best music halls in the country," and NPR hailed it as "the platonic ideal of a live music room." In a review of opening night, the NY Times wrote that "a rock theater that looks and sounds as good as the Capitol is something to celebrate," while Billboard said that "the lavishly decorated theater -- filled with mirrors, chandeliers and painstakingly restored detail -- looks absolutely stunning, and sounds even better."
As part of Sheffield Sunday on 6 Music Matt Everett chats to Martin Fry, frontman from legendary Sheffield band ABC. ABC emerged from the same Sheffield scene that had produced Cabaret Voltaire, and contemporaries the Human League and Heaven 17. It is now thirty years since their debut album Lexicon Of Love was released in 1982 which became a No 1 album produced by Trevor Horn. Martin will be talking about growing up in Sheffield and his memories of the music scene in the 80s as well as his own musical influences.
To celebrate 30 years of since the release of debut album "The Lexicon of Love"
ABC will perform the album in its entirety at London Theatre Royal Drury Lane
on Tuesday 18th December. The show will be accompanied by Southbank Sinfonia
and conducted by critically acclaimed musician and composer, Anne Dudley.
The show also follows the resounding success and critical acclaim of
ABC's performance of the album at The Royal Albert Hall in 2009.
Pop star and former ABC singer Martin Fry will be made an honorary Doctor of Music at the University of Sheffield before his daughter takes to the stage to receive her own degree this month. More than 30 years after the legendary songwriter graduated from the University with a degree in English Literature, Martin Fry will receive the award for his contribution to music on Thursday 19 July 2012 at noon.
July 14, 2012
NEW wave band ABC got the Guilfest crowd going on the first day of the festival.
The rain came down as eighties poison arrow stars took to The Good Time Guide Stage.
Having released nine albums since 1982, the band's latest album called Traffic came out in 2008.
The group is playing sets in a range of cities this year including Perth, Australia and Spa Festival in Belgium.
Published on Thursday 12 July 2012 11:18
Hear those tunes and you’ll be straight back to the early 80s. That’s the great power that music wields.
Martin Fry is delighted to be heading for this year’s GuilFest with ABC, a band that seems to sum up so much of that decade.
“ABC emerged from the mists of time at the beginning of the 80s”, Martin laughs. “I think since then the 80s have become a bit of a Disneyland for people in this country. It used to be just another decade, but now it is a place where people like to go!”
The point is that it was fun and it was flamboyant: “There is a lot of nostalgia even now for the food and for the movies from that time, particularly in the past five years or so.”
And for the music, the nostalgia is even stronger.
“It’s an escapism really, back to a time of big shoulder pads and big hair. I think it represents a bit of a devil-may-care attitude. It was a very original time. There was a freedom that a lot of people feel nostalgic for.”
And it was a time of ambitions. As Martin says, his generation – bands such as Spandau Ballet and Depeche Mode, not to mention ABC themselves – were bands with wide horizons: “We were all internationalists. We all wanted to take music further than it had ever been before.”
It helped that ABC took shape in Sheffield: “And to this day Sheffield is still a brilliant homeland for music. It was a great place because no one stumbled into town. Very few A&R men turned up, and there was a brilliant music scene. That meant that you could develop away from their eyes. We had a real conception when we wanted to make our first album, and it was very audacious really. We were just four or five guys on the dole.”
GuilFest – the award-winning family festival - celebrates its 21st anniversary from July 13-15 ABC are among those performing on the first day, alongside Jools Holland with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, The Straits, The Doors Alive, The South, and cult punk band Buzzcocks.
Pop star and former ABC singer Martin Fry will be made an honorary Doctor of Music at the University of Sheffield before his daughter takes to the stage to receive her own degree this month (16-20 July 2012).
ABC singer Martin FryABC singer Martin Fry
More than 30 years after the legendary songwriter graduated from the University with a degree in English Literature, Martin Fry will receive the award for his contribution to music on Thursday 19 July 2012 at noon.
The Look of Love and Poison Arrow singer will be joined by his family, including his Sheffield born wife Julie, in the University’s Octagon Centre before returning the following day as a proud father to watch his daughter Nancy receive her degree from the Department of Sociological Studies.
Stockport born Martin formed ABC in Sheffield in the 1970s when he joined a rock band called Vice Versa - who he met while writing his own city cultural scene fanzine - said: “It’s a great honour, this is very special to me.
“It really came out of the blue, I wasn’t expecting anything like this at all and I’ll carry it with me everywhere I go. The memories and experiences of my time at the University come with me too. I was recently at a radio station in Berlin and they had a paternoster which reminded of Sheffield. I would love to play on top of the Arts Tower.
“Being at the University was a big inspiration and 33 years on it’s great to see the shape the University is in, it’s gone from strength to strength and remains so active in the community. For me to come back is very exciting and I’m very proud of my daughter too, she’s done all the hard work.”
The Lexicon Of Love live @Spa Festival Belgium this Sunday 8th July 2012
The Lexicon Of Love live @Leicester Race Course this Saturday 7th July 2012