Classix Nouveaux

Classix Nouveaux was an English new wave band that released three albums between 1981 and 1983 on Liberty.

Members: Sal Solo (vocals), Mik Sweeney (bass), B. P. Hurding (drums, 1979-84), Jak Airport (guitar, 1979), Gary Steadman (guitar, 1979-81), Jimi Sumén (guitar, 1981-84), Rick Driscoll (guitar, 1984-85), Paul Turley (drums, 1984-85)


Background

Classix Nouveaux formed in early 1979 when guitarist Jak Airport and drummer B.P. Hurding placed a musician’s wanted ad in Melody Maker. The pair hailed from X-Ray Spex, a pioneering London punk band famed for the 1977 single “Oh Bondage, Up Yours” and the 1978 album Germfree Adolescence. Their ad netted singer Sal Solo and bassist Mik Sweeney. 

Solo hailed from The News, a glam-pop band that cut the 1978 GTO single “Blue Thru” (b/w “I Will Survive”), produced by Barry Blue. (The News featured Richard James Burgess, a journeyman drummer — Easy Street, Tax Loss, Landscape — who co-patented the Simmons drum pad and coined the phrase ‘New Romantic.’)

Classix Nouveaux made their live debut on August 25, 1979, at London’s Music Machine. Solo drew eyes with his chrome dome and proto-goth attire. By autumn, Jak Airport cleared for Gary Steadman, the second guitarist in teenage punks Eater.


1980 Singles

In early 1980, Classix Nouveaux taped four songs for Capitol Radio, where DJ Nicky Horne play-listed the Solo original “Robot’s Dance.” On August 15, they released the song as their first a-side (b/w the group-written “623”) on self-press ESP.

A. “The Robots Dance”

B. “623”

Classix Nouveaux signed with Liberty. On November 7, they released their second single: “Nasty Little Green Men” backed with “Test Tube Babies,” both Solo originals.

A. “Nasty Little Green Men”

B. “Test Tube Babies”


Night People

Classix Nouveaux released their debut album, Night People, on May 11, 1981, on Liberty. It features four Solo originals, including “Run Away” and the advance single “Guilty.” Sal co-wrote six tracks with Mik Sweeney, including “Every Home Should Have One,” “No Sympathy – No Violins,” and the followup singles “Tokyo” and “Inside Outside.” Two instrumentals, “Foreward” and the pre-released “623 Degrees,” bookend Side One.

1. “Foreward” (3:25)
2. “Guilty” (4:42)
3. “Run Away” (2:42)
4. “No Sympathy No Violins” (4:07)
5. “Inside Outside” (4:21)
6. “623 Degrees” (2:30)
7. “Every Home Should Have One” (3:55)
8. “Tokyo” (2:39)
9. “Or a Movie” (4:32)
10. “Soldier” (3:46)
11. “The Protector of Night” (5:23)

Studio Regents Park Studios, London
Producer Sal Solo, Mik Sweeney
Rob Arenstein – engineer

John Pasche – sleeve design
Ron Mercer – watch illustration

In North America, the album appeared as Classix Nouveaux. This version places the group-pic on front and replaces “Or a Movie” and “Soldier” with the 1980 a-sides “Nasty Little Green Men” and “Robots Dance.”

6 Feb 1981
A. “Guilty”
B. “Night People”

17 Apr 1981
A. “Tokyo”
B. “Old World For Sale”

24 Jul 1981
A. “Inside Outside”
B. “Every Home Should Have One”

16 Oct 1981
A. “Never Again (The Days Time Erased)”
B. “627”


La Verité

Classix Nouveaux released their second album, La Verité, on April 5, 1982, on Liberty. It features four Solo–Sweeney songs, including “I Will Return” and the pre-released “Never Again.” Sal wrote the remaining tracks, including “1999,” “I Believe,” “It’s All Over,” and the singles “Is It a Dream” and “Because You’re Young.”

1. “Foreward” (1:08)
2. “Is It a Dream” (4:16)
3. “To Believe” (3:46)
4. “Because You’re Young” (3:47)
5. “Six to Eight” (1:58)
6. “La Verité” (5:12)
7. “Never Again” (4:06)
8. “It’s All Over” (3:55)
9. “1999” Solo, (3:45)
10. “I Will Return” (5:43)
11. “Finale” (2:34)

Ron Hill – engineer
Simon Fowler – cover photography

26 Feb 1982
A. “Is It a Dream”
B. “Where To Go”

14 May 1982
A. “Because You’re Young”
B. “It’s Not Too Late”

8 Oct 1982
A. “The End… Or the Beginning”

B. “Chemin Chagrin


Secret

Classix Nouveaux released their third album, Secret, on November 14, 1983, on Liberty. It features eight group-written originals, including “The Fire Inside,” “Manitou,” “When They All Have Gone,” and the single “Never Never Comes.” Solo and Sweeney co-wrote the advance single “Forever and a Day,” which features string arrangements by Art of Noise co-founder Anne Dudley.

1. “All Around the World” (4:21)
2. “Manitou” (3:51)
3. “Heart from the Start” (3:31)
4. “The Fire Inside” (3:50
5. “Forever and a Day” (3:39)
6. “Never Never Comes” (2:58)
7. “The Unloved” (5:19)
8. “When They All Have Gone” (6:00)
9. “No Other Way” (4:48)

Studio Marcus Recording Studios, London; RAK Studios, London
Producer Alex Sadkin
Fema Jiya, Phil Thornalley, Steve Churchyard, Steve Cooksey – engineer
Edward Bell – sleeve artwork

Aug 1983
A. “Forever and a Day”
B. “Switch”

Nov 1983
A. “Never Never Comes”
B. “Manitou (Instrumental)”


Compilations

Classics

The Very Best of Classix Nouveaux

The Very Best of Classix Nouveaux


Discography:

  • Classix Nouveaux (1981)
  • La verité (1982)
  • Secret (1983)

Sources:

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