Deacon Blue

Deacon Blue were a Scottish sophisti-pop band that released two albums on CBS between 1987 and 1989, followed by another pair of albums on Columbia in the early 1990s. Members: Ricky Ross (vocals), James Prime (keyboards), Graeme Kelling (guitar), Ewan Vernal (bass), Douglas Vipond (drums, percussion), Lorraine McIntosh (vocals) Discography: Raintown (1987) When the World […]

The Beautiful South

The Beautiful South were an English sophisti-pop band from Kingston upon Hull that debuted with the album Welcome to the Beautiful South on Go! Discs in 1989, followed by nine further discs during the ensuing 16-year period. Vocalist/songwriter Paul Heaton and drummer David Hemingway hailed from The Housemartins. On their sophomoric 1990 release Choke, the […]


Kalima were an English jazz-pop ensemble that released one EP, three singles, and three albums between 1984 and 1990. The band comprised alumni from earlier Mancunian acts A Certain Ratio and Swamp Children. Members: Martin Moscrop (drums), Tony Quigley (bass, saxophone), Andrew Connell (piano, synthesizer, vibraphone), Jez Kerr (bass guitar), Ann Quigley (vocals), Cliff Saffer […]

Simply Red

Simply Red are an English blue-eyed soul ensemble that has been active since the early 1980s. The band is named after carrot-topped frontman and sole constant member Mick Hucknall, whose impassioned vocals propelled the band to transatlantic success with their debut album Picture Book. Members: Mick Hucknall [aka Red] (vocals, guitar), Fritz McIntyre (keyboards, 1984-96), […]

The Blow Monkeys

The Blow Monkeys were an English sophisti-pop band from London that debuted with a single on small-press Parasol Records in 1982, followed by five albums on RCA between 1984 and 1990. Members: Dr. Robert (vocals, guitar, piano), Neville Henry (saxophone), Anthony Kiley (drums), Mick Anker (bass) The Blow Monkeys formed in London in 1981 after […]

The Big Sound Authority

The Big Sound Authority were an English sophisti-pop band from London that released the album An Inward Revolution with accompanying singles on MCA in 1985. Members: Tony Burke (guitar, lead vocals), Mace Carnochan (piano, organ, synthesizer), Julie Hadwen (lead vocals), Steve Martinez (drums), Martin Wilson (bass) Discography: An Inward Revolution (1985)

The Bible

The Bible were an English sophisti-pop band from Norwich that released the album Walking the Ghost Back Home with accompanying b-sides on small-press Backs Records in 1986, followed by Eureka on Chrysalis in 1988. Members: Boo Hewerdine (vocals, guitar), Dave Larcombe (drums), Neill MacColl (guitar, mandolin), Tony Shepherd (keyboards, percussion), Leroy Lendor (bass) Discography: Walking […]

Everything but the Girl

Everything but the Girl was an English sophisti-pop duo from Kingston upon Hull that released four albums and assorted shortplayers on Blanco Y Negro between 1984 and 1988, followed by a string of titles on Atlantic during the early 1990s. Members: Ben Watt (vocals, guitar, piano, programming), Tracey Thorn (vocals, guitar) Everything but the Girl […]

The Style Council

The Style Council was an English sophisti-pop band fronted by ex-Jam leader Paul Weller. Starting in 1983, they placed twelve songs on the UK Top 20, including “Speak Like a Child,” “Long Hot Summer,” “My Ever Changing Moods,” “Shout to the Top!,” and “The Lodgers.” Their popularity peaked with the 1984/85 Polydor albums Café Bleu […]

Swans Way

Swans Way were an English sophisti-pop trio from Birmingham that released a standalone single on self-press Exit in 1982, followed by the album The Fugitive Kind with accompanying singles on Balgier/Phonogram in 1984. Vocalist/percussionist Maggie De Monde and bassist Rick P. Jones subsequently formed the dance-pop duo Scarlet Fantastic. Members: Rick P. Jones (double bass), […]

Swamp Children

The Swamp Children were an English sophisti-jazz/pop band from Manchester that released two albums on Factory circa 1981/82, followed by the album So Hot in 1982. The band morphed into Kalima for a further run of shortplayers and albums during the mid-to-late 1980s. Members: Martin Moscrop (drums), Ann Quigley (vocals), Tony Quigley (bass), John Kirkham […]


Sade are an English jazz-pop/soul band from London fronted by namesake Nigerian vocalist Sade Adu (born Jan. 16, 1959). The band released four singles in 1983/84, culminating in the popular debut album Diamond Life on Epic. Amid global fanfare, the band released Promise in 1985, followed by four further Epic discs at lengthier intervals between […]


Double were a Swiss sophisti-pop combo that released two albums on Polydor between 1985 and 1987, scoring a huge international hit with the ivory-laden ballad “The Captain of Her Heart.” Members:  Kurt Maloo (vocals, guitar), Felix Haug (drums, keyboards) Discography: Blue (1985) Dou3le (1987)