1985 Limahl – Never Ending Story
A band that dared name itself Art Nouveau formed in Bedfordshire, England in 1978. The group released the single Fear Machine on Gimgydak Records but only sold a few hundred copies. Perhaps sensing that they needed something at least a small bit more commercial, the group ran an ad for an additional member: a “front man who could sing and look good.”
Chris Hamill grew up in Northwestern England and began his career as an actor. He toured in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, appeared in television shows, and was an extra in the video for Stand and Deliver by Adam and the Ants. He then joined a series of bands in England before reading the ad from Art Nouveau. He created an anagram of his last name and joined the group using the name Limahl. The group changed its name to Kajagoogoo, named after the kinds of babbles that babies make.
While working as a waiter, Limahl met one of the founding members of Duran Duran, keyboard player Nick Rhodes. Nick agreed to co-produce a record for Limahl’s new group and that helped the group sign with EMI Records. They released Too Shy as their first single and it topped the UK chart and reached #5 on the US Top 100 in early 1983.
Limahl wrote the lyrics for their next single, which reached #7 in the UK. He also co-wrote the lyrics for their third single, which peaked at #13 in the UK. Neither of those singles did well in the US.
The band then called Limahl and fired him from the band over the phone. The band wanted to go in a different direction musically and they hired a new lead singer. Subsequent singles charted at #8 and #25 in the UK, and then the band stopped reaching the top forty.
Limahl began work on a solo career. His first single, Only For Love, reached #16 in the UK but only got as high as #51 in the US. His second single performed even less well.
Limahl sang the title song for the film Neverending Story. The single reached the top five in the UK and #17 on the Hot 100 in the US. Limahl also recorded a French version of the song, and one of the two versions was a #1 record in four European countries. The song found new life in 2019 when it was used in the ending of the third season of the mini-series Stranger Things.
Limahl appeared on several television shows that revolved around musicians looking for a fresh start to their fading careers, but never had another hit record.
In 1985, artist Arthur Adams found inspiration for the design of Longshot, a new member of the X-Men, in Limahl’s look, especially his hairstyle.
Limahl reunited with Kajagoogoo in 2008, but by 2011 the group had not released another successful record and they announced the end of Kajagoogoo.
Limahl has continued appearing in concert, mostly as a part of eighties music reunion shows.
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