1989 Fine Young Cannibals – Don’t Look Back
David Steele and Andy Cox had been members of the group The Beat playing guitar and bass guitar respectively until the group split up. They spent at least eight months listening to over 500 cassette tapes in search of a vocalist to join them in the formation of a new band. In 1984, their search yielded Roland Gift, who had formerly played saxophone and sung lead vocals for the group Akrylykz. Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood starred in the 1960 film All The Fine Young Cannibals, and the band decided to use Fine Young Cannibals as the name for their trio.
Drummer Martin Parry and trumpet and keyboard player Graeme Hamilton worked with the group as studio musicians and later were also part of their touring band. David and Roland co-wrote the song Johnny Come Home, and the band created a video for the song. The group’s video was broadcast on the British TV show The Tube and that enabled them to sign a recording contract with London Records. The single reached #8 in the UK in 1985. It only reached #76 on the Hot 100 in the US but also got as high as #8 on the US Dance chart.
Later that year the group’s cover of Elvis Presley’s Suspicious Minds also reached #8 in the UK and #23 on the US Dance chart.
The group’s second album came out in 1988 and gave the group back-to-back #1 singles in the US with the releases of She Drives Me Crazy and Good Thing. The third single from that album, Don’t Look Back, reached #11 on the US Hot 100 but failed to chart on the US Dance chart.
The group never reached the top forty on the Hot 100 again, although the single I’m Not The Man I Used To Be made it into the US Dance chart top ten in late 1989.
The group disbanded in 1992. They reunited long enough to record a new song for a greatest hits album in 1996, but the single only charted in the UK.
Sometime in the early 2000s, Roland began appearing in shows as Roland Gift and the Fine Young Cannibals. He also began an acting career.
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