Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vote One For The Re-Flex

By 1983 the new wave synth-pop movement was in full swing, dominated by the likes of Human League, Heaven 17, Talk Talk, A Flock Of Seagulls, Ultravox and a swag of others. Among the throng of potential challengers to the new wave market was London techno-rock quartet The Re-Flex (no connection with the Duran Duran tune of 1984). The group, formed in late 1981, consisted of Baxter (vocals/guitar), Paul Fishman (keyboards), Nigel Ross-Scott (bass) and Roland Vaughan Kerridge (drums).

The Re-Flex built up a solid live fan base and soon snagged a record deal with the One Way label. With the song ‘The Politics Of Dancing’ (originally recorded in 1982), The Re-Flex had a radio/club friendly song that would break them on the charts. The song broke first in the U.S., becoming hugely popular on the dance club circuit. In fact ‘The Politics Of Dancing’ set up office at #1 on the U.S. Dance Chart, soon after breaking into the mainstream Hot 100 charts, thanks also to constant airplay of the promo clip on MTV. The promo clip was a tongue in cheek play on the song’s lyrics with an obvious Orwellian 1984 theme, that ended with “to be continued”, promising a sequel. ‘The Politics Of Dancing’ climbed to #24 on the U.S. Hot 100 in early 1984, soon after becoming a hit in the U.K. (#28), Canada (#9), West Germany (#25) and Australia (#12). At one point ‘The Politics Of Dancing’ was slated for inclusion on the ’Footloose’ soundtrack, but was dropped in favour of the Shalamar track ’Dancing In The Sheets’, though the song did feature in the 1985 film ‘Reds’. On the back of the singles’ popularity the album of the same name (released on EMI) charted well (US#53/OZ#77) and The Re-Flex soon found themselves playing several support slots to The Police on that group’s mammoth ‘Synchronicity’ world tour.

The follow up singles ‘Hurt’ (US#82), ‘Couldn’t Stand A Day’ and ‘Praying To The Beat’ flopped miserably though, and soon The Re-Flex entered the studio to record their follow up album ‘Humanication’ in late ‘84. It was more of the same really in terms of a musical offering and was planned for release in February ‘85. The only single lifted from it was ‘How Much Longer’ which was lyrically aimed at the issue of environmentalism. No surprise then that the song’s theme saw Police front man Sting lend his backing vocals to the cause. But the song failed to sell and EMI pulled the plug on the album release. The only copies to surface were some advance promotional copies issued to radio stations and reviewers, though keyboardist Paul Fishman released an unofficial copy of the album himself in Canada during 2002. Needless to say The Re-Flex’s new wave campaign was drawn to a close soon after, the band consigned to a brief but shining term of office on the charts.

In 2000 keyboardist Paul Fishman joined with ex-Frankie Goes To Hollywood drummer Peter Gill in the experimental outfit London Ltd., releasing the album ‘About Eight Minutes’ in 2001.

NOTE: Thanks to Jennifer K. for letting me know that former band members from Re-Flex are working on a 6-CD box set titled 'Re-Fuse' - slated for release during 2010. Included will be a remastered re-release of 'The Politics of Dancing', and the never before released album 'Humanication'. For more details on the resurgence of Re-Flex check out the following website -
Visit www.reflexreaction.com for links to the official Re-Flex official website and official pages on MySpace, Facebook.

The story finally does continue...


Jennifer K. said...

Re-Flex former band members are working on a 6-CD box set called "Re-Fuse" to be released this year (2010). The set will include a remastered re-release of "The Politics of Dancing" and the long-awaited official release of the band's follow-up album "Humanication". Visit www.reflexreaction.com for links to the official Re-Flex official website and official pages on MySpace, Facebook.

A. FlockOfSeagulls said...

Hi Jennifer,

thanks for your comment. You probably noticed that my original post was published back in 2008, and I'm not always on top of updates - so I very much appreciate your up to date info. for Re-Flex. I hope you don't mind that I've made a note of the information and included the website link you mentioned.