English pop band ABC emerged in the early 80s with their massively successful album, The Lexicon of Love. The lineup included Martin Fry as lead singer, Mark White as keyboardist and guitarist, Stephen Singleton as saxophonist and David Palmer as drummer. Today ABC exists as a one-man band with Fry as its only official member. Nevertheless, the name ABC enjoys a cult following and fans still show up in large numbers every time a tour is announced.
If you want to enjoy ABC’s pop hits live in your city, grab your Abc tickets before they run out.
The roots of the pop band ABC trace back to a band called Vice Versa. It was formed by sythesizer-players, Mark White and Stephen Singleton in 1977. The band gave their debut live performance as a support act for Fire at the Outlook club in Sheffield. They founded their own record label, Neutron Records under which they released an EP Music 4 in the year 1979.
When Fry interviewed Vice Versa, Singleton and White invited him to join the band. He accepted the offer and became a part of Vice Versa in 1980. The musicians contributed the song Genetic Warfare to a compilation EP titled 1980: The First Fifteen Minutes. Their last live show as Vice Versa was in September, 1980, at the Futurama 2 Festival in Leeds. By late 1980, the band evolved into ABC, with Singleton as saxophonist, White as guitarist and keyboardist and Fry as the lead singer. Later, David Robinson joined in as drummer and Mark Lickley as bassist.
The first single by ABC, Tears Are Not Enough reached the Top 20 on the UK charts in 1981. Following its release, Robinson parted ways with the band and was replaced by David Palmer. Lickley also left the band shortly thereafter, however he was not replaced.
ABC’s debut studio record The Lexicon of Love came out in June of 1982. Released via Neutron, Mercury and Vertigo, it debuted at the top spot on the UK Albums chart. Among its Top 20 singles are All of My Heart, The Look of Love, Poison Arrow and Tears Are Not Enough.
Although it’s not a concept album, it features a theme in which the singer is experiencing heartache and failing miserably at his efforts to have a meaningful relationship. A long-form music video/movie titled Mantrap featuring songs from the record was released in 1983.
The Lexicon of Love also received a favorable response from the music critics. It ranked 42nd on the Top 100 British Albums list by The Observer Music Monthly in 2004 and 40th on the 100 Greatest British Albums list by Q Magazine in 2000.
The second studio album by the synth pop and new wave band was Beauty Sab. It was released in 1983 and produced by Gary Langan who had also worked on their first record as an audio engineer. However, this record was unable to match the success of its predecessor although it managed to reach the twelfth spot on the UK Albums chart and 69th on the US Billboard 200. Its first single That Was Then But This is Now charted on the UK Top 20.
After their third studio effort How to Be a Zillionaire! which did not make much of an impact, ABC went on a hiatus for a brief period of time. It was because Fry was undergoing cancer treatment. After his recovery, Fry and White returned as a duo and began recording for their fourth music album, Alphabet City, at the Marcus Recording Studios in London. The title of the album and several of its songs are inspired by the Alphabet City section of Manhattan, New York. Fry and White had lived there for sometime prior to the release of the record.
Alphabet City turned out to be ABC’s first Top 10 UK hit since The Lexicon of Love in 1982. The record’s chart-hitting singles include King Without a Crown, The Night You Murdered Love and When Smokey Sings. The latter was a tribute to the legendary music artist, Smokey Robinson.
In their fifth studio record titled Up, the musicians experimented with house music. The response was not very overwhelming although they scored a hit with the single One Better World. Up was ABC’s last album released via PolyGram and their first one to not reach the Top 40 in the UK.
The following year, the band treated their fans with a greatest hits compilation titled Absolutely. It covered all of ABC’S music albums up till 1990 and featured many of their singles. A new song The Look of Love was released to promote the compilation album. It made it to the Top 10 in the UK.
The duo’s next album Abracadabra was recorded in 1991 and released the year after. Among its prominent songs are Say It and Love Conquers All. It was the last ABC record featuring founding member Mark White. From here on, ABC remains a one man music entity with contributions and collaborations with various artists from time to time.
ABC Tour Tickets
As a solo ABC member, Martin Fry has produced three studio albums, the latest one being The Lexicon of Love II. It is a follow up to the band’s debut record. Martin wrote more than forty songs for the collection and collaborated with numerous guest writers for the purpose. He recorded the album with Gary Stevenson as producer.
ABC released its first Christmas song A Christmas We Deserve in December, 2016. It was a part of a 4-track EP, the other three songs of which were acoustic versions of The Look of Love, Viva Love and The Love Inside the Love.
If you want to enjoy the hits by the band live, check out the dates of the upcoming shows and book Abc tour tickets in advance.