Johnny Hates Jazz

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Johnny Hates Jazz

They said they didn’t want to be a hero but, briefly, Johnny Hates Jazz were big business around the world. So what are they doing now?

JHJ 1988

Old school friends Phil Thornalley and Mike Nocito, together with singer Clark Datchler and keyboard player/drummer Calvin Hayes – they formed the group Johnny Hates Jazz in 1982 and went on to have chart success and claim their place in the annals of music history.

Despite playing gigs and promo events, it would be four years before the group released anything commercially. That started in April 1986 and the single “Me And My Foolish Heart” which failed to chart anywhere. Better luck would follow in March 1987 with their second release, “Shattered Dreams”, which went top five in the UK and reached No.2 in the US in 1988!

After that the hits started to roll. “I Don’t Want To Be A Hero” followed in August 1987 reaching No.11 in the UK and No.31 in the US, as well as charting high across Europe and Canada.

By now recording and production on their debut album was at an advanced stage and a third single, the down tempo “Turn Back The Clock”, was released in late 1987 reaching No.12 in the UK and charting top ten in New Zealand and The Netherlands.

The album, also titled “Turn Back The Clock”, was released in January 1988 and instantly became a huge hit, topping the UK album chart and being certified double platinum for sales of over 600,000 there! It also charted top ten across much of Europe and peaked at No.56 in the United States.

The group were on a roll with further hits “Heart Of Gold” coming in the Spring of 1988 and reaching No.19 in the UK and “Don’t Say It’s Love” in June 1988, reaching No.48 in the UK. Despite the amazing success with their first album and five hit singles, Clark Datchler left the group at the end of 1988.

Nocito and Hayes continued with Phil Thornalley, releasing “Turn The Tide” in 1989, which stalled at No.84 in the UK and failed to chart elsewhere. The new line up released a second album under the name of Johnny Hates Jazz in 1991, “Tall Stories”, from which two further singles were released “The Last To Know” and “Let Me Change Your Mind Tonght”, but neither nor the album made any appearance in the charts anywhere. The group parted ways the following year…or so it would seem.

Since Datchler’s departure from the group, he pursued a solo career releasing three albums, “Raindance” (1990), “Fishing For Souls” (1992) and “Tomorrow” (2007), all of which were minor hits in Japan.

Mike Nocito produced “Love Shine A Light” for Katrina And The Waves in 1997, which won the Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom that year.

Fast forward to 2009 and Datchler and Nocito reformed and began performing for the first time together in 21 years. They also recorded a new album “Magnetized”, released in April 2013 that included three singles, the title track, “Man With No Name” and “Lighthouse”. The album peaked at No.102 in the UK.

The pair continue to play live and are currently writing and recording new material for a forthcoming album. Datchler also co-wrote eight songs with Mike Rutherford for the Mike and Mechanics album “Let Me Fly” (2017). In 2020, the ‘boys’ returned with a new album, “Wide Awake“, which featured the lead single, “New Day Ahead”.

For more on Johnny Hates Jazz, check out their WEBSITE and their FACEBOOK page

Take a look at all our other Where Are They Now posts and don’t forget to follow the playlist!

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Written by

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!

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