We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It! What a name for a group! Calling international rescue…
by Christopher Smith
“Pink pink sunshine, pink pink sunshine, pink pink sunshine”. Could a song’s lyrics be any more simple? Well that’s how it was in 1989. Loud, highly individual and simple. Yet effective. Welcome to the mad, mad, mad world of Fuzzbox!
Fuzzbox were formed in 1985 and originate from Birmingham. The original line up were Victoria ‘Vix’ Perks (born 1968), Maggie Dunne (born 1964), Tina O’Neill (born 1969) and Jo Dunne (born 1968). Apparently they ‘found’ their name after band member Maggie bought a distortion pedal for her guitar and promptly stated “we’ve got a fuzzbox and we’re gonna use it”!
The group released their debut single “Rules And Regulations” in March 1986 which climbed to No.41 on the UK singles chart. Their second single “Rockin’ With Rita” fared less well, stalling at No.56. The group released their debut album, the oddly titled “Bostin’ Steve Austin”, in late 1986. Things were going to be very different from now on! The album failed to chart in the UK and their US label Geffen decided to release the album Stateside in the title “We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It”. The saying third time lucky certainly applies to Fuzzbox as their third single release “Love Is The Slug” entered the UK top 40 and peaked at No.31 in January 1987. A fourth single “What’s The Point?” reached No.51 in the Spring of 87.
The group moved to WEA Records in 1988 and began recording their second album “Big Bang”. The first taster of which came in February 1989, with the release of cult TV puppet show ‘Thunderbirds’ titled “International Rescue”. With great marketing and MTV exposure, the group enjoyed their first taste of chart glory as the song wound its way up to No.11 on the UK chart. Interviews in pop magazines like Smash Hits and appearances on Top Of The Pops ensured that “Big Bang” was a huge success and the album eventually reached No.5 on the UK chart.
The success continued with the next single “Pink Sunshine” in May 1989 which would reach No.14 in the UK with its happy, sunny lyrics (as quoted above), just right for the steaming hot Summer that ensued that year.
“Self” was the third single lifted from the album and it reached No.24 in late August 1989 as well as hitting No.35 on the US dance chart and No.16 on the US alternative rock chart. The group covered Yoko Ono’s “Walking On Thin Ice” and released it a fourth single in late 89, but this only managed No.76 in the UK.
Writing and recording for a third album, to of been titled “Out Of This World”, began the following year. The lead single “Your Loss, My Gain” was released later in 1990 but could only reach No.100 in the UK. The group parted company after ‘musical differences’ and the album was canned. And that was it. Until 2004 when a compilation entitled “Look At The Hits On That!” was released. In 2008 the girls, or rather ladies now, reunited for a series of gigs and the release of another greatest hits album “Fuzz And Nonsense”, which also included many tracks recorded for the ill-fated third album.
In 2010 they undertook a thirteen-date tour of the UK (less Tina O’Neill) and recorded their version of the classic “Pop Muzik” by M, which was released on iTunes.
Sadly, guitarist Jo Dunne passed away in October 2012 having been diagnosed with cancer. She was just 43 years of age.
Vix and Maggie returned to performing in 2015 with a new line-up that included Megan Burke on guitar, Sarit Black on bass and Hannah Layhe on drums and played their first gig in November of that year. In 2016 they released a single “Let’s Go Supernova” and supported The Wondersuff on a UK tour. The group took to the stage this year (2018) as part of the annual Let’s Rock 80’s tour of the UK with a host of other great artists that have included Hazell Dean, Kim Appleby and Jason Donovan. Fuzzbox have also released a new single “WGAF…. AWGUI!” And there always the hope of a full album, perhaps in the not too distant future…!