Take these dogs away from me, I’m not scared. Cross my heart, I swear it’s true! Ah, Patsy Kensit…what happened?
by Christopher Smith
Remember 1988? Of course you do. A time when The Pet Shop Boys seemed to produce every song in the chart, be it their own or otherwise. And it was for this group that Chris and Neil produced their biggest hit. Eighth Wonder formed in 1983 with fifteen year old actress Patsy Kensit, her brother Jamie, Lawrence Lewis, Jake Walters and Geoff Beauchamp. Original called Spice, the band spend their first year playing any gig possible in the hope of getting a record contract.
In November 1984 they decided upon a name change and became Eighth Wonder. Patsy was soon headhunted by film maker Julien Temple for a new project he was directing called ‘Absolute Beginners’ and Patsy spend much of 1985 filming, however, in April 1985 the group got a signing to CBS Records and at the same time, began recording an album. They released “Stay With Me” as their debut single in October which would reach No.1 in Italy and No.30 in Japan, It reached No.65 in the UK. Shortly after this Lewis and Walters left the band.
‘Absolute Beginners’ was released in April 1986 but failed to find an audience. It also failed to recoup the money spent on its production. Eighth Wonder released their debut album at this time “Brilliant Dreams” which only charted in Japan and featured three further singles “Having It All”, “Will You Remember?” (No.7 Italy) and “When The Phone Stops Ringing” (No.17 Italy) in early 1987. Soon after drummer Steve Grantley joining the band as they spent 1987 writing and recording new material.
The group chiefly collaborated with legendary sound engineer Pete Hammond, who was best known for his work with Stock Aitken Waterman, save for one track, “I’m Not Scared”, which was produced by the Pet Shop Boys. This would serve as the lead single in March 1988 and would reach the top ten in fourteen countries across Europe, most notably in their home country, the UK, where it made No.7. It also became their second number one in Italy.
Eighth Wonder followed this in June with “Cross My Heart”, which had been recorded by American child singer Tracie Spencer earlier that year but not released. Produced by Pete Hammond, the single followed its predecessor into the top ten across Europe and proved a big success Stateside where it reached No.56 on the Billboard singles chart and No.10 on the dance chart. It stopped at No.13 in the UK.
The band released their second album “Fearless” the following month, but despite two big singles, it would only peak in the lower reaches of the global charts including the UK where it stalled at No.47. Nevertheless, the album has shifted over 500,000 copies worldwide to date! A third single “Baby Baby” reached No.13 in Italy, No.65 in the UK, No.84 in the US and No.17 on the US dance chart.
The group split soon after this, with Patsy Kensit focusing on her acting career. She played a leading role in the 1992 comedy ‘Blame It On The Bellboy’. Following a number of small screen projects, she joined the cast of British soap opera Emmerdale in 2004 and spent two years before moving to hospital drama Holby City where she stayed until 2010. She has since made appearances in Strictly Come Dancing (2010) and Celebrity Big Brother (2015). She has been married four times, to singers Dan Donovan, Jim Kerr of Simple Minds, Liam Gallagher of Oasis and most recently to DJ Jeremy Healy.
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