They were Living In A Box. They were living in a cardboard box! I’m sure there is “Room In Your Heart”!
The year is 1985. The location is Manchester, England. Richard Darbyshire, Tony ‘Tich’ Critchlow and Marcus Vere meet up and decide to start a band, but they don’t know what to call themselves. Vere and Critchlow have written a song called “Living In A Box” and invite Darbyshire to perform vocals on it. They decide to call themselves after the song! But it won’t be released until 1987. When it does, it does pretty well making the top ten charts across Europe and reaching No.17 in the US!
The following month they release an album, called…err…”Living In A Box”(!) and that too does rather well, breaking the US album chart as well as charting across Europe. Three further singles come during 1987 and the beginning of 1988, “Scales Of Justice” (UK No.30), “So The Story Goes” (UK No.34, US No.81) and “Love Is The Art” which just missed the UK top 40.
The trio returned in 1989 with their second assault on the global charts beginning with “Blow The House Down” which put them back in the top ten across Europe.
Their second album “Gatecrashing” came in June that year and preceded the title track which was released as the second single reaching No.36 in the UK. The album again performed well across Europe and like their debut, was certified Gold in the UK for sales of over 100,000 copies.
That Autumn they released the down tempo number “Room In My Heart” which matched their debut in the UK by peaking at No.5 and becoming their biggest seller there. It also charted high in Ireland, Sweden, Belgium and Australia. A fourth single “Different Air” was released at the end of 1989 but only made No.57 in the UK.
The band began recording a third album the following year but due to ‘artistic differences’ it was never completed and Darbyshire left to pursue other avenues. He released his debut album “How Many Angels” in 1994 and has since released two others in 1999 and 2009, although he has found greater success as a songwriter most prolifically with Lisa Stansfield on four of her studio albums.
In 2016 Vere and Critchlow reformed Living In A Box with 90’s singer Kenny Thomas as the replacement for Darbyshire on vocals. They have since toured extensively and there are rumours of new material being recorded!
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