The ‘magic’ of The Jets: We had a crush on them…cross by broken heart!

by Christopher Smith

The family Wolfgramm, eight of the seventeen(!) children of Maikeli and Vaké Wolfgramm from Minneapolis, ages 20-12, are what we know as The Jets. The group were ‘discovered’ by Don Powell of British group Slade and given a record contract by MCA. They released their first single “Curiosity” in 1985 which made an appearance on the US dance chart and was a minor hit in New Zealand and the UK.

It was their second release “Crush On You” that brought them out into the open when it peaked at No.3 on the singles chart and No.4 on the dance chart and got to No.5 in the UK in early 1986. The groups self-titled debut album would go on to be Platinum certified in America selling over a million copies and brining in a second top three hit “You Got It All”, which topped the adult contemporary chart.

Following a Christmas album in 1986, The Jets released “Magic” the following year which became Gold certified and bore six hit singles including “Cross My Broken Heart” (No.7), “Rocket 2 U” (No.6) and “Make It Real” (No.4), although international success was now confined to Canada as the group struggled to retain the audience they had initially captured with “Crush On You”.

“Make It Real” had given them a second chart topper on the adult contemporary chart whilst “Sendin’ All My Love” would top the dance chart in 1988. The following year they released their third studio album “Believe” but the singles “You Better Dance” and “The Same Love” would not be so successful and the album stalled at No.107 on the Billboard top 200. The group mounted three successful world tours during this time playing to hundreds of thousands of adoring fans across America and Canada as well as performing “The Star Spangled Banner” at the 1987 Baseball World Series, The 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and the 1991 Stanley Cup in Bloomington, Minnesota.

In 1990 the group released a “Best Of” collection together with two new recordings, “Special Kinda Love” and “Forever In My Life” but were dropped by MCA soon after. If you think that was the end of The Jets, well, the continued to record and release albums independently with “Love People” in 1995 and “Love Will Lead The Way” in 1997. Over the years, the group dwindled in performing member from eight to five and released another greatest hits album in 2004 before a new album “Reunited” ten years later, blending six new songs with re-recordings of their four biggest hits.

In 2015 the group reformed to perform 30th anniversary shows in The Philippines and in Orem, Utah. Their influence has stood the test of time with the likes of Britney Spears (“You Got It All”), Aaron Carter (“Crush On You”) and Nayobe (“Make It Real”) recording their version of Jets’ songs for their respective albums, with Carter taking his version of “Crush” back into the UK top ten as well as in Australia, Germany and Norway!

The Jets today

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Written by aylshamchris

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