Halo James

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Halo James

British group Halo James never wanted to be a one hit wonder, but they were. I could have told you that!

by Christopher Smith

Halo James were a short lived British group, who like so many in the music business, are just remembered for one song. And is that a bad thing? Well how many people can say they’ve even released a single or an album?!

The group formed in London in November 1988 and consisted of front man Christian James (born 1965), Ray St. John on guitars and Neil Palmer on keyboards. St. John could already boast of chart success having been a member of the group Pride from 1979 to 1982, which also contained the singer Sade Adu. He would co-author one of her biggest and most famous hits, “Smooth Operator” which reached No.5 in the US and No.19 in the UK. The group would spend the next year writing and recording and were ready by October 1989 to take on the charts.

Their debut single “Wanted” was…erm…not what people wanted. It stalled at No.45 in the UK and made no appearance anywhere else. But as 1989 turned into 1990, things were about to change. Their second single “Could Have Hold You So” was released in January and quickly shot up the UK top 40 to spend two weeks at No.6 at the beginning of February 1990. Appearances on Top Of The Pops as well as cover features in many of the biggest selling music magazines ensured everyone got to know all about them as well as serving as useful promotion for the forthcoming album. The song also charted across many parts of Europe, but failed to gain an audience when it was released in The States in May.

The album “Witness” was released in March and would gain many positive reviews from music magazines and notable industry critics. It would peak at No.18 in the UK and eventually receive a Gold certification for sales of over 100,000 copies. It was a minor hit in a handful of European countries. The next single “Baby” was released in April but stopped outside the UK top 40 at No.43.

The group released “Magic Hour” next, in the Summer of 1990 but that only charted at No.59 and re-released “Wanted” in the UK that Autumn, this time reaching the dizzy heights of No.89!

Despite songwriting for a planned second album, the group disbanded in April 1991 following ‘artistic disagreements’ between Christian James and Ray St. John. James decided to continue as a solo artist writing numerous songs including “Mission Of Love” which he had intended to release himself. However, he would eventually offer it to Jason Donovan who released it as his first post-PWL single in July 1992. The song reached No.26 in the UK. St. John continued as a songwriter and producer and has written for the likes of Gabrielle and even Snoop Dogg! Neil Palmer would also turn to writing for other artists including US singer Melanie, Haddaway and German singer Xavier Naidoo, who was to of represented his country at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, but was forced to pull out because of his right-wing political views and homophobic lyrics.

For all things Halo James look up the FACEBOOK fan group and their official YOUTUBE site

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 Christopher Smith

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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