If you raise your hands to heaven and pray, then maybe you’ll know what happened to 80’s group Breathe!
The London based trio that were Breathe had their biggest hit in 1988 with “Hands To Heaven”, which reached No.2 in the US and No.4 in the UK and although they disappeared as soon as they had arrived, their story had actually begun four years earlier.
Singer David Glasper (b.1965), Guitarist Marcus Lillington (b.1967) and drummer Ian Spice (b.1966) together with Michael Delahunty (b.1965) were all childhood friends and attended high school together. They formed the band Catch-22 in 1982 and played concerts for the school. When they left two years later, the foursome recorded demo’s which lead to them being signed by Virgin Records on their Siren label. it was at this time, they changed their name to Breathe. They released their debut single, “Don’t Tell Me Lies”, in January 1986, which made it to No.77 in the UK.
Breathe followed this with a precession of five follow up singles during 1986 and into 1987, “In All Honesty”, “Jonah”, “Any Trick”, “Hands To Heaven” (first issue) and “All That Jazz”, all of which flopped, as did their debut album of the same name, when it was released in August 1987. At the beginning of 1988, Delahunty left the band despondent at their lack of success, but if he had hung around for a couple more months, he wouldn’t of been so disheartened. The remaining three were not giving up just yet and went for a re-release of “Hands To Heaven” in July 1988, and with plenty of radio play and live appearances, were given a huge Summer hit that would go top five both in the UK and in America.
“Hands To Heaven” would also go top ten across much of Europe as well as in Canada and would lead to new interest in the album, “All That Jazz”. They followed this in the early Autumn with “How Can I Fall?” which capitalised on their transatlantic success by reaching No.3 on the US singles chart and topping the Adult Contemporary chart and would win a hattrick with a re-release of “Don’t Tell Me Lies” when it went top ten on the singles chart and No.5 on the AC chart. Sadly this success was not repeated back home, where both tracks just missed the top 40 and a re-release of “Jonah” could only make it as far as No.60. “All That Jazz” the album would eventually sell over 500,000 copies Stateside while just scraping over the 60,000 mark back in the UK.
After an exhausting three years, Breathe paused only for a matter of months before beginning work on a follow up in mid-1989. The first new single, “Say A Prayer”, was delivered in August 1990 and while it gave the band a fourth top ten hit on the US AC chart, it bombed back home, as did the album, “Peace Of Mind”. Two more singles were lifted from this, “Say Hello” and “Does She Love That Man?”, which followed suit, although the latter made No.34 on the US singles chart. And so Breathe drew their last breath. They disbanded completely in 1992.
For many years after that, Glasper disappeared out of sight until 2012 when he started a website and a YouTube account with demos of new songs he had written. Two years later, on his 49th birthday, he released a seven track, self-titled album of songs digitally. He currently lives near Bangkok, Thailand. Lillington also disappeared out of sight and was working in the early years of the internet on website and design, forming his own company in 2002. He sang in the band Stroke The Toad, who issued their debut album in 2008, also digitally. Ian Spice also dropped out of the music business soon after and little is known about his activities in the immediate years after the band split up. Sadly, he died in September 2000 at the age of just 34.
You can follow David Glasper at his official FACEBOOK page