If you ‘call’ Go West they may close their eyes…otherwise, you’re the “King Of Wishful Thinking”!
Peter Cox (b.1955) and Richard Drummie (b.1959) formed Go West in 1982 releasing their debut single and album in 1985. Over the next ten years they notched up hits on both sides of the Atlantic and were featured on the soundtracks of some of the biggest films of the period. So what happened next and where are they now? After three years of getting nowhere, Peter and Richard wrote and recorded two songs and sent them out to every record company imaginable. Eventually, Chrysalis Records like what they heard and signed them. The first of the two songs, “We Close Our Eyes”, was released in February 1985 and became an instant smash.
“We Close Our Eyes” went to No.5 in the UK and No.41 Stateside, reaching No.5 on their dance chart as well as being a top ten hit across Europe and in Australia. The second of the two demo songs, “Call Me”, was released in May and peaked at No.12 in the UK and No.54 in America. Go West’s self-titled debut album followed soon after and was a top ten success in the UK, reaching No.60 on the Billboard 200. The album featured two further singles, “Don’t Look Down” (UK No.13) and “Goodbye Girl” (UK No.25), while “Eye To Eye” was released in the US reaching No.73 there.
The following year, Go West released an EP of mixes titled “Bangs And Crashes” which featured the song “One Way Street”, which also featured on the soundtrack to the film ‘Rocky IV’. The single “True Colours” made No.48 in the UK. Go west were back in 1987 with their second album, “Dancing On The Couch”, which included “True Colours” and the lead single proper, “I Want To Hear It From You”, which just fell shy of the UK top 40, peaking at No.43. There were in fact no chart hits from this album, which also featured “The King Is Dead” (UK No.67), although a remix of “Don’t Look Down”, retitled “Don’t Look Down – The Sequel” was issued in America and oddly, became their biggest yet when it went to No.39 there! “Dancing On The Couch” would chart at No.19 in the UK and No.172 Stateside.
Go West would have to wait until 1990 for another big hit and it was one that featured on a movie soundtrack, this time to the upcoming Richard Gere/Julia Roberts starring feature, ‘Pretty Woman’. The song, “King Of Wishful Thinking”, gave the band their biggest ever hit in America, when it went top ten (No.8) that Summer, while it reached No.18 at home, still their best achievement since “Don’t Look Down”, five years earlier. “King Of Wishful Thinking” was also the lead single from their next album, “Indian Summer”, well titled as it featured two further UK chart hits, “Faithful” (No.13) and “What You Won’t Do For Love” (No.15). “Faithful” was also mid charting hit in America, although this would be the last time the duo would reach the singles chart ‘across the pond’.
“Indian Summer” would peak at No.13 in the UK and No.154 in America, becoming their biggest seller, with worldwide sales of more than four million copies. The pair celebrated ten years of recording in 1993 with a best of, “Aces and Kings – The Best of Go West”, which featured their cover of The Miracles’ 1967 classic “The Tracks Of My Tears”, which Go West took to No.16 in the UK, their most recent top twenty hit there. A remix of “We Close Our Eyes” was also released, just edging into the top 40 later that year. Peter and Richard took a break soon after, one which would last until 2001 when they released a live album and the single “All Day All Night”. After a couple more money-grabbing, reissued hits packages, Go West formally returned in 2008 with a brand new album, “Futurenow”.
The album was their first new collection since “Indian Summer”, eighteen years earlier and featured the singles “Let Love Come” and “Only Love”. Go West released three EP’s (3D parts 1-3) in 2010, 2011 and 2013, with a total of 15 recordings including new versions of their biggest hits. These were brought together on the album “3D”, released later that year. In 2016, Peter and Richard contributed the song “Determination” for the soundtrack of the film ‘Eddie The Eagle’. Produced by Take That‘s Gary Barlow, “Fly (Songs Inspired by the Film Eddie the Eagle)” featured other notable artists like Holly Johnson, Kim Wilde, Andy Bell of Erasure and many other ‘giants’ of the 80’s music scene. Go West are now a staple of the 80’s retro festival scene, appearing at numerous Let’s Rock and other era defining events, much to the delight of those who remember them and still ‘close their eyes’ hoping that when they open, they’re back in the greatest decade for music of all time(!)
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