All together now: “I’m too sexy for my shirt”! Let’s go ‘deeply dippy’ about Right Said Fred!
Brothers Fred (b.1956) and Richard Fairbrass (b.1953) started out in the 1970’s band The Actors and spent the 80’s touring with the likes of Joy Division. They left the group in 1989 and went alone, taking their name from actor and sometime singer Bernard Cribbins’ 1962 top ten hit, “Right Said Fred”. In 1990, guitar player Rob Manzoli joined to form a three-piece and just twelve months later, the world knew every word of their debut single as it sailed to the top of the charts across three continents. Whatever you want to call it, “I’m Too Sexy” stood alone in the charts in the Summer of 1991 with its catchy hook and repetitive lyrics that banged home just how sexy you can be, too sexy in fact for your shirt, your cat, New York and even Japan!
“I’m Too Sexy” was a huge hit, topping the chart in America, where it sold, initially, over a million copies. It was the fourth biggest seller in the UK that year, surrounded by number one’s but the only song to just peak at No.2! Why? Well it held the spot for SIX weeks while Bryan Adams endlessly told us that “Everything I Do (I Do For You)”, the year’s biggest seller by far with sixteen weeks on top. Poor old Fred! Nevertheless, it brought the friends a huge following and a thirst for more and before the year was out, they delivered “Don’t Talk Just Kiss” with singer Jocelyn Brown. The song was another smash hit, peaking at No.3 in the UK at Christmas and a top ten hit everywhere else. March 1992 saw the boys release a third single just before their debut album, “Up”. “Deeply Dippy” was more tongue-in-cheek pop with a definite band feel to it.
“Deeply Dippy” was the song that took them to the top, after two top three hits in the UK, it spent three weeks at number one in March/April 1992 and ensured that the album, “Up”, also went to number one at the same time. Oddly the song failed to chart in The States, while the album peaked at No.46. One further single was listed from the album, “Those Simple Things”, later that year, which was a top thirty hit. Right Said Fred returned in 1993 with that year’s Comic Relief charity single, “Stick It Out”, and it put them back in the top five, while at the same time, they boys set about recording their second album. The first taster of which came in late 1993 with the single, “Bumped”, but perhaps the initial magic was wearing away pretty fast, as the song only managed No.32 in the UK and was a low charting release in Europe.
The album, “Sex And Travel”, also failed to meet with approval, peaking at No.35 while two more single releases, “Hands Up (4 Lovers)” and “Wonderman”, both missed the top 40 completely. Right Said Fred have released the albums “Smashing” (1996), “Fredhead” (2001), “Stand Up” (2002), “For Sale” (2006), “I’m A Celebrity” (2008) and “Stop The World” in 2011 independently, although none made any impression on the charts. Rob left the band in 1997 as Fred and Richard continued as a duo and did return to the UK chart in 2001 with “You’re My Mate”, which made No.18, their first top twenty hit since “Deeply Dippy” nine years earlier. Both brothers have continued to record and play live relentlessly and even re-issued “I’m Too Sexy” in 2007, reaching No.56 on this occasion. Richard also branched out into TV presenting, fronting the UK show Gaytime TV for four years in the late 1990’s with comedian Rhona Cameron.
But fear not. Fred and Richard are back! They’ve just released a brand new single, “Tide”! It follows hot on the heels of “Good Times Everybody” and the brothers are currently writing and recording a new album, their first for nine years! You’ll have to decide for yourself if they are STILL too sexy or whether you just have to admit that you’re still stuck in 1991 and have legs that go on for miles and miles…!