Scarlet came, they saw, they went. An all too familiar tale of a short-lived independent love song.
Hull school mates Cheryl Parker, Jo Youle and Joanna Fox joined bass player Ed Clark to form the band Cheap Day Return in 1989 but after two years of playing pubs and getting nowhere, they split, with the three girls going on to form Scarlet. Eventually they were picked up by Chrysalis Records in 1992 and released their debut single, “Piccadilly In The Rain (I’ll Be There)”, that same year. For whatever reason, nobody bought it and nor did they feel any affection towards its follow up, “Shine On Me Now”. Chrysalis promtly dumped the group, but after submitting a mumber of demo tapes, WEA next recruited them.
They released “I Really Like The Idea” in 1993 but sadly no one else did! Disheartened, Joanna left the band to leave the remaining pair to carry on as a duo. Silly her. This is when things started to turn a different corner. Still remaining positive, Cheryl and Jo released “Independent Love Song” at the end of 1994 and to their relief, it was picked up by radio and played as a ‘one to watch for in 1995’. Taking a slow ascent of the singles chart, “Independent Love Song” climed to No.12 in the UK in January/February 1995 and also charted fairly well in Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland. Scarlet had been writing and recording an album since 1993 and off the back of this new found success, released “Naked” the following month.
The album was not such a big hit, only managing No.59 in the UK, although one further top 40 hit was achieved with “I Wanna Be Free” in April (No.21). This was it, sadly. A fourth and final single from the album, “Love Hangover”, made No.54 that Summer before the girls began writing new music and a new album. That material arrived soon after in 1996 with the single, “Bad Girl”. But unlike the Madonna namesake, it was not a hit and together with the album, “Chemistry”, flopped. WEA dropped them and that was the end of Scarlet. By now in their thirties, Cheryl and Jo called it a day and went their separate ways. Little to nothing has been heard of Cheryl, but in 2020, Jo was interviewed by the local Hull newspaper, where she is chief executive of the charity, Missing People.
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