Dollar wanted to be shooting stars from the very beginning, but take a look in the mirror (mirror), where are they now?
Thereza Bazar (b.1955) and David Van Day (b.1956) met when they were 17 years old and joined the cabaret act Guys And Dolls. The group achieved two top ten hits in the UK and a few number one’s across mainland Europe in the mid-1970’s but by 1977 the magic had gone and Thereza and David left. The pair worked on material together and in 1978 were signed as a duo using the name Dollar. They released their debut single, “Shooting Star”, that same year and it reached No.14 in the UK and also broke the US singles chart at No.74.
1979 saw Dollar capitalise on this success with a sting of chart hits and the release of their debut album, “Shooting Stars”, which was a moderate hit. They were back at No.14 with their second single, “Who Were You With In The Moonlight?”, while “Love’s Gotta Hold On Me” blessed them with their very first top ten smash (No.4), although from hereon in the duo’s success would come from their home country. They covered The Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” at the end of the years taking this version to No.9 in the UK. Dollar moved to WEA Records at the beginning of 1980 who used more money on promotion and marketing, although this was not entirely successful to begin with.
The duo’s first three singles with WEA all failed to make the UK top 40 or anywhere else and their first album for the label, “The Paris Collection”, sank without trace even before it had set sail. Dollar hit back in 1981 with a more racy, modern sound with the single “Hand Held In Black And White”, which put them back in the UK top twenty for the first time in two years. The song was the first to come from their new album, “The Dollar Album”, and before its arrival in early 1982, David and Thereza enjoyed one of their biggest hits of all with “Mirror Mirror” at the end of 1981, taking them back to No.4 in the UK, their highest since “Love’s Gotta Hold On Me”. “The Dollar Album” fared much better as well peaking at No.18 in the UK, the duo’s highest of all their studio albums.
“The Dollar Album” would produce yet another UK No.4 hit in 1982 with “Give Me Back My Heart” and two further top 40 hits with “Videotheque” (No.17) and “Give Me Some Kind Of Magic” (No.34). But the magic behind the scenes in Dollar was nothing like the success they were now enjoying. Creative differences between David and Thereza were split and David wanted to venture out as a solo artist and so in 1983. Dollar announced they were parting ways. Van Day released his first album, “Young Americans Talking”, later that year although with no commercial success. 1985 saw both parts of Dollar release albums, Thereza emerged with her debut, “The Big Kiss”, but having cost more than £500,000 to produce, the album flopped, which she herself recalls as being a “mix-up at the record company, with the album unavailable at the time of its advertised release”. Van Day was back with his second, “Ringing The Bell”, but like Bazar’s first, it too was a huge failure and not even making the top 100 in the UK.
Perhaps it was the lack of interest in their own individual solo projects forced both David and Thereza to regroup in 1986. Although the pair never recorded or released another studio album, greatest hits compilations and endless touring in the Summer season put Dollar back on the map. They recorded new material but this was not so successful, their ‘comeback’ single, “Haven’t We Said Goodbye Before?”, stalling at No.62. It would take a cover version to give Dollar a big hit with Erasure’s debut single “Oh L’amour” given a late-80’s Euro pop makeover. This new version far surpassed Vince and Andy’s original and reached No.7 in the UK, their first big hit in six years. The track also performed well across Europe.
But “Oh L’amour” was a final curtain caller as the follow up, “It’s Nature’s Way (No Problem)”, flopped and once again David and Thereza called it a day. Van Day had one last try at a solo career but this came to nothing and instead concentrated on spending the 1990’s touring the Dollar name with a succession of singers. Thereza Bazar moved to Australia and left the music business to focus on family life but in 2002 she and Van Day came back together for a series of 80’s revival shows and reality TV shows in which former pop stars vie for another shot at stardom. Thereza still maintains a social media presence while Van Day divides his time between performing with his wife, Sue Moxley, as the act Rich And Famous while in 2019 he became a Conservative councillor in Thurrock, Essex, having previously tried for election in Brighton in 2007. He lost his seat in 2022.
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