Do you have any memory of Scarlet Fantastic? Plug in and let me remind you…
Singer Maggie De Monde and musician Rick P. Jones formed Scarlet Fantastic in 1987. The duo came out of the short-lived band Swans Way, a three-piece that featured singer Robert Shaw. The band formed in 1982 and released just one album, “The Fugitive Kind”, which featured the top twenty hit “Soul Train”. After three follow up singles failed to make the top 40, Swans Way split at the end of 1984, leaving Maggie and Rick free to pursue their own musical interests as a duo. They signed to Arista Records and called themselves after their favourite colour, Scarlet Fantastic!
Maggie and Rick began writing straight away and the first song that materialised was “No Memory”. Scarlet Fantastic worked with Pete Waterman of producers Stock Aitken Waterman and fellow PWL maestro Pete Hammond on mixing of the track to give it an edge and it was released as their debut single in the Summer of 1987. “No Memory” climbed to No.24 in the UK, spending five weeks in the top 40 altogether and would ultimately become their best known song. They released their debut album, “24 Hours”, later in 1987 and from it came the follow up, “Plug Me In (To The Central Love Line)”, at the beginning of 1988, although this fared less well and only just made the top 75.
After two more uncharted singles from “24 Hours” were released that year and a re-issue of “No Memory” in 1991, Maggie and Rick decided to go their separate ways , having recorded just one album under the Scarlet Fantastic banner. Maggie formed a new partnership with Leif Kahal and recorded a number of tracks as ‘Kahal & Kahal’ with PWL Records. In the early 2000’s, Maggie had reinvented herself again, this time with Pop Will Eat Itself guitarist Graham Crabb this time as ‘Mighty K and The Golden Claw’. They wrote and recorded the album “Club Silencio” in 2006, while 2009 saw Maggie work with Martin Watkins as ‘Maggie And Martin’ that would result in the album “Union” in 2012. Scarlet Fantastic was not dead, however, and 2007 saw a revival of “No Memory” with brand new mixes from Dennis Christopher.
Maggie played a live session that year, much to fans delight and following her work with Martin Watkins, in 2016 Maggie revived the legend of Scarlet Fantastic and began not only performing, but recording new music under the moniker! The long-awaited second album, “Reverie”, came that same year, only 29 years after the first, while 2021 saw two brand new singles released, “Better Day” and “Make Way For Love”. So it seems her memory is very much alive and well. Long may it last…! Oh and Rick, well he seems to be enjoying the garden and has no plans to change that!
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