The early 80’s were the best years of Modern Romance’s life, they sure lived the high life. So what happened after that?
Early 80’s British pop band Modern Romance came out of the 70’s group the Leyton Buzzards. It was Geoffrey Deane (b.1954) and David Jaymes (b.1954) that continued to work together after the group split in 1980, recruiting brother Robbie Jaymes (b.1961), Paul Gendler (b.1960), Trevor Jones (b.1946) and Tony Gainsborough (b.1957) into the line up. They released their self-titled debut single that same year, although this and its successor, “Tonight”, released in early 1981, were not highly successful. As is usually the case, it was third time lucky for the band and with the release of “Everybody Salsa” in June 1981, Modern Romance were off. “Everybody Salsa” picked up on their self-styled Latin, party style and went to No.12 on the UK singles chart.
Strangely, just as public attention in the band began, Tony Gainsborough left and was replaced by Andy Kyriacou (b.1960). It was with Kyriacou that work on their debut album, “Adventures In Clubland”, was completed and the band enjoyed an even bigger hit with “Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey” soon after. The song went top ten in the UK and there was more big news to come before 1981 was done. The track “Can You Move?” was tentatively released in America and it peaked at No.2 on the Dance chart there. 1982 kicked off with “Queen Of The Rapping Scene (Nothing Ever Goes The Way You Plan)”, which saw limited top 40 success at home, before the group started writing and recording new material. It wasn’t long before “Cherry Pink (And Apple Blossom White)”, a cover of a 1955 song from the film ‘Underwater’, made its debut that Summer and the band were back in the top twenty once more.
There were more line up changes as founder Geoffrey Deane left the band and was replaced by Michael J. Mullins (b.1953). With hindsight, this was not such a great move for Deane as the band’s next single, “The Best Years Of Our Lives”, would become their biggest yet and ultimately, their best known and signature tune. The song sped to No.4 in the UK and also saw chart action across mainland Europe and briefly in Australia. Modern Romance returned to the top ten at the beginning of 1983 with “High Life” (UK No.8) and released their second album, “Trick Of The Light”. 1983 would see two Modern Romance albums released, “Party Tonight” followed later on in the year and would become their best seller, gaining a Gold certification in the UK for sales of 100,000 copies. “Party Tonight” would produce further hit singles “Don’t Stop That Crazy Rhythm” (UK No.14) and “Walking In The Rain” (UK No.7), although soon after, Trevor Jones would depart the band amid disagreements.
The slightly reduced Modern Romance would cover The Temptations 1971 song “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” at the start of 1984, but strangely the song was not a hit at all. Modern Romance seemed to run out of steam at this point with the follow ups “That’s What Friends Are For” (an original composition), “Burn It” and a cover of Baltimora’s “Tarzan Boy”, all failing to chart along with what would become their final album together, “Burn It”, in 1985. Modern Romance called it a day there following a remix of hits at the end of the year titled “The Best Mix Of Our Lives”. The band members went their own way and achieved their own levels of successes and failures. Deane formed the group Geoff Deane and The Valley Girls, but after this produced no hits, he left the music industry and became a television and film writer and producer. David Jaymes became a manager and consultant within the music industry.
Trevor Jones has done well for himself too. He is better known as John Du Prez and became a hugely successful composer in the film industry, scoring everything from Monty Python films to ‘The Wind In The Willows’ (1996) and even those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that plagued us in the Summer of 1990! He worked with Madonna on the soundtrack to ‘Shanghai Surprise’ in 1986 and reunited with John Cleese to score ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ in 1988.
In 1999, Andy Kyriacou revived the Modern Romance name with a completely new line up that includes his wife Natalie. The new ‘Modern Romance’ have played 80’s festivals and gigs and in 2002, released a brand new album, “Back On Track”, the first using the Modern Romance name for seventeen years. Further albums have been released while 2019 saw a single, “Rhythm Is My Lover”, released, the ‘bands’ first since “Burn It” in 1985, however, founding member Geoff Deane caught onto this new found success and attempted to block their new party ways. It was not successful as the outcome documented that he had no claim to the name since he left the group some 37 years earlier. Andy and Natalie Kyriacou, Matt Earnshaw, Oli Silk and Steve Etherington are now free to Salsa and live the high life for as long as they want to. Most definitely, the best years of their lives!
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