Fashion (always spelled "Fashiøn" on their records) were a British New Wave band consisting of Dee Harris, Al 'Luke Sky' James, Alan Darby, John Mulligan, Marlon Recchi and Dik Davis. The band had two or three eras. The first, from 1978 to 1980, was part of the underground music of the 1970s, while punk was making their last hits in Britain, when the band, named Fàshiön Music, released experimental post-punk rock and like-reggae/ska oriented songs; and was also characterized by the presence of lead vocalist and guitarist Luke Sky, who left in 1980, ending with that first era.
Post-punk years: Fàshiön MusicEdit
Fashion was formed originally as Fàshiön Music, in Birmingham, England, in 1978, and consisted of John Mulligan (bass, synthesizer), Dik Davis (drums), and Al James (lead vocals, guitar). James became known as Luke Sky, or simply Luke or Lûke, short for 'Luke Skyscraper' a pun on Star Wars and the fact that James was tall and thin; while John Mulligan was known simply as Mulligan and Davis as Dïk. At that time, they also founded their own Fàshiön Music label, and they released their first three singles: Steady Eddie Steady, Citinite, and The Innocent.
Their sound was varied, playing punk, post-punk and indie repertoire, although Mulligan at that time also had a synthesizer which later characterized the future electro and new romantic years of the band (sounding like rock bands of the day, as Magazine, The Cure and Joy Division).
Between 1978 and 1980, they played shows with many bands who later became well known. A then recently formed Duran Duran opened their shows, they toured the UK with U2, UK and USA with The Police, and opened for The B-52's on their first British tour.
In March 1980, Fàshiön Music released their Silver Blades single. In 1980 they also released one more song, "Let Go", on a Birmingham bands compilation called Bouncing In The Red (EMI).
In different articles and webs, it has been announced Fàshiön Music recorded a number of demos during 1978-1979/80, but only three of them are online on the official band's Myspace created by Luke James, "Fashion" (later re-recorded for Product Perfect), "Fiction Factory" and "I Don't Take Drugs" (recently dropped).
There is, however, now a CD available through Luke's Myspace and Fashion web pages that has all of the singles, as well as the unreleased demos of "Fiction Factory", "Let Go", "Bad Move", and a 1980 re-recording of the band's first single "Steady Eddie Steady".
New Romantic yearsEdit
Their most notable album, Fabrique (1982), saw a significant change in line-up, with James having left the band and Harris and Recchi joining. Fabrique contained the singles "Move On" and "Love Shadow", among others, it was later re-issued with additional material as Height of Fashion (1990), (2004). One of Harris' last gigs with Fashion occurred at the Botanical Gardens, Birmingham, England. Harris left Fashion before a proposed world tour of Fabrique and the third release, later recording an album with Richard Wright, keyboardist of Pink Floyd, as Zee. Harris was replaced by Troy Tate and guitarist Al Darby. Though Troy Tate did not record any studio material with Fashion, he performed his own songs with the band live. During Tate's period, Alan Darby showed off his immense talent for the guitar by modifying De Harriss' guitar parts and even soloing in different modal ways. Songs during Tate's period include, "Love Is" and "What You Gonna Do Next." Tate was subsequently fired, with Darby left to perform leading vocals.
In 1984, Fashion released an album entitled Twilight Of Idols.
Roger Taylor wrote in The Reunion Tour programme that in his teenage years every band he played in was better than the last, but it was still hard to find anyone that was totally committed - until he met John and Nick in '79. "I had seen Duran Duran play at a Birmingham club called Barbarella's supporting 'the next big band' called Fashion. Duran Duran were amazing although I thought they needed a real drummer instead of that Kay rhythm box!"."Incredibly I got a call a few weeks later from then front man Andy Wickett saying he was now singing with Duran and they needed a drummer".
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