(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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(Translated from the Italian by Joel Calahan)

Martin Fry was one of the few "auteurs" of British dance music of the 80s. With ABC he produced smooth songs full of 50s pop-soul arrangements, with a crooning melodramatic and decadent style in the vein of David Bowie. With Poison Arrow and Look Of Love, let alone the famous record The Lexicon Of Love (Mercury), they consecrated a place for themselves among the stars of 1982.

Bred by a sudden infatuation for Roxy Music, Fry upset the equilibrium of his guitar, saxophone and keyboard sound on the successive disc Beauty Stab (1983), which featured the song That Was Then And This Is Now.

That crisis became more acute in the following years, with the reduction of the band's personnel to a duo (Fry plus keyboardist Mark White). In reality, the central figure of their resurgence of 1985, How To Be A Zillionaire, was Keith LeBlanc of Tackhead, who changed their course once again, this time toward hip hop. Fry nonetheless found a way of crafting another one of his soul ballads, Be Near Me.

Alphabet City, with When Smokey Sings, and Up, with One Butter World, signaled a belated return to the soul characteristic of their origins. Yet in spite of having the means, Fry did not ever succeed in securing another place in the public eye and was swallowed up by his frenetic accumulation of styles.

Martin Fry fu fra i pochi "autori" della musica da ballo britannica degli anni '80. Con gli ABC propose canzoni vellutate, forti di arrangiamenti pop-soul degli anni '50, di un crooning melodrammatico/decadente alla David Bowie. Poison Arrow e Look Of Love, nonche` l'album The Lexicon Of Love (Mercury), li consacrarono fra le stelle del 1982.

Colto da un improvviso infatuamento per i Roxy Music, Fry sposto` il baricentro del sound verso la chitarra, il sassofono e le tastiere sul successivo Beauty Stab (1983), quello di That Was Then And This Is Now.

La crisi divenne acuta negli anni seguenti, che portarono alla riduzione dell'organico a un duo (Fry piu` il tastierista Mark White). In realta` il protagonista del rientro del 1985, How To Be A Zillionaire, e` Keith LeBlanc dei Tackhead, che cambia nuovamente rotta, questa volta verso l'hip hop. Fry ha comunque modo di cesellare un'altra delle sue serenate soul, Be Near Me.

Alphabet City, con When Smokey Sings, e Up, con One Butter World, segnano un tardivo pentimento all'insegna del soul delle origini. Nonostante ne avesse i mezzi, Fry non era pero` mai riuscito a mettersi in vista e venne inghiottito dal frenetico accavallarsi delle mode.

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