Though active throughout the ’80s as a musical entity, Britain’s ABC presented most of its lasting work on its wonderful 1982 debut,
ABC’s sumptuously orchestrated, unashamedly (new) romantic No. 1 in 1982, The Lexicon of Love, was one of the artistic triumphs of 80s pop.
ABC : The Early Years
Ex-Buggle Trevor Horn had recently turned his energies full-time to production, and ABC counted among the first artists to reap the rewards from Horn’s in-studio genius. In fact, Horn’s influence can’t be understated. In terms of aiding a relatively new band to record one of the most polished and lavish sounding records in pop music history. The Lexicon of Love.
A brilliant combination of elegant synth-pop, RnB and Funk allowed the band to distinguish itself from more morose contemporaries. The precise songwriting and arrangements of leader Martin Fry were responsible for some memorable ’80s music moments.
ABC : Their Sound
ABC weren’t, strictly speaking, a new romantic outfit, nor could they be neatly pigeon holed within the synth-pop bracket. But they drew heavily from both areas.
Fry had a hint of David Bowie’s ‘Thin White Duke’ about him, both in vocal cadence, and refined, graceful presence. Whilst his singing style evoked the romanticism of Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry at his emotive best.
They smoothly blended a composite of musical styles and influences, building upon the detached, synthesized RnB pop sound. The ubiquitous layering of campy, self-conscious theatrics served to forge an engaging identity for ABC. These elements, strongly associated with the new romantic movement, aided in the band’s eventual rise. Thus becoming one of the most successful British based pop groups of the 1980s.
Under the direction of vocalist Martin Fry, the group scored several catchy, synth-driven dance-pop hits. in the early ’80s, including “Poison Arrow,” “Look of Love,” and “Be Near Me.”
ABC : Fast Forward
It’s been a little over a quarter century since the release of their landmark debut album. As of today, the title has assumed the status of being one of the seminal works of the early 80s era.
The album launched the band on a decade long career at, or near, the top of the pop music tree. Thus yielding the band a string of major hit singles, that conquered world charts.