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Cherry Red Records has announced the signing of 1980s band Whizz For Atoms.
Whizz For Atoms burst onto the UK music scene in the summer of 1984 with a high-profile signing to Graduate Records, which had previously become the first UK independent label to score a top 10-hit when they launched UB40 on the path to international stardom.
TV appearances, radio play (both nationally and internationally) as well as extensive touring around the UK college and club venues followed for The Atoms, until they decided to call it a day and go their separate ways in the winter of 1986.
As the members settled into a life outside the music industry, they slowly drifted apart to places as far away as New York, Australia and the Fiji Islands.
Fast forward 35 years and they're back with a new song called Touch With Love.
“The song was written in the ’80s about the then-emerging computer/video dating trend,” says bass player Andrew Redfern. “But when I listened to it recently, I realised it was more relevant today than ever, as more and more people rely on apps or websites to find love.”
That was the catalyst for bringing the band back together almost four decades after they'd drifted off to different parts of the world. Redfern set about recording a backing track from his home in the Fiji Islands and sent it to lead singer Ian Hewitt in the UK.
“When Ian sent back his recording and I heard his golden vocal chords once again, that was it,” says Andrew. “I just knew we had to get the band back together and record the song properly.”
But with the members scattered to the four corners of the earth, recording was no easy task.
“We’re all in different time zones,” says Ian, ”so often it was a case of recording your part and then waiting until members elsewhere were able to record and send theirs for everything to be mixed together. It also meant that when someone had a new idea and we wanted to try something different, we would often have to wait for someone else to wake up, have a listen and come back with the new version.”
“It was certainly interesting," adds Andrew, “but the recording of the music was nothing compared to the recording and editing of the video."
“The UK was in a total lockdown,” says Ian, “so recording the outdoor scenes responsibly and legally, literally meant recording while taking your daily outdoor exercise, which drew a few strange looks from passers-by, particularly for the brass section. It’s not every day you see someone whip out their horn in the middle if the woods!”
Only a couple of weeks after putting the video on YouTube, they were snapped up by Cherry Red Records, one of the UK’s leading independent record labels.
Commenting on signing the band, Cherry Red’s director of business affairs & licensing, Matt Birstow, said: "It was a great surprise when we heard that Whizz For Atoms were back in action. They were one of the exciting UK bands to emerge in the 1980s, so when they approached us with their new song in the 2020s, naturally we were curious to have a listen. Although they've maintained an ’80s sound, we reckon their music is as fresh and relevant today as it ever was, and we're delighted to welcome them on board.”
The song is now available on all the usual platforms, including: Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, iTunes and YouTube. http://cherryred.co/whizztouchwithlove
So is the band going to take another holiday now they’ve released this single? “No way”, says drummer James Woodward. “We’re already busy working on new recordings, which include a mixture of new material and reworkings of some old favourites. Watch this space!”
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