Fine Young Cannibals

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Fine Young Cannibals
Fine Young Cannibals.JPG
Fine Young Cannibals, 1990
Background information
Origin Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Genres Alternative rock, new wave
Years active1984–1992, 1996
Labels London, I.R.S.
Associated acts The Beat
Two Men a Drum Machine and a Trumpet
Past members Andy Cox
Roland Gift
David Steele

Fine Young Cannibals were a British rock music band formed in Birmingham, England, in 1984, by bassist David Steele, guitarist Andy Cox (both formerly of The Beat), [1] and singer Roland Gift (formerly of the Akrylykz). Their self-titled 1985 debut album contained "Johnny Come Home" and a cover of "Suspicious Minds", two songs that were top 40 hits in the UK, Canada, Australia and many European countries. Their 1989 album, The Raw & the Cooked , topped the UK and US album charts, and contained their two Billboard Hot 100 number ones: "She Drives Me Crazy" and "Good Thing". [2]

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Birmingham City in the English Midlands, 2nd highest population of UK cities

Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, and the most populous city in the English Midlands. With an estimated population of 1,137,100 as of 2017, Birmingham is the cultural, social, financial and commercial centre of the Midlands. It is the main centre of the West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population in 2011 of 2,440,986. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 3.7 million. Birmingham is frequently referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city".

David "Shuffle" Steele is an English musician who was a member of The Beat and Fine Young Cannibals.


In 1990 the band won two Brit Awards: Best British Group, and Best British Album (for The Raw & the Cooked). [3] Their name came from the 1960 film All the Fine Young Cannibals starring Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood. [4]

Brit Awards British pop music awards

The BRIT Awards are the British Phonographic Industry's annual popular music awards. The name was originally a shortened form of "British", "Britain", or "Britannia", but subsequently became a backronym for British Record Industry Trusts Show. In addition, an equivalent awards ceremony for classical music, called the Classic BRIT Awards, is held in the month of May. Robbie Williams holds the record for the most BRIT Awards, 13 as a solo artist and another five as part of Take That.

<i>All the Fine Young Cannibals</i> 1960 film by Michael Anderson

All the Fine Young Cannibals is a 1960 American film directed by Michael Anderson, based on the novel by Rosamond Marshall starring Robert Wagner, Natalie Wood, Susan Kohner, George Hamilton, and Pearl Bailey. Hamilton said it "combined Southern Gothic with a biopic of jazzman Chet Baker".

Robert Wagner American actor

Robert John Wagner Jr. is an American actor of stage, screen, and television, best known for starring in the television shows It Takes a Thief (1968–70), Switch (1975–78), and Hart to Hart (1979–84). He also had a recurring role as Teddy Leopold on the TV sitcom Two and a Half Men and has a recurring role as Anthony DiNozzo Sr. on the police procedural NCIS.


The group was formed in 1984 after the dissolution of The Beat, with whom Cox and Steele previously played. [1] The duo of Steele and Cox spent eight months listening to over 500 cassettes of potential singers before picking Gift. They had difficulty obtaining a record contract, but when a video of their song "Johnny Come Home" appeared on British TV show The Tube , recording contract offers flowed in immediately. [5] The band's eponymous debut album was released in 1985, spawning two UK hit singles, "Johnny Come Home" and a cover of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds" featuring additional vocals by Jimmy Somerville. [2] These two songs also became hits internationally, charting in the top 40 in Europe, Canada and Australia, although they failed to make a significant impact on the US charts.

The Beat (British band) British band

The Beat (known in the United States and Canada as The English Beat and in Australia as The British Beat, are a band founded in Birmingham, England, in 1978. Its music fuses Latin, ska, pop, soul, reggae and punk rock.

<i>The Tube</i> (TV series) TV Series

The Tube was a United Kingdom music television programme, which ran for five series, from 5 November 1982 to 26 April 1987. It was produced by Tyne Tees Television for Channel 4, which had previously produced the similar music show Alright Now and the music-oriented youth show Check it Out for ITV; production of the latter ended in favour of The Tube.

<i>Fine Young Cannibals</i> (album) 1985 studio album by Fine Young Cannibals

Fine Young Cannibals is the debut album released in 1985 by the band of the same name. The album features the UK #8 debut hit single "Johnny Come Home".

Fine Young Cannibals appeared as the house band in a nightclub in the 1987 comedy film Tin Men and also contributed songs to the film's soundtrack. [6]

A house band is a group of musicians, often centrally organized by a band leader, who regularly play at an establishment. It is widely used to refer both to the bands who work on entertainment programs on television or radio, and to bands which are the regular performers at a nightclub, especially jazz and R&B clubs. The term can also refer to a group that plays sessions for a specific recording studio. House bands on television shows usually play only cover songs instead of originals, and they play during times that commercials would be seen by the home viewing audience. Therefore, only those present in the studio during the show's taping see their full performances.

<i>Tin Men</i> 1987 dark comedy film directed by Barry Levinson

Tin Men is a 1987 American comedy film written and directed by Barry Levinson, produced by Mark Johnson, and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Danny DeVito, and Barbara Hershey.

A soundtrack, also written sound track, can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program, or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film, video, or television presentation; or the physical area of a film that contains the synchronized recorded sound.

In the gap between their first and second albums, Steele and Cox released an instrumental house single under the moniker "Two Men, a Drum Machine and a Trumpet" in 1987, called "Tired Of Getting Pushed Around", which reached No. 18 in the UK Singles Chart [7] and was popular on the U.S. dance chart. During this time, Gift appeared in the movie Sammy and Rosie Get Laid .

House music is a genre of electronic dance music created by club DJs and music producers in Chicago in the early 1980s. Early house music was generally characterized by repetitive 4/4 beats, rhythms provided by drum machines, off-beat hi-hat cymbals, and synthesized basslines. While house displayed several characteristics similar to disco music, which preceded and influenced it, as both were DJ and record producer-created dance music, house was more electronic and minimalistic. The mechanical, repetitive rhythm of house was one of its main components. Many house compositions were instrumental, with no vocals; some had singing throughout the song with lyrics; and some had singing but no actual words.

UK Singles Chart British singles sales chart

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.

<i>Sammy and Rosie Get Laid</i> 1988 film by Stephen Frears

Sammy and Rosie Get Laid is a 1987 film directed by Stephen Frears, with a screenplay by Hanif Kureishi.

The band continued their international success with the singles "She Drives Me Crazy" and "Good Thing", from the 1989 album The Raw & the Cooked . The latter song was their second U.S. number one, topping the Billboard Hot 100 on 8 July 1989. It also peaked at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart. [8] The Raw & the Cooked included three songs the band had recorded for Tin Men (including "Good Thing"), and their cover of the Buzzcocks' "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" recorded for the film Something Wild . [2]

<i>The Raw & the Cooked</i> (album) album by Fine Young Cannibals

The Raw & the Cooked is the second and final studio album by British rock band Fine Young Cannibals, released in 1989. The title of the album was lifted from the book of the same name by French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. Four songs from the album first appeared in film soundtracks in the mid-1980s, three of which were soul tracks from the Tin Men film. The band had already recorded over half of the album by the time David Z came to produce the remainder. His work with the band, which resulted in dance-rock material, included studio experimentation.

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

Buzzcocks British band

Buzzcocks are an English punk rock band formed in Bolton, England in 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Pete Shelley and singer-songwriter Howard Devoto. They are regarded as a seminal influence on the Manchester music scene, the independent record label movement, punk rock, power pop, and pop punk. They achieved commercial success with singles that fused pop craftsmanship with rapid-fire punk energy. These singles were collected on Singles Going Steady, described by critic Ned Raggett as a "punk masterpiece".

In 1990, the band contributed a cover version of Cole Porter's song "Love for Sale" for the album Red Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization, a collection of 20 Cole Porter songs recorded by various artists as a benefit for AIDS research.

Fine Young Cannibals disbanded in 1992, although they briefly returned to the studio in 1996 to record a new single, "The Flame", which would complement their greatest hits compilation The Finest released that year. [2] In the early 2000s, Gift (without Steele or Cox) reactivated the band name and toured as Roland Gift and the Fine Young Cannibals.

Band members

Session/touring members


Studio albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
[9] [8]
1985 Fine Young Cannibals
  • First studio album
  • Release date: 10 December 1985
  • Label: I.R.S. Records
1989 The Raw & the Cooked
  • Second studio album
  • Release date: 6 February 1989
  • Label: I.R.S. Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsCertifications
(sales threshold)
[9] [8]

1996 The Finest 105622394721
2006The Platinum Collection
  • Release date: 21 March 2006
  • Label: Warner Deluxe
2009She Drives Me Crazy
  • Release date: 23 February 2009
  • Label: MC Deluxe
2012The Collection
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Remix albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
1990 The Raw & the Remix
  • Release date: 11 December 1990
  • Label: I.R.S. Records


YearSinglePeak chart positionsAlbum
[9] [8]


1985"Johnny Come Home"8148161681013769 Fine Young Cannibals
"Suspicious Minds"862221379211423
1986"Funny How Love Is"589727
1987"Ever Fallen in Love"920281910342311 Something Wild (soundtrack)
1988"She Drives Me Crazy"5121225111 The Raw & the Cooked
1989"Good Thing"7713184364120
"Don't Look Back"3438381029102311
"I'm Not the Man I Used to Be"201093533829548
1990"I'm Not Satisfied"4614583661990
"It's OK (It's Alright)"16944
1996"The Flame"1785656536 The Finest
1997"She Drives Me Crazy 1997"36
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

See also

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