Tight Fit

Last updated

Tight Fit
OriginLondon, England
Genres New wave, dance
Years active1981–1983
Labels Jive (1981–1983, 2008–2011)
Epic (2011–2016)
Almighty (2016–present)
MembersSteve Grant
Denise Gyngell
Julie Harris
Past membersRichard Scarfe
Martin Page
Brian Fairweather
Vicky Pemberton
Carol Stevens
Silvio Gigante
Alex Naylor

Tight Fit is an English pop group which had several hits in the early 1980s, including a UK No.1 for three weeks with their cover version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in 1982. [1]



In 1981, record producer Ken Gold came up with the idea to record a single made up of a medley of 1960s songs. The medley trend was in full swing at this time, following the success of Starsound and their Stars on 45 singles. He put together a group of male/female session singers and released "Back to the 60s" under the group name Tight Fit. The medley included a voice-over by the DJ Emperor Rosko and became a hit in the summer, reaching No.4 in the UK Singles Chart. [2] Instead of the session singers who sang on the record, actor/singers including Lowri-Ann Richards and Robert Pereno were hired to front the group when Tight Fit first appeared on BBC TV's music show Top of the Pops . [3] A follow-up, "Back to the 60s Part 2" was released soon after, reaching No.33 in the UK Singles Chart.

Later in the year, record producer Tim Friese-Greene recorded a version of the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" with another group of session singers. The singer was Roy Ward, the former drummer and percussionist from the British 1970s band City Boy. The song was released in early 1982, again under the name Tight Fit. The song gained instant attention and so a new group was formed to front it. Dancer, singer and model Steve Grant was teamed with female singers Denise Gyngell and Julie Harris. The song reached No.1 in the UK for three weeks in March 1982 and the line-up was catapulted into sudden and unexpected stardom. [4]

Satisfied this line-up could actually sing in their own right, Friese-Greene produced their next single, "Fantasy Island" – a song by The Millionaires which had been in the Dutch Eurovision Song Contest heats. The song, in a very similar vein to the pop group ABBA, was also a success, reaching No.5 in May 1982. [5]

The group then set about recording an album as well as rehearsing for their first tour. A third single was released in August. "Secret Heart" was not as successful as the previous two and peaked at No.41. [6] The first album was released soon after, but coincided with both Harris and Gyngell leaving the group. Both unhappy with their contract, they claimed they were not receiving any royalties from their hits and were being paid a paltry wage for their work. Swiftly two new female singers, Vicky Pemberton and Carol Stevens, were employed to take their place and the group released another single, "I'm Undecided" – a song from the album, with new vocals. The song failed to make the UK Chart and this signalled the end of Tight Fit's brief pop stardom. In an interview, Harris stated the public did not take to the new line-up and, had she and Gyngell still been with the group, it would have probably been a hit.[ citation needed ]

The following year, Tight Fit released one more single – a cover of Stephen Stills' "Love the One You're With". Under the name Steve Grant with Tight Fit, the song completely missed the chart and the group duly split up.

After Tight Fit

Grant, Harris and Gyngell all tried to launch music careers outside Tight Fit following their departures. Harris released two singles in 1983: "123" (not the same song as "One Two Three" which she sang on the Tight Fit album), under the name Julie and the Jems, and "Escargot a la Bongo" under the name Chopper Harris. Chopper Harris were contestants on The Freddie Starr Showcase and won their heat with that song. They were second in the final with the song "The Dolphin Dive". Gyngell teamed up with her two brothers under the name He She Him, and released a single, "Try a Little Tenderness". Grant released solo singles "Conviction" (with Earlene Bentley) and "Run for Cover", and in 1986 joined a male three-piece group, Splash!.

Signed for a two-single deal by Elton John's Rocket Records after a chance meeting with Splash!'s manager at PWL Studios, Grant and Splash! released the Stock Aitken Waterman-produced single "Qu'est-ce que c'est". [7] A second single, "European Boy" was recorded with Steve Bronski and Larry Steinbachek from Bronski Beat. [7]

Grant and Harris both appeared on the charity single "Doctor in Distress" by Who Cares in 1985. [8]

Grant's background was in musical theatre, to which he returned afterwards. In the 1980s, he appeared in productions of On the Town and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas , and in the 1990s he appeared in productions of Kiss Me, Kate and Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London, where he was a part of the cast at various stages between 1992 and 1999, when the production closed. Since 1999, he has lived in London and southern Spain. For a number of years there was a rumour that he had died, but this is untrue. It has been suggested the rumour originated in a mix-up with the singer Baltimora (who died in 1995) due to the similarity of the image each portrayed in their most well-known hit.


In 2008, members Denise Gyngell and Julie Harris reformed Tight Fit as a touring band, playing in nightclubs around Britain. [9] From 2010, they began touring in a show called "Back to the Eighties", performing many well-known songs from the 1980s as well as their own hits. [10] Grant later appeared with them at some gigs until he returned permanently in 2010. Together, they undertook some recording work, with an updated version of "Fantasy Island" being released as a promotional single. They took part in an episode of Pineapple Dance Studios for Sky TV that was shown in 2010. On 2 June 2015, the band announced it had released a new album called Together on Almighty Records, their first together in 34 years. [11] In 2021, the trio signed with Energise Records. In December 2021 the trio released a single called "Fallout", produced by Matt Pop, which is a preview for a new album due to be issued in 2022. [12] [13]

On the band's website it is stated Grant, Gyngell and Harris hold the trademark to the name Tight Fit in relation to all music and publishing. [14]


Current members
Former members



YearTitleDetailsPeak chart positions
1981Back to the 60's
  • Released: September 1981
  • Label: Jive
1982 Tight Fit
  • Released: August 1982
  • Label: Jive
1994Greatest Hits
  • Released: 1994
  • Label: Jive / Tring International PLC
  • Re-release of the 1982 album Tight Fit
1995The Best of Tight Fit
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


YearSinglePeak chart positions Certifications
US Dance
1981"Back to the 60's"7150648963
"Back to the 60's Part 2"33
1982"The Lion Sleeps Tonight"118131138171
"Fantasy Island"49233335
"Secret Heart"1541
"I'm Undecided"
1983"Love the One You're With"
2010"Fantasy Island" (Promotional Only Almighty Remixes) [1]
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Lion Sleeps Tonight</span> 1920s song by Solomon Linda

"The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is a song originally written and recorded by Solomon Linda under the title "Mbube" for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939. Linda's original was written in isiZulu, while the English version's lyrics were written by George David Weiss.

5000 Volts is the name of a British disco recording act that achieved success throughout Europe during the 1970s. The group consisted of vocalists Tina Charles and Martin Jay, with a changing group of session musicians.

Grace was a 1990s dance music act, consisting of the DJs Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne and the jazz singer Dominique Atkins. The group's first single, "Not Over Yet", had lead and backing vocals by the original frontwoman Patti Low. Atkins recorded her own lead vocals for "Not Over Yet" when it was included as the first track on the group's only album If I Could Fly.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Show You the Way to Go</span>

"Show You the Way to Go" is a song written by Gamble and Huff and recorded by the Jacksons for their 1976 CBS debut album, The Jacksons. Released as a single in early 1977, it was the only number-one song for the group in the UK. It was later covered by Dannii Minogue in 1992.

Guys 'n' Dolls were a UK pop group, initially comprising a three-girl/three-boy line-up and later becoming two-girl/two-boy. In the mid-1970s, they scored UK top-ten hits with the singles "There's a Whole Lot of Loving" and "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me". In the late 1970s they found further success in the Netherlands, where they had a number-one hit with "You're My World".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cliff Richard discography</span>

Sir Cliff Richard is a British singer and actor who made his professional debut in August 1958. His discography consists of 47 studio albums, seven soundtrack albums, 11 live albums, three stage show cast albums, 17 mainstream compilation albums, seven box sets, eight gospel compilation albums, 46 EPs, and 146 singles. It also includes numerous budget/mid-price compilation albums, repackaged albums, and one remix album. These figures are based on Richard's releases in his native UK plus a small number of new music releases for specific markets such as France, West Germany, Japan, and the United States. There have been many additional compilation albums and singles released outside the UK that are too numerous to include; however, some of the more successful or notable singles released outside the UK have been included in the Singles section.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wishing on a Star</span> 1978 single by Rose Royce

"Wishing on a Star" is a slow ballad written by former The Undisputed Truth member Billie Rae Calvin and produced by Norman Whitfield. The song was originally offered to Barbra Streisand for her album project but later declined. It was first recorded as a single by Rose Royce in 1977 and has since been recorded by numerous other artists, including The Cover Girls in 1992, Seal in 2011, Jay-Z in 1998 and Beyonce in 2005.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crying in the Chapel</span> 1953 single by Darrell Glenn

"Crying in the Chapel" is a song written by Artie Glenn for his son Darrell to sing. According to Cliff Glenn, Artie Glenn's oldest grandson, Artie had written the song in 1951 but left it in a drawer for two years, until Darrell recorded it while still in high school in 1953, along with Artie's band the Rhythm Riders. The song was rejected by Hill and Range Songs and Acuff-Rose Music. The song was eventually published by Valley Publishers which also released the single featuring Darrell Glenn. It became a local hit and then it went nationwide. The original version of the song was issued in June 1953. Darrell Glenn's original recording reached number one on the Cash Box chart and number six on Billboard. Glenn's version also hit number six on the Billboard pop singles chart and number four on the Billboard country and western chart, Rex Allen's number eight, The Orioles' number 11, Ella Fitzgerald number 15, and Art Lund reached number 23. Lee Lawrence took his version to number 7 in the United Kingdom.

Geraldine Carroll is an English singer. She had a string of hits during the 1990s, including the UK top ten singles, "It's Too Late" (1991), "Don't Be a Stranger" (1993), "The Perfect Year", (1993), and "Escaping" (1996). Carroll released two studio albums, So Close (1993) and Only Human (1996), both of which reached number two on the UK Albums Chart and were certified platinum. She won Best British Female Solo Artist at the 1994 Brit Awards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Everything I Own</span> 1972 single by Bread

"Everything I Own" is a song written by American singer-songwriter David Gates. It was originally recorded by Gates's soft rock band Bread for their 1972 album Baby I'm-a Want You. The original reached No. 5 on the American Billboard Hot 100. Billboard ranked it as the No. 52 song for 1972. "Everything I Own" also reached No. 5 in Canada and No. 1 in the Philippines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Calvin Harris</span> Scottish DJ and musician

Adam Richard Wiles, known professionally as Calvin Harris, is a Scottish DJ, record producer, singer, and songwriter. After his vocal performance on his records, Harris rose to international prominence after producing songs for other artists, in 2011 and in 2012. Harris has released six studio albums.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Let's Hang On!</span> 1965 song performed by The Four Seasons

"Let's Hang On!" is a song composed by Bob Crewe, Sandy Linzer, and Denny Randell that was popularized by The Four Seasons in 1965. The single reached the No. 3 position in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, the group's highest placement since "Rag Doll" hit the top spot in July 1964.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">All Out of Love</span> 1980 single by Air Supply

"All Out of Love" is a song by British/Australian soft rock duo Air Supply, released as a single in 1980 from their fifth studio album Lost in Love. The song was written by Graham Russell and Clive Davis. The song's lyrics describe the emotional state of a man desperately trying to win back the love of his life after the couple's separation caused by a wrong done by the man against the woman he's in love with. In the United States, it reached number two on the Hot 100 and number 5 on the Adult Contemporary chart. In the UK, the song reached number 11 and is their only top 40 hit in that country. It placed 92nd in VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Love Songs" in 2003.

William L. Griffin is an American singer and songwriter. He is best known for replacing Smokey Robinson as lead singer of The Miracles in 1972.

Denise Gyngell is a Welsh singer, actress and model. She is most famous as a member of the early 80s pop group, Tight Fit. She later married record producer Pete Waterman.

<i>Tight Fit</i> (album) 1982 studio album by Tight Fit

Tight Fit is the second album by British pop group Tight Fit, released in 1982. The album features the No.1 single "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" as well as the top five hit "Fantasy Island". Tracks "Secret Heart" and "I'm Undecided" were also released as singles but achieved less success.

Paul Da Vinci is a British singer and musician. He is best known as the lead singer on the 1974 hit recording by the Rubettes, "Sugar Baby Love", although he did not perform with the group at the time. He worked as a demo and session singer before and after his own successful solo career, which included the UK hit "Your Baby Ain't Your Baby Anymore", which peaked at number 20 in the UK Official Charts, week ending 17 August 1974 and number 54 in Australia. In the 80s, Paul sang most of the voices backing and lead on the Tight Fit hit "Back to the Sixties, Part 2", and performed on Top of the Pops with the group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fantasy Island (The Millionaires song)</span> 1982 single by The Millionaires

"Fantasy Island" is a song by Dutch pop group The Millionaires, released as a single in March 1982. It was a top-40 hit in the Netherlands; however, the song is better known for the version released a month later by Tight Fit.

Rachel Agatha Keen, known professionally as Raye, is a British singer and songwriter. In 2016, she rose to prominence by featuring on the singles; "By Your Side" by Jonas Blue and "You Don't Know Me" by Jax Jones, the latter peaking at number three on the UK Singles Chart and both being certified platinum or higher by the BPI. Raye was short-listed for the BBC Music Sound of... award for 2017 and was named in third place. Her debut mini-album, Euphoric Sad Songs was released in November 2020 and spawned in the UK top-10 single "Secrets" with Regard. In 2021, she was co-lead artist on the single "Bed" with musicians Joel Corry and David Guetta. In July 2021, Raye parted ways with her record label Polydor Records.


  1. 1 2 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 559. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  2. "Cambodia | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  3. "It's a Fit Up". Smash Hits (18 March 1982): 16. 1982.
  4. "i love a man in uniform | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  5. "i know there's something going on | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  6. "you've said enough | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  7. 1 2 "A Journey Through Stock Aitken Waterman: Ep 13: I Can Prove It to More Than Physical on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  8. "Archived copy". www.millenniumeffect.co.uk. Archived from the original on 10 November 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. "Featured Content on Myspace". 12 June 2013. Archived from the original on 12 June 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  10. "Back to the 80s Show". www.tightfitlive.co.uk. Archived from the original on 4 April 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  11. "Tight Fit - Together: new album from the 80s chart-topping band". Pressreleases.responsesource.com. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  12. "Tight Fit return with comeback single 'Fallout'". 2 December 2021.
  13. "Tight Fit announce comeback single 'Fallout', new album for 2022". 22 August 2021.
  14. "Tight Fit". Tightfitofficial.com. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  15. "Tight Fit". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  16. 1 2 "TIGHT FIT | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  17. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 310. ISBN   0-646-11917-6.
  18. "Das österreichische Hitparaden- und Musik-Portal". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  19. "ultratop.be - ULTRATOP BELGIAN CHARTS". ultratop.be. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  20. "Suche - Offizielle Deutsche Charts". www.offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  21. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  22. "Dutch Charts - dutchcharts.nl". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  23. "charts.org.nz - New Zealand charts portal". charts.nz. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  24. "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community". swisscharts.com. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  25. "swedishcharts.com - Swedish Charts Portal". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  26. "Tight Fit". Billboard. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  27. "Tight Fit". Billboard. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  28. "Tight Fit - The Lion Sleeps Tonight". bpi.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  29. "Tight Fit - Fantasy Island". bpi.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2022.