Horn unites Eighties pop legends for charity concert

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Trevor Horn, the music producer behind Frankie Goes to Hollywood and the Pet Shop Boys, is bringing together some of the most famous acts in showbusiness to pay homage to Eighties pop.

Trevor Horn, the music producer behind Frankie Goes to Hollywood and the Pet Shop Boys, is bringing together some of the most famous acts in showbusiness to pay homage to Eighties pop.

He will also reform his own band, Buggles, for the one-off concert this November to mark his 25 years in the music industry, at which he will perform his hit single, "Video Killed the Radio Star", live in the UK for the first time.

Artists from ABC to Yes have already signed up to honour the hit-maker, who was behind numbers such as Yes's "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and Frankie's "Relax". Coming in the wake of an Eighties revival, which has seen tours by Duran Duran, Belinda Carlisle and most of Spandau Ballet, the concert is likely to tap into a strong vein of music nostalgia.

The line-up will include Lisa Stansfield, with whom Horn has just finished an album, Propaganda and the Pet Shop Boys, as well as the Nineties star Seal and the comparative newcomers Belle and Sebastian. It is hoped that at least some of the members of Frankie Goes to Hollywood will also take part.

The event, to be held at the Wembley Arena on 11 November, will raise money for The Prince's Trust.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work again with some of the world's greatest talent and to help young people who just need a second chance," Horn said yesterday.

"As we are fortunate enough to have such an array of hits to choose from, we will make 11 November 2004 an exceptional evening for everyone to remember. It will be a show of 25 years of hit singles."

Trevor Horn, 55, began his career with Buggles, in which he famously wore ridiculously large spectacles. Released in 1979, "Video Killed the Radio Star" was the first music ever played on MTV.

But Buggles split up without ever having toured and Horn joined the progressive rock group Yes before moving into producing for artists including Godley and Creme, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and Simple Minds. More recently he has worked with the Russian duo Tatu.

He became internationally respected for his innovations in using computers and samplers. "I just try to do different things to stop me getting bored," he said yesterday. The idea for reforming Buggles for a belated tour emerged when he performed "Video Killed the Radio Star" at a Belle and Sebastian concert in Los Angeles last year and the audience went wild.

"I dug out my old glasses, but when I walked out on stage, nobody had a clue who I was. Then gradually as the intro played it began to dawn [on them] and the minute I started singing the song the whole place jumped up," he said. "It was fun, I really enjoyed it."

But no decision has yet been made on a full tour because of the cost, leaving the Wembley concert as possibly the only option for older pop fans to see Buggles perform live.

Horn said that he knows he will have to give up producing some day because the hours are "just crazy".

"It's a tough game being a record producer. I've always worked very hard and very intensively. I've never left anything to chance."

He is worried by the state of music in the UK today. "Most of the big rock bands in the world are American. It's gone back to pre-Beatles times when America ruled and everyone else was weak imitations," he said.

"We have some very interesting bands like Goldfrapp and Muse. But there are fewer really exciting records out there - although maybe that's just me, I'm getting older."

TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT... WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

ABC

Lexicon of Love was the epitome of pop when it was released in 1982 and is now being re-issued. The band has proved a stalwart on the Eighties nostalgia circuit, appearing with Spandau Ballet, Howard Jones and Belinda Carlisle.

Adam Ant

After an unsuccessful comeback attempt at the end of the 1990s, Ant, real name Stuart Goddard, received psychiatric treatment amid a run of incidents involving the police, including one where he brandished an imitation gun.

Duran Duran

Their exotic videos and flamboyance meant they were once derided by serious musos, and in the 1990s they suffered a lull in their fortunes when several members quit. Now back together, they have been honoured with a lifetime achievement award by Q magazine and by the Brits for their contribution to music.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

The five Liverpudlians, led by Holly Johnson, were together for only three years after hits such as "Relax", which was banned by the BBC, and "Two Tribes", which sold 500,000 singles in the first two days after its release. They split acrimoniously from Horn's record label ZTT, but reformed briefly last year.

Pet Shop Boys

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are still working together and ever broadening their horizons with art-house projects such as a score to the Sergei Eisenstein film Battleship Potemkin. Since signing to Parlophone in 1985, they have had more than 35 top 20 singles.

Spandau Ballet

After a court battle over royalties, the band now tours without the Kemp brothers; Gary, who claimed most of the songwriting rights, and Martin, who went on to act in EastEnders.

Comments