From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The band had two or three eras. The first, from 1978 to 1980, was part of the underground music of the 1970s, while punk was making their last hits in Britain, when the band, named Fàshiön Music, released experimental post-punk rock and like-reggae/ska oriented songs; and was also characterized by the presence of lead vocalist and guitarist Luke Sky, who left in 1980, ending with that first era.
Post-punk years: Fàshiön Music
Fashion was formed originally as Fàshiön Music, in Birmingham, England, in 1978, and consisted of John Mulligan (bass, synthesizer), Dik Davis (drums), and Al James (lead vocals, guitar). James became known as Luke Sky, or simply Luke or Lûke, short for 'Luke Skyscraper' a pun on Star Wars and the fact that James was tall and thin; while John Mulligan was known simply as Mulligan and Davis as Dïk. At that time, they also founded their own Fàshiön Music label, and they released their first three singles: Steady Eddie Steady, Citinite, and The Innocent.
Their sound was varied, playing punk, post-punk and indie repertoire, although Mulligan at that time also had a synthesizer which later characterized the future electro and new romantic years of the band (sounding like rock bands of the day, as Magazine, The Cure and Joy Division).
Between 1978 and 1980, they played shows with many bands who later became well known. A then recently formed Duran Duran opened their shows, they toured the UK with U2, UK and USA with The Police, and opened for The B-52's on their first British tour.
In March 1980, Fàshiön Music released their Silver Blades single. In 1980 they also released one more song, "Let Go", on a Birmingham bands compilation called Bouncing In The Red (EMI).
In different articles and webs, it has been announced Fàshiön Music recorded a number of demos during 1978-1979/80, but only three of them are online on the official band's Myspace created by Luke James, "Fashion" (later re-recorded for Product Perfect), "Fiction Factory" and "I Don't Take Drugs" (recently dropped).
A line-up contained Dik and Mulligan from the original line along with Tony Dial (former singer with the Neon Hearts) and Bass player Ian Moore. Sessions were recorded for BRMB and this line up supported The Human League. They were based at the Holy City Zoo club in birmingham during this period.
There is, however, now a CD available through Luke's Myspace and Fashion web pages that has all of the singles, as well as the unreleased demos of "Fiction Factory", "Let Go", "Bad Move", and a 1980 re-recording of the band's first single "Steady Eddie Steady".
New Romantic years
Their most notable album, Fabrique (1982), saw a significant change in line-up, with James having left the band and Harris and Recchi joining. Fabrique contained the singles "Move On" and "Love Shadow", among others, it was later re-issued with additional material as Height of Fashion (1990), (2004). One of Harris' last gigs with Fashion occurred at the Botanical Gardens, Birmingham, England. Harris left Fashion before a proposed world tour of Fabrique and the third release, later recording an album with Richard Wright, keyboardist of Pink Floyd, as Zee. Harris was replaced by Troy Tate and guitarist Al Darby. Though Troy Tate did not record any studio material with Fashion, he performed his own songs with the band live. During Tate's period, Alan Darby showed off his immense talent for the guitar by modifying De Harriss' guitar parts and even soloing in different modal ways. Songs during Tate's period include, "Love Is" and "What You Gonna Do Next." Tate was subsequently fired, with Darby left to perform leading vocals.
In 1984, Fashion released an album entitled Twilight Of Idols.
29 years after the first Fashion album, Product Perfect (1979), original singer/guitarist James has re-released the first album on CD. In addition, James is finishing a book entitled [Stairway to Nowhere] and has recently completed an album of the same title. Released in February 2009, the [Stairway to Nowhere] album features James on vocals and various instruments, Vuk Pavlovic of Nature's Pocket providing drums for 3 tracks, and Balcony as the mastering and technical guru.
- "Steady Eddie Steady" - (November 1978)
- "Citinite" - (June 1979)
- "The Innocent" - (September 28, 1979)
- "Silver Blades" - (March 1980)
- "Move On" - (1981)
- "You Only Left Your Picture" - (1982)
- "Streetplayer (Mechanik)" - (1982) UK #46
- "Something In Your Picture" - (1982)
- "Love Shadow" - (1982) UK #51
- "Eye Talk" - (1984) UK #69
- "Dreaming" - (1984)
- "You In The Night" - (1984)
- "Eye Talk" - (1986) - re-release
- "Something In Your Picture" - (1987) - re-release
- "Dressed To Kill" - (1987)
Albums (with chart position)
- Product Perfect (September 17, 1979)
- Fabrique (1982) - later re-released as The Height Of Fashion (2004) UK #10
- Twilight of Idols (1984) UK #69
- Stairway To Nowhere (2009)