Library Rock's Backpages



39 articles

Free articles

ABC: Romancing Tongue In Chic

Interview by Gavin Martin, New Musical Express, 6 March 1982

FOLLOWING IN the footsteps of Barbara Windsor, The Professionals' Martin Shaw and Crossroads' Benny Hawkins ABC are tonight making a Public Appearance at Sheffield's Top ...

Audio interviews

ABC (1985)

Interview by Ira Robbins, Rock's Backpages Audio, 5 August 1985

ABC mainstays Mark White and Martin Fry on the state of the UK music press (particularly Smash Hits); on the making of their first three albums; on producer Trevor Horn; on songwriting and lyrics; on avoiding pandering to American tastes; and on their great dislike of touring.

File format: mp3; file size: 37meg, interview length: 38' 31" sound quality: ***

List of articles in the library

By date | By writer | Most recently added

ABC, Essential Bop, Restricted Code: Bristol Bop! Glasgow Pop! It's As Easy As ABC!

Profile and Interview by Paul Morley, New Musical Express, 20 December 1980

LEMON SUCKING refers to the practice of sucking in the cheeks to affect the 'rock'n'roll' wasted look. Chewing, or neck bending, refers, I would suppose, ...

ABC: Moonlight Club, London

Live Review by Paul Morley, New Musical Express, 16 May 1981

ABRACADABRA! ABC show up in London. Another banal crew of slight white boys clumsily revising their dance style for the sake of summer attention? A ...

ABC: Now a name to drop. Soon a major part in the party.

Profile and Interview by Paul Morley, The Face, August 1981

I HOLD in my hand three letters... ...

ABC: A-Z Club, Bayswater, London

Live Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, 24 October 1981


ABC... or First Steps in Funk.

Profile and Interview by Dave Rimmer, Smash Hits, 12 November 1981

Dave Rimmer meets Sheffield's finest ...

ABC: Tongue in Chic

Interview by Mark Cooper, Record Mirror, 21 November 1981

Martin Fry spells out the ABC manifesto to MARK COOPER ...

ABC: The Return of Big Fry

Interview by Sandy Robertson, Sounds, 13 March 1982

More Tales From The Bean Factory from the hottest young fart at play. ...

The Most Wanted Man In Pop: Trevor Horn

Interview by Fiona Russell Powell, The Face, July 1982

"Why does pop music have to be so naff?" asks TREVOR HORN, whose production work for Dollar, ABC and Spandau Ballet is an unequivocal answer ...

Trevor Horn: Clever Trevor!

Interview by Paul Morley, New Musical Express, 3 July 1982


ABC: 'The Look of Love (Parts One, Two, Three & Four)' (Neutron, 12" EP)

Review by Julie Panebianco, Boston Rock, 7 July 1982

I HOLD IN my hand a record by a group with three letters: ABC led by FRY, Martin that is. His previous excursions into vinyl, ...

ABC: The Lexicon Of Love (Mercury SRM-1-4509)

Review by Don Waller, Los Angeles Times, 24 October 1982


ABC: Sophistication to the last letter

Profile and Interview by Mary Harron, The Guardian, 19 November 1982

Mary Harron describes the hit group ABC's recipe for success, reverting to a clean image. ...

ABC: The Lexicon Of Love

Review by Mitchell Cohen, Creem, December 1982

DESIRE SOMETIMES goes unreciprocated. Sad, but it happens. Martin Fry, the leader of ABC, does not accept this with equanimity. He stares at his blueprint ...

ABC: The Power of the Imagination

Interview by Paul Morley, New Musical Express, 25 December 1982

MARTIN FRY, a shy but conspicuous grammar school boy from Bramall, Stockport, shuffles into the bookshop where I sell second hand records. He buys the ...

ABC: The Next Big Thing Redisappears

Profile by Don Waller, L.A. Weekly, 30 December 1982

ABC Easy as 1-2-3 As simple as do-re-mi ABC 1-2-3 Baby, you and me, girl... —The Jackson Five, 1970 ...

ABC: The Ritz, New York, NY

Live Review by Richard Grabel, New Musical Express, 15 January 1983


ABC: Love For Sale

Report and Interview by Julie Panebianco, Boston Rock, 26 January 1983

THEY ABIDE by a Code of Gentlemen, wear elegant tuxedos or tweed, and shake hands limply. The women they desire are haughty and haunting; they ...

ABC: Alphabet Super

Interview by Karen Schlosberg, Trouser Press, February 1983

ABC ARE currently the hottest three letters of the alphabet. The band of that name's debut album, The Lexicon of Love, contains some of the ...

New Romantics: Sweat & Ice

Report and Interview by Roy Trakin, Musician, March 1983


Tearstained Memories: Learning the Lessons of Love from ABC

Interview by Toby Goldstein, Creem, March 1983

"Dear Bobby: I never thought even you would be so cruel. All those times you said you loved me, you said you'd be there for me, ...

I See London

Report by Betsy Sherman, Boston Rock, 30 March 1983

IF YOU'RE keen to witness a major cultural capital in hibernation, try being in London the week between Christmas and New Years. Just about everything ...

ABC: Past Imperfect, Future Tense

Interview by Jon Savage, The Face, January 1984

On the dreamstage of a pop-music fantasy, ABC were cast as the perfection of a glossy ideal. But their irony was misread, their clothes misconstrued. ...

Julian Temple: From a Dandy to a Rogue

Interview by Chris Bohn, New Musical Express, 19 February 1984

PORTRAIT OF THE CAMBRIDGE FOP AS FILM MAKER Julian Temple, a Cambridge history graduate, was rescued from the National Film School, by The Great Rock ...

Agony and Ecstasy of ABC

Interview by Karen Schlosberg, Creem, June 1984

ALL EDUCATION begins with ABCs. This particular education is of the musical sort, concerning one Sheffield-based trio (formerly quartet) that took its alphabetical beliefs and ...

The Agony & the ABC

Interview by Jim Farber, Creem, February 1986

CAN THIS be the look of love? ABC in 1985 look more like escapees from a Hanna-Barbera convention. Quite a change from the glamorous gold ...

ABC: Pop Groups Should Not Make Comebacks

Comment by Fiona Russell Powell, The Times, 7 March 1997

FOR THE PAST MONTH, posters have been plastered all over London advertising tonight's comeback gig at the Shepherds Bush Empire of the 1980s pop group, ...

ABC: Beauty Stab

Review by Paul Lester, Uncut, February 1998

The Lexicon Of Loathe: ABC's flawed second LP, reissued with one extra track ...


Book Excerpt by Phil Hardy, Dave Laing, Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music, 2001

Martin Fry, b. 9 March 1958, Manchester, England; Mark Lickley; David Robinson; Stephen Singleton, b. 17 April 1959, Sheffield; Mark White, b. 1 April 1961, ...

ABC & Tears For Fears: Compilations

Review by Chris Roberts, Uncut, June 2001

Tears For Fears: between two stools. ABC: cool disco sheen. That was then. Early Eighties pop revisited Hello! — An Introduction To ABC The Working Hour — ...

Martin Fry: When Martin Sings…

Interview by Chris Roberts, Uncut, November 2001

"IT WAS GREAT doing interviews when I first started, cos I'd just tell everyone what a brilliant, worldwide phenomenon ABC were going to be as ...

"It Was Like Disco, But In A Bob Dylan Way": The Lexicon Of Love

Sleeve notes by Daryl Easlea, Neutron/Mercury Records, November 2004

FEW ALBUMS DEFINE the resonance and the beauty of a particular era as does The Lexicon Of Love by ABC. It could be said that ...

Martin Lilleker: Beats Working For A Living – Sheffield Popular Music 1973-1984 (Juma)

Book Review by Rob Young, The Wire, July 2005

PRACTICALLY EVERY city in Britain has a roster of musical hod carriers with appalling names. This exhaustive history of Sheffield's music scene is crammed with ...

ABC/Human League/Heaven 17: Hammersmith Apollo, London

Live Review by Paul Lester, The Guardian, 10 December 2008

THERE ARE QUEUES around the building for the Sheffield groups who brought electro-funk (Heaven 17), orchestral disco (ABC) and synth pop (the Human League) to ...

The Steel City Tour: Human League, ABC and Heaven 17 at the Hammersmith Apollo

Live Review by Daryl Easlea, Record Collector, February 2009

THE STEEL CITY TOUR is a thrilling glimpse of the once- future through the lens of the past. What these groups attempted in Sheffield at ...

Second Comings: The Klaxons and the Struggle to Follow Up a Hit Debut Album

Comment by Pete Paphides, The Times, 27 March 2009

IT TAKES SOME doing to instigate a backlash from your fans without actually releasing a record. Yet this month, by revealing that their record company, ...

ABC: Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London

Live Review by Ian Gittins, The Guardian, 19 December 2012

ABC WERE ALWAYS a band with a manifesto. Three decades ago, the Sheffield group emerged equally in thrall to the debonair allure of Bryan Ferry ...

ABC: Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London

Live Review by Stephen Dalton, The Times, 20 December 2012

MARTIN FRY clearly has a hideous self-portrait lurking in some dusty attic, because the 54-year-old appeared spookily ageless at this glitzy London show. Still as ...

see also Vice Versa


back to LIBRARY