One of the most commercially successful a capella pop group
s of all time,
London band The Flying Pickets have been recording songs for nearly 20 years now.
Formed in 1982
, their debut single (a cover version
beautiful Only You
) became the 1983 Christmas Number 1
in Britain, a position
it held on to for five weeks, before reaching the same spot in nearly every
An unlikely looking bunch of pop musicians, the Pickets had a few other chart
successes in their home country in the following years, but never reached the same success that they had started out with.
Far from fading into obscurity however, they were attracting an ever-increasing
following across Europe and Australia and have carried on recording and
touring ever since. Today they have seven albums and 4 world tours under
their belt, and although only one member of the original line up remains,
their sound is still unmistakeable.
Their name arises from travelling union members. During the late 1970s and
early 1980s, a period of considerable industrial unrest in Britain, it was not
uncommon for striking union members to travel to other sites in an attempt to
persuade their comrades to strike in sympathy with their dispute. Because of
the way in which they caused picket lines to spring up at what seemed to be
the drop of a hat, they got nicknamed flying pickets. The band say that their
name is completely apolitical, they just liked the sound of the phrase.