"Now don't be afraid, come and join the parade for the ultimate sacrifice...."

"Johnny hates Jazz" were for a couple of months in the late eighties the toast of the global music industry and their clients, us. A three piece band consisting of two damned good looking englishmen (and one unfortunately butt-ugly American), they released a string of world wide smash hits between April 1987 and February 1988, before splitting and sinking back into oblivion.

The band's first incarnation consisted of Clark Datchler (vocals, keys), Calvin Hayes (keys) and bassist Mike Nocito. Although still in their early twenties, the three of them had a plethora of studio experience: Hayes was the son of the owner of RAK Studios, and he and Nocito had engineered and recorded for years. Datchler already had a single release under his own name under his belt before the other two asked him to join. The unusual band name was apparently taken from one of the band's friends - Johnny - who couldn't stand Jazz at all.

All the songs on the first album were written by Datchler, and produced and engineered by the other two lads. The first single "Me And My Foolish Heart", released under the studio's own label flopped, but after being signed by Virgin Records their star began to rise: "Shattered Dreams" was the first of eight (!) singles taken of the first album "Turn back the Clock", followed by "I don't want to be a hero", "Turn back the clock", etc, etc.

The sound was pretty crisp, with a nice bouncy bass and some tasteful synthesizer - guitar arrangements. Datchler's voice was immaculate and the songs were unarguably catchy, and they sold 2 million copies of the album in the first couple of months. By Summer 1988 Datchler quit the band, apparently being frustrated how his songs had turned out. A world tour had to be cancelled and Hayes and Nocito had to look for another singer/songwriter. After some auditioning, they found Phil Thornalley and recorded a second album, but Tall Stories didn't make it big at all, so that was the end of the band.

They don't leave a big legacy: No legendary stories of suite-smashing, free style fornicating or drug fueled orgies. All they will be remembered for are a couple of tunes and being clean cut rich kids.

Datchler nevertheless went on and married Kim Wilde. Now that's something to remember.

Source: Numerous issues of Smash Hits and http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Disco/6071/jhj.htm

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