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the FIXX Biography

by Andrew Lee Hunn May, 2004

 

The Fixx, originally based in London, were first introduced to a mass audience in 1982, with their debut album, Shuttered Room. A collection of their best work to that point, it stood in contrast to most of the other New Wave albums of the time, with its tight musicianship and apolitical overtones. Though the band held to some tenets of the New Wave, such as short songs devoid of solos and no fear of synthesizers and cavernous soundscapes, their cohesiveness as a rock band was made credible by their live performances. Despite the album not receiving a full marketing push in the U.S., the videos for "Stand or Fall" and "Red Skies" were played heavily by MTV (then in its infancy) and became anthems for yet another generation fed up with the Cold War. Later in the year The Fixx performed on Long Island for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. The concert, currently available on CD, served as a showcase for their special brand of dynamic minimalism. Not long after, in 1983, Reach the Beach was released and immediately took off in the U.S., led by its single "Saved by Zero," and later by the catchy "One Thing Leads to Another." The album cemented their style, taking the tired art-rock credo of dark theatrical soundscapes and filtering it through their own unique sensibilities. Generous airplay and a full U.S. tour garnered the band a large following.

 

Once again engaged in a steady schedule of writing, recording, and touring, The Fixx's second wind brought them to 2003's Want That Life, recorded in Spain at El Cortijo Studios for a warm, mellifluous sound. Now on Rainman Records and with Gary Tibbs on bass, the album continues the band's tradition of fine craftsmanship, from the bittersweet "No Hollywood Ending" to the lunatic anthem "Straight 'Round the Bend." "Taking the Long Way Home" is a late-night road song if ever there was one, and the cascading guitar and chorus of "Are You Satisfied?" are enough to comfort even the most neurotic. The album's cover is of Cy Curnin (in silhouette) raising his arms to greet the sun, low in the sky over a sea, a broken handcuff dangling from one wrist. Though it's unspoken whether the sun is rising or setting, if the content of the album is any indication, the sun is definitely rising.
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