Happy Birthday to [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]ABC[/lastfm] singer Martin Fry!!

Jack FM Fun Fact #281:  We can totally say our ABCs backwards.  While drunk.

British new wave band ABC first found success in 1981 with the single “Tears Are Not Enough.”  It peaked at No. 19 on the U.K. Singles chart, making them a household name in their native country.

Several months later, ABC released their critically-acclaimed debut album, The Lexicon of Love.  The album introduced the band to American audiences, where it reached No. 24 on the Billboard 200 and spawned the Top 40 singles “Poison Arrow” and “The Look of Love.”  The latter was also a No. 1 hit on the Hot Dance Club chart.

Beauty Stab followed in ’83, with How to Be a… Zillionaire! coming two years later.  In 1985, ABC scored their first Top 10 single in the U.S. with “Be Near Me.”

After a brief hiatus during which singer Martin Fry was treated for Hodgkin’s disease, ABC reconvened for 1987’s Alphabet City.  Returning to a more polished sound, Alphabet City was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, peaking at No. 7 in the U.K. and at No. 48 in the States.  The single “When Smokey Sings,” which was a tribute to [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Smokey Robinson[/lastfm] and is also Jack’s Song of the Day, landed in the Billboard Hot 100’s Top Five.  Other singles from the album included the dance hits “The Night You Murdered Love” and “King Without a Crown.”

Since then, Martin Fry has continued to tour and record as ABC.  2008 saw the release of Traffic, the band’s first new album of original material in nearly 11 years.  Critics lauded Traffic as the “most satisfying ABC album since the mid ’80s.”  

Check out this 2005 clip of ABC performing their hit “The Look of Love.”  Funny, Jack FM has that exact same gold suit.

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