This is yet another example of someone who only had one hit single in the UK, but doing some exploring reveals that they released many more singles beyond that, and had a rather interesting and varied career. Let’s get this out of the way first. Although all of her singles and albums were released under the name Nancy Nova, her real name is Carol Holness. And yes, she is the daughter of none other than Blockbusters host and occasional saxophonist Bob Holness.
Nancy’s music career began in the mid-70s as a singer/songwriter, and her first single “No Way” was released in 1978, which is a rather nice piece of disco/funk. I found a performance of this song on a TV show which was rather bizarre, featuring Nancy on a swing, it’s tough to explain further than that really. There was also the single “Akiri Non-Stop”, which was the title of Nancy’s debut album released in 1978. For some reason there’s a version of “Akiri Non-Stop” with reworked lyrics as “I’m Giving It Up”.
Nancy also contributed the theme to a series of Italian entertainment show Non-Stop. This raised Nancy’s profile in some European countries. Going into the 80s, more singles were released, including “Heaven” and “The Force”, which are good, but there must’ve been frustration by this point that these weren’t hits either. In May 1982, “Made In Japan” was released, which had some rather bizarre lyrics, and there was also a video. This wasn’t a hit, but a breakthrough couldn’t be too far off now.
The next single was “No No No” (not to be confused with the debut hit for Destiny’s Child of course), and this did attract some media attention, also having a video, and in September 1982 this reached no. 63. Success! It was noted that this was on the chart at the same time as a song by Toto Coelo which featured her sister Ros. I’m sure they were very pleased. Nancy didn’t build on this though, and after one more single which was “Lifeline” in 1983, she dropped off the music scene for a while. And this leads to the next thing.
I like to listen to Forgotten 80s on radio station Absolute 80s (and so should you). One week there was a special edition where hits that didn’t make the Top 40 could be requested, and “No No No” was played, which was a pleasant surprise. I said how good it was to hear it on the radio on Twitter, and I got a like from the woman herself (well I presume it was her), and that made me smile as it was rather unexpected.
In more recent years, it seems that Nancy has gone on to do various other things including some acting, along with some artwork, and she also went back into music, there have been some more singles, along with some new albums, and she even has a website and everything which contains a rather detailed look at what she has achieved over her long career.