I’ll start this piece by going on about something I have written a little about before, but I’ll now expand on it. As I have said, in the late-90s, I used to listen to Virgin among other stations. Virgin gained some publicity when Chris Evans left BBC Radio 1 under a cloud and joined as the breakfast slot host (and he eventually bought the radio station too). He also had a posse, a zoo, a bunch of fawning hangers-on, or whatever you want to call them.
One of them was eventually given their own show on Virgin (and they would also appear on TFI Friday). This was Johnny Boy And The Wheels Of Steel, and on weekend evenings, he’d play songs from various genres such as synthpop, funk, disco, and so on, all mostly from the late-70s/early-80s. So this is where I heard lots of famous songs for the first time, about 15 or 20 years after they were hits, and I was very pleased to be introduced to them.
I still associate some of them so closely to the show that they could be a genre in itself, I suppose I could call this one “Johnny Boy Pop”. Examples include “The Sound Of The Crowd” by The Human League, “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” by Indeep, “Knock On Wood” by Amii Stewart, and also this one. Re-Flex (not to be confused with “The Reflex” by Duran Duran), where an English band that formed in 1981, and their frontman was John Baxter.
Their one and only hit “The Politics Of Dancing” (“the politics of ooh feeling good“) was released in January 1984 and reached no. 28 in the UK, and no. 24 in America. They also appeared on Top Of The Pops and were interviewed in Smash Hits, so they achieved what must have been the ambitions of most of the bands around at the time. They also appeared on TV across Europe, and they featured a guy with a mullet playing two keyboards at the same time, which is terrific.
“The Politics Of Dancing” has also featured on the soundtrack of several films, and curiously there were two videos made. I really do like this one, and even now it takes me back to when I heard this for the first time. Re-Flex went on to release some more singles in 1984, including “Praying To The Beat” and “Couldn’t Stand A Day”, but although these did make the Top 100, they weren’t hits.
Their first album, also called “The Politics Of Dancing”, didn’t chart either, and was given 5½/10 when reviewed by Smash Hits. They then went on to work on a second album “Humanication” (and they also collaborated with Sting, but please don’t hold that against them), but this wasn’t released, and Re-Flex split shortly after. The album did eventually come out 25 years later. They really are a great example of an 80s one-hit wonder.