Here’s another group that had a short moment of fame in the early-80s, a time that wasn’t exactly short of memorable pop acts, how did they fit them all in. The Maisonettes were a group fronted by Lol Mason, who had previously been a member of City Boy, who had a Top Ten hit in July 1978 with “5. 7. 0. 5.”. So although he wasn’t a one-hit wonder as such, this group was, and once again it’s just a good song whose story I want to share.
“Heartache Avenue” was released in December 1982, and reached no. 7, becoming the first and only Top Ten hit for The Maisonettes. This meant that they did go on to appear on Top Of The Pops, and I wondered if they also performed this on various TV shows across Europe, accompanied by some rather odd visual effects that would’ve bene pioneering for the time, and I wasn’t disappointed.
There also seems to be some confusion over who exactly the backing singers are on this one. This seems to be another case where the women who appeared on TV to perform this weren’t actually the ones on the single, and for a short while one of them was Carla Mendonça, who would go on to find further fame as an actress in various TV shows including My Parents Are Aliens, but whether she sang on any of the songs is somewhat unlikely. You should know how much I enjoy unusual female backing singers from the 80s by now though!
After this entertaining success, critics were tipping The Maisonettes to be here to stay, but none of their other singles made the Top 75 (the next best was “Where I Stand” which reached no. 80 in March 1983), there was also the album “Maisonettes For Sale” that was largely ignored, and by 1984 it was all over. It must’ve been rather frustrating for them seeing song after song flop after their initial success.
But two decades on, they would become familiar to a whole new generation of music fans when in July 2005 Roll Deep (who would go on to have a couple of chart-toppers in 2010) sampled “Heartache Avenue” on their hit “The Avenue” which reached no. 11. This was around the time when there seemed to be attempts to choose the unlikeliest song to be sampled on a hit by a rap group. It’s one of those combinations that is rather absurd and shouldn’t work, but somehow it all held together. Also around this time there was a best-of released, and no, it doesn’t only feature one track.