Here’s a look back at another group who made some good singles in the 2000s, but ended up not hanging around in the spotlight for long as they deserved to. La Roux were a synthpop duo who were male/female, in a similar style to Goldfrapp and Moloko. The singer was Elly Jackson, whose mother found fame as a long-running cast member of ITV’s The Bill.
The other member was Ben Langmaid, who had been involved as a producer in various musical projects going back to the 90s. Their first single “Quicksand” wasn’t a hit, but it was in March 2009 when “In For The Kill” was released and they had their first success, when this reached no. 2. There seemed to be two different versions of this played on the radio, along with two videos as well.
The critics seemed to be rather fond of their sound, and in July 2009 they went one step further when “Bulletproof” was released, and this became a chart-topper for one week. This really did sound like it had fallen through a timewarp from the 80s, and some felt that this sounded so similar to a musical style that they were rather surprised that Vince Clarke of Yazoo/Erasure fame didn’t end up also being credited.
“Bulletproof” went on to be a Top Ten hit in America too, and I have to say as well that this is definitely one of my favourite Number Ones of this era. And yet remarkably, not only was this their only chart-topper, but no more of their singles would make the Top 20 in the UK at all. Also in July 2009, the self-titled debut album was released, which reached no. 2, and this won a Grammy Award.
In October 2009, “I’m Not Your Toy” was released, and this reached only no. 27. It was as good as anything else that we’d already heard from them, but this went on to be their final Top 40 hit single, once again proving how short-lived fame can be. When La Roux did eventually return to the pop scene almost five years later, by this point it was essentially a solo project for Jackson. In August 2014 the second album “Trouble In Paradise” did make the Top Ten, but no more singles got anywhere near the Top 40, and a little-noticed third album came out another six years on.