Down The Dumper – The 80s Part 22.

This is a fairly rare occurrence, but it is something that has happened in the past, as this group who had some hits in the 80s, have exactly the same name as another group who had some hit singles in the 80s. The Jets from America shouldn’t be confused with The Jets from Britain, best known for their hits including “Yes Tonight Josephine” and “Love Makes The World Go Round”.

This The Jets were from Minnesota and were related, they were an octet consisting of brothers and sisters from the rather large Wolfgramm family – there were actually 17 brothers and sisters in total! They had been successful in America since 1985, and they started out rather young, some of them were barely into their teens at this point, I wonder if they could be seen as the American equivalent of Five Star.

But they didn’t make the breakthrough in this country until a couple of years later, when in January 1987 “Crush On You” was released, and this made no. 5, although this would be their first and only Top 40 hit single in the UK. It was at this point that they also made their debut on Top Of The Pops, having already performed on several TV shows in America. A cover by Aaron Carter was a Top Ten hit in November 1997.

It seems that they were being rather heavily promoted in the UK at this point. The magazine Lookin went mildly giddy for them for a short while, The Jets appeared on the cover at least three times in 1987, and they even gave away a flexidisc of one of their songs as a free gift! In April 1987, the album “Crush On You” was released, but this didn’t make the Top 50.

And also in April 1987, their next single “Curiosity” was released, but this made no. 41. One thing that is interesting about how they were promoted was that unlike most groups, where their albums are advertised on TV, it seems that there were adverts for their individual singles. I found a clip of an ITV break on YouTube where an advert promoting “Curiosity” appears, which definitely stood out.

Their fame was beginning to fade though. In June 1987 “You Got It All” was released, but this made a lowly no. 79. And then in May 1988, “Rocket 2 U” was released. This was another nice piece of easy-going pop, but this reached only no. 46. This turned out to be their final hit single in the UK. This was something of a contrast to their fortunes in America where they had five Top Ten hit singles. Dumper time!

Since then, members of The Jets have performed in various other groups. But wait, because they (sort of) did have another UK hit when in November 2000 “Intro” by French production duo Alan Braxe and Fred Falke was released, and this reached no. 35. This sampled the rather weird dreamy part in the middle of “Crush On You”. It really is a brilliant song, or as I believe the children say nowadays, “a certified banger”.

Update: Along with “Intro”, I have recently found out that “Crush On You” has been sampled on two further hit singles in the UK. These are “U Found Out” by The Handbaggers, which was released in June 1996, and reached no. 55 (which also contains a hint of “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode). And there is also “Crush On You” by Nero, which was released in October 2011, and reached no. 32.


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