This is another group who briefly hit the big time, with a song that was rather memorable. PHD were a British group who formed in the early-80s, and took their name from the first letter of the surnames of the three members, Simon Phillips, Tony Hymas, and Jim Diamond. They first gained some attention in 1981 when “Little Suzi’s On The Up” was released.
This actually wasn’t a hit, but the video was the fifth to be shown in the first-ever hour of MTV, although they never went on to have a hit single in America. But they had some success with “I Won’t Let You Down” (which features a rousing organ, and we all need that now and again don’t we), which was a hit in some other countries before the UK, including Australia, where this was released in August 1981 and reached no. 5.
This also did well across Europe, and there were some TV performances that featured some rather bizarre interpretations of this song. There was one where the singer Jim Diamond looked into a mirror, but then, thanks to some visual effects, it looked like he turned around but still had his back to us, if that makes sense. Some blonde woman with an expressionless face (maybe the woman in question who he wasn’t going to let down?) watched on.
And there was another appearance where he was sat between two women who looked the same, again, I don’t know if this was a visual effect or what this was about at all really. Well I suppose it’s one way to get yourself known, appearing on all of these TV music shows across Europe and going along with this, you wouldn’t have ever really got anything like this on Top Of The Pops at the time. The video was rather memorable itself too.
In April 1982 “I Won’t Let You Down” was released in the UK, and stayed at no. 3 for three weeks. Also around this time, the album “PHD” made the Top 40. But their other singles “There’s No Answer To It”, “Fifth Of May”, and “I Didn’t Know” all failed to make the chart, and in 1983 PHD came to an end. They only had one hit, but somehow the biggest triumphs were yet to come.
In November 1984, Jim Diamond went out on his own, and had a UK chart-topping single with “I Should Have Known Better”. This wasn’t a fluke as such, but this almost certainly wouldn’t have reached Number One if the Band Aid phenomenon hadn’t been delayed by a week. But he seemed fairly content with the fact that when that was eventually released his moment at the top would be over.
After two minor hit singles in 1985, he returned to the Top Ten one final time in February 1986 with “Hi Ho Silver”, which reached no. 5. This was the theme to the TV drama Boon, which is definitely everybody’s favourite drama starring Michael Elphick and Neil Morrissey. None of his further singles were hits though, but by the mid-2000s he had revived PHD, and he continued to perform until his death in 2015.