When Bow Wow Wow came on to the pop music scene in 1980, they caused something of a stir. Firstly, their singer Annabella, who was born in Burma (or Myanmar, or whatever it’s called this week) was 14 years old, and their debut single was the first to be released on cassette. Yet somehow these stunts didn’t cause the British music industry to crumble as was expected.
Annabella went on to appear on the cover of Smash Hits in 1981, and in 1982 they managed to have two Top Ten singles with “Go Wild In The Country” and “I Want Candy”. By 1983 though, as tastes constantly change, Bow Wow Wow had fallen out of favour somewhat, Annabella departed, and the remaining members carried on as the renamed Chiefs Of Relief, which lasted for about five minutes.
In 1985, Annabella returned to launch a solo career, and probably had a little more control over things (and a much less weird hairstyle). Somehow, I find this end of her career more interesting, as she appeared on shows in various countries to promote her singles, but this didn’t turn out to be hugely successful. In October 1985, her first solo single “Don’t Dance With Strangers” was released.
She was interviewed about this on Sky Trax by Peter Powell (who was seemingly moonlighting from BBC Radio 1), and the video was shown too. This was back in the early days of satellite TV, when the Sky Channel was accessible across Europe, although the viewers at the time were probably only about four people in the Netherlands, and three and Belgium, but I hoped that they enjoyed seeing this (and she didn’t walk off in a strop either). “Don’t Dance With Strangers” didn’t make the Top 100 in the UK though, so maybe it was time to try a different idea to get things going.
In May 1986, “Fever” was released. This was a cover of the famous song by Peggy Lee, which has been covered by many other singers, including Madonna who had a Top Ten hit in 1994. Along with the video, she also appeared on a TV show in Germany to perform this, and was accompanied on stage by two drummers (as if she was Adam Ant or something).
“Fever” also missed the Top 100 though, which was a disappointment. There was also an album that was planned to be released, but wasn’t very successful either, and I wouldn’t be that surprised if this was called “I Don’t Need You Now Malcolm!”. After these flops, Annabella seemed to drop off the pop music scene completely, although she did eventually resurface.