Neon Hearts

Neon Hearts was founded in the summer of 1977 by Steve Heart when he quit Birmingham-based Suburban Studs after being told a sax player was inappropriate in a punk band. The initial line up included Steve, his cousin, a bass player called Paul Raven, a drummer friend of Paul’s, Keith Allen, and Martin Ratcliffe, a guitarist friend of Keith’s.

After a few weeks rehearsing, the band went into Lee Sound Studios to arrange a demo recording session.

They soon came across a solo singer playing local pubs and clubs doing his own songs and a few Bowie covers. Tony Deary (later Tone Dial) joined the band after a couple of meetings and the band (now five members) was complete. After much debate the band decided to call themselves Neon Hearts.

After the first sessions at Ginger Studios two songs, ‘Regulations‘ and ‘Venus Eccentric‘ were chosen to become a double A-sided single released on 1 December 1977 on the band’s own label, Neon Hearts Records. The first pressing of the single was released in an oversized 8″ sleeve due to a printing error.

Throughout this period record company interest increased, but was narrowed down to two main candidates. The band signed to Satril, a satellite company of WEA, in May 1978. From day one problems occurred Satril attempting to get the band to move into a more ‘funky’ direction and submit material to the Eurovision song contest. Being optimistic, Neon Hearts felt things would improve however, things worsened and they ended up trying to make the best of a bad job.

The first demos for Satril were recorded at PYE Studios in London on June 6, 1978 under the supervision of A&R manager Paul Jenkins. The band wanted to release ‘Popular Music‘ as their Satril debut, but they were overruled by the label that chose ‘Answers‘, which was released late July 1978. The single was given no promotion by Satril so the band self-promoted it by gigging. Satril agreed to release ‘Popular Music‘ as the second single.

In preparation for promoting the album Neon Hearts appeared on Look! Hear!, a TV music show that was screened on BBC Midlands, in January 1980. They performed the new single “Popular Music” and “Synchronisation“, a song that was never recorded elsewhere.

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  • Alien Girl
  • Answers
  • Armchair Thriller
  • Body Langauge
  • Fighting Depression
  • Get So Many Pains
  • Getting Like It Was Before
  • Hideaway
  • In The Shadows
  • Idol Threats
  • Leave Me Alone
  • Number One Fan
  • Other Fine Stores
  • Other Great Sex Pros (Airborne Hormones)
  • Party Games
  • Pin Cushions
  • Popular Music
  • Pretty As A Picture
  • Regulations
  • Rings Of Confidence
  • Roll-On Deodorant T.V.
  • Synchronisation
  • Teenage Units
  • This Time
  • Venus Eccentric
  • Wasted Music
  • You Keep Coming Round