College is a great place to meet people - friends, future spouses and yes, bandmates.
Going to classes, writing term papers and working some brain-numbing job for a few quid can be draining. By contrast, being in a band looks exciting, glamorous - even fun.
College friends, vocalist Cy Curnin and drummer Adam Woods decided to have a crack at starting a group. They placed an ad and recruited guitarist Jamie West-Oram, keyboardist Rupert Greenall and bassist Charlie Barret. They originally called themselves The Fix but found that there was already band using that name so they quickly added another 'x'.
Two years later, in '82, this line-up recorded "Shuttered Room," containing "Stand Or Fall." With the group's debut finished, Barret left and was replaced by Alfie Agius. But his tenure was equally brief, departing while "Reach The Beach" was recorded. But it's Agius playing on the hit single "Saved By Zero." The group's third bassist, Dan K. Brown managed to stay well into the '90s.
The next year, "Reach The Beach" arrived with an impressionistic painting of a swimmer grasping the shoreline. It had the aforementioned "Saved By Zero" and the group's biggest chart success "One Thing Leads To Another." The set also held the minor hit "The Sign Of Fire."
A couple more albums rolled out ("Phantoms" and "Walkabout") and the group managed to chart singles ("Are We Ourselves?," "Secret Separation" and "How Much Is Enough?") but they were clearly on the downhill slide. '87 saw the release of the live/greatest hits effort "React."
1982 Shuttered Room
1983 Reach The Beach
1988 Calm Animals
1999 1011 Woodland
2003 Want That Life
2012 Beautiful Friction
Like any era, the '80s had album bands and singles bands. Generally, the album bands were held in higher regard. But some singles bands had a lot to brag about. One of those was The Fixx. Their angular Brit pop-Wave sound and Curnin's energetically urgent vocals are main reasons for the group's success.
"Reach The Beach" is their best effort. After that, go for the "Ultimate Collection." The hits are there and not too much filler. "The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Collection" goes too deep. "React" is OK but the studio versions of the songs performed are still the definitive ones.
Albums after the mid-80s are for the band's relatives, hardcore fans and people who hang a framed reprint of the "Reach The Beach" cover in their bathroom.