In 1987, as the era of Electronic Pop and New Romantics was reaching its culmination, Anglo-American group Johnny Hates Jazz, featuring Clark Datchler, Mike Nocito and Calvin Hayes, was catapulted to success with the release of the single Shattered Dreams. It became a top five hit worldwide, reaching number two in the USA and Japan, and has since been played over 3.5 million times on American radio alone.
Shattered Dreams was followed by other hits, including the anti-war anthem I Don't Want To Be A Hero, Turn Back the Clock (featuring Kim Wilde) and Heart Of Gold. Turn Back the Clock entered the UK charts at number one in early 1988, going double-platinum and selling four million copies in the process. It is arguably one of the definitive albums of the 1980s, and is one of only two debut albums released by Virgin Records that immediately went to the top of the charts upon its release, the other being Never Mind The Bollocks by The Sex Pistols.
At the end of 1988, Datchler left the band and was replaced by Phil Thornalley but following one more album members decided to focus on other musical projects. Over the next 20 years they completely lost contact but in 2010 Datchler and Nocito decided to reunite to write, record and produce a new Johnny Hates Jazz album.
At the same time, they began to perform live at international festivals. That album, titled Magnetized, was released in 2013 and the single of the same name became a huge radio hit in both the UK and Germany. Unfortunately, Clark collapsed in London shortly afterwards and was diagnosed with a serious illness. All promotion came to an abrupt halt, and he spent much of the following year recovering.
Thankfully, he made a full recovery and JHJ began to perform again at festivals in Europe and Asia. They toured the UK in 2016, appearing at theatres across the country. During this time, Clark also joined forced with Genesis legend Mike Rutherford to co-write the new Mike and The Mechanics album, Let Me Fly, released on April 7, 2017.
This year began with Johnny Hates Jazz being launched in China with a remix of the track Magnetized and a new video to accompany it.Clark and Mike are currently back in the studio, recording new material.
The forthcoming UK tour sees Johnny Hates Jazz ending 2017 with a huge celebration of their Turn Back the Clock album.
Venue: Birmingham Town Hall
Johnny Hates Jazz 2017 UK tour dates:
Dec 3: Gateshead Sage 2; Dec 4: Glasgow Cottiers; Dec 5: Warrington Parr Hall;
Dec 6: Birmingham Town Hall;
Dec 7: London Indigo 2.