Saturday, August 24, 2013

Blancmange

Blancmange are an English synthpop duo from Harrow, Middlesex, England that originally consisted of singer Neil Arthur (born on June 15, 1958 in Darwen, Lancashire, England) and instrumentalists Stephen Luscombe (born on October 29, 1954 in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England) & Laurence Stevens. They formed in 1979; however, Laurence left the band shortly after it was formed, leaving Neil and Stephen as a duo.
In 1980, they released their first EP, "Irene and Mavis." The duo earned their first real exposure when they were featured on a track on the album, "Some Bizzare Album" along with music acts Soft Cell and Depeche Mode; this later led to Neil and Stephen signing a record deal with London Records.
In 1982, Blancmange released the double A-sided single, "God's Kitchen/I've Seen the World" which peaked at #65 on the U.K. Singles chart. Their second single, "Feel Me" fared better, on the charts peaking at #46 on the U.K. Singles chart.
In September of 1982, Blancmange released their debut album, "Happy Families" which peaked at #30 on the U.K. Albums chart. The album was certified Gold.
Their third single "Living on the Ceiling" became a hit, peaking at #7 on the U.K. Singles chart. In the United States, the song managed to peak at #52 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart (along with "Feel Me").

The song was certified Silver by the BPI for sales in excess of 200,000 copies. One of the lyrics in the song "up the bloody tree" was edited as "up the cuckoo tree" on BBC radio and when the duo performed i on "Top of the Pops."
The last single from Blancmange's debut album, "Waves" was moderately successful, peaking at #19 on the U.K. Singles chart.
In 1984, the duo released their second album, "Mange Tout" which peaked at #8 on the U.K. Albums chart. The album become Blancmange's most successful album to date. It was certified Gold by the BPI for sales in excess of 100,000 copies.
The first single from the album, "Blind Vision" peaked at #10 on the U.K. Singles chart. The song also peaked at #3 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.
The second single, "That's Love, That Is" peaked at #33 on the U.K. Singles chart. It also managed to peak at #16 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart (along with the song, "Game Above My Head").
The third single from the album, "Don't Tell Me" peaked at #8 on the U.K. Singles chart and #44 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.
The last single from the album, a cover version of ABBA's single, "The Day Before You Came" peaked at #22 on the U.K. Singles chart (which was slightly higher than when ABBA's version was released two years earlier).
In 1985, they released their third album, "Believe You Me" which peaked at #54 on the U.K. Albums chart and stayed on the chart for only two weeks. The lead single from the album, "What's Your Problem" peaked at #40 on the U.K. Singles chart.
The follow-up single, "Lose Your Love" peaked at a low #77 on the U.K. Singles chart, but managed to peak at #2 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart and #36 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart (along with the song "Ave Maria").
The last single from the album "I Can See It" peaked at #71 on the U.K. Singles chart. In 1987, Blancmange disbanded.  

In 1989, Stephen released an album of Indian-influenced music entitled "New Demons" along with Pandit Dinesh, Peter Culshaw, Priya Khajuria and Asha Bhosle under the name "West India Company." In 1994, Neil released a solo album called "Suitcase."
In 2011 (26 years after the release of their last album), Blancmange released their fourth studio album, "Blanc Burn" which peaked at #163 on the U.K. Albums chart.

After suffering from an abdominal aneurysm, Stephen Luscombe was forced to leave the band. Since then, Neil Arthur elected to continue recording and performing as Blancmange with the assistance of session players.

In November of 2013, Blancmange performed a U.K. tour where they played their 1982 debut album in its entirety at each show. During that same year, they released their fifth album, "Happy Families Too" which didn't chart.
In 2015, Blancmange released the albums: "Semi Detached" (which peaked at #131 on the UK Albums chart) and "Nil By Mouth" (which didn't make the charts).

In May of 2015, they announced the release of their cover version of Can's song, "I Want More" as a limited edition twelve-inch record for "Record Store Day."
In 2016, they released their eighth album, "Commuter 23" which also didn't appear to make any album charts at all. In June of 2017, Fader (a new musical project between Neil Arthur and Benge) released their debut album, "First Light."
In September of 2017, Blancmange released their ninth album, "Unfurnished Rooms." It's unknown how or if the album ever charted. In February of 2018, Near Future (another side project consisting of Neil Arthur and Jez Bernholz from Gazelle Twin) announced that they would release their debut album, "Ideal Home" in May of that same year.
In 2018, Blancmange released their tenth album, "Wanderlust" and announced a tour in the United Kingdom in November of that same year.
In 2019, their eleventh album, "Nil by Mouth II" which was originally released as a limited-edition run of 1,000 copies; it was later released on a larger scale on CD in June of 2020.
In 2020, Blancmange released their latest album, "Mindset." The title song was released as a single in February of that same year.

To see Blancmange's official website, go to:
http://www.blancmange.co.uk/

To see Blancmange's Facebook page, go to:
https://www.facebook.com/BlancmangeMusic/

To follow Blancmange on Twitter, go to:
https://twitter.com/_blancmange_

To see a video for "God's Kitchen," go to:
To see a video for "I've Seen the Word," go to:
To see a video for "Living on the Ceiling," go to:
To see a video for "Waves," go to:
To see a video for "Blind Vision," go to:
To see a video for "That's Love, That Is," go to:
To see a video for "Don't Tell Me," go to:
To see a video for "The Day Before You Came," go to:
To see a video for "What's Your Problem," go to:
To see a video for "Lose Your Love," go to:
To see a video for "I Can See It," go to:
To see a video for "Mindset," go to:

[updated on 10/01/2020]

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