“The backstage party at Woodstock had turned really mushy by then,” joked London’s The Fixx lead singer/songwriter Cy Curnin, by way of chronicling the fortieth anniversary of their second album, Reach the Beach and the dawn of the Eighties musically.”You know, the backstage passes had been picked up (figuratively) laying around outside. ‘I finally got my backstage pass to Woodstock!’ And it’s six years later.” The Fixx drummer Adam Woods chimes in about why Punk Rock and its post-punk progeny like The Fixx had to happen. “But the main problem was it (the rock elite) was inaccessible. There was no way we were going to be able to join that spirit that the Woodstockers had. They were an exclusive club that you couldn’t get into. So I think a musical movement started that was outside the club door, where if you’re going to have a membership problem, all the good stuff’s going to be out in the street.”Reach the Beach by The Fixx was a remarkably strong two-million seller in its time, spawning “One Thing Leads to Another”(#4 on Billboard),”Saved by Zero”, “Sign of Fire”, and yet remains a seemingly under-appreciated album when discussing that period today.
By definition, contemporary music is conceived and expressed, and thereby influenced, by the condition of the world in which it finds itself. It is safe to say that the transition from the end of the 1970s decade into the dawn of the Eighties was marked in most things by the inexorable forces of change being met head on by the enormous resistance of intransigence and intractability, like two tectonic plates trying to occupy the same space. And as so often is the case, the most striking manifestation of that geopolitical fault line between the past and the future may have been evident in the world of early Eighties music. Reflecting back on their 1982 debut Shuttered Room and its 1983 multimillion-selling follow up, Reach the Beach, Londoners Cy Curnin and Adam Woods of The Fixx reminded us that the loud, brash, but brief Punk Rock purge had successfully shaken the rock Brahmins out of their collective bloated complacency by the Eighties. But the Punks did not tell rock where to go next. Songs including “Stand or Fall”, “Red Skies at Night”,”Saved By Zero“, the #4 US hit “One Thing Leads to Another”,”Deeper and Deeper”, and “Are We Ourselves“ all have proven to be remarkably “Built for the Future“. (This edition of In the Studio dedicated to Raymond McGlamery).- Redbeard