Treat yourself to a chocolate biscuit if you got that one correct. If you don’t have such a thing close to hand then go buy one from a nearby shop and I’ll reimburse you as long as you send me the receipt.

Toyah, contrary to popular belief, was not just a solo project for Ms Willcox. Back in 1977, three friends had spent a brief period playing under the name Ninth Illusion, without recording any music. In the beginning of 1978 they added some more musicians and settled on a new, taking it from their female vocalist who was also just beginning to forge a name for herself as an actress.

By mid-1979 the band had signed to the London-based Safari Records and over the next 18 months here would be a handful of singles and LPs that didn’t really do all that much. By late 1980, there had been further line-up changes with only Joel Bogen remaining from the earlier line-ups and the decision was taken to focus on a more pop-orientated sound. The formula worked and the band had huge mainstream chart success in 1981 with three Top 10s and one further Top 20 appearance, all of which, thanks to being released on Safari, were eligible for consideration in the indie chart and between them they spent 13 weeks holding down the top spot.

mp3 : Toyah – It’s A Mystery
mp3 : Toyah – I Want To Be Free
mp3 : Toyah – Thunder In The Mountains
mp3 : Toyah – Good Morning Universe

Just for the record, I never bought any of these at the time of release nor are they in the collection nowadays. They’ve been collated especially to fill in the gaps in your knowledge base!

Worth also mentioning that when the band went out on a sold-out tour of large venues across the UK at the end of 1981, they took along Fad Gadget as the support act.  I wonder what the mums and dads and kids made of his slightly leftfield music and mannerisms…..

4 thoughts on “WHO HAD FOUR #1’s IN THE 1981 INDIE SINGLES CHART?

  1. She’d already issued her best work by the time these were released – the ‘Sheep Farming in Barnet’ EP and the fantastic ‘Bird In Flight’ / ‘Tribal Look’ double A-side single.

  2. I was a big fan of Toyah from their appearance on Shoestring, my sister buying me the Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! live album of that era. I later became friends with Stevie Bray, the drummer of the original line up (through Buttz of The Babysitters/Last of the Teenage Idols) when I discovered he not only came from my hometown, Coventry, but also from the same area as me. A big Sky Blues fan too, sadly for the both of us..:-(

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