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Jigsaw

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Biography

Jigsaw were a British pop group who found mainstream success in the mid-'70s with a handful of prominent singles, most notably the international hit "Sky High." Named after Manchester's Jigsaw Club nightclub, the group was formed in Coventry and Rugby, England in 1966 by guitarist Tony Campbell. Originally a dynamic rock act with a penchant for wild stage antics (fire-eating, exploding amps, burning drum kits), Jigsaw began to steer themselves toward more radio-friendly pop in the early '70s. Alongside Campbell and bassist Barrie Bernard was the group's songwriting team of Clive Scott (keyboards/vocals) and Des Dyer (vocals/drums), whose first taste of real success was penning the 1974 hit "Who Do You Think You Are" for fellow U.K. group Candlewick Green. Jigsaw's own version of the song was featured on their fourth LP, I've Seen the Film, I've Read the Book, though it was not issued as a single and failed to chart. The following year, after being dropped from BASF Records, the band signed on with Splash Records, an independent U.K. label founded by their manager and producer, Chas Peate. "Sky High," their debut single for Splash, was recorded for the 1975 George Lazenby martial arts film The Man from Hong Kong and would go on to become their most successful release. Issued shortly afterward as the lead track on an album of the same name, "Sky High" would not only reach the U.K. Top Ten, but was also a major hit in the U.S., Australia, and eventually Japan, where, strangely, the song's use as the theme song by popular Mexican wrestler Máscaras helped it become a hit twice in consecutive years. With their raised profile and another 1976 U.S. hit called "Love Fire" came an American record deal, and in 1977 Jigsaw issued both a new U.K. album on Splash called Pieces of Magic and a self-titled album for the U.S. market on 20th Century Fox. That same year, their new American label flew them to Los Angeles to record a new album with producer Rick Jerrard called Journey into Space, though it never saw release. Back in England, their next single, "If I Have to Go Away," became a hit and the band continued to tour and record. They contributed ten new songs to the soundtrack of the U.K. film Home Before Midnight, though by 1979 both Bernard and Campbell had left the group and Jigsaw eventually ceased touring a couple of years later. With their newly rearranged lineup, Jigsaw released a self-titled disco-influenced LP for Elektra in the U.S., though it would prove to be their last. One final single, "Love Isn't at Home," was issued by Splash in 1983, after which the group disbanded. ~ Timothy Monger
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