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JoBoxers

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Biography

For a short time in 1983, JoBoxers looked like they would be a successful British pop band in the soul-dance style popular at the time. By the end of the year, however, the group's appeal had begun to fade. Four of the five band members, all natives of Bristol, England, came together in 1981 as a new backing band for singer Vic Goddard called, like his previous units, Subway Sect: guitarist Rob Marche (b. Oct 13, 1962); keyboardist Dave Collard (b. Jan 17, 1963); bassist Chris Bostock (b. Nov 23, 1962); and drummer Sean McLusky (b. May 5, 1961). Goddard and the band made one album together, Songs for Sale (1982), and toured but then split up. The four musicians were running a second-hand clothing stall in a street market when they met American expatriate Dig Wayne (b. Jul 20, 1958), who was running his own stall; he joined them as lead singer, and the band was complete. Adopting a working-class look complete with caps, suspenders, and work shoes, JoBoxers got their first break appearing on the BBC television series Oxford Roadshow and were then signed to RCA Records. Their debut single, "Boxerbeat," a catchy, upbeat song with horns and crowd sounds, entered the British charts in February 1983, peaking in the Top Five in April. The more soulful "Just Got Lucky" followed in May, reaching the Top Ten in June. The funk-inflected "Johnny Friendly" barely scraped into the Top 40, and the band's debut album, Like Gangsters, released in September, peaked in the Top 20. In the U.S., "Just Got Lucky" reached the Top 40, and Like Gangsters made the Top 100. With "Jealous Love," which barely made the British charts in November, the band had traced a steadily declining pattern in its singles releases, and after their 1985 album, Skin and Bone, missed the charts, they broke up. Wayne then launched a solo career; his back-up band, including Collard, releasing Square Business in 1987. ~ William Ruhlmann
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