Re-Flex were a British new wave/synthpop band active from 1981 to 1985. They are most often recognized for their hit, "The Politics of Dancing", the title track from their debut album, as well as the singles "Hurt", "Hitline", "Couldn't Stand A Day", "Praying to the Beat", and "Sensitive".
Re-Flex were formed in the early 1980s by musicians John Baxter on vocals and lead guitar and Paul Fishman on keyboards and backing vocals. The band's earliest line-ups also included Francois Craig on bass and vocals, John Hodges on guitar, and two successive drummers: Phil Gould and Mark King, who would both go on to form Level 42. Following King's exit, Roland Vaughn Kerridge took over on drums and later, after Craig's departure, musician Thomas Dolby introduced the band to ex-Gloria Mundi bass player Nigel Ross-Scott, thus completing Re-Flex's final and perhaps best-known line-up.
In late 1982, the band recorded their debut album, The Politics of Dancing, which was released in 1983 through EMI. The album, produced by John Punter of Roxy Music fame, was a moderate success, charting at No. 53 in the United States, No. 58 in Germany and No. 34 in New Zealand. The album was later re-released in 1993, in CD format for the first time, by One Way Records.
The album's title track, released as a single in late 1983, was met with much greater success, and became a big international hit in 1984, reaching the Top 40 (and in some cases the Top 20) in numerous countries : No. 24 in the United States and No. 8 in the U.S. dance chart, No. 28 in the UK (with a chart run of 9 weeks), No. 9 in Canada (with a chart run of 9 weeks in the Canadian Top 30), No. 25 in West Germany, No. 11 in Australia, No. 12 in New Zealand, and was also a success in Switzerland, South Africa, Israel, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy. Five other singles were released from the album and achieved various international success. The band toured Europe and the United States, where, on their first visit, they supported The Police.
"The Politics of Dancing" was featured in the 1985 film Red, and the 1998 film, Edge of Seventeen, and to this day can also be found on numerous compilation albums of 1980s hit singles. Re-Flex also recorded the song "Cut It" for the soundtrack to the 1984 film Breakin' which was released by Polydor Records.
End of the story
Recorded in late 1984 and planned for a release in February 1985, Humanication was to be Re-Flex's follow-up album. The only single released from the album, "How Much Longer" (a minor hit in Germany), on the topic of environmentalism, featured Sting on backing vocals. Despite positive response, the record was pulled by EMI and deemed too political by the US company. Soon after, the band left EMI. Demo versions of the Humanication album were leaked out, although it would not be officially released for another 25 years.
In spite of the turmoil, Re-Flex continued to record together, working on a new project entitled Jamming The Broadcast. During this period, the band also recorded two tracks, "Life's Too Dangerous" and "Revolution Now," for the soundtrack to the 1987 film Superman IV. After recording was completed, the group ceased actively working together, but never officially disbanded.
In mid-September 2010, Re-Flex released a six CD box set put together by Paul Fishman, in conjunction with Roland Vaughan Kerridge, entitled Re-Fuse. The set included a remastered version of The Politics of Dancing and five CDs of other previously unreleased material (including Humanication) which pre- and post-dates Politics.
Fishman and Kerridge's remastering of the band's back catalogue culminated in the 18 September 2010 launch of a website entitled Connect to promote these new releases. The website was developed by Paul Fishman's company, PFL-UK, and has been designed around an infinite 3D environment.
Death of Roland Vaughan Kerridge
According to a September 2012 interview with Paul Fishman, drummer Roland Vaughan Kerridge passed away in February of that year after undergoing three rounds of surgery for a brain tumor. Fortunately, "Roly" (Kerridge) was able to record one final song in a brief reunion of the classic Re-Flex lineup (minus bassist Nigel Ross-Scott) prior to his death. Fishman states that the band intends to release this final track, "Vibrate Generate" as a single and the title track of a new compilation album.
- The Politics of Dancing (1983) U.S. No. 53, West Germany No. 58, New Zealand No. 34 (reissued 18 September 2010)
- Movement of the Action-Fraction - 18 September 2010
- Humanication - (originally planned for February 1985) 18 September 2010
- Music Re-Action - 18 September 2010
- Jamming the Broadcast - 18 September 2010
- Re-Fuse - 18 September 2010
- Re-Fuse Box Set - 18 September 2010 (includes Movement of the Action-Fraction, The Politics of Dancing, Humanication, Music Re-Action, Jamming the Broadcast and the exclusive Re-Fuse CD)
- "The Politics of Dancing" (1983) UK No. 28, U.S. No. 24, Canada No. 9, South Africa No. 19, Switzerland No. 28, West Germany No. 25, Australia No. 11, New Zealand No. 12, Netherlands No. 43
- "Hurt" (1983) US No. 82
- "Couldn't Stand A Day" (1984) UK No. 97
- "Hitline" (1983)
- "Praying To The Beat" (1984) UK No. 95, NZ No. 50
- "Sensitive" (1984)
- "How Much Longer" (1985) West Germany No. 59
- List of new wave artists and bands
- List of performers on Top of the Pops