Hidden 'Gems' On My MP3 Player: #11 - Fiction Factory
CHEESE FACTOR: 7/10
Want to see a classic '80s video, with everything that made us New Romantics on show? Watch this clip - all they're missing is tea-towels wrapped around their heads. Love those fashions! I'd still dress like that if I thought I'd be able to get away with it.
As New Wave songs go they don't get much better than this one. Fiction Factory were a genuine One Hit Wonder* as their follow-up single, Ghost Of Love, failed to even hit the top 60. Such a shame as Feels Like Heaven shows a lot of promise, sounding as it does like a cross between early Depeche Mode and O.M.D. Still they faded away after this song and remain memories in the mind and ghosts frozen in time on a small screen. Such a shame.
So what do we know about Fiction Factory? Precious little really. They formed out of the ashes of another band, The Rude Boys, were Scottish and the drummer was in an early line-up of Simple Minds. They put out the two album and a couple of singles and then that was it. "But Danny, what really happened to Fiction Factory?" you might ask, "If they weren't shit then why didn't they have huge success?" In which case my answer is simple: I have no idea. For some bands the early hit single is a boon, for others it's a curse, clearly the latter was the case for Fiction Factory. Much like China Crisis (Black Man Ray - another Hidden Gem) the early success meant that no-one really cared to hear anymore from the band. Why? Who knows. Perhaps the other songs weren't in the same style as the hit. Perhaps the other songs just weren't as good as the hit. Could be a bit of both really. Generally speaking the hit single is the album's strongest song, so once people hear a crap follow-up they leap off the bandwagons as fast as they jumped off, leaving a core of hardcore fans who'll buy anything until they see the light.
When it comes to Fiction Factory I doubt that we'll be seeing a reunion of the band and a world tour. But then A Flock Of Seagulls managed to do a hugely (financially) successful tour of the USA in the 1990s, so I guess anything is possible.
*In that they only had one hit song. People who claim bands such as Dexy's Midnight Runners are One Hit Wonders are talking out of their collective arses. Kevin and Co charted with at least three songs - Jackie Wilson Said, Come On Eileen and Geno, all of which did well in the charts thank you very much, not to mention the single The Celtic Soul Brothers. If an act is deemed to be a One Hit Wonder because you only remember the one popular song a band then Led Zeppelin are One Hit Wonders - Stairway To Heaven anyone? Mind you under the correct ruling Led Zeppelin are true One Hit Wonders as they only had one success with a single release (and it wasn't Stairway). Feel free to argue this point.