Combining light funk with frothy pop, Haircut 100 was one of the cleanest and most accessible new wave groups.
Formed in 1980, the British band's core members were vocalist Nick Heyward, bassist Les Nemes, and guitarist Graham Jones; the following year, drummer Memphis Blair Cunningham, saxophonist Phil Smith, and percussionist Mark Fox joined the group. Once the band was signed to Arista Records, they were put under the direction of producer Bob Sargeant, who helped them polish their stylish pop. Released in late 1981, Haircut 100's first single, "Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)," managed to reach number four in the U.K., establishing the group's widespread appeal. The band released their debut album, Pelican West, in early 1982. Their next single, "Love Plus One," was a bigger hit, making the band one of the hottest British pop groups of the year. However, their momentum crashed to a halt when Heyward decided to pursue a solo career. Fox became the lead vocalist in early 1983, yet Haircut 100 could not replicate their previous success; they broke up after the release of their second album, 1984's Paint and Paint. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi