There were two rock & roll bands in Leicester, The Choise and The Golden Hammers. This being the early-70s, when overmanning was all the rage, they amalgamated and ended up with two bassists, two drummers, two guitarists and two singers. Renamed Showaddywaddy, they leapt rapidly from the northern club circuit onto TV's talent show New Faces and found themselves courted by several major labels. Amongst other offers was one from Polydor who had 'Sugar Baby Love' lined up for them (before The Rubettes existed as a band), but they opted instead for a deal with Bell Records where they were to be allowed to write their own material.
Although credited to all eight members, the first singles were actually written by singer Dave Bartram and guitarist Trevor Oakes, and they were wonderful: 'Hey Rock & Roll', 'Rock & Roll Lady', 'Hey Mister Christmas' and - particularly -'Sweet Music' blended the 50s influences with the characteristic glitter stomp that all self-respecting Bell singles had to have. Unfortunately the band went on to have even bigger hits with cover versions that weren't as good, and Showaddywaddy are now more commonly associated with 'Under the Moon of Love' than with 'Sweet Music' or the Trocadero album. In fact 'Hey Rock & Roll' was the only original composition to reach the British top ten.
As a commercial venture the policy of releasing cover versions couldn't be faulted - 'Under the Moon of Love' hit #1 in Britain at the end of 1976 when none of the group's contemporaries could get anywhere near the charts. And they were still having hits into the next decade, their popularity untouched by punk or disco. Of the 70s pop bands, only Hot Chocolate enjoyed greater longevity as a chart act. Even so, when you heard them doing 'Blue Moon' in 1980, you couldn't help thinking that a decent rock & roll band had been emasculated.
Showaddywaddy never split up and are still playing regularly. Unusually for the revival circuit, they're pretty close to the original article - five of the eight founders are still there, including Dave Bartram, whose Jive Management company now manages the group.
1974 Hey Rock And Roll (#2)
1974 Rock 'N' Roll Lady (#15)
1974 Hey Mister Christmas (#13)
1975 Sweet Music (#14)
1975 Three Steps To Heaven (#2)
1975 Heartbeat (#7)
1975 Heavenly (#34)
1976 Trocadero (#32)
1976 Under The Moon Of Love (#1)
1977 When (#3)
1977 You Got What It Takes (#2)
1977 Dancin' Party (#4)
1978 I Wonder Why (#2)
1978 A Little Bit Of Soap (#5)
1978 Pretty Little Angel Eyes (#5)
1979 Remember Then (#17)
1979 Sweet Little Rock 'N' Roller (#15)
1979 A Night At Daddy Gee's (#39)
Showaddywaddy appear on New Faces