They say two heads are better than one, and that was certainly true for '80s duo Go West. Formed in London by singer/drummer Peter Cox and guitarist/keyboardist Richard Drummie, the pair followed twosomes like Wham! and Hall & Oates into the upper reaches of the U.K. and U.S. charts in the '80s and '90s with a killer blend of cutting-edge synthpop and blue-eyed soul.
Here are five classics from these two to get you going, whether west or any direction!
"We Close Our Eyes" (1985)
Cox and Drummie were friends in school who'd signed a publishing deal but struggled to get their songs noticed by a record company. Eventually they were granted a chance to record a two-song demo, featuring lead single "We Close Our Eyes." Supported by a Godley & Creme-directed video that featured some drawing mannequins and a big wrench, the final version of the track became a runaway smash, peaking at No. 5 in their native England. Among the group's early fans: Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who predicted they'd be "very, very big" in an interview with Australian show Countdown.
"Call Me" (1985)
Follow-up single "Call Me" was supported by a catchy, bass-heavy groove (remixed for dance club play) and a quirky video with a 50-foot woman. It just missed the U.K. Top 10 - where it peaked at No. 12 - but it did reach that high in Ireland and New Zealand and was a gem of their self-titled debut album.
"Don't Look Down" (1985) / "Don't Look Down - The Sequel" (1987)
"We Close Our Eyes" and "Call Me" were hits in England, but audiences in America were slow to catch on, and both missed the Top 40 overseas. Things turned around two years later, when a heavily remixed version of the first album's catchy "Don't Look Down," subtitled "The Sequel," was included on the U.S. version of second album Dancing on the Couch. It peaked at No. 39, the band's first hit there.
"The King of Wishful Thinking" (1990)
Go West's record company was eager for the duo to earn a hit in the U.S., so they were sent to meet with staff songwriters. The band initially disliked the experience until they met up with Martin Page, co-writer of Starship's "We Built This City" and a true fan of the band. "I was knocked out by [Peter's] vocals," Page later recounted. "I wanted to make Go West have a little bit of an edge for America. America, I thought, would accept a little bit of funky soul from them." Everyone was convinced their collaboration together, "The King of Wishful Thinking," would be a hit, but when it was placed on the soundtrack for the hit film Pretty Woman, it outperformed everyone's expectations, becoming a Top 10 hit in America, Canada and Australia.
Who says lightning can't strike the same place twice? The kickoff to the duo's Indian Summer reunited them with "King of Wishful Thinking" co-writer Page, producer Peter Wolf and horn arranger Jerry Hey for another slice of pop-soul called "Faithful." It was also a respectable hit, reaching the Top 20 on both sides of the Atlantic.