Official Showaddywaddy Web Site The Best Steps To Heaven

The mid 1980s was a tricky period for the band to negotate. The decade started with the band’s unprecedented chart success of the 1970s beginning to slow, with some singles not entering the official charts, and also the albums “Good Times” (1981) and “Living Legends” (1983) failing to achieve chart status. The band however continued to be in much demand as a live act and continued to be constantly on the road. Television was also kind to Showaddywaddy in the early 1980s with many appearances on the likes of Top Of The Pops, Cheggars Plays Pop, Emu’s Magic Musical Show, Razzmattazz and Pebble Mill, not forgetting Showaddywaddy’s very own BBC TV special in December 1980.

Showaddywaddy had also left their long associated label Bell/Arista late in 1981, and a subsequent move to RCA. During 1984, Showaddywaddy recorded a number of TV shows to promote a single, “Out On The Town”, which was to be the first ‘original’ single (rather than cover version) released by the band since 1976 - however RCA decide not to release the single after all, much to the band’s and fans disappointment.

1984 saw Malcolm Allured leave the band, followed by Russ Field in 1985, Russ being quickly replaced by Ray Martinez. Gig records from 1986 appeared to show the band have a quieter period on the road, but details have been hard to find due to the demise of the fan club and consequent lack of gig lists to add to the historical record.

However in 1987, Showaddywaddy pressed heavily for a chart comeback with a new single, compilation album, and VHS video of promo videos recorded in the 1970s and 80s. The song earmarked for a single release was a newly recorded track, “Why?” originally recorded by The Cues in 1957, released on 7” and 12” vinyl, and promoted on TV, 3-2-1 (broadcast 11/10/87), and Live from the London Palladium (broadcast 21/11/87). The b-side to the single was the aforementioned “Out On The Town” that sadly lacked the energy of the 1984 version. Notably, vocalist Bill Gask was not present at the Palladium recording, having left the band in September, the 3-2-1 show been recorded shortly before his departure.

The accompanying album, released on cassette, vinyl and CD, despite a lot of promotion, only attained the number 90 position in the charts, and stayed in the top 100 for one week. The compilation wasn’t the first Showaddywaddy release on CD, with a couple of budget compilations coming out on CD earlier in the same year. The Best Steps To Heaven video featured 10 promotional videos, but two promos recorded were not included, the originals tapes presumably missing. It has since been discovered that all the original promo video masters are missing from the archives, having been recently attempted to be found for re-release. They must be somewhere! Furthermore, all original albums from the band’s debut to 1983’s Living Legends were all re-released on vinyl under the guise of ‘Step 1’ to ‘Step 8’, the opportunity to reissue on CD at that stage not being realised.

The rest of the 1980s saw no further releases, although a song was recorded in 1988, “Old Habits Die Hard” which was intended to be a single, but was not actually released until 2006. “Old Habits…” is a fantastic song and would have surely entered the charts had it been released back in ’88. The 1980s was a busy time for the band, with an unrelenting schedule that continued into the 1990s and beyond.