THE FIXX – REACH THE BEACH
Released May 15, 1983 – 33 years ago
The Fixx’s sophomore effort represents their most commercially successful release, and is generally considered their best album. It features polished, well-produced, and immediately accessible synth pop/new wave. While sounding somewhat dated now, the album still has a very hip vibe and incredibly catchy melodies, meriting repeated listens.
The Classic Pick is a weekly feature at 4pm M-F on The Home Stretch, sponsored by the Good Oak Bar and curated by Kris Kerry. Each Monday at 4pm Kris stops by KXCI’s studio to give us insight on this classic album at 91.3FM and kxci.org.
The Fixx, initially called themselves “Portraits.” They were formed in 1979 by two college friends, Cy Curnin (vocals) and Adam Woods (drums). They filled out the band by placing ads in local papers, and in 1980 they changed their name to The Fix with only one “x.” In late 1981 they signed to MCA Records, who were worried about the potential drug-user implication and wanted the band to change its name. A compromise was reached and the band agreed to change the name to The Fixx with two exes (“xx”).
The Fixx had modest success in the US with their first album, Shuttered Room (1982), but Reach the Beach became (and remains) the group’s most commercially successful album, reaching #8 on the US Billboard albums chart, selling millions of copies worldwide (two million in the US alone). The album produced three US top 40 hits: “One Thing Leads to Another,” “The Sign of Fire,” and “Saved by Zero.” Despite all of their American success, The Fixx failed to break into the British charts with Reach the Beach, and never enjoyed a hit in their native country.
Many consider The Fixx to be one of the most underrated new wave/post-punk bands of the 1980s. They were one of the few and earliest new wave acts that became mainstream artists, played throughout the US.
Reach the Beach was recorded in 1982 and early 1983 in Farmyard Studios, a small studio located in a small town 50-some miles northeast of London. Producer credit goes to Rupert Hine, who was one of the most successful and prolific producer in the 80s synth pop era. In addition to The Fixx, he has also worked with Howard Jones, Thompson Twins, Suzanne Vega, Rush, Stevie Nicks, and Tina Turner among many others.
Following the release of Reach the Beach, The Fixx released eleven other studio albums. They never enjoyed the same critical success on any subsequent release seen with Reach the Beach.
The Fixx still tours quite a bit, but according to Pollstar haven’t played Tucson since December 1st, 2004, at the Flycatcher (when it was called Plush).