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A band that first found fame in the 1980s, Johnny Hates Jazz is variously described as a pop band, a new-wave group and a sophisti-pop act. Although the group stopped performing in 1992, they re-formed in 2009 and the band has been performing ever since. The British group consists of Clark Datchler and Mike Nocito, a bassist and guitarist who also acts as the band’s engineer. Johnny Hates Jazz first came to widespread attention when their hit single “Shattered Dreams” came out. Released in 1986, it was their first record on a major label and it went on to be a global hit. Reaching number two in the United States, “Shattered Dreams” also charted in Germany, the UK, Canada and Ireland.
Johnny Hates Jazz formative years
Datchler met Nocito in 1982, when they were both in attendance at RAK Studios in London. Datchler was working with a band called Hot Club, which also featured Glen Matlock, the eminent punk bassist. As a result of the early recordings and the first few gigs of Hot Club, Datchler ended up being signed as a solo artist. He soon recruited Nocito, who had been working as a recording engineer, to perform with him. Initially, the pair were joined by a third musician, Calvin Hayes. Datchler opted to produce his music under the moniker Johnny Hates Jazz, with Nocito acting as the trio's studio wizard as well as a full-time live member.
The band’s first independent single, released on RAK, was “Me and My Foolish Heart”. Although it failed to chart, the song received plenty of airplay on the radio and was championed in some quarters of the UK’s music press. Soon afterwards, the band held a breakthrough gig at Ronnie Scott’s famous jazz club in Soho, which was well attended by music professionals. The band performed “Shattered Dreams” at this concert, and as a result, were signed to Virgin Records.
Johnny Hates Jazz mainstream success
After “Shattered Dreams” came out, Johnny Hates Jazz rode the crest of the wave they had created. Further worldwide hits included “I Don’t Want to Be a Hero” and “Turn Back the Clock”. The album that followed was a huge success and it entered the UK charts at the number one spot. Although Datchler left in 1988, Johnny Hates Jazz continued as a trio, with Phil Thornalley in the group.
After the re-formed version of Johnny Hates Jazz got together, Datchler and Nocito began writing and recording once more, this time using session musicians. Records such as Magnetized followed, achieving critical acclaim for the production values. The band has toured all over Europe and spent much time in China, where they have developed a big following.
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