KAJAGOOGOO IN THE 80S

Were they the kings of 80s synthpop? Maybe not, but with their flashy hair, lush music production and basslines to die for, Kajagoogoo were about as eighties as you can get, but in a good way, of course. The band are best remembered for their No.1 UK single Too Shy. It was taken from the band's debut album White Feathers which reached No.5 in the UK charts and No.38 in the U.S.

During 1983, Kajagoogoo achieved success with two more UK hits from the White Feathers album which were; Ooh to be Ah (No.7 - UK) and Hang On Now (No.13 - UK). The album was mainly produced by Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes and their own producer Colin Thurston.

Now they wouldn't have been a proper eighties band without a big bust-up, and in mid 1983 that's exactly what happened as lead singer, Limahl, was fired by the rest of the band!

The new Kajagoogoo with new lead singer Nick Beggs (the bassist) released the single Big Apple which reached No.8 in the UK in late 1983. The follow-up single The Lion's Mouth reached No.25 in 1984. Both were taken from their next album Islands which only managed to scrape into the Top 40 at No.35 during 1984.

Sadly, this proved to be Kajagoogoo's last Top 40 single.

 

The video playlist (above) from our Youtube channel features every single by the band, plus a live performance on The Tube from 1983.

 

Studio Albums

1983  White Feathers  #5 (UK)  #39 (U.S.)

1984  Islands  #35 (UK)  #1985 (U.S.)

1985  Crazy Peoples Right To Speak (as Kaja)

2008  Gone To The Moon

Singles

1983  Too Shy  #1

1983  Ooh To Be Ah  #7

1983  Hang On Now  #13

1984  Big Apple  #8

1984  The Lion's Mouth  #25

1984  Turn Your Back On Me  #47

1985  Shouldn't Do That (as Kaja)  #63

2007  Rocket Boy  -

Chart positions are for the UK

The band's third studio album was released under the name of Kaja, which had already been used in the U.S. on their second album, Islands. The band was now down to three members after their drummer, Jez Strode, quite in 1984. The album was a major flop, and the one and only single released from the album, "Shouldn't Do That", peaked at #63 in the UK. The band split late in 1985.

 

Limahl had brief success as a solo artist in 1983 and 1984. He had two hit singles "Only For Love" (No.16 - UK) and "The Never Ending Story" (No.4 - UK), which was produced by Giorgio Moroder.

Unfortunately, his album "Don't Suppose" only reached No. 63, and all of his other singles such as "Too Much Trouble" flopped.

Kajagoogoo re-formed in 2007 and are now touring again.


KAJAGOOGOO "BIG APPLE"

Big Apple was the first track to be released as a single from Kajagoogoo's second album Islands. It was also the first single to feature the band's bassist Nick Beggs as the replacement lead singer for Limahl.  The song reached #8 in the UK. I love the track (particularly the bass) but I can't help feeling that Nick Beggs sounds more like a backing singer than a frontman - he's an awesome bass player, though. It's a nice effort, and at least he sang in key.

The band's fifth single release was the first not to enter the UK top ten, and the start of the slippery slope to oblivion.

Here is a small slideshow of the band embedded from Getty Images

 

"SPACE CADET" (2009 OFFICIAL VIDEO)

This is the official promotional video for "Space Cadet", a funky track that features on the band's 2009 compilation album Too Shy - The Best Of Kajagoogoo And Limahl - Not to be confused with the album below which was released in 2003.  In fact, there are no less than nine compilation albums, so there are plenty to choose from!

As with almost all of the bands songs, Space Cadet features a gorgeous bassline and the video was released merely to promote the album and was, sadly, not released as a single.

Kajagoogoo poster from the 80s

 

I'm not quite sure why Limahl would want is photo taken outside a ladies lavatory!

Limahl pretending to be a flamingo (?) while holding an umbrella in 1983

Nick beggs

Limahl and Kajagoogoo performing in Germany during their reunion tour in 2008.

Limahl and Kajagooggo performing in Germany during their 2008 reunion tour. This photo is in the public domain.