Fine Young Cannibals
Country Great Britain
Fine Young Cannibals were a British band formed in Birmingham, England, in 1984, by bassist David Steele and guitarist Andy Cox (both formerly of The Beat), and singer Roland Gift (formerly of the Akrylykz). They are best known for their 1989 hit singles "She Drives Me Crazy" and "Good Thing".
The group was formed in 1984 in Birmingham after the dissolution of The Beat, with whom Cox and Steele previously played. The duo of Steel and Cox spent eight months listening to over 500 cassettes of potential singers before settling on Gift. They had difficulty obtaining a record contract but when a video of their song "Johnny Come Home" appeared on a British TV show called "The Tube," recording contract offers flowed in immediately. The band's eponymous debut album was released in 1985, spawning two UK hit singles, "Johnny Come Home" and a cover of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds" featuring additional vocals by Jimmy Somerville.
Fine Young Cannibals appeared as the house band in a nightclub in the 1987 comedy film Tin Men, set in Baltimore, Maryland, USA in 1963. Steele and Cox released an instrumental house single under the moniker Two Men, a Drum Machine and a Trumpet in 1988, called "Tired Of Getting Pushed Around", which reached No. 18 in the UK Singles Chart and was popular on the U.S. dance chart. During this time, Gift appeared in the movie Sammy and Rosie Get Laid.
Their highest charting hits were "She Drives Me Crazy" and "Good Thing", from the 1988 album The Raw and the Cooked. Both reached number one in the U.S. singles charts. The Raw and the Cooked included three songs the band had recorded for Tin Men (including "Good Thing"), and their cover of the Buzzcocks' "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" recorded for the film Something Wild.
In 1990, the band contributed a cover version of Cole Porter's song "Love for Sale" for the album Red Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization, a collection of 20 Cole Porter songs recorded by various artists as a benefit for AIDS research.
Fine Young Cannibals broke up in 1992, although they briefly returned to the studio in 1996 to record a new single, "The Flame", which would complement their greatest hits compilation The Finest released that year. Gift reactivated the band name and toured in the 2000s as Roland Gift and the Fine Young Cannibals.