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Fanfare Records

Fanfare Records was a British record label that was founded by Iain Burton (manager of Arlene Phillips and co-founder of Hot Gossip). The label also gave Simon Cowell his first break in the music industry. Burton and Cowell worked together at Fanfare Records for eight years. The label[1] was most successful during the mid-1980s to early 1990s. The label's biggest success came with Sinitta.


In 1985, the company launched, and the first release was "Don't Beat Around The Bush" by Hot Gossip in 1985. This was after the departure of Sarah Brightman, and the new incarnation of the band which included Sinitta, prior to her recording solo with Fanfare. The next release was "I Believe in Dreams" by Jackie Rawe,[2] an artist previously part of the band Shakatak. The song did not reach the UK Singles Chart.

Sinitta's first solo release for Fanfare was "Cruising", but it also failed to chart. However, in 1986, Sinitta's hit "So Macho" became a success for the label, with the single spending twenty eight weeks in the UK Singles Chart, and finally peaking at #2.[3] It went on to become the year's tenth biggest selling single.[4] The follow-up was less successful, and "Feels Like the First Time" flopped at #45.[3] The following year, however, Sinitta teamed up with Stock Aitken Waterman who wrote and produced her hits "Toy Boy" (#4), "G.T.O" (#15), "Cross My Broken Heart" (#6) and "I Don't Believe in Miracles" (#22).[3] In December 1987, Fanfare Records issued its first album, Sinitta's debut Sinitta!, which gained a BPI Gold award, and peaked at #34 in the UK Albums Chart.[3]

Other releases on the label included a brief Gloria Gaynor revival with her recording of "Be Soft With Me Tonight", remixed by Stock Aitken Waterman which did not chart, the group Mystic issued "Ritmo De La Roche", whilst Rondò Veneziano failed to chart with "Venice In Peril".[5]

Fanfare Records signed the pop-duo Yell! (Paul Varney and Daniel James) in 1989. The group was created by pop manager Jeff Chegwin and scored a #10 hit with their cover version of Dan Hartman's "Instant Replay",[6] although controversy surrounding Daniel James' real age and name which, as it turned out, was Colin Heywood) saw the follow-up single "One Thing Leads To Another" failing to chart.[7][8]

Sinitta's hits gradually dried up for the label, with her last Top 10 hit "Right Back Where We Started From" reaching #4 in June 1989. The follow ups were less successful, although her cover of Robert Knight's "Love on a Mountain Top" made a respectable #20. Sinitta's second album Wicked! reached #52.[3]

Fanfare Records licensed from PWL Records two compilation releases, The Hit Factory Volume 2 and The Hit Factory Volume 3. Both volumes sold well with Volume 2 achieving a BPI Platinum disc, and Volume 3 going gold after reaching #3 in the UK Compilation Albums Chart. Fanfare released another compilation in association with Just Seventeen magazine in 1989, called Just Seventeen Heartbeats which made #3.

The label folded in 1992 when its parent company got into financial difficulties. Most of the Fanfare back catalogue was sold to BMG, where Cowell also followed eventually forming his own label, S Records.

See also


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