On this day in music history: August 13, 1984 – “Phantoms”, the third album by The Fixx is released. Produced by Rupert Hine, it is recorded at The Farmyard Studios in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, UK from Early – Mid 1984. Following an extensive tour in support of their Platinum selling breakthrough “Reach The Beach”, The Fixx return to the studio with producer Rupert Hine to record the follow up. The first full album to feature bassist Dan K. Brown, the five band members Cy Curnin (lead vocals), Jamie West-Oram (guitar), Rupert Greenall (keyboards) and Adam Woods (drums) collaborate on all of the material. Looking to stretch from the previous album, the songs on “Phantoms” feature an edgier and tougher feel compared to the moodier and atmopheric sound of the previous album. That new musical direction is most obvious on the first two singles “Are We Ourselves?” (#15 Pop, #1 Album Rock) and “Sunshine In The Shade” (#69 Pop). Both clocking in at under two and a half minutes each, both feature enigmatic video clips that become MTV favorites. Other stand outs from the sessions include “Less Cities, More Moving People” (#68 Club Play) and “I Will”. “Less Cities” in shorter form on the album, is issued in its full version on a promotional 12" single, becoming an album rock and dance club favorite. Though not selling as well as its predecessor, “Phantoms” is well received by fans and critics, and in time is regarded at one of The Fixx’s best albums overall. Originally issued on CD in tandem with the vinyl and cassette editions in 1984, the title goes out of print in that format later in the decade. It is remastered and reissued in 2001 by reissue label One Way Records, with three additional bonus tracks including the extended versions of “Less Cities”, “I Will” (issued in the UK only) and a live version of “Sunshine In The Shade”. The bonus tracks had all been previously issued on promo vinyl and mark their debuts on CD. “Phantoms” peaks at number nineteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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