Fanfare Records

Fanfare Records

Fanfare Records was a British record label that was founded by Iain Burton, Manager of Choreographer Arlene Phillips and Co founder of Hot Gossip the revolutionary dance group and where Simon Cowell got his first break and found success in the music industry. Burton and Cowell worked together at Fanfare for eight years. The label was most successful during the mid to late 1980's and early 1990's. The label's biggest success came with Sinitta, who is now well-known as a panelist on the popular TV series Grease is the Word, currently airing on ITV1.

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 included Sinitta prior to recording solo with Fanfare. The next release was "I Believe in Dreams" by Jackie Rawe , an artist previously part of the band Shakatak, although the song didn't make the UK Top 75.

Sinitta's first solo release for Fanfare was "Cruising" but it failed to chart. However, in 1986, Sinitta's smash hit "So Macho" became a massive success for the label, with the single spending 28 weeks in the UK Top 75 and finally peaking at #2. It went on to become the year's 10th biggest selling single. The follow-up was less successful, and "Feels Like the First Time" flopped at #45. The following year, however, Sinitta teamed up with prolific British Production trio Stock Aitken Waterman who wrote and produced her hits "Toy Boy" (#4. 08/87), "G.T.O" (#15. 12/87), "Cross My Broken Heart" (#6. 3/88) and "I Don't Believe in Miracles" (#22. 10/88). In December 1987, Fanfare Records issued its first album, Sinitta's debut Sinitta!, which gained a BPI Gold award and peaked at #34.

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 didn't chart, the group Mystic issued "Ritmo De La Roche", and Rondò Veneziano failed to chart with "Venice In Peril".

Popular Dutch girl-group the Dolly Dots also released one single through Fanfare Records, the Stock Aitken Waterman produced "What A Night". Although a sizeable hit in their homeland (peaking at #18 ), the song failed to chart in Britain.

Fanfare Records signed the pop-duo Yell! (Paul Varney and Daniel James) in 1989 and scored a #10 hit with their remake of Dan Hartman's "Instant Replay", although controversy surrounding Daniel James' real age and name (which, as it turned out, was Colin Heywood) led to the follow-up single "One Thing Leads To Another" stalling at #81.

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, with "Lay Me Down Easy" only reaching #88, although her cover of Robert Knight's "Love on a Mountain Top" made a respectable #20. Sinitta's second album Wicked! also flopped, and only reached #52.

Fanfare Records liscensed 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 award and Volume 3 going Gold after reaching #3 in the Compilation 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 at BMG.

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