SWING OUT SISTER
Although Swing Out Sister’s music is unashamedly commercial pop, their impeccable indie credentials (keyboardist Andy Connell and drummer Martin Jackson were formerly of influential Manchester cult indie band Magazine a band who played an influential role in artists such as The Smiths, Joy Division and Simple Minds) their jazz-tinged arrangements, and knack for clever hooks move them closer to the indie dance territory of St. Etienne or late period Everything but the Girl than to the universe of pop music. Connell and Jackson formed Swing Out Sister in their hometown of Manchester, England, in 1985 as a studio-based partnership set to refine the jazzy funk of A Certain Ratio and Magazine’s quirky reimaginings of old-fashioned middle-of-the-road pop. Nottingham-born singer Corinne Drewery joined the duo just in time for their first single, “Blue Mood,” in late 1985. That single didn’t do much, but the follow-up, “Breakout,” was a Top Ten hit in Great Britain and Japan in the fall of 1986. The trio belatedly completed their debut album, It’s Better to Travel, in 1987; its U.S. release scored a pair of hits with “Breakout” and “Twilight World.” Jackson demoted himself to a partial contributor on 1989’s Kaleidoscope World, which emphasized the remaining duo’s debt to lush ‘60s pop by hiring the legendary Jim Webb to arrange and conduct the orchestra. The singles “You On My Mind” and “Waiting Game” were U.K. Top 20 hits.