We've got a ...Fuzzbox... and we're gonna use it!
A fuzzy nostalgia trip back to the '80s...
Hailing from Moseley, Sheldon and Acocks Green, Birmingham Fuzzbox came together in 1985.
Their name was chosen after they bought a distortion pedal for their guitars and they stated "We've got a fuzzbox and we're gonna to use it!". Their first release, in March 1986, was a single of "XX Sex" and "Rules And Regulations", with the fuzzbox featuring prominently, which reached #41 in the UK charts.
This proved a huge success for the girls, despite the non-entry of the Top 40. The Vindaloo Records release however remained in the Indie chart for twenty-five weeks. This led to tours of the UK and Europe and, in December that year, their debut album, Bostin' Steve Austin, was released (Geffen re-titled the album We've Got A Fuzzbox and We're Gonna Use It upon it's US release). This album spawned the band's first Top 40 hit, "Love Is The Slug" and the minor hit "What's The Point?".
In the summer of 1986 the band teamed up with their Vindaloo Records labelmates, The Nightingales and Ted Chippington to record a single "Rocking With Rita (Head To Toe)".
The single, credited to the Vindaloo Summer Special, featured Fuzzbox tackling such classics as "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" on the b-side. Further discussions led to their cover of Norman Greenbaum's hit "Spirit in the Sky", with vocals provided by Magz (Maggie) as their next single.
The band signed to WEA Records and for their next album, Big Bang! (1989), they made an abrupt change and reinvented themselves as a slick dance-pop vocal group, with Vickie Perks being cast centre stage as a sex symbol.
The album had no musician credits, but the girls apparently did little or no playing, and this seemed a repudiation of their punk DIY ethos. The songs "Pink Sunshine", "Fast Forward Futurama" and "International Rescue" were all co-written by Liam Sternberg. The first three singles from the album, "International Rescue" (UK #11), "Pink Sunshine" (UK #14) and "Self!" (UK #24) all reached the UK Top 30, although a fourth single released from the album, "Walking On Thin Ice", peaked at #76.
In 1990, they began work on a new album entitled "Out Of This World", but the project was halted after the release of the first single "Your Loss, My Gain" due to 'musical differences'. Perks decided to continue a solo career under the name of Vix whilst the other 3 members didn't wish to continue a music career. A reunion found it's way in 2008 and an appearance at the UK's Birmingham's Gay Pride festival paved the way for the old-school fans to re-embrace the latter days of Fuzzbox's height of success.
Releases of previously unreleased material surfaced under the titles of Fuzz and Nonsence and From Rules and Regulations to Pink Sunshine featuring tracks originally slated for Out Of This World. An album was later released of their two radio sessions for the late John Peel and sessions for Janice Long's show, entitled Love Is A Slug: Complete BBC Sessions. Peel show listeners voted "Rules and Regulations" into number 31 in the Festive Fifty in 1986.
In the October of 2004 a compilation of Fuzzbox singles and alternative mixes entitled Look At The Hits On That was released.