(Ian Page, Dave Cairns, Dennis Smith & Seb Shelton) formed in 1978 from their previous incarnation as the “power pop” band New Hearts .
In a period of a little over two years, they posted five releases in the UK Singles Chart, and released three albums. The debut single “Time For Action” sold over 200,000 copies and reached number 13 in the UK chart, putting them at the forefront of the mod revival movement. More chart success followed with “Let Your Heart Dance”, “My World” and “Sound Of Confusion”.
They also created their own take on a smart-dressing youth movement – the Glory Boys – based around the idea of 1960s gangster chic, influenced by the movie, Performance.
In 1979 Page and Cairns enlisted the services of bassist Dennis Smith, drummer Seb Shelton and saxophone player Dave Winthrop. From their very first gig, opening for The Jam at Reading University in February 1979, the band were adopted by a group of East End mods, who readily embraced Page’s Glory Boy concept. This group of fans began referring to themselves as Glory Boys. Secret Affair had become so closely linked to the emerging mod revival that in March 1979 Cairns wrote what would become the youth movement’s main anthem, “Time For Action”.
Secret Affair were soon signed to Arista Records & formed their own label, I-Spy Records. After “Time For Action” charted it was soon followed by “Let Your Heart Dance”, “My World” and “Sound Of Confusion” and the band regularly appeared on the BBC Television show Top Of The Pops, and were cover stars of many UK music magazines, including New Musical Express, Sounds and Smash Hits.
Their first album, ‘Glory Boys’ (December 1979) sold over 60,000 copies and achieved silver status with an appearance on the BBC TV album show, ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ and their second album, ‘Behind Closed Doors’ (September 1980), with its more complex orchestrated arrangements, proved equally successful and was followed by third album, ‘Business As Usual’.
The mod movement that had swept Secret Affair into the pop charts had all but evaporated by mid 1980, losing out to the rival 2 Tone fashion movement, and after the release of the band’s second album, drummer Shelton quit to join the “Come On Eileen” era Dexys Midnight Runners. Secret Affair regrouped, recruiting ex-Advertising drummer Paul Bultitude and embarking on a lengthy tour of the United States, before returning in late 1981 with their final chart hit, “Do You Know?” One more single followed, “Lost In The Night”, before the release of Business As Usual, an album that saw the band return to the rock-soul fusion of their earlier work.
More recently new CD releases included a new album featuring NEW HEARTS “A Secret Affair” charting the bands early career with CBS as New Hearts, a SINGLES COLLECTION featuring all the bands A and B sides, released January 2011.
September 7th 2012 saw the release of the band’s first studio album ‘Soho Dreams” after 33 years, on their iconic and original label I-SPY RECORDS and features the new 8 piece line-up with full horn section and guest Hammond organ supremo, Andy Fairclough.
In 2014, the 4 album Secret Affair 35th Anniversary Box set, ‘Est 1979’ was released on Captain Oi Records.
In 2016, the band released their version of the Northern Soul classic, ‘Do I Love You’ by Frank Wilson as a 7 inch vinyl single on I-SPY Records.
Founder members: Ian Page, Lead Vocals, Trumpet, Keyboard. Dave Cairns, Guitar & vocals. Complementing the line-up are: Russ Baxter on Drums, Ed Pearson on bass and Stevie Watts on Hammond. The line up includes a new brass section with John O’Neill on sax, Steve Rinaldi on trombone, and Tim Pannell on trumpet.
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