John Foxx

John Foxx

John Foxx was born in Chorley, Lancashire in the north of England. A child intellectual, reading the manifesto's of the Futurists aged 9, a career in the arts beckoned as Foxx enrolled at the Royal College of Art in London before forming the band Ultravox. After 3 albums, including one produced by the now legendary Brian Eno, Foxx left in '79.

His first solo disc, Metamatic, was issued in 1980 through his own label metal beat, with Virgin handling distribution. With the exception of some bass, the sound was completely synthetic. It became his biggest selling album, featuring the single "Underpass."

A livelier album, The Garden, followed a year later. Named after the studio where it was recorded and which Foxx would frequent for the next few years. The opening "Europe After the Rain" is perhaps his finest moment.The Garden also included a version of the "Lord's Prayer (Pater Noster)" sung in Italian to a disco beat! Initial copies came with a booklet entitled Church, complete with Foxx's photomontage images, poems and lyrics.

1983's The Golden Section was one of the few Foxx releases produced by an outsider, Zeuss B Held. As with The Garden it peaked slightly lower down at 27. If that was a shame, it was nothing compared to the shock of his fourth and final album for sometime,In Mysterious ways, charting at number 85 on its release in 1985. Two singles featured, both failed to chart despite the usually stunning Foxx illustrations on the sleeve, especially on "Stars on Fire.

"After this John Foxx vanished, his name bearing 'whatever happened to..' conversations. On the sleeve notes for 1992's compilation Assembly, Foxx hinted he was totally disinterested in the mid-eighties music scene. He spent his time lecturing (helping shoot the video to techno band LFO's debut namesake single), illustrating book covers and collaborated with Bass Bomb mainman Tim Simenon the short lived project Nation 12.

In 1997 Foxx re-appeared almost as mysteriously as he had disappeared with two new albums:Cathedral Oceans and Shifting City (with Louis Gordon). The former was primarily ambient in nature and namechecked musician Harold Budd who, during an interview, cited Foxx 'a fantastic artist.