China Crisis are a rock/synth band formed in Kirkby, Liverpool, Merseyside in 1979.
Made up of a consistent core of Gary Daly (vocals/keyboard) and Eddie Lundon (guitar) their music harked back to the post/ punk musical landscape in the early 1980’s with their occasional political commentary with some similarities to New Wave.
At the height of their fame, the band enjoyed numerous hit singles and six albums with their music charting in all the major commercial regions including Europe, North and South America and the Far East.
Drum machines and synthesizers
The band were brought together by similar musical tastes Gary Daly and Eddie Lundon joined up with several post-punk bands in and around their home of Kirkby, Liverpool.
Gary Daly then began to experiment with the growing 1980’s craze of drum machines and synthesizers and the pair began to write their own compositions.
After inviting local musician Dave Reilly to play with them as a percussionist they released their debut single as China Crisis called African and White. The single was released on the independent label Inevitable, the same company that signed Dead or Alive early in their career.
This single attracted attention and major record labels began to take interest and the band signed with Virgin Records and recording the debut album Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms, Some People Think it’s Fun to Entertain.
The record was released December 1982 and the re-release of African and White made it to #42 in the British singles chart. More acceptance and acclaim came with the release of their second single Christian which charted at #12 in the UK.
On the cusp of national success came the news that Dave Reilly was to leave the band despite being given a credit on the single as a guest performer. Another credited performer was new band mate Steve Levy (Oboe/Saxophone) who would see the album Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms, Some Think It’s Fun to Entertain rise to a high of #21 in the album chart.
After a stint as support band to Simple Minds on tour, the band added Gary Johnson (Bass) and Kevin Wilkinson (Drums) to the bands ensemble and worked on their second album Working With Fire and Steel – Possible Pop Songs Volume Two.
The album was released in November 1983 and the singles included Tragedy and Mystery (#46) and Hanna Hanna (#44) and the title track Working With Fire and Steel (#48).
The album itself reached #20 in the UK album chart and more success was to come as their first (and only) top ten single charted at #9 in late 1983 and announced China Crisis as one of the most important bands of the 1980’s.