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New Wave Band:

The Fixx

by New Wave Dave


The Fixx made a huge impression on popular culture in the fall of 2008, thanks to Toyota. The carmaker ran a massive TV ad campaign for zero-percent financing, backing it with snippets of the song "Saved by Zero". Repeatedly beating those few sung words into people's heads created a backlash against the ad and (by extension) against New Wave music.

Taken out of context, this clip was pretty annoying. But if all those Gen-X/Y'ers could have heard the whole song — and some of The Fixx's other classics — they would have formed a different opinion.

After recording a couple of songs in an earlier incarnation as the Portraits, The Fixx debuted in 1982 with their album Shuttered Room. Two of its singles reached the UK and US charts: "Red Skies at Night" and "Stand or Fall". These catchy mid-tempo numbers mixed synthesized sounds with intriguing semi-apocalyptic lyrics — far from the vapid good-time sentiments of too many new wave poseurs. These curious numbers set your head bobbing and your mind pondering.

Released the next year, Reach the Beach catapulted The Fixx into the official big time. The album reached #4 on the U.S. charts, and two singles also soared: the aforementioned "Saved by Zero" (peaking at #20) and their biggest smash, the energetic gem "One Thing Leads to Another" (#4). Masterfully marrying paranoid words to a driving New Wave beat-heavy melody, this is my favorite Fixx single, a sentiment apparently shared by millions of other New Wave fans.

This was the crest of The Fixx's wave. While their following albums scored minor hit singles — "Are We Ourselves?" from 1984's Phantoms, "Secret Separation" from 1986's Walkabout — their sales slid steadily as New Wave's popularity dwindled. However, they are still recording albums to this day, and they have released several compilations along the way.

Well before The Fixx helped bring New Wave back into public consciousness in '08, they had earned the status of a premier New Wave band. Make sure your friends know there's a lot more to them than a few snippets of "Saved by Zero"!