Vicious Pink a Techno / Dance / Electronica / New Wave band formed in Leeds, England in 1981, and active until 1986. Did the activity really stop? The answer is no, VP have had multiple releases every Year since leaving Parlophone in 1986. From Razormaid and other record companies, to the VP info website created by Jon Peterson in the early 90’s to Fan posts of songs on Youtube, New songs are also in the making.
With a catchy sound and a penchant for highly provocative and sexualised lyrics, the band aimed for success in with DJ friendly mixes for clubs, rather than radio friendly commercial hits. Vicious Pink consisted of two members, English/French singer Josephine Warden and keyboardist Brian Moss. The duo began as backing vocalists for Soft Cell, then known as the Vicious Pink Phenomena.
Vicious Pink are remembered for five dance singles: “My Private Tokyo”, “Je Taime”, “Cccan’t You See”, “Fetish”, and “Take Me Now”, 3 and 4 produced by Tony Mansfield of New Musik fame. Vicious Pink were one of a few bands in the early 1980s that could be described as having a Techno sound, and can be credited for coining the term, by describing their music as “Techno” on 27 March 1982, long before it was used by Detroit DJs in 1986.
Vicious Pink featured in Sounds music publication, describe their music as “Techno” on 27th March 1982.
Vicious Pink backed Soft Cell live at many gigs, also performing as their support band. The American owner of The Leeds Warehouse, Mike Wiand, was their manager. Mike was also a key factor in the success of the 1980s dance track “Let the Music Play” by Shannon, which was produced by his Warehouse Records label. Vicious Pink played live at The Ritz in New York in December 1984 This time it would be a full band including Tony Mansfield.
Live @ The Ritz NYC 1984
Vicious Pink were able to attain a cult level of success without ever breaking into the mainstream. Although they had started releasing music in 1982, they failed to attract much attention until the release of the single “Cccan’t You See” (UK chart position 67) and its instrumental b-side “8:15 To Nowhere” in 1984. Over the next two years, both sides of this single accrued play in clubs on both sides of the Atlantic. Their later singles “Fetish” and “Take Me Now” were similarly successful.
In 1987, unknown to the duo, just one Year after they left Parlophone “Cccan’t You See” charted in the USA at number 24 for 3 Weeks, without any promotion from them, In 1989 “8:15 To Nowhere” hit number 2 around Europe, also without any promotion from them.
The duo recorded one unreleased demo album in 1983, The Tape Gallery, and In the summer of 1984 they went to Ridge Farm Studios, in Capel Surrey for 9 Weeks to record the Album “Blue” With Tony Mansfield their Producer and Jules (Juliette Bowen) sound engineer. The album was never released (see the reason why here: Exclusive interview with Brian Moss). A self-titled album was released in 1986, after they had ceased recording for Parlophone. This album was a collection of previously released singles.
Brian started the band Drug Free America in 1986 with Steve Dixon.
Josephine Warden later married a London based music lawyer, and Moss continued his music career; with Drug Free America and Mirazma.