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Sal Solo

May 25, 2006

Sal Solo was lead singer of '80's British rock band Classix Nouveaux. They toured 30 countries, playing to audiences of up to 25,000 a time, achieving number one records, gold and silver discs. Today he sings a different tune, according to a local paper in Wisconsin: "His motivation does not come from success, money or fame. Having been there, Solo has no desire to become a Christian rock star. He stands in the darkness so that all the glory of his songs should be directed to God."

sal-solo-1.jpg

Sal Solo : "I had made friends with a new young band named Kajagoogoo and bass player Nick Beggs was a born-again Christian. We hung out together quite a bit, and decided in October '83 to go to Italy on a pilgrimage. The place was called San Damiano. Over the years, many people have found it hard to understand why go to a particular place to find God if He is everywhere. I think the answer is that making a journey is a helpful physical sign for us of the search, and having removed ourselves from normal routines and environments, we are more likely to be able to hear the voice of God if He should speak to us. At first I hated the pilgrimage, but after a couple of days, having listened to the conversion stories of simple people, and soaked up the atmosphere of prayer, I believed as they did, that God is real, He is alive, and He does care for us."

Similar artist : Classix Nouveaux

www.salsolo.com

Audio Sample : 90 seconds

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32 comments

  1. Sal Solo fronted Classix Nouveaux, a new romantic band who were lesser lights in America and the UK but huge pop stars internationally. They set off Beatlemania in Poland, topped the charts in Portugal and Bolivia, and drew huge crowds in India, Sri Lanka, and the Eastern Bloc. In the US they are best known for their video of “Guilty”, which received airplay on MTV, and in the UK they had a successful hit single with “Is It a Dream”. They released three albums from 1981 to 1983, entitled “Night People” (1981) , “La Verite” (1982), and “Secret” (1983); all of these were released before Sal became a Christian. After Classix Nouveaux went downhill following the poor reaction to “Secret” everywhere in the world except for Poland (where it dominated the charts with two #1 singles), Sal worked with the French band Rockets (later Rocketz) who were huge in Italy. Rockets were formerly a disco band who dressed up like aliens until Sal’s arrival, when they went into a stronger Euro-pop direction and performed without the silver alien makeup and Star Trek costumes. It was early in this time period that the above mentioned San Damiano incident occured and Sal became a born-again Christian; Sal then released “Heart and Soul” (1984), his first solo album (and an overtly Chrsitain one at that) which contained the song “San Damiano” about his experience. It was a minor hit in the UK but a much larger hit internationally (as usual), going to #1 in Poland. This album is now available from Cherry Red Records in the UK as are all three Classix Nouveaux albums. The Rockets albums Sal worked on were “Imperception” (1984; Sal sings on three songs), “One Way” (1986; Sal is a permanent menber of the group here and sings on all tracks except one instrumental), and Another Future (1992; a failed reunion album Sal was prought in to sing for. Sal sings on six tracks). There is a song on Rockets’ “One Way” album called “Touch Me” which will be of interest to Christian music collectors because of blatantly Christian lyrics written by Sal. Sal’s solo career nose-dived when he released a non-LP single called “How Was I to Know?” which was ill-received because it was blatantly anti-abortion. Sal revived his career in 1992 with the Word UK album “Look At Christ” and has been going ever since. If you are interested in learning more about Sal Solo, go to salsolo.com for a full history and video clips, cherryred.co.uk for the above-mentioned re-releases of “Heart and Soul” and the three Classix albums, and lesrockets.com for more on his work with Rockets (including a couple of photos of him in the band). Sal’s 1980’s output solo and with Classix Nouveaux and Rockets is recommended if you like Berlin-period Bowie, Midge Ure-era Ultravox, later-period Japan, and early Duran Duran on the non-Christian side, and Vector and Doppelganger/Vox Humana/Fearful Symmetry-period Daniel Amos on the Christian side.


  2. Great info on the band. I love the album “Secrets” from Classix Nouveaux. I think it was far more better than the previous albums released. It’s a good thing that Cherry Red finally made a decision to re-release it.

    What is inspiring is that Sal Solo is still currently active in spreading the love of God by going to mission trips all over the world. His music still speaks and is pretty much relevant to the new generation.


  3. Thanks! The two Polish hits on “Secret”, those being “Never Never Comes” and “No Other Way”, are REALLY good! It’s really sad that they weren’t hits in the UK too. It is pretty neat that “San Damiano” was a hit though (including being a minor hit in the UK); it has to be the only time a song about someone becoming a Christian became a hit single.

    I definitely recommend the material Sal did with Rockets too. All three of the albums he did with them are out of print, but here’s a link to an obscure Russian site where you can get MP3’s of all of the Rockets material:

    http://rockets.ekanet.ru/

    Sal sings on three songs on “Imperception” (“Under the Sun”, “Wrong Place Right Time”, and “”Contact”), is full time lead singer on “One Way”, and sings on six songs on “Another Future” (“Another Future”, Sampling Machine”, “I Don’t Know What I’m Talking About”, “Don’t Talk of Love”, “Dancing”, “When We Are Divided”, and “Countdown”).

    Also I would recommend that people interested in Sal’s early material go to http://www.youtube.com and type “Classix Nouveaux” into the search engine. You can watch videos of Classix’ “Guilty”, “Is It a Dream”, and “Because You’re Young”, and Sal’s “San Damiano” there.

    Sal is a really mature guy, and apparently he really loves the Lord, which is great, and he hasn’t turned his back on the music of his B.C. (Before Christ) days, which is also great. But I’ll be honest with you here–his new music is AWFUL. Praise and worship music mixed with techno and rap? Ugh–no thanks. Personally, my interest in Sal’s music stops with “Look at Christ”.


  4. Correction: “Heart from the Start” was the other Polish #1 single, not “No Other Way”.


  5. Actually, “Never Never Comes” has never been a #1 in Poland. But a #2 hit.
    All their #1’s are – “Heart from the Start” (5 wks), “San Damiano” (6 wks), “Shout! Shout!” (1 wk). But all CN and Solo singles from 1983-1985 landed in Polish Top-10, so they were a tremendously popular band there.


  6. Ah, thanks for the correction and additional information! Here’s a link to a Polish eighties fansite that compiles its readers’ votes for best songs from that period. “Never Never Comes” lists as #2 (A-ha’s “Take On Me” is #1), and “Heart From the Start” comes in at #28.

    http://www.80s.pl/listatop801002004.html


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