Toyahis a band which is fronted by Toyah Willcox and performed from 1977 until 1983. The only other steady bamd member through the career of Toyah, was Joel Bogen. Joel was Toyah Willcox’s co-writer and guitarist for the band. The band played their first performance without a name or a bass player. After a few lineup changes, the band began to record some demos in Willcox’s converted warehouse. The warehouse was called, Mayhem, and it consisted of converted offices, recording rooms, and rehearsal rooms for young bands in London. The Toyah band took their name from Toyah Willcox, their lead vocalist. Their early demos recorded in 1978 were, Mother, Hunger Hill, Waiting, Gaoler, Computers, Problem Child, Little Boy, Neon Womb, Eyes, Danced, and Israel. Several of them were included in the group’s early album releases. Some of the others would eventually be included on their rare compilation album called, Mayhem.
Toyah signed a contract with the indie label, Safari. They released their debut single in July, 1979, and it was called, Victims of the Riddle. The members in the band at this time were, Toyah Willcox (vocalist), Joel Bogen (guitar player), Mark Henry (bass player), Steve Bray (drummer), and Peter Bush (on the keyboards). The next release was an EP, in 1979, and it was called, Sheep Farming In Barnet. Then came another single called, Bird In Flight/ Tribal Look, and their debut album called, The Blue Meaning.
Wilcox later appeared in an episode of the U. K. TV series called, Shoestring, on ATV. He portrayed a punk musician called, Toola, in the show. This brought on a hit documentary which was viewed by 10 million people and this sent the band into the mainstream and their live album called, Toyah! Toyah! Toyah!. The lineup in the band changed after that and Toyah and Joel were the only two left. They continued to record the next set of releases. Phil Spalding (bass player), Nigel Glockler (drummer), and Adrian Lee (keyboard player), joined the group and they released the EP called, Four From Toyah.
The group continued to release singles and albums until 1984 when Willcox and Bogan split up and went their own way. They had released their final album in 1983 called, Love Is the Law.and the lineup changed again about that time. Toyah went on to release a solo album called, Minx, in 1985. Toyah left Safari records and signed with CBS’ off-shoot, Portrait. Toyah is still recording and releasing her music. The band had released a total of 7 albums, 8 compilations, 7 re-issues, and 14 singles during their time together.
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