For most of the Eighties, the popular music that came out of Great Britain was either new wave influenced or it was based on smooth soul music. In the former camp, you had bands like The Human League, Depeche Mode, The Cure and Duran Duran. In the latter camp, you had bands like Heaven 17, Simply Red, Spandau Ballet, Sade, and one largely unheralded group that scored one of the biggest hits of 1988, Breathe.
Breathe formed in England in the early Eighties, and they were led by lead singer and songwriter David Glasper. Upon signing with A&M Records, they scored a huge hit out of the box with the ethereal “Hands to Heaven”. It went top five in both the US and the UK, and became a staple of adult contemporary radio. Even today, turn on your local Lite FM station and “Hands to Heaven” is likely to come up at some point. Glasper’s smooth vocals and good looks were an obvious score in the era of George Michael and Terence Trent D’Arby. Breathe’s first album, “All That Jazz”, went on to score two more hits: “How Can I Fall?” and “Don’t Tell Me Lies”. Does this video scream late ’80s or what?
Two years later, Breathe returned with “Peace of Mind”, hoping to build on the success of their debut. Things didn’t exactly work out the way they’d hoped. The album flopped, although two Top 40 hits appeared on the album-the relatively uptempo “Say a Prayer” and the heartbreaking ballad “Does She Love That Man?”. For those of you who have never heard this song before, if this song was a person I would marry it. It’s SO sad, and SO soulful. Should have been a much bigger hit than it was.
At any rate, Glasper was the only member to appear on “Peace of Mind”‘s album cover, and at some point, the band’s billing was changed from “Breathe” to “Breathe featuring David Glasper”, making me believe that Breathe’s management or record label were intent on turning Glasper into a Nineties version of “Faith”-era George Michael. That never materialized, and Breathe fell off the pop culture radar shortly after “Peace of Mind”‘s release. They have not been heard from since, although Glasper is rumored to have made a return to singing.
Anyway, I know a lot of you out there are familiar with and enjoy this era of music, so jump into the wayback machine with me, enjoy these two videos and luxuriate in the mellow sounds of Breathe’s soul-flavored Britpop.
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