Fine Young Cannibals sign global administration deal with UMPG

Fine Young Cannibals sign global administration deal with UMPG

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) today announced that innovative 80s chart-toppers Fine Young Cannibals have signed a global administration deal. 

When the Beat (known as the English Beat in the U.S.) split in 1983, guitarist Dave Cox and bassist David Steele set about creating something new of their own. Aside from the experience and knowledge from their time with the Beat, a vague notion of adding both jazz and soul to the Beat’s ska roots, and the decision to feature a strong vocalist, there was no real master plan.

The latter proved harder than they could have imagined. More than 500 potential singers auditioned before, despairing of finding someone, they decided to seek out a singer whose band had once supported the Beat. They found Roland Gift singing with a barroom R&B band named the Bones, looking like Sidney Poitier but sounding like Otis Redding. He was everything they had remembered; he was their man. Gift had spent his teenage years in youth theatre, until the advent of punk made music his passion. As punk gave way to the two-tone ska which gave rise to groups like Madness and, ultimately, the Beat, Gift took up saxophone and singing in a local band. 

Together as Fine Young Cannibals – whose name comes form an obscure 1960s film starring Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood – Gift, Steele and Cox released their debut single ‘Johnny Come Home’ in 1985, peaking at No.8 in the UK Singles Chart. From there, they went on to release their self-titled debut album, which was met with critical acclaim, following up with their second album ‘The Raw and the Cooked’ five years later. The album, which consists of two sides (the ‘Raw’ side made up mostly of songs the group had contributed to Barry Levinson’s film Tin Men), was a huge hit, selling over three million copies, winning Best British Album at the Brit Awards in 1990 (as well as Best British Group) and receiving a Grammy nomination in the same year. The lead single ‘She Drives Me Crazy’ was a worldwide No.1 hit. 

In 1996, Fine Young Cannibals released the 1996 greatest hits album, ‘The Finest,’ featuring the newly recorded track ‘Flame.’

We’re hugely excited to be working with Fine Young Cannibals and their incredible catalogue.