In his book Totally Awesome 80s (St. Martin’s Press New York 1996), Matthew Rettenmund listed Animotion’s “Obsession” as #3 in his list of Quintessentially 80s Songs. The band’s name, Animotion was also chosen as the second best band name of the 80s! Radio stations around the world continue to play Animotion’s biggest hit, “Obsession.”
Once upon a time in Los Angeles, there was a retro science fiction band called Red Zone, featuring Astrid Plane on vocals. Charles Octavo was producer of their first and only album Living on Lust, and it was voted as one of 1982s 10 Best Albums in L.A. by Music Connection Magazine. Larry Ross of CBS Records became interested in signing the band but it was not meant to be, and in 1983 Red Zone disbanded. Astrid and Charles together with Ross put together a new band.
Astrid invented the name Animotion to convey energy and motion. They recruited ex-Red Zone band members Frenchy O’Brien (drums) and Paul Antonelli (keyboards). Charles switched from producer/manager to bass player for the newly formed band. Ross quit CBS records to become their full time manager and he brought in Bill Wadhams to front the band with Astrid. In March 1984 they did a showcase for Russ Regan of Polygram Records and inked the deal soon after. During the recording of the first album, Bill brought in guitarist Don Kirkpatrick and keyboard player Greg Smith. The album was released in late 1984 and Animotion began getting their first airplay from KROQ in Los Angeles. KROQ added “Obsession” to their heavy rotation playlist and the band was now selling out shows all over Hollywood. KISS-FM in L.A. answered by sponsoring a 5-day heavyweight “Battle of the Bands.”
After 5 days of some serious competition the champion was Animotion, beating out worthy opponents such as Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Animotion was on their way to their first top 10 hit! In 1985 Animotion hit the road for their first tour of the West Coast. Later, they toured with Howard Jones playing to sold out arenas and stadiums across the US and Canada while “Obsession” was climbing the charts worldwide. Between 1985-1986 Animotion made several TV appearances on American Bandstand, Solid Gold, and Soul Train. Astrid and Bill were presenters at the 1986 American Music Awards with the original soul diva Diana Ross. Sharing the stage with Ms. Ross was truly a “supreme” moment for Astrid! Video producer Ken Walz (Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”) put together a wild visual interpretation of “Obsession” complete with a Gladiator, a Samurai, and Cleopatra romping around a decadent mansion in the Hollywood Hills. The video enjoyed very heavy airplay on MTV and made it to number 1 in Cashbox magazine’s video chart.Official Site
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