Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 16 May '55, Coventry, England) UK new wave singer. After a turbulent youth spent travelling as singer, English teacher, nude model, she signed with tiny Albion label '78; the strident style she adopted was well- suited to the punk era, but songwriting was often gentler. After flop singles she gained exposure in film Breaking Glass '80, from which came no. 5 single 'Eighth Day'; though film has not worn well, soundtrack LP was no. 5 UK and she won a Variety award for her performance. By the time of Sons And Lovers '80 she had zero credibility with the pop press, having had 'unfair' exposure in the film. The LP did not chart, but catchy 'D-Days' was top ten in less flighty singles market; best single 'Will You' (also from LP) made no. 8 with classic sax break. Cover Plus '81 was no. 32 LP, but her moment had gone. Backing group Megahype split up: Ed Case, drums (ex-999), Andy Quinta, keyboards (went to Icehouse), Wesley Magoogan, sax (went to the Beat), Steve Kinch on bass, brother Neil O'Connor (ex-Flys). She came back in mellower mood on RCA with Smile '84, singles: for Greenpeace with Manfred Mann's Earth Band vocalist Chris Thompson '85, 'Life Could Be So Good' '86 on Red Bus. Her autobiography Uncovered Plus created little interest; management and record company problems are described in book Expensive Habits ('The dark side of the music industry') '86 by Simon Garfield. She should have been a bigger star with proper post-film push, but the fact that the soundtrack LP was on A&M, other records on a tiny not-terribly-competent label didn't help; she appeared in TV series Jangles; played a leading role in Howard Goodall musical Girlfriends '87. On CD: See The Writing On The Wall on Line, To Be Freed on Columbia.