Monday, June 21, 1982

ABC’s Lexicon of Love released

First posted 2/11/2010; updated 9/13/2020.

Lexicon of Love


Released: June 21, 1982

Peak: 24 US, 14 UK, 3 CN, 9 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.3 UK, 0.8 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: new wave

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Show Me
  2. Poison Arrow (2/20/82, 25 US, 6 UK, 36 CN, 4 AU)
  3. Many Happy Returns
  4. Tears Are Not Enough (10/16/81, 19 UK)
  5. Valentine’s Day
  6. The Look of Love, Pt. 1 (5/15/82, 18 US, 32 AR, 4 UK, 1 CN, 7 AU)
  7. Date Stamp
  8. All of My Heart (9/4/82, 5 UK, 13 CN, 21 AU)
  9. 4 Ever 2 Gether
  10. The Look of Love, Pt. 4

Total Running Time: 37:25

The Players:

  • Martin Fry (vocals)
  • Mark White (guitar, keyboards)
  • Mark Lickley (bass)
  • Stephen Singleton (saxophone)
  • David Palmer, David Robinson (drums, percussion)


4.300 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)

Quotable: “A landmark album in British pop” – Rob Webb, BBC


About the Album:

“ABC’s debut album combined the talents of the Sheffield, U.K.-based band, particularly lead singer Martin Fry, a fashion plate of a frontman with a Bryan Ferry fixation, and the inventive production style of former Buggles member Trevor Horn and his team of musicians, several of whom would go on to form the Art of Noise. Horn created dense tracks that merged synthesizer sounds, prominent beats, and swaths of strings and horns, their orchestrations courtesy of Anne Dudley, who would follow her work with the Art of Noise by becoming a prominent film composer, and who here underscored Fry’s stylized romantic lyrics and dramatic, if affected, singing.” AMG

The album produced three top-ten hits in the UK with Poison Arrow, The Look of Love, and All of My Heart. While “Poison Arrow” preceded “The Look of Love” on the charts in the UK, it was the other way around in the U.S. where “The Look of Love” hit the top 20 and was followed by top-40 hit “Poison Arrow.”

“The production style was dense and noisy, but frequently beautiful, and the group’s emotional songs gave it a depth and coherence later Horn works, such as those of Yes (‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’) and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, would lack. (You can hear Horn trying out the latter band's style in Date Stamp).” AMG

“Fry and company used the sound to create moving dancefloor epics like Many Happy Returns, which, like most of the album’s tracks, deserved to be a hit single…ABC, which began fragmenting almost immediately, never equaled its gold-selling first LP commercially or artistically, despite some worthy later songs.” AMG

The BBC’s Rob Webb hailed the album as “a landmark album in British pop” WK saying that “it underpins just what a sharp band ABC were: witty, lyrical, and very, very funky.” WK

Resources and Related Links:

No comments:

Post a Comment