Meet ’70s Pop Band Jigsaw [VIDEOS, PHOTOS]
"You've blown it all sky high...by telling me a lie...without a reason why." "Sky High" is another of "Jersey's Favorite Hits." You instantly know the song, but what do you know about the band?
"Jigsaw" was formed in Coventry and Rugby England in 1966. The band name came from the "Jigsaw Club" in Manchester, but the way the band was assembled from members of other existing groups gives added weight to the name.
The original lineup existed of: Dave "Biffo" Beech (vocals & drums), Clive Scott (keyboards & vocals), Barry Bernard (bass guitar), Tony Campbell (guitar), Tony Britnell (sax), and Kevin "Beppy" Mahon (sax).
Dave Beech left in the first year, and was replaced by Des Dyer (drums), who took over lead vocal duties.
In 1970, as the band was turning pro, getting ready to backup Arthur Conley ("Sweet Soul Music," 1967) in concert, Kevin Mahon decided to keep his day job, and left the band. In 1974, due to illness, Tony Britnell left Jigsaw.
On stage, Jigsaw was a wild band: drum kits were set on fire...explosions added to the high-energy performance. Tony Britnell performed fire eating!
Offstage, the band started writing pop-oriented music. Scott and Dyer often wrote song snippets in their spare time, and producer/manager Chas Peate would encorage them to collaborate. As songwriters, the duo had a hit with the song "Who Do You Think You Are." The song was recorded by the English group "Candlewick Green" in 1974. Stateside, it was recorded by "Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods." Donaldson's version went to #15 on the US charts in 1974.
In 1975, Jigsaw signed with a new, independent British label, "Splash." The record label was owned by Chas Peate (the band's manager).
The first single, "Sky High," was recorded for the film "The Man From Hong Kong." A martial arts movie, starring one-time "James Bond" George Lazenby!
The record label pressed several hundred promtional copies of "Sky High." Reaction was good, especially at Radio Luxembourg, which played the song alot during its nightly English-language pop music broadcasts to England. "Sky High" went into the top-10 on the UK charts in November 1975. It was a hit here, too...going to #3 on the US charts. It was #1 in Japan, and a big chart hit in Mexico. Twice!
The "Sky High" album also did well!
The follow-up single "Love Fire" did well in Japan, and went to #30 on the US charts in 1976.
Two new albums followed: "Pieces Of Magic" was released in England. "Jigsaw" was released in the US. In 1977, the album "Journey Into Space" was recorded in Los Angeles. The album was never released by the record company, to the frustration of the band members!
The next single, "Brand New Love Affair" (#66/1976) barely blipped. The final charting song was the aptly titled: "If I Have To Go Away" (#93/1977).
Bernard left Jigsaw in 1978. Campbell left in 1979. The band stopped touring in 1981. A new group lineup recorded for Elektra Records, without public notice. A disco-influenced album was released in 1982 in the US, but not in Britain. The single "Love Isn't At Home" failed to chart in 1983.
Following the split, Scott and Dyer continued to write music that was recorded by others.
Although no new studio albums were recorded, the 1995 "Best Of Jigsaw" compilation CD included eight new songs! There have been several "Best Of" reissues since.
Find "Sky High" on Rhino Records "Super Hits of the '70s, Have A Nice Day" series, volume #15.
Founding member Clive Scott died in 2009, after an at-home accident.
One last interesting note about the band Jigsaw: in Australia, the band was called "British Jigsaw," due to the fact that there was a homegrown Aussie band already calling themslves "Jigsaw!"
And now you know about "Jigsaw." More than you thought, huh?