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80's Tight Fit at the White Swan "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
Sat, 5 Nov 2016, 20:00 – Sun, 6 Nov 2016, 05:00 GMT
Tight Fit are a British pop group who had a number of hits in the early 1980s, including a UK No.1 (for three weeks) with their cover version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in 1982.
n 1981, record producer Ken Gold came up with the idea to record a single made up of a medley of 1960s songs. The medley trend was in full swing at this time, following the success of Starsound and their Stars on 45 singles. He put together a group of male/female session singers and released "Back to the 60s" under the group title, Tight Fit. The song became a hit in the summer and reached No.4 in the UK Singles Chart. Instead of the sessions singers who sang on the record, a group of actor/ singers including Lowri-Ann Richards and Robert Pereno, were hired to front the group when Tight Fit first appeared on the BBC's music show Top of the Pops. A follow-up, "Back to the 60s Part 2" was released soon after and it reached No.33 in the UK Top 40.
Later in the year record producer Tim Friese-Greene recorded a version of the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" with another group of session singers. The song was released in early 1982, again under the name Tight Fit. The song gained instant attention and so a new group was formed to front it. Dancer, singer and male model Steve Grant was teamed up with female singers Denise Gyngell and Julie Harris. The song reached No.1 in the UK for three weeks in March 1982 and the lineup were catapulted into sudden and unexpected stardom.
Satisfied that this lineup could actually sing in their own right, Friese-Greene produced their next single, "Fantasy Island" - a song by The Millionaires which had been in the Dutch Eurovision Song Contest heats. The song, in a very similar vein to pop group ABBA, also became a success, reaching No.5 in May 1982.
The group then set about recording an album as well as rehearsing for their first tour. A third single was released in August. "Secret Heart" was not as big as a success as the previous two and stalled at No.41. The debut album was released soon after, but coincided with both Harris and Gyngell leaving the group. Both unhappy with their contract, they claimed that they were not receiving any royalties from their hits and were being paid a paltry wage for their work. Swiftly two new female singers, Vicky Pemberton and Carol Stevens, were employed to take their place and the group released another single, "I'm Undecided" - a song from the album, with new vocals. The song failed to make the UK Chart and this signalled the end of Tight Fit's brief pop stardom. In an interview, Harris stated that the public did not take to the new lineup and had she and Gyngell been still with the group, it would have likely been a hit.
The following year, Tight Fit released one more single - a cover of Stephen Stills' "Love The One You're With". Under the banner, Steve Grant with Tight Fit, the song completely missed the chart and the group duly split-up.