The Pasadenas didn’t belong in the ’80s. The band was caught in a time warp; they bounced between ’50s doo wop, ’60s Motown, and early-’70s funk and R&B. However, they presented these influences when mainstream pop music had become too shallow and over-produced; instead of sounding dated, the group was actually a refreshing change of pace.
The band wasn’t given much attention in America, but they were superstars in their native England. Formed by twins David Milliner and Michael Milliner along with Andrew Banfield, Hammish Seelochan, and Aaron Brown, the Pasadenas used to be a dance group called Finesse.
In the late ’80s they signed with Columbia Records and became The Pasadenas. Not one member overshadowed the other; each of them wrote lyrics and helped with production and arrangements. While their peers, such as Breathe, Johnny Hates Jazz, and Terence Trent D’Arby, also mined soul records from the past, many of The Pasadenas’ songs, such as the Smokey Robinson homage “Enchanted Lady,” could’ve been mistaken for the real thing. The band didn’t try to modernize the urban grooves of the ’60s and ’70s; they simply resurrected the excitement soul music used to bring.
In May 1988, the group released their debut single, “Tribute (Right On).” It peaked in the Top Five of the U.K. charts, one of many hits for The Pasadenas. The band’s concerts received rave reviews for their tight musicianship and choreographed dance moves. Their first LP, To Whom It May Concern, appeared in October 1988, selling in excess of one million copies. The group’s final album, Yours Sincerely, was released in 1992. The band landed on the U.K. Top 40 charts five times that year, with the single “I’m Doing Fine” selling more than 200,000 copies. In 2002 Cherry Red Records reissued To Whom It May Concern on CD.
The band released the superb album “Phoenix” in 1995 but only in Japan.
1988: To Whom It May Concern|1991: Elevate|1992: Yours Sincerely|1995: Phoenix|1995: Tribute: The Best Of The Pasadenas|2003: Definitive Collection