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Animotion

Animotion is an American band from San Francisco, California best known for their songs "Obsession" (written and performed originally by Holly Knight and Michael Des Barres), "Let Him Go", "I Engineer" (written by Holly Knight, Bernie Taupin and Mike Chapman), and "Room to Move" (written and originally performed by Climie Fisher).

Formed in 1983 from the remnants of a retro science-fiction band called Red Zone, they signed a record deal with Polygram Records in 1984 and made three albums.

Animotion originally had six members, four of whom (lead singer Astrid Plane, keyboardist Paul Antonelli, bassist Charles Ottavio, and drummer David "Frenchy" O'Brien) had originally been members of the band Red Zone. After the demise of that band, the four aforementioned members set about creating a new group. Lead singer/guitarist Bill Wadhams joined soon thereafter to co-front the new band with Plane. After the formation of Animotion around this nucleus, lead guitarist Don Kirkpatrick was brought on board, completing the line-up. They released their self-titled debut album in 1985. That year, a single from this album, "Obsession", written by hit songwriter Holly Knight and noted British singer/actor Michael Des Barres (who originally cut the song themselves as "Knight and Des Barres" for the 1983 movie A Night in Heaven), became a worldwide success and the band's first Billboard Hot 100 Top Ten single. The follow-up single from this album, "Let Him Go" also cracked the U.S. Top 40. The radio edit of "Let Him Go" was remixed for release in order to sound more like its predecessor, "Obsession".

Session keyboardist Greg Smith, who had played on the band's debut album, became an official member of the band prior to the recording of the follow-up album, Strange Behavior (1986), which also saw Jim Blair replacing O'Brien on the drum kit. While several singles were released from this album, its success in the U.S. paled in comparison to the debut album, whereas the band became very famous in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and South Africa, thanks to the LP's single "I Engineer", another Holly Knight composition which was co-written with Bernie Taupin and Mike Chapman. "I Engineer" reached the Top 20 (and sometimes the Top 5) in those countries. During 1986 and 1987, Animotion toured extensively, appearing alongside such performers as Phil Collins, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Genesis, Howard Jones, INXS, and Simply Red.

In the midst of recording their third album, Animotion went through personnel changes, as all three of the remaining founding members (Bill Wadhams, Astrid Plane and Charles Ottavio) departed. Following their departure, Ottavio and Plane married. Actress/dancer/singer Cynthia Rhodes, known for her performance as the character "Penny Johnson" in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, replaced Plane as female lead singer, and former solo artist/Device member Paul Engemann replaced Wadhams as the male lead for Animotion's second self-titled album, informally known as "Room to Move" (due to the success of this song) to distinguish it from their first LP. Incidentally, Engemann's former band, Device had also included Holly Knight (co-writer of "Obsession"). By the time of this third album's release, only Kirkpatrick and Smith remained officially in the "band" backing Rhodes and Engemann, and other session musicians were used during its recording. The single "Room to Move", a remake of a 1988 song by the group Climie Fisher, became a radio hit in April 1989, and their second Top 10 hit in the U.S., aided by its inclusion in the movie My Stepmother is an Alien. However, the album itself failed to chart, and Animotion broke up after that.


Animotion was a 1980s U.S. New Wave/synthpop band best known for their songs "Obsession" (originally written by Michael Des Barres and Holly Knight), "Let Him Go", "I Engineer" and "Room to Move".
Formed in 1983 from the remnants of a retro science-fiction band called Red Zone, they signed a record deal with Polygram Records in 1984 and made three albums.

 

80's Hits

Obsession

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