King were a British new wave pop band of the mid-1980s, from Coventry. Their name comes from the surname of lead singer Paul King. The band recorded two albums for CBS Records (now Sony Music Entertainment); both were produced by Richard James Burgess and certified gold.
The band was formed from the remnants of Clitheroe rock-ska band The Reluctant Stereotypes plus producer Paul Sampson. Riding on the back of the Two Tone wave, they had two UK Top 10 albums on CBS, both produced and mixed by Richard James Burgess, and two UK Top 10 singles.
After the Reluctant Stereotypes, singer Paul King formed The Raw Screens, who perfected their act and style to what Paul and his manager Perry Haines called "Multi Tone", a reference to "Two Tone", and then, in 1983, relaunched the group as self-named 1980s band, King.
As lead singer, Paul King wore a 'cockatoo' haircut and spray-painted Doc Marten's Boots - a look described "like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But, hell, the girls loved him;" while Burgess produced and drummed on most of the album tracks.
The band released two UK Top 10 albums on CBS, both produced and mixed by Burgess, who also played drums on most of the debut work Steps in Time (the second LP, which was entitled Bitter Sweet, saw instead Adrian Lillywhite on drums). The CBS albums were both certified gold and produced five hit singles, the most successful being the UK No. 2 hit, "Love & Pride".
King as a band lasted just a couple of years, from 1984 to 1986, then Paul King went solo with an album titled Joy, produced by American producer Dan Hartman. After that, he briefly worked as a VJ for MTV. From 1988 to the present, though, his TV appearances have become increasingly infrequent.
In 1998, a collection was released, entitled The Best of King - Love & Pride, with 18 tracks, featuring the band's greatest hits and stand-out tracks, including Paul King's one minor solo hit, "I Know".
The only single of the band's to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US was "Love & Pride", which peaked at No. 55 in September 1985.
Paul King: vocals,
Mick Roberts: keyboards,
Anthony "Tony" Wall: bass guitar,
Jim "Jackal" Lantsbery: guitar,
John Hewitt / Adrian Lillywhite / Colin Heanes: drums