It’s unbelievable! British electro-rockers EMF are reuniting to promote their new greatest-hits collection.
The group behind the perennial 1991 #1 hit “Unbelievable” will play its first shows in five years June 4 at the Junction in Cambridge, England, and June 5 at the Astoria in London.
A week later, on June 11, EMF will release in the U.K. Epsom Mad Funkers — The Best of EMF, setting straight the debate over the origins of their moniker, which many believed stood for “Ecstasy Motherf—ers.” (They added fuel to the fire when they worked that phrase into a cheer on a B-side, called, appropriately, “EMF.”)
The greatest-hits collection also will include two new tracks, “Incredible” and “Let’s Go,” which the group recorded recently, according to an EMI Records spokesperson in the UK. The album will be released internationally, including in the United States, but details are still being worked out.
A bonus disc of remixes, including one by Beastie Boys producers the Dust Brothers, will be included with Epsom Mad Funkers — The Best of EMF, the spokesperson said. EMF are still finalizing the track listings of both albums and taking input from fans on their official Web site (www.emf-theband.com).
EMF — vocalist James Atkin, guitarist Ian Dench, bassist Zachary “Zac” Foley, drummer Mark Decloedt and keyboardist Derry Brownson — formed out of the music scene in Forest of Dean, England, in 1989.
Within a year, they were on the top of the chart in the U.K. with “Unbelievable,” which later hit the States. It’s remained a compilation standard, appearing as recently as on last year’s “Coyote Ugly” soundtrack.
Along with “Unbelievable,” 1991’s Schubert Dip, EMF’s debut album, also included the moderate single “Lies.” That year the band also released a video compilation, “Smoke the Banger.” Stigma and the EP Unexplained followed in 1992. 1995’s Cha Cha Cha was never released in the States.
But EMF have kept a steadfast fanbase over the years, according to 25-year-old Ohio native Cara DeCarlo, who has maintained their official Web site since 1996.
“After the official demise of EMF in 1996, the bandmembers went off to pursue other things,” DeCarlo said. “They all had bands that had moderate success in the U.K. but never stayed together very long. Through all this, the fans kept saying they should just get EMF back together, even for a one-off reunion show. But nobody ever thought it would happen.”
DeCarlo, who is flying to England for the shows, said determined EMF fans definitely played a role in prompting the reunion.
“EMF proved that it was OK to mix rock, pop and dance all together in one nice little package,” DeCarlo said of EMF’s mark on the music world. “EMF helped bring to the front a genre that was very innovative in the early ’90s but was unfortunately quickly washed away by grunge.”