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Vanity Fare

Best remembered in the U.S. for the classic "Hitchin' a Ride," harmony pop ensemble Vanity Fare formed in Kent, England in 1968. Comprising vocalist Trevor Brice, guitarist Tony Goulden, bassist Tony Jarrett, and drummer Dick Allix, the group originally dubbed themselves the Avengers; soon local entrepreneur Roger Easterby signed on as manager, orchestrating a contract with the Page One label and instructing the group to cover the Sunrays' "I Live for the Sun" for their debut single. With their sophisticated harmonies and clean-cut image, the Avengers needed a suitably genteel name, remixing the title of William Makepeace Thackeray's most famous novel to create Vanity Fare; "I Live for the Sun" cracked the U.K. Top 20 in the summer of 1968, although it would take the group a year to return to the charts, with "Early in the Morning" reaching the Top Ten on both sides of the Atlantic. Around this time, Vanity Fare jettisoned its tailored suits for neckerchiefs and fashions direct from Carnaby Street; more importantly, they also added keyboardist Barry Landeman, previously a member of Kippington Lodge, alongside Nick Lowe and Brinsley Schwartz; Landeman would prove the dominant instrumental element in the group's biggest hit, 1969's infectious "Hitchin' a Ride," which sold over a million copies in the U.S. alone. A North American tour was met with little interest, however, and soon after Vanity Fare returned to Britain. Goulden quit, quickly followed by Allix; Candy Choir guitarist Eddie Wheeler and Canterbury Tales' drummer Mark Ellen signed on as their replacements. The new lineup scored a minor hit with 1972's ballad "Better by Far," and concentrated on touring the cabaret circuit, performing as many as 14 dates a week; the grind ultimately forced Jarrett to resign, with former Tranquility bassist Bernard Hagley signing on for "I'm in Love With the World," Vanity Fare's first single for new label Phillips. In the wake of 1974's "Fast Running Out of World" their recording career screeched to a halt, but the group continued touring, including several passes through Scandinavia. During one trek to Denmark, Brice fell in love and quit the group, with singer Phil Kitto taking his place. Kitto also exited a few years later, with vocalist Kevin Thompson installed as frontman by the time Vanity Fare recorded 1986's "Dreamer," its first single in over a decade. With 1993's "Rain," their recording career again went into mothballs, but the band continues touring, with singer Steve Oakman replacing Thompson in early 2002. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Sun The Wind And Other Things

1. I Live For The Sun

2. Hitchin' A Ride

3. Come Tomorrow

4. Early In The Morning

5. Carolina's Comin' Home

6. Highway Of Dreams

7. Our Own Way Of Living

8. Summer Morning

9. Betty Carter

10. In My Lonely Room

11. Four Strong Winds

12. Nowhere To Go

13. Waiting For The Nightfall

15. Man Child

16. Hey Baby

18. I Hear Trumpets Blow

19. Music, Music, Music

20. You Made Me Love You

24. On The Other Side Of Life

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Great tune but not a good idea for a song, though.
Report as inappropriate
I did hitch-hiking too..from Pittsburgh to California to see the country when I was 17..met a lot of nice people and a couple weirdos beautiful mts in Colorado Utah magnificent too I thought I'd die in a dust storm and endured 115 degrees crossing desert went out on $25 came back on $3.30
Report as inappropriate
One of the most under appreciated songs of all time! Great song
Report as inappropriate
cuz.5
wow i used to hitchhike aaaaalll the timein rhe 60's&70's!! my dad would have kacked if he knew!1 my boyfriend now my hub og 37 yrs. & i ran away forom my dad from cali to oregon when i was 19 ..oh the memories;bel i e v e it or not cat stevens picked me up in santa barbara once!! does he remember me? i had easter breakfast w his mom!!! he gave me bus money to go home!! awww i really din't have 2 many bad expereinces cause i was athletic could wrestle leap out of sopeeding cars!! has ha peace

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