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Kajagoogoo in Bochum (November 2008)
Kajagoogoo in Bochum (November 2008)
General information
Genre (s) pop
founding 1979, 2004
resolution 1985
Website kajagoogoo.com
Current occupation
Christopher Hamill ( Limahl ) (* 1958)
Nick Beggs (born 1961)
Jez Strode (born 1958)
Stuart Croxford Neale (* 1960)
Steve Askew (* 1957)

Kajagoogoo is a British pop group that had its greatest successes between the beginning of 1983 and the fall of 1984 with titles such as Too Shy , Big Apple and The Lion's Mouth .

After singer Limahl left the band in the summer of 1983, the other members tried their hand at being Kaja . At the end of 1985 the band finally broke up. After a one-off appearance in 2003, they only found their original line-up in 2008 and released a new album after 23 years, Gone to the Moon .

Band history

The forerunner Art Nouveau was founded in 1979 as a pure instrumental group with Nick Beggs on bass guitar, Steve Askew on lead guitar, Stuart Croxford Neale on keyboard and Jeremy "Jez" Strode on drums in Leighton Buzzard (England); the first single , The Fear Machine , received good reviews from the music critics, was u. a. Record of the Week by the music magazine Sounds and was played on the John Peel Show. When there was still no record deal, the group decided to reposition themselves and look for a singer. Through an advertisement in Melody Maker , Limahl joined the band, which has now been renamed Kajagoogoo.

After performing at the Embassy Club in London, the quintet signed a recording deal with EMI in mid-1982. Her first single Too Shy landed at number 1 in the singles charts in eight European countries in early 1983. Even in the USA the song shot to number 5. The debut album White Feathers reached high chart positions across Europe, the follow-up singles Ooh to Be Ah and the ballad Hang on Now became top 20 hits in England.

More than their musical skills or arrangements , Kajagoogoo owed their success to their fashionable looks and teenage magazines, which the group promoted with numerous cover stories and in return increased their circulation. In particular, the rather small singer Chris Hamill with the stage name / Ananym Limahl was popular with the girls. But Nick Begg's platinum-blonde Rasta braids had never been seen like this before. He was one of the first to make nose piercing a fashion , outside of punk .

After Limahl left the band or had to leave the band during the first tour in 1983, depending on the portrayal, and began a solo career, interest in the group quickly faded. The rest of the band shortened their name to Kaja and brought out more singles and an album, but could not reposition themselves. In mid-1985 drummer Jez Strode left the band, which was officially disbanded on November 28, 1985.

Because of the immense success of the first single (four million records sold worldwide), which could not even come close to being matched by later releases, the band is often called a one-hit wonder . Too Shy is and remains one of the songs of the 1980s that can be found on many best-of compilations of this music decade.

Separate ways

Bassist Nick Beggs participated in 1988 in the formation Ellis, Beggs & Howard ( Big Bubbles, No Troubles ), which released on the album Homelands melodic ethnopop . In 1990 he joined the group Iona , who produced two albums with Nick: The Book of Kells and Beyond These Shores . In the late 1990s, he worked with a variety of artists including Alphaville , Belinda Carlisle , Howard Jones , Kim Wilde , Michael Bolton , Gary Numan and Midge Ure . In 2002 he released his first solo album Stick Insert and two years later The Maverick Helmsman .

Steve Askew founded The Smalltown Elephants with Polydor Records in the summer of 1988. They released a single single, Walking on Ice, and supported a-ha on their UK tour.

Jez Strode built a successful music equipment rental company.

Reunion and new beginning

The end of 2003 it came under the VH1 telecast Bands Reunited to a one-off reunion of Kajagoogoo in the original lineup. The Kajagoogoo Reunion Gig took place on October 26th, 2003 at Scala Club, London. The group performed live Too Shy , Hang on Now and Limahl's hit The Never Ending Story . The gathering was not planned by the band members. It was the broadcaster VH1 who organized the meeting of all members in a very entertaining way without having contacted them beforehand about the purpose of the reunion. The program aired on January 26, 2004. According to Limahl, all five band members met two weeks after the performance to explore the possibilities of a real comeback. The talks about the Kajagoogoo 2 project ended without result.

Since 2004 the band played together again as a trio (now without Jez Strode). In mid-2004, Kajagoogoo released all previous works (which were previously only available on vinyl) as a remastered edition with bonus tracks. In autumn 2005, an exclusive non-album track called Tears was released on a collective album by various artists ( This Is Not Retro: This Is the Eighties Up to Date ) .

In June 2007, after over twenty years since the last release Shouldn't Do That , a new single from Kajagoogoo came out: Rocket Boy . According to “The Perfect Three”, as Nick Beggs called his band at the time, the album should be finished in 2008. To promote Rocket Boy a little with a wink, Beggs recorded a video with a webcam. This not seriously meant gag can be seen on various video portals. When asked about it , he said with a grin in the second Kajagoogoo Pod Cast : This video clip only looks as if it had been recorded with a webcam in his recording studio. In truth, this is a very expensive production that was provided with CGI effects in a Hollywood studio. It should look like the recording studio in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

In February 2008, Kajagoogoo announced that they would return to the original line-up and release the album Gone to the Moon, which had previously been produced (without Jez Strode and Limahl) . The band's fourth studio album was presented as a download on the band's official website in May 2008. As a "thank you" for the support in the 25-year history of the band, the download was free until February 2009.

In autumn 2008 Kajagoogoo performed in Denmark and at the Retrofest in Strathclyde Country Park, Lanarkshire (Scotland) and in Sopot at the Sopot Festival 2008 there. In November the band went on tour in Germany. The five Kajas performed on club stages in eight German cities. During this Kajagoogoo with Limahl Reunion Tour in 2008 , the quintet presented several new interpretations of well-known hits and four newly composed songs that were released as EP Death Defying Headlines at the end of 2008.



year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1983 White Feathers DE7 (27 weeks)
AT15 (4 weeks)
- UK5

(20 weeks)UK
US38 (20 weeks)
First published: April 1983
1984 Iceland DE17 (11 weeks)
- CH13 (5 weeks)
UK35 (3 weeks)
First published: May 21, 1984
1985 Crazy People's Right to Speak - - - - US185 (4 weeks)
First published: October 1985
as Kaja

More albums

  • 1985: Extra Play (as Kaja)
  • 2008: Gone to the Moon


  • 1993: Too Shy - The Singles and More (Kajagoogoo and Limahl)
  • 1996: The Very Best of Kajagoogoo
  • 1996: The Best Of (Kajagoogoo and Limahl)
  • 1998: Premium Gold Collection
  • 2000: Kajagoogoo & Limahl (Kajagoogoo and Limahl)
  • 2003: The Very Best of Kajagoogoo and Limahl
  • 2009: Too Shy: The Best of Kajagoogoo & Limahl (Kajagoogoo and Limahl)
  • 2011: So80s Presents Kajagoogoo (Curated by Blank & Jones )
  • 2012: Kajagoogoo and Limahl - The Hits (2 CDs)
  • 2014: Kajagoogoo and Limahl - Original Album Series (5 CDs)


year Title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, album , rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1983 Too Shy
White Feathers
DE1 (20 weeks)
AT4 (14 weeks)
CH2 (10 weeks)

(13 weeks)UK
US5 (19 weeks)
First published: January 1983
Ooh to Be Ah
White Feathers
DE20 (13 weeks)
- - UK7 (8 weeks)
First published: March 1983
Hang On Now
White Feathers
DE41 (7 weeks)
- - UK13 (9 weeks)
US78 (4 weeks)
First published: May 1983
Big Apple
DE13 (13 weeks)
- CH7 (8 weeks)
UK8 (8 weeks)
First published: September 1983
1984 The Lion's Mouth
DE40 (9 weeks)
- - UK25 (7 weeks)
First published: February 1984
Turn Your Back on Me
DE25 (10 weeks)
- - UK47 (4 weeks)
First published: May 1984
1985 Shouldn't Do That
Crazy Peoples Right to Speak
- - - UK63 (6 weeks)
First published: August 1985
as Kaja

More singles

  • 1984: The Power to Forgive
  • 1985: Turn Your Back on Me (as Kaja, USA only)
  • 2007: Rocket Boy
  • 2008: Death Defying Headlines

Video albums

  • 1983: Kajagoogoo: Music Video (VHS / Laserdisc)
  • 1983: White Feathers Tour (Live in London) (VHS / Laserdisc)
  • 2009: Too Shy: The Best of Kajagoogoo & Limahl (DVD, only in England)


  • 1983: Bravo Otto in silver
  • 1983: Formula One award for a number 1 in Germany
  • 1983: ASCAP Award (one of the most played songs of 1983 on American radio)


  • At a 1983 concert, Kajagoogoo, or rather Limahl and Nick Beggs sang an unpublished short a cappella piece: Over the Top . That appears renamed OTT (Over the Top) on the B-side of Limahl's first solo single ( Only for Love ). This 1:50 minute live performance can be seen on relevant video websites.
  • The band name Kajagoogoo is based on baby language . According to Nick Beggs, it is a modification of Ga Ga Goo Goo . The name should mean nothing, but should be memorable.
  • Nick Begg's unusual "bass guitar" is a Chapman stick .
  • The instrumental piece Kajagoogoo from the album White Feathers , in which the band spelled “KAJA, GOO, GOO” out loud a few times in the middle of the song, was supplemented by two verses sung by Limahl for the live performances. Among other things, he sings: “That's a strange name, where is it coming from? That's a strange name. "
  • Jez's real first name is Jeremy.
  • Despite Kajagoogoo's bubble gum image , the band also wrote more serious songs. Frayo from the album White Feathers is about the military rule in Poland ( state of emergency 1981-1983 ).
  • To give the special outfit a further touch, frontman Limahl appeared on stage with two different colored sneakers during the first tour.
  • Too Shy sold so quickly that the record company couldn't press enough new vinyl to meet demand. When the single climbed to number 1 on the English charts, 30,000 copies were sold daily.
  • In 2006, Too Shy was ranked 27th on VH1 's "Greatest Songs of the 1980s".
  • For the computer game The Sims 2 : Open for Business, Too Shy was newly recorded in the game language Simlisch and can be heard there on the radio.


  1. ^ The Billboard Hot 100, July 9, 1983
  2. Interview with Nick Beggs at Music Pleasuredome on June 21, 2007
  3. Kajagoogoo Pod Cast 2 from June 2007
  4. Kajagoogoo - Bochum 2008
  5. a b Chart sources: Singles / Albums / UK1 / UK2 / Billboard 200
  6. US albums: The Billboard Albums by Joel Whitburn , 6th Edition, Record Research 2006, ISBN 0-89820-166-7 .
  7. a b Music Sales Awards: UK
  8. BRAVO Otto Sieger 1983
  9. ^ Formula One prices 1983–1990
  10. The Official Limahl MySpace Profile | Biography by Barnbey Ashton ( Memento of the original from November 14, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / profile.myspace.com
  11. ^ BBC interview with Limahl, October 2, 2005. limahl.org
  12. Press Release.

Web links