ABC was the most stylish of the British new wave bands to see platinum success both here and in their native U.K. The band was formed in 1980, when Martin Fry, then a music journalist, began covering local U.K. musicians Visa Versa. Friendships developed, and Fry soon convinced two of the members, Mark White and Steve Singleton, to leave and start a new group, which, with the addition of drummer David Robinson (later replaced by David Palmer) eventually became ABC. By the fall of 1981, they had a label deal with Phonogram Records.
Fry shaped ABC to be built around sharply arranged, radio friendly pop songs with a strong marketing focus on fashion. Usually wearing matching suits, ABC blew up after the newly launched MTV decided it would put the group's videos in heavy rotation.
The group's debut LP, The Lexicon of Love, generated a number of hit singles, with "Poison Arrow" and "The Look of Love" being the highest charting. But heavily reliant on synthesizers and computer programmed instrumentation, ABC was primarily a studio driven project. Even so, with the addition of outside musicians, Fry was able to whip ABC into a viable live act.
The band would go through a number of personnel changes, with only Fry and White remaining from the original lineup. They continued to have hits through 1986 before disbanding in the early 1990s. They reformed in 1997, with Fry again at the helm, and are still a touring act today.