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Friday, July 11, 2008

J.J. - Intro (1991)



In which we imagine a world where madchester, grunge and britpop took a backseat to music that meant something...



Causing barely a ripple at the time, and another example of talented musicians that got lost in the shuffle when the world went baggy, was the duo J.J., consisting of vocalist Jan Johnston and instrumentalist/studio whizz/tea boy Tony Kirkham. They released three singles ("Crying Over You", "Slide Away" and "If This Is Love") and a single album, and then (presumably) got dropped by the record company because Bez wasn't shaking his maracas in the background and none of the songs were about hedonistic lifestyle choices. Today, they would make a killing, because what the world needs now is more coffee-shop music with a little spirit. Hey, it worked for Colbie Caillat. My memory might be hazy, but I think that "Denim And Blue" was on a Select cover tape once, and that was the only time I heard them back in the day.

Jan Johnston went on to release a solo album Naked But For The Lillies, and then become a noted trance vocalist, working with DJ Tiesto and appearing on the Swordfish soundtrack with Paul Oakenfold among many other projects. Tony Kirkham went on to, well, making the tea presumably. Tony, if you're out there, fill us in!

J.J. - Intro (1991)
  1. Denim And Blue
  2. If This Is Love
  3. Come Back Baby
  4. Going Nowhere
  5. Silver
  6. Lovers Do
  7. Slide Away
  8. Does Anybody Know
  9. Crying Over You
  10. Anyway The Wind Blows
  11. Success
Download

You can get a good look at Jan's impressive career resume at her website. It's often updated and informative. The latest update is this picture of Jan relaxing in the USA - still looking good, Jan!

13 comments:

Grumpies said...

Hard to believe this wasn't a hit. It would probably be big even now if they'd release it as a new group. BTW, I love your website, one of my favorites.

fiftypercent said...

Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.

G Magill said...

Ahh JJ - I remember this - many thanks for the album - I never got it - the furthest I went was a couple of 12" singles which I must admit were excellent - another great post on a blog that demands checking out daily!

Simon said...

Well, I thought I was the only person who bought this album!! I've never seen it mentioned anywhere. The second track If This Is Love is one of those great little summer songs that are just a little bit melancholy around the edges.

Also play it back to back with some of the Corrs mid 90s stuff and see the similarities.....

DiBosco said...

I used to play football (soccer) with Tony, lived just round the corner from him. Top bloke, really down to earth Mancunian. I actually bought his album after he was playing a gig at the same time as our band at Oxford Poly then was amazed to find out he lived so close.

Ah, good times.

Anonymous said...

Tony actually went on to play keyboards on tour with The Stereophonics for a number of years. Infact he probably did a lot better than Jan did!

Andy said...

I knew Tony in the 80's when he was lead man with a band called LIFE. He was an excellent singer but had a problem with his vocal chords that required an operation and unfortunately he was never able to sing the same again. He is an amazing musician and JJ were supreme. Intro was a quality album with some excellent songs. It is a shame they never got the success they deserved. I was shocked to read above that he toured with Stereophonics and would be interested to have this confirmed. I havn't seen Tony for probably 15 years (last seen at Victoria train station in Manchester with Jan Johnston) Tony, if you are out there, i would love to hear from you to catch up on old times - and where is Will and Bo and the rest of the gang? Thanks fiftypercent for highlighting this great band.

spike said...

I've been searching for this on download for years. My best friend and I would play the tape in the car whilst driving to and from University. Loved every second of it... we always felt the album told the story of a relationship from start to end...

Glad someone else remembers it!

Anonymous said...

I have the album and it is pretty good. How "If this is love" was not a hit I will never know! For some reason it was on constant play at our local Pizza Hut, but hardly made the radio play lists - a great shame.

God said...

Tony Kirkham is definitely now playing keyboards with Stereophonics, and has been since around 1998. I should know - I am a HUGE 'Phonics fan.

Anonymous said...

JJ were a top group ... I recall hearing their records a lot on Radio 1 in late 1991 (Dave Lee Travis used to play them) but, as one contributor said, they were not Madchester and got missed. A real shame, because the "Intro" album is a classic crisp acoustic pop album that still sounds fresh and varied today.

Anonymous said...

Hi i know Tony in person great guy . Check him out on thr Tom jones anf Kelly jones pop video . momma told me not to come . Tonys right there on Keyboards ..Also he lives just around the Corner from Alton Towers . Staffordshire .. best Andy .

Anonymous said...

This album is about to finally get digitally re-issued (along with the respective singles) on 16th December 2016.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Intro-J-J/dp/B01N2NCRIE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481152090&sr=8-1&keywords=intro+jj