The Business were an English Oi! band formed in 1979 in Lewisham, South London. The band lasted for four decades until their frontman Micky Fitz died from cancer in December 2016. The band was formed in 1979 by school friends Steven ('Steve') Kent (guitar), Michael Fitzsimons ('Micky Fitz') (vocals), Nicholas ('Nick') Cunningham (drums) and Martin Smith (bass). They played their first gig in front of friends in February 1980, and after taking on Lol Pryor as manager, began performing more often...
The Business were an English Oi! band formed in 1979 in Lewisham, South London. The band lasted for four decades until their frontman Micky Fitz died from cancer in December 2016.
The band was formed in 1979 by school friends Steven ('Steve') Kent (guitar), Michael Fitzsimons ('Micky Fitz') (vocals), Nicholas ('Nick') Cunningham (drums) and Martin Smith (bass). They played their first gig in front of friends in February 1980, and after taking on Lol Pryor as manager, began performing more often. The band's first release was the song "Out in the Cold" on the A Sudden Surge of Sound compilation album. They played their first Oi! concert in 1981, supporting The 4-Skins, and they became closely associated with the Oi! scene from then on. While the Oi! movement was labelled as far right and racist (despite the fact that several Oi! bands played at Rock Against Racism concerts), The Business took a stance against political extremism with their Oi Against Racism and Political Extremism ...But Still Against The System tour.
In November 1981, they released their debut single, "Harry May", which spent over three months in the UK Indie Chart, reaching No. 13. The initial line-up split up in late 1981, with Kent, Cunningham, and Smith forming Q-Bow, but Fitz carried on with Pryor, recruiting Graham Ball on guitar, Mark Brennan and Steve Whale from The Blackout, and John Fisher on drums. The new line-up made their live debut in January 1982, after which Ball and Fisher departed, leaving the band as a four-piece, with Kev Boyce of The Blackout on drums. The new line-up recorded the Smash the Discos EP, which was a No. 3 indie hit, and after a short tour, they recorded their debut album, which was to be called Loud, Proud, and Punk. The master tapes for the album went missing after disagreements between the band's label and the studio, forcing them to re-record the album, which was released as Suburban Rebels in May 1983. The album was remixed by their label, Secret, without them knowing, and Secret's financial difficulties limited promotion of the album. Frustrated by this, the band split up, with The Business members forming short-lived bands Chapter and Sabre Dance.
Pryor issued a retrospective album consisting of demos and live tracks on his Syndicate label, the success of which prompted the band to reform and record a what was to be marketed as a live album, Loud, Proud, and Punk. It was actually recorded in a studio, with crowd noise dubbed in later. Pryor renamed his record label Wonderful World and issued several Business albums in late 1985, with the Drinking and Driving tour following. The name of the tour caused controversy, with tabloid journalists accusing the band of condoning drunk-driving, although the title was tongue-in-cheek.
In late 1986, Brennan and Pryor founded Link Records, and with Brennan becoming increasingly busy running the label, the band split up again. In 1992, Fitz performed a few songs guesting with The Elite and he reformed the band to play a benefit concert for Bobby Moore, who had recently died of cancer. Brennan later started a new record label, Captain Oi! Records and did not join the reformed band. The band's line-up then became Micky Fitz (singer), Steve Whale (guitar), Lol Proctor (bass) and Micky Fairbairn (drums). The band released a new single "Anywhere But Here" and new album Keep The Faith in 1994. After a number of tours in Western Europe, the band played their first gigs in America in August 1994. In 1997 The Business released The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth which was produced by Lars Frederiksen from Rancid. In 2000, the band joined together with Dropkick Murphys to release Mob Mentality. The band's final studio album, No Mercy For You was released in 2001. Their biggest hit song in recent times, "England 5 - Germany 1", (based on the result of a World Cup Qualifying match in 2001), became a football anthem for England and even appeared in the 2004 teen comedy EuroTrip. Despite various line up changes, the band's popularity continued to grow with regular tours of America, West Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Far East. The band performed their final show in January 2016 in New Orleans, LA.
In late 2015, Micky Fitz was diagnosed with cancer on the lymph gland and underwent radiotherapy. On 1 December 2016 it was announced that Fitz had died.
Chart placings shown are from the UK Indie Chart.
Studio albums Title YearLabel Suburban Rebels1983Secret Records Saturday's Heroes1985Harry May Welcome To The Real World1988Link Keep The Faith1994Century Media The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth1997Taang! Records No Mercy For You 2001Burning Heart Records
Singles/EPs Title YearLabelNotes "Harry May"1981SecretCharted #13 Smash the Discos EP1982SecretCharted #3 "Out of Business"1983Secret(withdrawn) "Get Out of My House"1985Wonderful World "Drinking and Driving"1985DiamondCharted #27 "Do a Runner"1988Link "Anywhere But Here"1994Walzwerk "Death II Dance"1996Taang! "One Common Voice"1997Taang! "Hell 2 Pay"2002TKO Records Mean Girl EP2008Bad Dog Back In The Day EP2014Sailor's Grave
Compilations/Live albums Title YearLabelNotes 1980-81 - Official Bootleg1983SyndicateCharted #17 Loud, Proud & Punk - Live1984SyndicateCharted #22 Back To Back1985Wonderful World Back To Back Volume 21985Wonderful World Singalongabusiness1986Dojo Records Live & Loud1989Link In and Out of Business1990Link(mail-order only, reissued on CD 1998 by Mog) The Business 1979-19891991Blackout Records The Best of The Business: 28 Classic Oi Anthems...1992Link The Complete Business Singles Collection1995Anagram Harry May - The Singles Collection1996Taang! Loud, Proud and Oi!1996Dojo Records The Business Live1998Pinhead Records Mob Mentality2000Taang!(split with Dropkick Murphys) Hardcore Hooligan2003Burning Heart Under The Influence2003Rhythm Vicar Doing The Business2010Sailor's Grave
Compilation appearances A Sudden Surge of Sound LP (1980) VU Carry On Oi! LP (1981) Secret Oi! Oi! That's Yer Lot! LP (1982) Secret The Secret Life Of Punks LP (1982) Secret Burning Ambitions: A History Of Punk 2 X LP (1982) Cherry Red UK/DK LP (1982) Anagram Defiant Pose LP (1983) Illegal Son Of Oi! LP (1984) Syndicate Oi! The Resurrection LP (1987) Link Oi! Chartbusters Volume 1 LP (1987) Link Oi! Chartbusters Volume 2 LP (1987) Link The Sound Of Oi! (1987) Link Oi!..The Picture Disc LP (1987) Link Oi! Chartbusters Volume 2 LP (1987) Link Oi! Chartbusters Volume 3 LP (1988) Link Oi!..The Picture Disc Volume 2 LP (1988) Link Oi!..That's What I Call Music LP (1988) Link Oi!..The Main Event LP (1988) Link Oi! Chartbusters Volume 4 LP (1988) Link Oi! Chartbusters Volume 5 LP (1989) Link Pop Oi! LP (1989) Link Oi! Chartbusters Volume 6 LP (1990) Link Punk On The Road LP (1990) Skunx The Oddities Of Oi! LP (1991) Link Heroes And Villains LP (1996) Step-1 Oi! It's A World League LP (1193) Havin' a Laugh Nobody's Heroes (1993) Castle Communications The Punk Generation (1993) Castle Communications The Voice Of The Street (1995) Pub City Royal Kill Your Radio (IRS, 1995) The Punk Rockers (Castle Communications, 1995) The Best Of Oi! LP (1996) Dojo Secret Records - The Punk Singles Collection Volume 1 LP (1996) Captain Oi! Punk & Nasty (1996) Emporio Real Punk - The Nasty Years (1996) Cleopatra England's Glory (1996) Cherry Red Punk Crazy (1996) Castle Pulse Anarchy From The UK - Volume 1 (1996) Dojo Secret Records - The Punk Singles Collection Volume 2 LP (1996) Captain Oi! The Great British Punk Rock Explosion LP (1996) Dojo Trouble On The Terraces LP (1996) Step-1 The Best Of Oi! LP (1996) Dojo Punk & Disorderly LP (1996) Step-1 Tribute To The Smiths (1996) Too Damn Hype Forever Blowing Bubbles (1996) Cherry Red Punk Power (1996) Emporio On The Streets (1997) We Bite Give 'Em The Boot (1997) Hellcat Oi! The Tine (1997) Harry May Box Or be Boxed (1997) Lonsdale Down To Margate (1997) Harry May 100% British Oi! (1998) Captain Oi! Cheap Shots III (1998) Burning Heart Lords Of Oi! (1998) Dressed To Kill Live Hate (1998) Music Collection The World Of Football - The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Of World Football (1998) Charlton Scene Killer Volume 1 (1998) Outsider Around The World In 80 Minutes (1999) Rotten The Greatest Punk Of All Time (1999) Dressed To Kill Punk (1999) Pegasus Oi! This Is England (2000) Dressed To Kill Cheap Shots IV (2000) Burning Heart The Worldwide Tribute To Real Oi! (2000) I Scream Spirit Of The Street (2000) Burning Heart Complete Burning Ambitions - A History Of Punk (2001) Cleopatra Punk-O-Rama 6 (2001) Epitaph Cheap Shots V (2001) Burning Heart Cash From Chaos - Complete Punk Collection (2001) EMI Without Warning - It's Punch Drunk IV (2002) TKO Addicted To Oi! (2002) Captain Oi! Riot (2003) Hepcat The Kings Of Street Punk (2007) G&R Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.