City Boy (band)


City Boy were an
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

rock band A rock band or pop band is a small musical ensemble A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental An instrumental is a recording normally without any vocals, although ...
formed in the mid-1970s. They were originally called Sons Of Doloyne, then Back In The Band, and finally City Boy. They featured strong melodies, clever lyrics, complex vocal arrangements, and heavy guitars. The band consisted of Lol Mason (lead vocals), Steve Broughton (lead vocals, guitar), Max Thomas (keyboards, vocals), Chris Dunn (bass, acoustic guitar), Roger Kent (drums),
Mike Slamer Michael Chetwynd Slamer is a British guitarist. Biography Slamer started his career playing in the UK prog-rock band City Boy (band), City Boy. Since then, he has worked as a staff composer for various movies and TV series, has been a session m ...
(lead guitar), and later, Roy Ward (drums, vocals). Their most popular songs were "", "What A Night", "The Day the Earth Caught Fire", and "Speechless".


Lol Mason and Steve Broughton (Lunt) met at 7 years of age, at school in Birmingham. They remained best friends throughout the years and started writing and recording their early songs in their mid to late teens. In the early 1970s, Lol and Steve started playing for beers in a few acoustic clubs around the Midlands. At one of these clubs they met ragtime guitarist Chris Dunn, who immediately became a third member. Soon thereafter they enlisted Lol Mason's friend, Max Thomas, to play 12 string guitar and bongos. The four of them toured the folk clubs for a while, until around late '74/early '75, when they made the decision to turn electric and added Mike Slamer (guitar) and Roger Kent (drums) to the lineup. Soon afterwards they secured a recording contract with Vertigo, a new sub-label of Phonogram Records, and changed their name from Back In The Band, to City Boy. City Boy's first five albums were produced by
Robert John "Mutt" Lange Robert John "Mutt" Lange (born 11 November 1948) is a South African record producer and songwriter. He is known for his work in the studio, producing many of rock's most famous albums. He has produced albums for, or otherwise worked with, artis ...
, who was recommended to them by Phonogram A&R guy Chris Peers, and their debut album entitled ''City Boy'', was the first full album that Mutt produced after relocating to the UK from South Africa. Lange became the de facto seventh member of the band, helping Chris Dunn hone his bass guitar skills and assisting with vocal arrangements. "Shake My Head and Leave", City Boy's first single off their eponymously titled debut album, was released in 1975 and received decent airplay. Their next single, "The Hap-Ki-Do Kid" earned them an appearance on BBC's ''Top Of The Pops'', where they became the first act to ever perform 'live' on the show. Their first national tour saw them open for labelmates Thin Lizzy. City Boy's follow up album, ''Dinner At The Ritz'', garnered powerful reviews. The NME wrote, ''"Not even the highest ballyhoo of praise could do justice to City Boy's masterwork, Dinner At The hear a composing style which has been influenced by, respectfully, Lennon and McCartney, novelist Ian Fleming, and Noel Coward. Very English...but very strange."'' However, chart success still eluded them. Roger Kent left the band before their third album, ''Young Men Gone West'', and was temporarily replaced, for immediate recording purposes, by session drummer and ex-Crawler member, Tony Braunagel. Despite showing commercial growth this album also failed to supply the hit single they needed. Before the next album, ''Book Early'', Roy Ward became the band's permanent drummer and fortuitously ''Book Early'' yielded the international hit single, "", which reached the Top 10 in the
UK Singles Chart The UK Singles Chart (currently titled Official Singles Chart, with the upper section more commonly known as the Official UK Top 40) is compiled by the Official Charts Company The Official Charts Company (previously known as the Chart Inf ...
. The single peaked at No. 27 on the U.S. ''Billboard'' Hot 100, and was a major hit in many European territories. In support of this album, they toured extensively in Europe and the United States, where they played 66 gigs, 56 of which were with Hall & Oates. In 1979, City Boy parted ways with their US label, Mercury Records, and signed with Atlantic Records for the US and Canada. Their first album under this new deal, ''The Day the Earth Caught Fire,'' received strong reviews and produced a minor hit with the title song. The album marked an early recording appearance by
Huey Lewis Hugh Anthony Cregg III (born July 5, 1950), known professionally as Huey Lewis, is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. Lewis sings lead and plays harmonica The harmonica, also known as a French harp or mouth organ A mouth organ is an ...

Huey Lewis
, who played harmonica on the second track, "It's Only the End of the World". They continued to tour heavily in Europe, the US and Canada. However, this album would prove to be the last album with the six man lineup. In December 1979, original members Broughton and Dunn parted ways with the band. The remaining members of the group went on to release their next album, ''Heads Are Rolling,'' as a quartet in 1980. The
soft rock Soft rock, also known as light rock and adult-oriented rock, is a derivative form of pop rock that originated in the late 1960s in the U.S. region of Southern California and in the United Kingdom. The style smoothed over the edges of singer-s ...
track "Speechless" made the band briefly popular in the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

. Their final album, ''It's Personal'' from 1981, failed to attract any attention. Unable to secure a recording contract with any of the major labels, the band split up in 1982.

After City Boy

After the split, Lol Mason formed The Maisonettes and in 1983 had a top ten UK hit with " Heartache Avenue". In 1984, after the breakup of The Maisonettes, Mason concentrated on script writing and, along with his friend Dave Smith, won a Radio Times Comedy Award for their first script, ''Total Accident''. A few years later, Mason's six-part Radio 4 series, ''Richard Barton: General Practitioner'', a hat-tip to his father's hit series ''Dick Barton: Special Agent'', proved to be a big success. Lol's father was Edward J. Mason, the creator and original scriptwriter of The Archers, the UK's longest running radio serial. Coincidentally, Chris Dunn's father, Leslie Dunn, was an actor in The Archers for 27 years and Steve Broughton's aunt also had a recurring part in the show. None of them knew this when they first joined forces. Laurence Edward "Lol" Mason died on 30 July 2019 at the age of 69 at his home in
Harborne Harborne is an area of south-west Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Soci ...

, Birmingham, from a heart attack, after complications following a kidney transplant. Steve Broughton (Lunt) moved to New York and became a songwriter and producer, under the names Stephen Broughton Lunt and Steve Lunt. He co-wrote Cyndi Lauper's hits "
She Bop "She Bop" is a song by American singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper, released as the third single from her debut studio album ''She's So Unusual''. It reached number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, ''Billboard'' Hot 100 chart in September 1984. Wo ...
" and "
The Goonies 'R' Good Enough "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" is a 1985 song by American singer Cyndi Lauper Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper (born June 22, 1953) is an American singer, songwriter, actress and activist. Her career has spanned over 40 years. Her album '' She's So ...
", which was written for the Steven Spielberg movie, ''The Goonies''. He has written and/or produced songs for Britney Spears, Cyndi Lauper, Nick Carter, Aaron Carter, Joan Jett, Jefferson Starship, Peter Frampton, Felix Cavaliere, Brenda K Starr, Junior, and Stacy Lattisaw. He later became Vice President of
A&R Artists and repertoire (colloquially abbreviated to A&R) is the division of a record label or music publishing company that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists (singers, instrumentalists ...
Jive Records Jive Records was an American independent record label An independent record label (or indie label) is a record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that ide ...

Jive Records
, where for almost 10 years he was instrumental in the early career of Britney Spears. He was also the responsible A&R executive for *NSync, Justin Timberlake,
Backstreet Boys Backstreet Boys (often abbreviated as BSB) are an American vocal group A vocal group in the music industry is a group of singers who sing and harmonize together with a backup band. Although it should be considered that all the groups that has a ...

Backstreet Boys
, Nick Carter, Aaron Carter, and Laura Izibor. After Jive Records, Steve Broughton went on to work as Vice President of A&R at Atlantic Records, where he produced and developed the career of the best selling a cappella group, Straight No Chaser. Broughton recently won 3 awards at the Independent Music Awards in New York, for his writing and production work on Seth Glier's fifth album, ''Birds''.
Mike Slamer Michael Chetwynd Slamer is a British guitarist. Biography Slamer started his career playing in the UK prog-rock band City Boy (band), City Boy. Since then, he has worked as a staff composer for various movies and TV series, has been a session m ...
went on to record and work as a session musician and staff composer after a stint with American band
Streets Streets is the plural of street, a type of road. Streets or The Streets may also refer to: * The Streets, alias of Mike Skinner, a British rapper * Streets (film), ''Streets'' (film), a 1990 American horror film * Streets (ice cream), an Australia ...
fronted by
Kansas Kansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its Capital city, capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita, Kansas, Wichita. Kansas is a landlocked state bordered by Nebraska to the north; ...
vocalist Steve Walsh in the early to mid-1980s. They recorded two albums for Atlantic Records, ''1st'' and ''Crimes in Mind''. Later with bass player Billy Greer (ex-Streets and currently a member of Kansas), he formed the band Seventh Key. Chris Dunn moved back to the UK in 1982 and worked for Zomba on various projects including the Shape Up And Dance roadshow, and was personal manager to Jive Records artists
Tight Fit Tight Fit is an English pop group which had several hit record, hits in the early 1980s, including a List of number-one singles (UK), UK No.1 for three weeks with their cover version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in 1982. History In 1981, rec ...
, who had a number one hit with the remake of "
The Lion Sleeps Tonight "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is a song originally written and recorded by Solomon Linda Solomon Popoli Linda (19098 September 1962), also known as Solomon Ntsele ("Linda" was his clan name),Gilmore, Inigo ''Daily Telegraph, The Telegraph'' (UK), ...
", where Roy Ward was also lead session singer. Dunn then took over managing Battery Studios in London. He went on to found Dreamhire Professional Audio Rentals in the UK and then relocated to the US in 1988 to set up Dreamhire locations in New York and Nashville. He bought out Dreamhire from BMG after they had taken over ownership of Zomba in 2001, and announced his intention to close the business in an interview dated 15 August 2016. As of 1 July 2017, the business was closed and liquidating the remainder of its assets, mostly on eBay. Roy Ward went on to release a remake of
Del Shannon Charles Weedon Westover (December 30, 1934 – February 8, 1990), better known by his stage name A stage name is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or grou ...
's "Runaway" under his band name Tokyo Charm in 1982. Max Thomas went into teaching.

Selected discography


* '' City Boy'' (1976) U.S. #177 * ''Dinner at the Ritz'' (1976) U.S. #170 * ''Young Men Gone West'' (1977) U.S. #207 * ''Book Early'' (1978) U.S. #115, AUS #68 * ''The Day the Earth Caught Fire'' (1979) * ''Heads Are Rolling'' (1980) * ''It's Personal'' (1981) * '' City Boy + bonus tracks'' / ''Dinner at the Ritz'' (2015) (2CD re-release) * ''Young Men Gone West'' / ''Book Early + bonus tracks'' (2015) (2CD re-release)

Compilation albums

* ''Anthology'' (2001) * ''Anthology'' (2008) * ''Ten Best'' (2015) * ''BBC Live'' (2015)


* "(Moonlight) Shake My Head and Leave" / "Teleulah" (1975) * "The Hap-ki-do kid" (1976) * "Surgery Hours (Doctor, Doctor)" (1976) * "Haymaking Time" (1976, released in the US) * "She's Got Style" (1977) * "I've Been Spun" (1977) * "The Runaround" (1977) * "The Violin" (1977, released in the US) * "Turn On to Jesus" (1977) * "" (1978) United Kingdom, UK #8, United States, U.S. #27, AUS #11, Can #55 * "What a Night" (1978) UK #39 * "Summer in the Schoolyard" (1979, released in Scandinavia) * "The Day the Earth Caught Fire" (1979) UK #67 * "Mr. Shoes" (1980, released in the Philippines) * "Speechless" (1980, released in the Philippines) * "Heads are Rolling" (1980) * "Need a Little Loving" (1980) * "You're Leaving Me", (1980, released in the US) * "Lovers" (1981)

Non-Album B-Sides

* "Teleulah" (1975) * "Medicine" (1978) * "Café Vienna" (1978)


"The Day the Earth Caught Fire" has since been covered twice, once in 1999 by Swedish hard rockers Lion's Share (band), Lion's Share, and again in 2000 by Jørn Lande with Ronni Le Tekrø on guitar and Sid Ringsby on bass.


In 1998, the first four City Boy albums were reissued in two double-CD sets by Renaissance Records. In 2004, Renaissance Records reissued the compilation album ''Anthology''. In 2008, City Boy's first six albums were reissued on CD, for the first time as individual releases, by Renaissance Records. They also re-released the compilation album ''Anthology'', with new cover art. In October 2009, Renaissance Records released City Boy's seventh and final studio album, ''It's Personal'' (1981), for the very first time on CD. In 2015, Cherry Red Records, Cherry Red's Lemon Recordings reissued the first four albums, again in two double-CD sets, this time remastered from the original master tapes with added bonus tracks and new liner notes.


External links

* - Unofficial fansite

Detailed discography
* [ Allmusic Guide] * *
Radio interview with the band's lead guitarist Mike Slamer about his time with City Boy (August 2006)

Chris Dunn's interview #190 with Jon Lamoreaux for The Hustle Podcast
*Steve Lunt's interview with Robin Val
*The Song Machine: Inside The Hit Factory by John Seabrook, W.W. Norton & Company Publishers {{Authority control English progressive rock groups British soft rock music groups Musical groups established in 1974 Musical groups disestablished in 1982 Musical groups from Birmingham, West Midlands Progressive pop musicians Mercury Records artists Vertigo Records artists Atlantic Records artists