Fairground Attraction

Fairground Attraction was a British folk and soft rock band, best known for their hit song "Perfect" and the subsequent single "Find My Love". The band launched the careers of lead vocalist Eddi Reader and songwriter Mark E. Nevin.

Fairground Attraction
left to right: Reader, Dodds, Edwards, Nevin
Background information
OriginUnited Kingdom
GenresFolk, skiffle, soft rock
Years active1987–1990
LabelsRCA Records
Past membersEddi Reader
Mark E. Nevin
Simon Edwards
Roy Dodds


In 1987, RCA signed Fairground Attraction, and in April 1988 released their first single, "Perfect", an immediate success, reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart.[1] In May 1988, RCA released their album The First of a Million Kisses, a blend of folk, jazz, country, and cajun elements (with all but one of its songs written by Nevin). The album duplicated the success of "Perfect". After entering the UK Albums Chart at number three, and rising to number two, it was eventually certified platinum. RCA released three other singles from the album: "Find My Love" (which reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart), "A Smile in a Whisper", and "Clare".

At the 1989 BRIT Awards, "Perfect" won the award for Best British Single, and The First of a Million Kisses won the award for Best British Album.[1]

Although they were popular in European countries, and toured the United States, they found their main success outside the UK in Japan, where they toured in 1989 (a tour that produced their only live album, Kawasaki Live in Japan 02.07.89).

In September 1989, during the recording of their second album, Ay Fond Kiss, rumours of arguments circulated, and in January 1990 the band split up. RCA released the album in June, and one of its songs, a cover of Patsy Cline's 1957 country hit "Walkin' After Midnight", was their last single. The album was made up of B-sides and other material recorded alongside their first album (many being collaborations by just two band members). Nevin later recorded material intended for the second album with Brian Kennedy under the name Sweetmouth, and eight tracks subsequently appeared on Fairground Attraction's Kawasaki Live in Japan 02.07.89 album.

After the band's break-up, Eddi Reader continued to perform as a solo artist.[1] Mark E. Nevin worked with Morrissey, co-writing most of the Kill Uncle album,[2] and with Kirsty MacColl, before embarking on his own solo career, during which he made five albums.


  • Eddi Reader – vocals – born 29 August 1959, Glasgow, Scotland[1]
  • Mark E. Nevin – electric and acoustic guitars – born 13 August 1959, Ebbw Vale, Wales
  • Simon Edwards – guitarrón – born 29 April 1958, Hurley, England
  • Roy Dodds – drums – born 11 July 1951 [Bucks, England]

Awards and nominations

1988 Smash Hits Poll Winners Party Themselves Most Promising New Act Nominated
1989 Silver Clef Award Best Newcomer Won
Ivor Novello Awards "Perfect" Best Song Musically & Lyrically Nominated
BRIT Awards Best British Single Won
The First of a Million Kisses Best British Album Won


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
The First of a Million Kisses
  • Released: 16 May 1988
  • Label: RCA
2 9 17 57 13 38 29 19 6 18 137
Ay Fond Kiss
  • Released: 18 June 1990
  • Label: RCA
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Compilation albums

  • The Collection: Fairground Attraction, featuring Eddi Reader (1994)
  • Perfect: The Best of Fairground Attraction (1995)
  • The Very Best of Fairground Attraction, featuring Eddi Reader (1996)
  • The Masters (1997)
  • 80s Eternal Best: Fairground Attraction Best (1998)
  • The Best of Fairground Attraction (2004)

Live albums

  • Kawasaki Live in Japan 02.07.89 (2003)


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
1988 "Perfect" 1 1 19 4 5 1 5 4 2 5 80 The First of a Million Kisses
"Find My Love" 7 86 3 24 22 6 30 34
"A Smile in a Whisper" 75
1989 "Clare" 49
1990 "Walking After Midnight" 97 Ay Fond Kiss
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


  • The First of a Million Kisses (1990)
    Collection of music videos: "Perfect", "Find My Love", "A Smile in a Whisper", "Clare"
  • Live at Full House (1990)
    Live performances from German television show called Live at Full House:


  1. Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 448–9. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. "Morrissey : Kill Uncle". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  3. "UK Albums". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  4. "Australian Albums". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  5. "Austrian Albums". Austriancharts.at. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  6. "Canadian Albums" (PDF). Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  7. "Sisältää hitin: Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1961". Suomenlistalevyt.blogspot.co.uk (in Finnish). Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  8. "German Albums". Offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  9. "Dutch Albums". Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  10. "New Zealand Albums". Charts.nz. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  11. "Swedish Albums". Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  12. "Swiss Albums". Hitparade.ch.com. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  13. "US Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  14. "UK Singles". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  15. Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
  16. "Austrian Singles". Austriancharts.at. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  17. "Belgian Singles". Ultratop.be. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  18. "German Singles". Offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  19. "Irish Singles". Irishcharts.ie. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 2016-06-18.
  20. "Netherlands Singles". Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  21. "New Zealand Singles". Charts.nz. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  22. "Swedish Singles". Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  23. "Swiss Singles". Hitparade.ch. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  24. "US Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  25. "Swedish Single Certifications 1987-1998" (PDF). Ifpi.se. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
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