Peter Cox has been in the public eye for over 25 years now as both Lead Singer of Go West and as a Solo Artist. Few people who haven’t lived in a cupboard for the last 25 years can have avoided some of Go Wests biggest hits such as the anthemic King Of Wishful Thinking from the Soundtrack to Pretty Woman or their first single We Close Our Eyes which introduced Pete to the British public in the Summer of 1985. However Peter Cox himself whilst being well known its probably fair to say that many of his fans know relatively little about this quiet and very private man: what should be known is that in this age of manufactured Boy Bands Peter Cox has forged a career based on a natural talent combined with a tough apprenticeship in the music industry. His career has not always been easy but he is not just a survivor in this most fickle of trades but a man who continues to push himself forward and excel…this is a small piece of Petes story.
Peter John Cox was born on 17th November in Kingston, Surrey. The young Londoner’s talent for singing was spotted from an early age; leading to a place in the Prestigous Chapel Royal Choir and starting a lifelong commitment to his art. At age 18 Pete was already in his first band ‘BODIE’ and it was while working the local circuit with Bodie that he had the fateful first meeting with Richard Drummie. After reading a review of Richards band ‘Free Agent’ in the local paper Pete went along and listened in to a rehearsal, the guys swapped tapes of each others work and once Rick had heard as he put it ‘that voice’ the partnership that has delighted audiences across the world for over 20 years was born.
Fame didn’t land on a plate for Pete and especially in the early years of his partnership with Rick his commitment to his career must have been sorely tested. A period in a Covers Band singing as Pete put it ‘Three Times a Lady Four times a Night’ enabled the young singer to keep going but was a hard apprenticeship at the less glam end of the music business. In those times Pete and Rick would meet at weekends to listen to new artists and decide how to take their partnership forward. By 1980 they were writing together and after a Demo of their early work was taken to ATV Music the guys were offered a publishing deal: it was the first step and at last Cox and Drummie; although not yet Go West were on their way.
Pete Cox and Richard Drummie are undoubtedly one of the most talented song writing duos to emerge from the UK in the last 30 years but it seems almost absurd in this age of manufactured Boy Bands to recall that from 1980 to 1983 the guys were rejected by almost every major record company. Were it not for their determination the world might never have had the chance to see any more of Pete then a name on the credits of another artists CD. Peter Cox however has never been an artist to let events determine his fate and in a move that was to finally shake the Music Industry out of its complacency the writing duo called in some favours, went into a Portastudio and recorded two of the songs they had recently written; for those who have lived in a broom cupboard for the last 20 years those songs were We Close Our Eyes and Call Me. The guys efforts finally paid off and forty days later they were signed to Chrysalis: Go West was born.
It was the summer of 1985 when Go West and Pete really shot to the attention of the British record buying public; their first single was We Close Our Eyes and in the video a true Pop idol was born. Pete modestly described the video where he works out with a spanner in vest and jeans as having ‘worked my scrawny muscles to the max’, well it was a hugely successful work out that transformed the modest lead singer into a pop pin-up overnight. The guys hit No 5 in the UK charts and followed up rapidly with Call Me which again portrayed the 6ft 1 singer as a leather jacketed macho man. It was an image that undoubtedly helped to sell the boys but Pete is a singer of enormous range who is capable of expressing great emotion in his voice: the image had to change if the public were to really enjoy Pete’s talent and it was a hugely welcome move forward for Go West when the Goodbye Girl video released and at last we saw the Pete Cox who we all still recognise; smartly dressed, soulful and with that stunning voice imparting far more of the heartache and conflict in the lyrics of Go Wests first ballad then a smart video could ever manage.
1985 and 1986 were enormous for the guys and when they picked up Best Newcomer at the Brits it really summed up the huge impact the guys had had in their first year. Throughout that manic period Pete retained the self depreciating humour and modesty that his fans so respect him for. There was something deeply endearing about watching interview after interview with Pete looking stunning and holding the audience captivated, yet still shyly dismissing talk of himself as a sex symbol and simply asking to be judged on his music. It must be tough for a shy guy to find himself at the centre of such a furore but Pete never displayed irritation with the attention he received and already was developing a reputation for being the ultimate gentleman with his fans. Go West’s first album went double Platinum and stayed in the chart for over a year and with that success Pete was recognised as one of the finest voices to emerge from the UK in recent years.
The success of Go West the Album led to the rapid release of their second album Bangs and Crashes which contained the wonderful Man in my Mirror and also One Way Street from the Rocky5 Soundtrack. For most of Pete’s fans however the next major milestone was 1990 when Pete and Rick re-located to LA to work on the divine album Indian Summer. Indian Summer really lived up to the boys reputation as ‘Modern Motown’. Pete loved the move to the States and Indian Summer showcased both his voice and indeed his looks to a whole new audience. The King of Wishful Thinking was of course an enormous hit and the sight of Pete in a white vest playing the drums still sets a considerable number of pulses racing!. Both The King of Wishful Thinking and Faithful won ASCAP awards for being amongst the most played tracks on US Radio and both were top 10 hits for the boys both sides of the Atlantic.
It was perhaps inevitable in some way that after by now 13 years of writing together and 7 years of high intensity performing as a duo that when Indian Summer was complete and Rick headed back to the UK that Pete felt artistically his career demanded that he stay in the US and work on his own brand of solo music. Rick went back to a hugely successful career as a writer and producer of great note and Pete was free to express his own individual style through his self titled Album Peter Cox; released to great acclaim in 1997.
Pete’s first solo album saw several notable hits: the best known and still hugely loved by his fans was the outstanding ‘Aint Gonna Cry’ The video was breathtaking and it felt watching it as if Pete had finally become comfortable with his fame; he looked amazing with close cropped hair and smart suit belting out this gorgeous song of betrayal and inner strength. ‘Peter Cox’ the album really allowed Pete to express his personal tastes and it remains a stunning collection of songs that would grace any serious music fans collection. Pete worked initially in LA where he was able to indulge his passion for NBA Basketball in the home town of his team the LA Lakers and then moved to Chicago For such a shy and un-clubbable man however the pressure of fronting all the interviews and promo work for his album evidently weighed heavy on him and despite an ongoing love of the US lifestyle not everything about life in the US has been easy for Pete.
The TV show Reborn in the USA aired in 2003 offered Pete’s UK fans a wonderful chance to re-connect with their hero. Pete joined the reality show late and simply took the show by storm. Best of all Reborn in the USA was rapidly followed by Peter and Richard Drummie deciding to work together once again as Go West. The Guys threw themselves back into Go West with an enthusiasm born of a shared love of performing and have been working constantly and thrilling their fans ever since.The last couple of years have been heaven for any Peter Cox fan. Go West are back to their best and selling out venues across the country : Peter and Richard are also writing together once again and the new Go West album 'futurenow' is on general sale and is rightfully being described as Go West at their very best; futurenow is set to take its place as a true classic and should not be missed by anyone who appreciates Peter's inimitable voice. Tracks from futurenow such as Let Love Come and Man on Fire are already firmly established as favourites at live shows and will continue to be in constand demand in the future.
Pete has continued to work on his solo career and his third Album 'Motor City Music' a collection of gorgeous Motown tracks is a definate hit with Pete's fans. Peter's gorgeous renditions of Motown classics such as 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone' and 'My Girl' are simply unmissable and proof that Pete still has one of the finest voices in the Music Industry. Motor City Music is the latest addition to Petes already enviable Discography which contains the simply gorgeous 2004 Album Desert Blooms alongside his first Solo Album the self titled ‘Peter Cox’. Both these albums are still on sale and are a must have for anyone who enjoys intelligent lyrics and the kind of soulful and passionate vocals that Pete so expertly delivers. Pete's mix of Motown, Soul and intelligent Pop remains as attractive as ever and one cannot help but feel that the freedom of expression his solo catalogue offers only strengthens the ongoing partnership that is Go West.
The writing partnership of Cox and Drummie is certainly as strong as it has ever been. In 2008 Go West released 'futurenow' the first new album since the incomporable Indian Summer. With brand new songs including the powerful 'Man on Fire', the haunting 'Faded' and the first single from the album 'Let Love Come' among the offerings there is no doubt that futurenow represents some of the best work of the Bands' already distinguished career. Futurenow is a deserved favourite with Go West fans and many of the songs from the album are now established as staples of any live Go West show.
In the Spring of 2009 Peter and Richard undertook the hugely successful Go West 'By Request' Tour which gave fans the unique opportunity to request their personal choice of Go West track and ask Pete and Rick to sing it live for them at the show. The tour played to enthusiastic audiences across the UK and perhaps best of all the crowds were treated to the first performances of 'Drive' the first song by the duo since futurenow. Drive has become a part of '3D' the three part album which is being released to celebrate the Guys 25th Anniversary in 2010. The first part of 3D is already on sale and Peter and Richard are continuing to write new material for the other EPs at this moment and parts 2 and 3 should go on sale in 2011. 3D was simply one part of the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Go West in 2010 and throughout the year Peter and Richard played to tens of thousands of fans with huge gigs at the Rewind Weekend, Summer shows and a Christmas Rewind Tour at Arenas around the UK. By the end of 2010 Go West had reached new fans and thrilled their faithful followers with as great a year of live performances as they have ever delivered in their career.
2010 saw the release of the fourth solo album of Peter's distinguished career. 'The S1 Sessions' is a remarkable collection of songs ranging from ballads to rock through country! All given that 'Peter Cox' effect with some remarkable vocal performances. The S1 Sessions is a worthy inclusion to Peter's discography and is on sale now.
All in all some great shows and new opportunities to reach old and new fans alike beckons for Peter over the coming 12 months. In 2011 Peter will continue to perform and write with Richard Drummie and gigs are already starting to be confirmed for later this year. These include two huge gigs at Rewind Scotland and for the third year in a row Rewind Henley, both shows that will see Go West thrilling tens of thousands of music fans. Some things don’t change however and the same shy grin and heartfelt appreciation of his audience remains unaltered; Pete has been quoted as saying that he cant imagine ever doing anything else but singing as he still loves his work; Thank God for that and long may we be lucky enough to continue to share that love with him.