Number 5: The Fixx, Reach the Beach
Reach the Beach was The Fixx' second album and was released on May 13th, 1983. The album produced three singles, "One Things Leads to Another," "Saved by Zero," and "The Sign of Fire." The first song listed there is probably The Fixx' most well-known song, and while it is quite good it is also not their best song.
The Fixx were a bit different. While they did have a synthesizer, the were much more driven by a guitar and their songs were often full of space and slightly eerie sounds. "Saved by Zero" would never make it onto the radio today, but somehow did in 1983. It's has a very basic sound on first listen but is deceptively complex, especially lyrically. The song is about reflecting on oneself when one has nothing else to do lose.
Like many of the bands in New Wave, The Fixx were reactionary to the fear that the Cold War era held. Most of their parents had lived through World War II, yet there almost seemed to be the threat of nuclear war breaking out between Russia and the West. This is one reason Reach the Beach sounds so bleak at times.
Still, there is something about The Fixx's sound that sounded different from other bands then and still seems unique. While the albums that followed for The Fixx weren't bad, they did sound a bit more metallic and the songs were not as consistently tight. Reach the Beach may not be one that you blare at the beach itself, but it is a must-play on a cool night while driving to the ocean to look out over the water.