King were a British New Wave pop band of the mid-eighties from Coventry. Their name comes from the surname of lead singer Paul King.

The band were formed from the remnants of Coventry rock-ska band The Reluctant Stereotypes plus producer Paul Sampson. Riding on the back of the Two Tone wave, they had two UK Top 10 albums on CBS. both produced and mixed by Richard James Burgess, and two UK Top 10 singles.

After the demise of The Reluctant Stereotypes, singer Paul King formed The Raw Screens, who perfected their act and style to what Paul and his manager Perry Haines called ‘Multi Tone,’ as opposed to ‘Two Tone’, and then, in 1983, relaunched the group as self-named Eighties band King.

As lead singer, Paul King was famed for his ‘cockatoo’ haircut and spray painted Doc Marten’s Boots – a look described “like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But, hell, the girls loved him;” while Burgess produced and drummed on most of the band’s songs.

The band released two UK Top 10 albums on CBS both produced and mixed by Burgess, who also played drums on most of the debut work Steps in Time (the second LP, which was entitled Bitter Sweet, saw instead Adrian Lillywhite on drums). The CBS albums were both certified Gold and produced five hit singles, the most successful being the UK Number 2 hit Love & Pride.

King as a band lasted just a couple of years, from 1984 to 1986, then Paul King went solo with an unlucky album titled Joy, produced by American producer Dan Hartman. After that, he briefly worked as a VJ for MTV. From 1988 to present, though, his TV appearances became increasingly infrequent.

In 1998, a collection was eventually out, entitled The Best of King – Love & Pride, with 18 tracks, featuring the band’s greatest hits and stand-out tracks, including Paul King’s one minor solo hit, I Know. Besides the popular «Breaker Heart Mix» of The Taste of Your Tears (an extended version which already featured on the first tape edition of Bitter Sweet), and classic remixes of “Love & Pride” and “Won’t You Hold My Hand Now”, the compilation also includes three non-album tracks: Don’t Stop (bonus track on the re-release of the Steps in Time MC), Crazy Party and Groovin’ with the Kings.



Paul King: Vocals
Mick Roberts: keyboards
Anthony “Tony” Wall: bass guitar
Jim “Jackal” Lantsbery: guitar
John Hewitt drums


Steps in Time (1984) – King
Bitter Sweet (1985) – King
Joy (1987) – Paul King solo
The Best of King – Love & Pride (1998) – King & Paul King collection

KING - Love & Pride

King - Love & Pride
King - Love & Pride (Body & Soul Mix)
King - Love & Pride (Dub)
King - Love & Pride (Extended Mix)