Once Upon a Time in the Top Spot: Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy”

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Once Upon a Time in the Top Spot: Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy”

32 years ago today, a band with a name that sounded like baby talk earned their one and only #1 hit in the UK, although – and this may surprise those of you in the US – it was actually only one of their three top-10 hits on the British charts.

During the early ‘80s, when MTV was still relatively new and it seemed like any British pop group could score a hit if they were either cute, had a cool video, or – better yet – both, Kajagoogoo’s “Too Shy” was as much of a staple as anything else on the network, thanks in no small part to the feathered-hair heartthrob known as Limahl.

That’s not to say that the other boys in the band (Nick Beggs, Steve Askew, Stuart Croxford Neale, and Jez Strode) didn’t have their merits as well, but the frontman tends to have the advantage, and Limahl certainly made the most of his position…like, to the point where he ended up being fired from the band. As Beggs later explained, “He wanted the band to go in a different direction to the rest of us; eventually, we realized we were on a different planet to Limahl.”

Still, before Limahl left, Kajagoogoo managed to take “Too Shy” to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and in the UK, the band scored a #7 hit with “Ooh to be Ah” and a #13 hit with “Hang on Now,” with the latter also earning minor chart success in the States. (It only hit #78, though, which is why you probably don’t remember it.) And even after Limahl left, Kajagoogoo managed to score one more top-10 hit in the UK, with “Big Apple,” the first single from their sophomore effort, Islands, hitting #8. Lest we forget, Limahl was also able to eke out his own hit single in the States, thanks to the theme song to the film The Never Ending Story, which – and here’s another one you’ve probably forgotten – actually came on the heels of his first solo entry on the Hot 100, “Only for Love.”

To celebrate the anniversary of his unforgettable #1 UK hit and to help you remember the Kajagoogoo songs that you have forgotten, we’ve put together a playlist to spotlight 30 songs by the group – and, yes, by Limahl, too – from the beginning all the way up through the present…or at least through 2011, which is when Limahl released his solo single entitled “1983.” Say, do you think it’s a coincidence that the single shares its title with the year he first found chart success? Yeah, neither do we, but it’s still a pretty decent track.