Right Said Fred are one of the UK’s most enduring and pop exports. Despite being known for their 90s hit ‘I’m Too Sexy’, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Taylor Swift have a connection to the band as well.
Formed in 1989 by brothers Fred and Richard Fairbrass, the pair have achieved over 22 million sales globally, have reached number one in 30 countries, and were the first band to achieve a number one in the US with a debut single.
The multi-platinum brothers went on to win two Ivor Novello Awards for their hits ‘I’m Too Sexy’ (1991) and ‘Deeply Dippy’ (1992), release nine albums, share stages with big names all over the world, achieve a Brit award nomination, play in front of the Queen and release a track for Comic Relief. Their success is global, having reached fans all over the UK, Europe, the US, and beyond and it all started in a basement studio in Acton, London.
Back in 1990, Fred and Richard, together with guitarist Rob Manzoli, wrote ‘I’m Too Sexy’. Fred and Richard borrowed the money to demo the song and to keep the costs down they recorded at night in a studio in Ealing that had gone into receivership. The final session was at Red Bus Studios in London in early 1991. ‘I’m Too Sexy’ along with the song ‘Swan’, which also made it onto their debut album ‘Up’ was rejected by every record label the guys took it to. However, they followed their instincts nevertheless – they knew they were onto something special.
Opening with Richard’s vocals only with the (now) iconic lines, “I’m Too Sexy for my love, too sexy for my love, love’s going to leave me”, the single stood apart from the bland, insipid chart toppers of that year. ‘I’m Too Sexy’ was tongue-in-cheek, it was fun, and it brimmed with the band’s independent spirit, and the band were certainly not interested in following the trends at the time. Fred remembers the passion they had for the track at the time: “We knew we had recorded something new and very different, we just didn’t know how successful it would prove to be”