Originally known simply as The Bandwagon, they were formed in 1967 and featured Artie Fullilove, Billy Bradley, Terry Lewis and lead singer Johnny Johnson (born Johnny Mathis, 20 July 1942, Florida, raised in Rochester, New York).
They had their first major UK hit in October 1968 with "Breakin' Down the Walls of Heartache", written by Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, on the Direction label, part of CBS, which reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart.
In 1969 the group disbanded, and all subsequent releases were billed as Johnny Johnson and His Bandwagon. In effect, the act was basically Johnson plus additional vocalists, who were hired for recording, touring and TV performances. Because they had been so much more successful in Britain and Europe, they based themselves in London, with songwriter Tony Macaulay being primarily responsible for the next stage of their career. They had top ten hits with "Sweet Inspiration" (1970), and "(Blame It) On The Pony Express" (1970). The latter track was written by Macaulay, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway.
Their recording career continued through the 1970s, with a 1971 LP Soul Survivor, produced by Macaulay, as well as subsequent, less successful singles that year including "Sally Put Your Red Shoes On" and a cover version of the Bob Dylan song, "Mr Tambourine Man", on the Bell label.
They left Bell, for further singles including "Honey Bee" (1972), on Stateside Records, and "Music to My Heart" (1975), on Epic Records, written and produced by Biddu.
Their early hits are still revered as Northern soul classics, as they espoused a more commercial pop-soul style similar in sound to that of early Tamla Motown, as opposed to the more funky progressive style favoured by contemporaries like Sly and the Family Stone and The Isley Brothers
"Breakin' Down the Walls of Heartache" enjoyed a new lease of life in 1980, when covered by Dexys Midnight Runners on the b-side of "Geno", and as an album track in 1981 on a solo album by Bram Tchaikovsky, formerly of The Motors. It was also popular in UK soul clubs, during the early 1980s.
The Bandwagon - Breakin' Down The Walls Of Heartache / Dancin' Master
U.K. Direction 58-3670
The vinyl record has remained in excellent condition.
Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.
Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.