Fiat Lux — from the Latin for “let there be light” – were originally a synth-pop band that shone for a brief period in the ’80s. Formed in 1982 and hailing from Wakefield in Yorkshire, England, they pioneered a unique sonic stamp, the influence of which is still felt today. Their pioneering blend was full of lush synthesizer textures, acoustic and electric keyboards, and studio effects – all anchored by Steve Wright’s emotive vocals. Multi-instrumentalist David Crickmore provided guitar, bass, and keys, and Ian Nelson (brother of Be-Bop Deluxe guitarist/vocalist Bill Nelson) contributed saxophone and keys. The trio released one single – “Feels Like Winter Again” on the Cocteau label – before soon choosing to sign to Polydor. There, they delivered five singles from August 1983 to January 1985; landed several U.K. TV and radio appearances; opened for Howard Jones, Thomas Dolby, and John Cale; and had two minor hits (“Secrets” and “Blue Emotion”) before calling it quits. Their full-length album debut remained shelved… until now.
In April this year, Fiat Lux’s lone ’80s “mini-album,” Hired History, was expanded and reissued by Cherry Red Records. Originally only six tracks long, Cherry Red’s Hired History Plus adds a further 12 bonus tracks, including their early Bill Nelson-produced sides (some of which were re-recorded with Hugh Jones at the console), non-album singles and 12″ versions from the Polydor era, alternate mixes, and other unreleased rarities. Most surprisingly, the second disc contains that lost full-length album. Entitled Ark of Embers, it’s been painstakingly reconstructed and presented as the band had intended more than thirty years ago.