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Right Said Fred was comprised of the buff brothers Richard and Fred Fairbrass, and a guitarist named Rob Manzoli. The Fairbrass Brothers were managers at a London dance studio called the Dance Attic, where they came across lots of narcissism and posing. As Rich Fairbrass tells it, they had a loop playing on the computer when inspired by his dance studio experience, he suddenly started singing, "I'm too sexy for my shirt." The guys thought it was hilarious and worked up the song around the phrase. A demo of the song found its way to the ears of a music promoter named Guy Holmes, who contacted the band, had them remix the song into a dance track (it was originally a rocker), and shopped it to record labels. Holmes had no takers so he set up his own label, Tug Records, and released the song, which became a huge hit once the BBC started playing it.
Holmes went on to a very successful career as a record mogul, promoting Salt-n-Pepa and bringing Crazy Frog to the masses. Speaking to The Independent about the first time he heard "I'm Too Sexy," Holmes said: "I heard that coming back from a night out with this very cute girl I fancied - who didn't fancy me unfortunately. She was sitting drunk on the back seat and said she managed a band. She put the cassette in and there was I'm Too Sexy, an awful rock demo version. It was clear it would make a great dance record though. Radio 1 loved it but no major would touch it. I thought bollocks to them and put it out myself - it sold six million singles and five million albums."
After they couldn't get much interest from record companies, promoter Guy Holmes released this on his own label, Tug Records. It became a huge hit when the BBC started playing it.
This was a #1 hit in 28 countries, but not in Right Said Fred's homeland of England. The song was held off the UK #1 spot for six weeks by (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
's unflinching stranglehold on the summit. At first Right Said Fred's Richard Fairbrass didn't care too much about the stand-off. "The newspapers tried to make it sound as though we hated Bryan Adams," he claimed. "But, by the time Sexy had dropped out of the charts, I started getting really irritated with him."
Right Said Fred, also known as *R*S*F, never had another hit in the US, where their one hit was one of the biggest for any *O*H*W, spending 3 weeks on top and becoming the first British group since The Beatles to top the chart with their debut single. In the UK, they had three more big hits: "Don't Talk Just Kiss" (#3, with Jocelyn Brown), "Deeply Dippy" (#1), and "Stick It out."
The group started of as a serious Rock act, but when this song took off, the Fairbrass brothers took on the personas of the character in this song, dressing the part and preening appropriately. The group quickly became a dance music/novelty act.
The group is named after the 1962 novelty song "Right, Said Fred
" by Bernard Cribbins, who was a popular entertainer in England.
In 2012, this was used in commercials for fruit fusion flavored Pop Tarts.
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