She bought her first albums in Japan, one by Carole King, the other by Pink Floyd, but her first taste of the music business came when she replied to an advertisement; she ended up joining a girl singing trio called Lady Luck, the "star" of which was a somewhat older woman who was married to the group's manager. This sort of banality was clearly not for her, and she ended up playing the London pub circuit during the punk era, though in spite of her healthy anarchic outlook on life, it would be wrong to pigeonhole her as a punk rocker.
She was "discovered" at a club called the Nashville, and at the audition for Breaking Glass
she faced stiff competition, including from Toyah Wilcox. If the producers had been au fait
with her fly-by-night track record it is doubtful she would have got the part, and the world of music would have been all the poorer for it. The rest is history. Having been chosen for the lead, she also got the job of writing the soundtrack. And this relatively inexperienced, free-spirited young woman produced a masterpiece.
The film was a monster hit, and also transformed her life; in her own words, it "took me from sleeping bags on beaches to five-star hotels, and my first home with a proper bathroom". The film's heroine, Kate, could have been her alter ego
, and the songs reflect this.
Although her musical output was far from prolific over the next two decades and more, she was hardly idle, developing her acting career, especially in the theatre.
She has produced some fine material since her film debut, but it was a difficult act to follow, and her hauntingly beautiful ballad "Will You?" will probably be judged by future musicologists to be her finest composition.
Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above