Peter Gabriel was responsible for bringing the synth pop outfit Vivabeat to the new wave forefront in late 1979. They combined elements of new romanticism and glam rock for an ambience quite similar to the likes of Roxy Music, Alphaville, and Visage. The band, which consisted of Mick Muhlfriedel, Terrance Robay, Consuelo Desilva, Doug Orilio, Alec Murphy, and Marina Del Ray, were also the first group to be signed to Charisma Records. They issued Party in the War Zone in 1980 and the single Man From China sparked success for the band overseas, mostly in dance clubs in Europe. By 1982, however, other sorts of work entailed more responsibility for other band members. Robay began his flirtation with films and newcomers Cindy Hope, Peggy McClelland, and Rob Dean joined the group. Vivabeat's second effort The House Is Burning (But There's No One Home was released and tours with Depeche Mode, Gang of Four, and the Human League followed. But other passions and interests plagued the group. Robay departed by 1984 for a career in acting, whereas Dean joined the Gary Numan band. Name changes also riddled them: Muhlfriedel opted for See Jane Run or Neko Maka, for the underlying musical swagger of Vivabeat could no longer be possible without the songwriting of Terrance Robay. See Jane Run was the moniker of choice and a new sound resembling a dramatic B-52's and ABC was now part of the image.
Vivabeat couldn't stand the test of time to outlast contractual pressures and expectations. Muhlfriedel left the band by the end of the decade, also pursuing a career in film documentaries. The new millennium did recognize the work of the band, paying tribute to Vivabeat with the release of the greatest hits collection The Good Life: 1979 - 1986, issued on Permanent Press Recordings in early 2001. ~ MacKenzie Wilson