JOY at Retro FM festival in Moscow, 2010
|Origin||Bad Aussee, Austria|
|Genres||Pop, Euro disco, Europop|
|Labels||OK-Musica, BMG, Major Babies|
Joy is an Austrian pop band, best known for the hits "Touch By Touch" and "Valerie".
The band was formed in Bad Aussee, Austria. Andy Schweitzer (born 26 February 1960), Freddy Jaklitsch (born 22 January 1960) and Manfred Temmel (born 25 February 1959) met during High School. At that time, they played in different amateur bands together. But, after graduation, they pursued into different careers: Andy was a policeman, Freddy taught German language and history at school, and Manfred was a popular DJ in Orion disco club in Traunreut, Germany.
They met again in 1984, and decided to focus their joint efforts on a professional musical career. Quickly enough, they got a record deal with an Austrian label OK Musica. The record owners appointed Michael Scheickl (who was part of Mess at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1982, where their track "Sonntag" reached #10) as the band's producer.
Their first single, "Lost In Hong Kong" (composed by Michael Scheickl, under M. Mell), was released in February 1985. Despite becoming a minor hit, the band began to gain attention.
The next single "Touch By Touch", composed by Schweitzer and Jaklitsch, was released in September 1985. It immediately reached European Top 20 Dance Charts, and topped the Austrian national chart. It even reached Gold status in their native Austria, Portugal and Spain, wherein more than 50,000 copies were sold.
Their third single, "Hello", also composed by Michael Scheickl, again became a hit - and reached 26th position in Austrian national chart. The first album - also entitled Hello - immediately entered Austrian national chart, and charted in many European countries as well. That brought worldwide popularity to the band with their albums sold in more than 30 countries. "Valerie" became a hit it Eastern Europe, notably in USSR, where it reached No. 3 in the charts by Krugozor magazine in 1987. In Hungary, a few years later a local group Inflagranty recorded a cover version entitled "Te meg en". Since 1986, they began performing on various TV shows, such as the GDR-based TV-show de:Ein Kessel Buntes
In 1986, the trio recorded a second album Joy And Tears. The album included the single "Japanese Girls". It reached No. 14 in the Austrian national chart, and their popularity had reached Asia. In 1986, the trio won the most popular international act in South Korea.
Their Asian tour, which occurred on January and February 1987 in Bangkok, Hongkong, Singapore, Taiwan and Seoul, was attended by more than 60,000 spectators. In Seoul, South Korea, JOY twice played for 12,000 people at the sold out Jamsil Olympic Stadium, and performed a version of their hit "Japanese Girls", re-titled as "Korean Girls". Later on, they went on a mini tour in USA, notably at the Shrine Auditorium and in San-Jose - mainly for Chinese and Vietnamese-American audiences. A picture taken in San Jose was later used on a sleeve for the "It Happens Tonight" single.
In 1987, the trio went on a European tour, performing in Portugal (twice), Spain and Italy. In between shows, they recorded "Destination Heartbeat", which became a soundtrack for the Flucht in der Tod film. Also in 1987, OK-Musica released a compilation album, Best of JOY, on compact disc.
In 1988, Andy Schweitzer left the band and was replaced with Anzo (Hans Morawitz). They signed with Polydor Records & recorded their self-titled album, which includes the singles "Kissin' Like Friends", "She's Dancing Alone", & "Born To Sing a Love Song". However, the album & singles failed to chart.
In 1994, the duo signed with BMG Ariola and released a new single, "Hello, Mrs. Johnson". At this time, they began working on their 4th album, Full of Joy. The next year, Johannes Groebl (born 30 January 1960) joined the duo, and released another single, "Felicidad". Their album was slated for release in 1995. However, despite heavy promotion, BMG decided not to release the album. As a result, the album was shelved for good & the duo took a break.
In 1997, Jaklitsch and Temmel moved on to form Die Seer, which later became one of the more successful projects on the Austrian music scene. In 2008, Seer left the band.
In June 1997, the duo performed in Gorky Park (Moscow), at the 'Dancing City' open air festival.
On 29 November 2002, the duo took part in the first Disco 80 festival, organized by one of the popular radio stations in Russia - Avtoradio. The festival took place in Luzhniki Palace of Sports.
In 2010, all three members of original line-up reunited to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their first success. On 10 October that year, the trio performed at Legends of Retro FM festival in Moscow.
In July 2011, the trio released Enjoy, their 1st album in more than 2 decades. It contained new songs, as well as remakes of such hits as "Touch By Touch" and "Valerie". The album was released in Austria by the label Major Babies, and reached No. 21 in Austrian national chart. In September 2011 the album was released in Russia on the CD-Land label, and in Hungary - distributed by Hargent Media.
On 15 July 2011, the trio performed in Estonia, at the Viljandi Retro Fest for more than seven thousand viewers from Estonia and Latvia. In November 2011, JOY performed in Moscow once more - at the Disco 80 festival. This time the festival took place in the Olympic Stadium in Moscow.
Since May 2012, Freddy Jaklitsch, due to his responsibilities as a leader of the popular band Die Seer, has performed with JOY less often. Michael Scheickl has become JOY's lead vocalist for live shows.