When their single "Another Lover" hit the American charts, Giant Steps joined the growing list of British acts that have found success across the Atlantic before gaining popularity at home.
"I don't know why it's happening, but it probably has something to do with the quality of the songs," said George McFarlane, one-half of the duo Giant Steps."If you look at the songs that have been successful in America, they are very good. I think the American market is more about songs. The British charts are more gimmicky. They just tend to latch onto trends."
In the past, Americans have accepted only the cream of the British charts. U2 and George Michael were successful years before the United States took notice.
But American record companies are now taking chances on previously unsuccessful British bands, turning them into American pop stars and exporting them back for re-release in Britain.
The situation also occurred with Breathe's single, "Hands to Heaven." After failing in Britain, it was released in the United States, where it stayed in Billboard's Top 10 for several weeks. Subsequently re-released in Britain, its American success pushed it into the Top 20. A few weeks later, the Escape Club topped the charts with "Wild, Wild West." It is now moving up the British charts, as is Giant Steps' peppy dance single, "Another Lover."
"Already, we are noticing a better reaction to the record this time around," McFarlane said. "It's getting more air play, and the general vibe is a bit better - all because it was a hit in America."
McFarlane and partner Colin Campsie recorded their album, "The Book of Pride," in Los Angeles with American producers, which may explain the record's American appeal. They began working with an American producer last year, but he was too busy to devote enough time to them.
"In the end, we just got fed up, so we sacked him," said McFarlane. "It caused problems because our record company said, `You just can't come to L.A. and sack your producer.' We said, `Well, we have, so goodbye.' "
Their insouciance clearly did them no harm, because they returned to Los Angeles in the fall and started work with songwriter-producer Gardner Cole, who wrote Madonna's hit, "Open Your Heart."
Cole co-wrote their hit, "Another Lover," and helped with their next single, "Into You."