Unbelievable – EMF

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………………on July 20th of 1991 “Unbelievable” by EMF tops Billboards Hot 100 Singles Chart. EMF was led by their guitarist Ian Dench, who is also their primary songwriter, although the entire band was credited on this track. Dench was in a band called Apple Mosaic, who had a contract with Virgin Records but little impact. He formed EMF with some spirited young musicians from around England, and their first album, Schubert Dip, placed four songs in the UK Top 40, with “Unbelievable” peaking at #3 in November 1990. Six months later, the song broke out in America, where its quirky charm was embraced by pop radio and dance clubs looking for a new sound. Their US success was short lived, as they did little promotion in the country (their mainman Dench didn’t even join them for their tour of the States in the summer of 1991), and after the #18 charting song “Lies,” they weren’t heard from Stateside again. The band members who did come to America apparently had a pretty good time; their keyboard player Derry Brownson and bass player Zac Foley were just 20 years old, and their hedonism on tour was a common topic in interviews. The band’s follow-up album Stigma was a more somber affair, but did produce two more UK Top 40 hits. The band charted nine times in the UK Top 40 by 1995. On their only American tour, EMF played this multiple times at every show. It was the only song most of the audience had heard of. Tom Jones played this at some of his live shows, to the delight of the band. Jones performed the song with EMF on a British TV show where he told them about how he sang it in Vegas. According to the band, Jones got them really drunk that night.