In one part of the world, Seona Dancing's "More to Lose" became an '80s anthem as ubiquitous as Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," but with the eternal hipster cool of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Its opening piano riff -- conveying the sound of falling teardrops -- became the soundtrack of countless high-school dances in Manila, Philippines during the '80s and even beyond.
The British band probably would've never made it into any history book outside of the Philippines if its former lead singer hadn't become an award-winning TV star. Seona Dancing formed in Reading, England in the early '80s with vocalist Ricky Gervais and keyboardist Bill Macrae. Inspired by the New Romantic sounds of Japan and Ultravox, Seona Dancing recorded two singles for London Records that failed to break into the U.K. Top 40. Released in 1983, "More to Lose" and "Bitter Heart" may have been flops in England, but they found new life in the Philippines two years later. It all began in 1985, when the New Wave-leaning pop station DWRT-FM in Manila started spinning a dreamy ballad called "Fade," by Medium. The song title and artist name were completely bogus, created so that their competitors wouldn't be able to find the record and play it themselves; a station I.D. was even inserted midway through the track, making it impossible for other DJs to record it and spin it on their own stations. A year later, its true identity was revealed on Manila's now-legendary New Wave powerhouse DWXB-102: It was none other than Seona Dancing's "More to Lose." Ignored in the U.K., "More to Lose" became the theme song of angst-ridden New Wave youths in the Philippines in the '80s; with its brooding, Michael Hutchence-like vocals and jumpy percussion, it swept the clubs as well. Ironically, this was oblivious to the duo; when "More to Lose" started its rise to never-ending airplay on Manila FM stations in the mid-'80s, Seona Dancing wasn't even together anymore. The group's lack of success in their native land discouraged them from continuing. Gervais remained in the music industry only to manage Suede, and DJ on London's XFM. In 2004, Gervais won a Golden Globe for his role as David Brent in the BBC comedy The Office. ~ Michael Sutton