Although not a major success in their own right, Colourbox were one of the most original dance acts of their time. Their best of compilation demonstrates not only were they influential but also extremely diverse. Kicking off with 'The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme' from 1986 they can claim to tbe the first band (ahead of New Order) for penning a credible football tune; admittedly it sounds a little tacky now but this instrumental is oddly infectious. 'Baby I Love You So' feature not only the Young brothers' love for Motown (courtesy of Lorita Grahame's vocal turn) but also their experimental side; the dub effects lending the single an original and not at all outdated feel. As is often the case they didn't receive the credit they deserved for their A. R. Kane collbaration as M/A/R/R/S with the peerless 'Pump Up The Volume'; a potent hybrid of samples, scratching, James Brown and Eric B and Rakim, it was a number 1 smash in the UK. Respect due too for an atypically understated instrumental piece called 'Philip Glass' which the minimalist arranger himself would have been proud. It didn't always work out right; for every instrumental as subtly good as 'Sleepwalker' there was a busy, over-produced, sample-heavy album track such as 'Just Give 'Em Whiskey' whose usage of Western films now sounds like one idea too many. Nevertheless dance is generally the most transient musical genre and Colourbox at their best have proved to be as influential as they initially promised.
Ian Robbins, who contributed songwriting duties to the 'Colourbox' album, had this to say in a recent E-mail to me:
"Strange that people still know of an insignificant pop group from 15 years+ ago.Pretty much agree with your comments on the album in question.In fact recently we sat round and listened to it for the first time in years (we had to to pick tracks for a forth coming compilation on 4ad-hope it never surfaces pop music is meant to be transient) .Did we laugh actually we cringed.Personally the earlier mini ep/lp sounds more current to me"