Joy is a 1980s Euro disco band from Austria, best known for the hits “Touch By Touch” and “Valerie”.
The band JOY was formed in Bad Aussee, an Austrian town of 5.000 citizens. Andy Schweitzer, Freddy Jaklitsch and Manfred Temmel (1984-2019) were school friends – and already as teenagers played in different amateur bands together; but after graduation they have chosen different careers. Andy became a policeman, Freddy started teaching German language and history at school, and Manfred was a popular DJ in Orion disco-club, in German city Traunreut.
Three friends met again in 1984, and decided to focus their joint efforts on a professional musical career. Quickly enough three young talents got a record deal – with an Austrian label OK Musica. The record company owners appointed Michael Scheickl (23.03.57) represented Austria as a leading force of due Mess duo at Eurovision song contest in 1982, where their track Sonntag reached to guide three young talents through all the curves and dangers of show-business.
JOY first single, Lost In Hong Kong (composed by Michael Scheickl – using a pseudonym M.Mell), was released in February 1985. It didn’t become a big hit, but the new band was mentioned in press. The next single Touch By Touch, released in September 1985 and composed by Schweitzer and Jaklitsch, immediately reached European Top 20 Dance Charts – and was Nr.1 in Austrian national chart. In Austria, Portugal and Spain more than 50.000 copies of Touch by touch have been sold – and the single reached golden status in these 3 countries.
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 world-wide popularity to the band with their albums sold in more than 30 countries. Even a track that has not been released as a single, Valerie became a hit it Eastern Europe: in USSR due to a flexi-single, released by Krugozor magazine- 1987, and in Hungary – so that a few years later local group Inflagranty recorded a cover-version entitled “Te meg en”.
Due to their positive melodies and non-political lyrics JOY became one of the few bands who played behind the iron curtain – in 1986 and 1987 they’ve performed in DDR, at the TV-show Ein Kessel buntes.
In the summer 1986 JOY returned to their studio to record a second album, which has been entitled Joy And Tears. The album release was anticipated by a single release – Japanese Girls. In Austrian charts that single was not higher than Nr.14 but this song made JOY extremely popular in Asia. In 1986 JOY have been voted the most popular international act in South Korea – even more popular than Madonna and Michael Jackson.
Their Asian tour, which took JOY in January and February 1987 to Bangkok, Hongkong, Singapore, Taiwan and Seoul, has been attended by more than 60,000 spectators. In Seoul, South Korea JOY have twice played for 12.000 people at the completely sold out Jamsil Olympic stadium and performed a taylored version of their hit Japanese Girls – which got a special title Korean Girls.
Immediately upon the end of their Asian tour JOY played a few concerts in USA, in California – in famous Shrine Auditorium an in San-Jose – mainly for chinese and vietnamese audience. A picture taken in San-Jose has later been used on a sleeve for “It happens tonight” single.
In summer 1987 JOY have played many gigs in different European countries – including Portugal (twice), Spain and Italy. In between the shows JOY have recorded a track called Destination Heartbeat, that became a sound-track for “Flucht in der Tod” film.
Further in 1987 OK-Musica released a compilation – Best of JOY. To mark an arrival of the digital era, the compilation has been released on a new then sound-carrier – compact disc.
In 1988 keyboarder and co-writer, Andy Schweitzer, has parted ways with Fred Jaklitsch and Manfred Temmel. After obtaining a permission to use the original band name, he invited a vocalist Anzo (Hans Morawitz) – and recorded an album entitled Joy, which has been released by Polydor. Unfortunately neither the album itself, nor the singles (Kissin’ like friends, She’s dancing alone, Born to sing a love song) have made it to the charts.
In 1994 two members of the original line-up, Freddy Jaklitsch and Manfred Temmel, signed a record deal with BMG and released a new single – Hello, Mrs. Johnson. Shortly after they’ve invited a new keyboarder, Johannes Groebl (30.01.60), and released one more single – Felicidad – in 1995. In 1996 the album Full of Joy was recorded and ready for release at BMG. The track-list, containing 12 tracks, has been finalized – and the promo-materials have been printed; however BMG made a decision not to release the album.
In 1997 Freddy Jaklitsch and Manfred Temmel have created a band called Seer, which later became one of the most successful projects on the Austrian national music scene ever. However in 2008 Manfred Temmel left Seer.
In June 1997 JOY performed in Gorky Park (Moscow), at the Dancing city open air festival.
On November 29, 2002 JOY took part in the first “Disco 80” festival, organized by one of the most popular radio stations in Russia – Avtoradio. The festival took place in Luzhniki Palace of Sports .
In 2010 all the 3 members of original line-up decided to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their first success by a reunion. On October 30, 2010 JOY performed at “Legends of Retro FM” festival in Moscow; in November 2010 a maxi-CD with 4 new versions of JOY main hit, Touch by touch, came to light.
On July 1, 2011, JOY have released a new album entitled Enjoy. It contained 10 brand new tracks, as well as the new versions of such hits as Touch by touch and Valerie. All the backing vocals have been again recorded by Michael Scheickl. The album was released in Austria by the label Major Babies, and reached 21st position in Austrian national chart. In September 2011 the album has been released in Russia by a label CD-Land, and in Hungary – distributed by Hargent Media.
On the 15th of July 2011 JOY performed in Estonia, at Viljandi Retro Fest for more than 9 000 thousands viewers from Estonia and Latvia.
In November 2011 JOY performed in Moscow once more – at Disco 80 festival. This time festival took place in Olympic Stadium in Moscow.
In June 2019 Leo Bei becomes new member of Joy.
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