A leading proponent of the "quiet pop" movement of the early 1980s, the Pale Fountains formed in Liverpool, England in 1981. Led by singer/songwriter and guitarist Michael Head, the group - which also included bassist Chris McCaffrey, drummer Thomas Whelan and former Dislocation Dance trumpeter Andy Diagram - debuted in 1982 on the Operation Twlight label with the single "(There's Always) Something on My Mind," which generated such a posititve buzz that they were immediately signed by Virgin for the then-staggering sum of 150,000 pounds. However, their label debut, the lavish "Thank You," failed to crack the U.K. Top 40, despite a heavy promotional push.

After an intense year in the studio, the Pale Fountains' first LP, the bossa nova-inflected Pacific Street, finally appeared in 1984; after such a relatively long absence from the limelight, the group had lost its status as media darlings, and the record fared poorly. Producer Ian Broudie was brought in to helm 1985's ...from across the kitchen table, but again success was not forthcoming; in the wake of considerable acrimony amongst the band and their label, the Pale Fountains soon split, with Head returning to Liverpool to form Shack with his brother John. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide