August 25, 1999 – Robert ‘Rob’ Fisher was born on November 5th 1959 in Cheltenham, England.
He attended Lord Wandsworth College in Hampshire, where he was a member of a band called Cirrus.
Fisher’s early bands were Whitewing (1975–1978) and the Xtians (1978), both during his time at the University of Bath. In 1979 he joined up with Pete Byrne to form Neon, whose first single “Making Waves/Me I See You” was released on their own 3D Music label. The band later went on to recruit Neil Taylor, Manny Elias, Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal, before they finally broke up in December 1981. In 1982, Fisher and Pete Byrne, who were key figures in the early days of synthpop, formed the duo Naked Eyes, while in 1981 Smith and Orzabal formed Tears for Fears.
I was walking across Pultney Bridge (in Bath) when I saw Rob being accosted by a girl with a large temper. My group ‘Studio’ had recently broken up, and by the look of it so had Rob’s (the girl was the singer in his band ‘Whitewing’). I intervened on his behalf (she could have taken both of us) and we retired to a local hostelry to debate the pros and cons of being in a band. Two hours later we had a brilliant plan! We would write songs, get a publishing deal, use that to get a record deal and then have a hit record. Four years later we were an overnight success. – Pete Byrne
Naked Eyes’ two biggest hits were their rendition of the Burt Bacharach song “Always Something There to Remind Me”, and the self-penned “Promises, Promises”. They had two more US Top 40 hits, “When the Lights Go Out” and “(What) In the Name of Love”, before going their separate ways. They resumed their writing partnership after a five-year break, and some of the songs written during this period were on the Naked Eyes album released in 2010.
In 1986, Climie and Fisher met whilst they were both doing session work at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, Fisher on keyboards, and Climie on backing vocals, working for Lillywhite. Fisher was looking for a singer/songwriter and Climie was looking for someone to write and record with, and so Climie Fisher was born. Together they took “Love Changes (Everything)” to the UK No. 2 spot, while the hip-hop inspired “Rise to the Occasion” also cracked the Top Ten in the United Kingdom.
Fisher and Climie also composed for other artists including Jermaine Stewart, Jermaine Jackson, Five Star, Rod Stewart, Freddie McGregor, Milli Vanilli, Fleetwood Mac and they wrote ‘You’re Not Alone’, a big hit for Amy Grant. Fisher also collaborated on several songs with the 80’s ‘Stock Aitken and Waterman’ star, Rick Astley.
After the break-up of Climie Fisher, Fisher collaborated on several songs with Rick Astley and Jules Shear. For some years, Fisher had owned his own studio, The StoneRoom, in Shepherd’s Bush, where, until shortly before his death, Fisher had been working with old buddy Pete Byrne on a new Naked Eyes studio album.
Fisher died on 25 August 1999, aged 42, following bowel surgery for cancer.