David Joseph and Patrick McClean

Guitarist Paul McClean

David Reid and Jeffrey Guishard


Originally called Hott Wax, this band was started by David Joseph and his brother Kenneth. At the time it included a young singer named Phil Fearon who eventually left to join another group Kandidate. David and Kenneth Joseph both provided vocals and keyboards, Paul Phillips played guitar, Leroy Williams and Jeffrey Guishard provided percussion, David Reid was on drums, and Paul and Patrick McClean laid down the guitars and sax respectively. Whilst on Chris Blackwell's Island records label, they garnered hits with their first single Hi-Tension, and then their top 10 hit British Hustle in June 1978, preceeding their peers Light of the World by over a year. They also became renowned for the ballads Autumn Love, and Peace on Earth. Unfortunately, they were unable to maintain their streak of hits when There’s A Reason failed to make an impact on the charts afterwards.

They later joined EMI, but despite singles such as How D'you Feel and it's great B side Lying Low this changeover did not engender anymore successful releases for them. In the meantime, David Joseph was writing material on his own which later came to the attention of his former label Island, who liked what he had produced and offered him a solo deal.

Hi-Tension continued on with only three remaining members left: Kenneth Joseph, Leroy Williams, and Jeffrey Guishard. They parted company with EMI and joined Morgan Khan’s fledgeling Streetwave label, which resulted in them gaining good sales with the tracks Rat Race, and their jaunty cover version of Happy by the American band Surface, who were also a trio.

*Updated 15/9/17


Leroy Williams

1979 debut LP released on Island Records

12 inch single on Streetwave Records