Alongside Men at Work's Business as Usual, Sydney band 1927's album . . . Ish was one of the most successful Australian debut albums of the 1980s. The album . . . Ish attained five times platinum status by racking up sales of more than 400000 copies. From there, it was a slow downhill run for the band, and a protracted end that saw its final album disappear without a trace.
Garry Frost was best known for his role as guitar player/songwriter with Moving Pictures. He penned the band's massive hit single `What About Me?' before leaving the band after its second album. He formed a short-lived duo, Roberts Frost, with singer Brenton Roberts, but when that project failed to warm any hearts he retired to his home studio in Sydney to write. In late 1986, he saw vocalist Eric Weideman performing The Police's `Roxanne' on the Red Faces segment of popular Melbourne television variety show Hey Hey It's Saturday. Frost knew that Weideman was the perfect singer for his unrecorded songs, and the ideal frontman for his new band. Frost drove all the way to Melbourne in order to snare the singer. With Frost's youngest brother Bill on bass and drummer James Barton, the line-up of 1927 was complete.
Frost spent a year attempting to get a deal for the band and every record company in the country knocked him back. Eventually producer Charles Fisher (who had worked on Moving Pictures' Days of Innocence album) signed 1927 to Trafalgar Productions which he ran in conjunction with Hoodoo Gurus' Dave Faulkner and the Gurus' manager Michael McMartin. Fisher produced 1927's debut album, . . . Ish (December 1988) which was brimful of stirring, stately pop rock anthems. The album reached #1 on the national chart during April 1989. In the interim, it had produced two Top 5 hit singles `That's when I Think of You'/`Alright' (July 1988; #4 in September) and `If I Could'/`No Talking' (October; #3 in December). Two further hit singles, `You'll Never Know'/`Willing and Able' (#17 in February 1989) and `Compulsory Hero'/`Propaganda Machine' (#8 in April) followed. The fifth single, `To Love Me'/`All the People' (June), was not a chart success. . . . Ish stayed on the chart for a year. `That's when I Think of You' also made the UK charts when it peaked at #46 in April 1989.
The band won the 1988 Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Awards for Best Debut Single (`That's When I Think of You') and Best Debut Album (shared with Rockmelons' Tales of the City). By that stage, Weideman had become something of a pin-up idol courtesy of his photogenic appearance and boyish good looks. Frost added Charlie Cole (keyboards; ex-Moving Pictures) to the line-up, and the band toured for a year in support of . . . Ish. In late 1989, as 1927 was in the process of commencing work on its new album, founder member and principal songwriter Garry Frost left the band. The parting was an amicable one, and the songwriting emphasis shifted to Weideman.
The Other Side (co-produced by Fisher and Frost) was full of lush, ambitious arrangements and well-crafted pop, but it lacked the charm and rousing choruses that had made its predecessor so accessible. The album made its debut at #3 but swiftly plummeted out of the chart. Its three singles, `Tell Me a Story'/`Call on Me', `Don't Forget Me'/`Seventeen' and `The Other Side'/`Final Split', all made the lower reaches of the national Top 40. Two years later, 1927 was back with its third album, 1927 (November 1992). In the meantime, Barton and Cole had left the band to be replaced by Phil Campbell (drums) and Dave Dwyer (guitar) respectively. The 1927 album revealed the band to be a competent, if mediocre, rock outfit trotting out blustery, by-rote hard rock numbers like the singles `Scars' (October 1992) and `It Ain't Love' (February 1993). By 1993, the band was in serious financial and artistic difficulties, and broke up with little fanfare.
Weideman slipped from public view, but re-emerged in September 1996 with his debut solo single `Nothing I Can Do' (produced by Fisher). `Nothing I Can Do' appeared as the last track on the 1927 `Best of' album The Very Best of . . . 1927 which was a way of announcing his impending rise as a solo artist.