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The '80s Scottish band H2O shares its appellation with a '90s American punk group. However, they aren't related, and they sound nothing alike. H2O formed in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1978. After vocalist Ian Donaldson departed from the punk band Skroo, he founded H2O with Colin Ferguson (bass), Ross Alcock (keyboards), Kenny Dorman (drums), Colin Gavison (saxophone), and Davie Wells (guitar). The group released its first single, "Hollywood Dream," in 1981. In 1983, H2O were signed to RCA. The single "Dream to Sleep" found airplay in Britain, crashing in the Top 20 of the English charts. H2O's only album, Faith, was released in 1984. With H2O, Donaldson veered wildly from his punk roots, opting instead for the white soul of Spandau Ballet and Fiction Factory. H2O became immediately recognizable by Donaldson's deep, robust voice, and he exhibited his vocal range by belting out high notes in songs like "Blue Diamond" and "Go On," the latter only appearing on the Blue Diamond EP. Danceable synths and funky bass reminiscent of Duran Duran helped frame H2O's distinctly '80s sound. However, it never caught on, and H2O turned into vapor. ~ Michael Sutton

Top Albums


1978 in Glasgow, Scotland

Years Active:

'70s, '80s