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One-Hit Wonders: Sniff ‘N’ The Tears, “Driver’s Seat”

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Paul Roberts of Sniff "n" the Tears (YouTube)

Paul Roberts of Sniff “n” the Tears (YouTube)

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Forever connected to a single moment in time — the new wave explosion of 1979 — “Driver’s Seat” in the lone hit single from Sniff ‘n’ the Tears.

Sniff ‘n’ The Tears was the creation of painter Paul Roberts. After spending some years playing gigs around London in the early ’70’s with his band, Ashes of Moon, Roberts disbanded the group and headed to France to concentrate on painting.

It was Ashes’ drummer Luigi Salvoni who inspired Roberts to reform Sniff after hearing some demos that included “Driver’s Seat.”

With Salvoni in the producer’s chair, Sniff and Co. recorded Fickle Heart, home of “Driver’s Seat.” After a year on the shelf, Chiswick released the album in 1978 and the single finally hit in 1979, landing at Number 15 on the US Hot 100 in September of that year.

The band broke up almost immediately, with all hands splitting for their own destinies. The band has regrouped, disbanded and regouped again several times, most recently for the release of their February 2011 album, Downstream.

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