The Buggles was an English new wave band consisting of Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Linda Jardim. They are remembered chiefly for their 1979 debut single "Video Killed the Radio Star" that was #1 on the singles chart in 16 countries. The music video was the first to be shown on MTV in the U.S. at 12:01 on 1 August 1981.
Their first song was "Video Killed the Radio Star", and in the summer of 1979 a demo recording was submitted to Island Records, who signed them immediately. This demo featured vocals by Tina Charles, who also helped fund the project. Although the song was chiefly a Bruce Woolley composition, he left shortly before its release to form a new band, The Camera Club. "Video Killed the Radio Star", released in September 1979, was the 444th number one in the UK charts, spending one week at the top and shooting The Buggles to worldwide fame. All in all, the song reached #1 on the singles chart in 16 countries.
At the time of the single's original release, The Buggles did not actually have an album's worth of material to record, and so they wrote most of the other tracks for their debut album The Age of Plastic while travelling around Europe promoting "Video Killed the Radio Star". Three subsequent singles were released from the album and they charted in the UK, but they were modest chart performers at best.
Later in 1980, Horn and Downes began work on a second album, working in a studio next door to progressive rock band Yes, who had recently lost vocalist Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. Yes' bassist Chris Squire invited them to replace Anderson and Wakeman as members of Yes. Horn and Downes accepted the offer, and joined to record the album Drama.
After Yes broke up, Downes and Horn resumed work on a second Buggles album, entitled Adventures in Modern Recording. However, Downes left the group during the recording of the album, citing musical differences, and Horn completed the album with several new songwriting partners and musicians. Adventures in Modern Recording was released in late 1981. The album and the five singles was released in 1981.
After leaving The Buggles, Downes joined his former Yes bandmate Steve Howe in supergroup Asia and Trevor Horn embarked on a new career as a record producer, achieving success with bands like ABC, Dollar, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Art of Noise, and even the albums 90125 and Big Generator from a re-formed Yes, with Jon Anderson back on vocals. In 1985, Horn won the Best Producer BRIT Award. More than twenty years on, he is still active, still producing, with Seal, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Cher, Simple Minds, Belle and Sebastian, t.A.T.u., Charlotte Church, Captain and Pet Shop Boys among his many credits.
The Buggles never toured and only performed a couple of Top of the Pops playback appearances, and later for some promotional purposes in support of the second album. The first live outing by the original duo came in a low-key appearance in 1998. In 2004, The Buggles reunited on stage again, this time with Bruce Woolley at the Wembley Arena to perform "Video Killed the Radio Star" and "Living in the Plastic Age" as part of a Prince's Trust charity concert.
In 2009, Horn teamed up to produce the album Reality Killed The Video Star for British singer Robbie Williams. The album title pays homage to Horn's first single with The Buggles back in 1979. The two performed the song together at the BBC Electric Proms on 20 October 2009. The group reunited to play their first full-length live concert in 2010. The event, billed as The Lost Gig, took place at Ladbroke Grove's Supperclub, Notting Hill, London and was a fund raiser with all earnings going to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability.