In the mid 1970’s, a group made up of session musicians Kevin Wells (drums) and Mike Nelson (keyboards) and vocalists Martin Jay and Tina Charles began recording disco/pop records using the name Airbus. They didn’t have any success in the UK but had a hit in Europe with “Fly Away”. A follow-up was recorded called “Bye love” with “I’m On Fire” as the B side. Again they had a hit in Europe and the UK record company liked the B side much more and flipped it over as an A-side. The name of the group was changed to 5000 Volts and duly became a UK hit single.
The group’s name was also changed from Airbus to 5000 volts on the European pressings culminating in “I’m On Fire” becoming one of 1975’s biggest European hits reaching the top ten in Switzerland, Norway, Austria, The Netherlands, and peaking at #1 in at least 15 countries including Germany (selling over one million copies), Sweden and Belgium. In the UK the single reached #4 in September with a chart run of 9 weeks. In the US, a version of the song by Jim Gilstrap reached #78, at the same time 5000 Volts climbed into the top 40 peaking at #26.
The record was produced and arranged by Tony Eyers. He expanded the group to include Martin Cohen (bass and vocals). The B-side is an instrumental version called “Still On Fire”. There was no acknowledgment of Tina Charles’ vocal at the time and song was promoted via another female. Tina left the group to pursue her solo career and a new female vocalist Linda Kelly was added to the band. They went on to record more records but didn’t find similar success. They disbanded in 1978.
Tina and Martin recorded an album in 2012 using the group name of 5000 Volts.