Best remembered for the international smash "Unbelievable," the British dance-rock quintet EMF formed in October 1989 in Cinderford, England. All five members -- vocalist James Atkin, guitarist Ian Dench, keyboardist Derry Brownson, bassist Zachary Foley, and drummer Mark Decloedt -- were veterans of the local music scene before founding EMF, whose name supposedly stood for "Epsom Mad Funkers" (although it was widely speculated that the initials instead represented "Ecstasy Mind F*ckers"). Within two months of formation, the group played its first gig; after unearthing a Casio sampler and sequencer in a local thrift shop, a light techno element was added to the band's rock-oriented sound.
By the end of 1990, EMF's infectious debut single, "Unbelievable," had conquered the U.K. charts; it hit number one in the U.S. the following year. The 1991 album Schubert Dip was also successful, spawning another hit single in "Lies." (The LP also garnered considerable press when Yoko Ono objected to the group's use of a voice sample of Mark David Chapman, the murderer of John Lennon; the offending soundbite was later removed from future pressings.) In 1992, EMF returned with the EP Unexplained and the full-length effort Stigma; both releases performed badly on the charts, however, and the band effectively vanished from sight until 1995's Cha Cha Cha. ~ Jason Ankeny