The Motors - formed by former members of Ducks Deluxe and Bram Tchaikovsky - got to #4 with "Airport" in 1978
They were sort of considered New Wave (two John Peel sessions) but they weren't really - more like pub rock, bloating slightly into pomp pop, like a less studio-savvy, less witty 10 c.c.
City Boy - " moderately successful English rock band in the late 1970s, characterised by complex vocal arrangements and heavy guitars", often accused of leaning too heavily on Queen and 10 c.c. for inspiration
This was their big hit.
This was their small hit.
Sniff 'n' the Tears - okay, not really Massive, but Radio One deejays supported this one quite heavily. And it was a hit in other territories, including the US where it got to #15.
It's coming from the same place - late 1970s adult pop, cleverly arranged, cleanly produced, keyboard-hooky -- as things like Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" and Manfred Mann Earth Band's "Blinded By The Light", both of which are genuinely splendid, whereas you feel a bit wet for half-liking "Driver's Seat"
Sad Cafe - this lot are just cloying
Sad Cafe made me think of Cafe Society, who weren't massive, but whose Tom Robinson went on to be a bit massive as TRB
On the Kinks's ill-fated label Konk
Here Tom drops the New Wave for a moment and reverts to pre-76 self, with a song co-written with Elton John
""The song appeared on Elton's 1980 album "21 at 33", but this is actually the original version! Sung and released as a single by Tom Robinson (famous for "Glad to be Gay") already in 1979. Robinson's version is openly gay, using only male pronouns, while Elton's version surprisingly disguises the orientation by using "she".
6/ Bethnal - not massive at all but they got a lot of press at the time, signed to a major label - considered New Wave but really more like The Who - the Seventies Who, mind, not the Who that inspired Jam and mod revival
I mean, just look at their album artwork - the whiff of Old Wave fair comes off it. Looks like it might have been done by someone on work experience at Hypgnosis
And they had a violinist in the band for Christ's sake
That barrel-chested Daltrey-esque vocal...
The clincher - a cover of "Baby O' Reilly"
Their one hit, "The Worker" - in the genre of "Mr Jones", gently-mocking-the-office-drone-suburban-conformist type songs. Perhaps related to "What A Waste" by Ian Dury, "The British Way of Life" by The Chords, and, tenuously, "The Diary of Horace Wimp" by ELO and "Making Plans for Nigel" by XTC.
Not pomp pop, but clever-clever.
8/ And finally... the biggest of all the late Seventies pomp pop bands who have left barely a singe mark on history - THE BOOMTOWN RATS
Springsteen-retooled-as-New-Wave, keyboard-dominated.... they had two number ones, a whole bunch of other big hits.... yet few groups are less remembered, spawned smaller.
Barefaced attempt to follow up "I Don't Like Mondays" with another song based on a real-life story of nihilistic youth tragedy
Where they copping UB40 at this point? Minds blown by "King" and Signing Off? Or perhaps "Dreadlock Holiday"....