Foster and Allen are the only Irish artists to have had an album in the UK Album Charts every single year for 16 years from 1983 to 1999 and again for six years from 2002 to 2007. This amazing achievement is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. In December 1993 they beat Take That and Diana Ross to the number one spot in the British Pop Video Charts. Take That were number two and Diana Ross was number three. They have won numerous awards over the years and were honoured alongside Bono in the Hall of Fame. Foster and Allen were among a number of entertainers honoured at a special reception by Irish President Mary MacAleese. Foster and Allen have sales in excess of 19 million worldwide to date.
The story of Foster and Allen began back in the seventies when Mick and Tony were playing in country music bands around Ireland. In 1975 they went to the UK to work the Irish music venues on a short tour. Mick and Tony had the idea of working together as a duo, playing “easy listening” music with a touch of traditional Irish instrumentals. They played several venues and the reaction was very favourable; so much so, they decided to remain as a duo and Foster and Allen was formed.
After a time working around the circuit in the UK and Ireland, they released their first single “The Rambles of Spring”. Foster and Allen were soon in demand all over Ireland and the UK. At the end of 1978 Foster and Allen released the single “A Bunch of Thyme” in Ireland, which became their first number one single. it stayed in the Irish charts for 40 consecutive weeks, re-entering for a further 13 weeks.
It was not until 1982 that this single was released in the UK. It was played by all the radio stations in Britain and was soon in the pop charts. It climbed rapidly to the top half of the British Top 20. Mick and Tony were in the USA on a tour when they were contacted and told to fly back to Britain immediately as they were required to appear on Television’s Top of the Pops.
They released another single, “Old Flames”, which also made its way into the UK charts and Foster and Allen were on their way to stardom! They did their first concert tour of the UK in 1983 and this tour was boosted even more by the release of another hit single “Maggie”. This proved to be a very popular song and, along with “A Bunch of Thyme”, have become the signature tunes for Foster and Allen. Since then Mick and Tony have toured the UK twice each year playing to sell-out concerts wherever they went. Foster and Allen are currently on a world tour and will be stopping off in Ballina on Friday October 3 in the Ramada Hotel.