A bit fiery for most in the new romantic camp during the early '80s, China Crisis were inspired by similar sources but injected their pop songs with occasional political commentary and bluesy reggae rhythms. Comprising the core duo of vocalist/keyboard player Gary Daly and guitarist Eddie London, the group formed in 1979 near Liverpool, England.
The first China Crisis single, "African and White," didn't appear until 1982, but it was quickly picked up by Virigin Records and made the U.K. charts. With drummer Dave Reilly on board, their full-length debut, Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms, arrived later that year and also charted. Another single from the album, "Christian," hit number 12. They recorded their follow-up LP, Working with Fire and Steel: Possible Pop Songs, Vol. 2, with bassist Gazza Johnson and drummer Kevin Wilkinson. It reached number 20 in the U.K. as well as charting in Canada and across Western Europe. It also produced the Top Ten hit "Wishful Thinking."
In December 2013, China Crisis reappeared with the song "Everyone You Know" in conjunction with a crowdfunding campaign for their seventh album. Autumn in the Neighbourhood was eventually released in June 2015 and followed by tour dates in the U.K., the Netherlands, and North America. In 2017, Caroline released a deluxe edition of Working with Fire and Steel, which included demos and several BBC radio performances from the time of the album.