The earth has travelled a few dozen rotations around the sun since Al Ross & The Planets first formed in 1983. Based in London, the group was originally a trio of musicians: Al Ross (real name Alan Ramirez) on lead vocals and bass guitar, Alex Mungo on keyboards and vocals, and Paul Freeney on drums. With the assistance of a variety of local guitarists, The Planets became a fully-committed live combo with setlists drawn from hits by such popular acts as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, as well as the gritty blues and soul catalogues of Stax/Volt and Atlantic Records.
In late 1985, Alex departed the band to become a touring keyboardist in the London pop group Then Jerico. As a result, The Planets went on hiatus until 1990 when Al, Paul, and new members Steve Hopwood (guitar), Bert Routledge (keyboards), and Dave Brammer (saxophone) started performing concerts. In 1992, Alex rejoined, and two years later his older brother Julian also joined as a guitarist.
The Planets were a consistent presence on the UK live circuit throughout the 1990s. They raised the roofs of such storied London venues as The Camden Palace, The Brahms and Liszt, The Half Moon, and The Roadhouse. Time Out London declared “catching a live show by The Planets is one of the best nights out in London.”
Eventually, The Planets began to integrate original tunes into their live sets