Formed at Otago University, with a name borrowed from a Roxy Music lyric, Netherworld Dancing Toys released their early records on Flying Nun — but their soul/Motown influences and brass section were an odd fit for the label famous for a different Dunedin sound. ‘For Today’, their career defining song, was released on Virgin in 1985. It featured guest vocalist Annie Crummer to devastating effect, was a top five hit and has become an enduring classic. The band was a five-time winner at the 1985 Music Awards and ‘For Today’ won that year’s APRA Silver Scroll. Lead singer Malcolm Black passed away in May 2019.
Nick Sampson wrote Netherworld Dancing Toys' big hit 'For Today' during a summer spent working at a Taranaki freezing works. His love song has become a classic — aided in no small part by Annie Crummer's soaring vocal. The TVNZ video, directed by Radio With Pictures producer Brent Hansen, places the band in a studio (where Crummer sings with Kim Willoughby in a precursor to their time in When the Cat's Away) and on the Cook Strait ferry (where the shoot was nearly derailed when lunch in a Picton pub almost led to the band missing the return sailing).