Formed in Christchurch in 1979, The Narcs did early time as a high octane covers band on the pub circuit. Their name is a nod to The Police, a band they often covered. After moving to Auckland in 1983, the addition of keyboardist Liam Ryan saw a maturing in The Narcs' sound — as evident on more reflective numbers like ‘Heart and Soul’ (named best song and single at the 1984 NZ Music Awards) and ‘Abandoned by Love’ (a 1986 APRA Silver Scroll winner). They toured Australia extensively, before disbanding in 1990. There was more: album Push the Boat Out landed in 1996, and occasional tours have since followed.
This follow-up to The Narc’s 1984 hit ‘Heart and Soul’ was the first single off the trio’s second album. Recorded in Australia with US engineer Tim Kramer, 'Diamonds on China' got to 15 on the New Zealand charts. Like the contemporary singles of Go West, 'Diamonds' is full of punchy guitar and synthpop. It’s the 80s so there’s sax aplenty, street racing video games, and drumsticks hitting the skins "like diamonds on china". Director Fane Flaws' efforts (including his distinctive illustrations of the lyrics) won Video of the Year at the 1985 NZ Music Awards.
‘Heart and Soul’ — sometimes called 'You Took Me (Heart and Soul)' — was the biggest hit for rockers The Narcs. It peaked at number four on the NZ singles chart and took away two awards at the 1984 NZ Music Awards. A spare, brooding rumination on love, it represented a departure from the more full on rock’n’roll that marked the band’s sound when they emerged on the Christchurch pub scene in the early 80s. Shot on a blacked out set, the video has all the hallmarks of a test run for a new digital effects suite — although that doesn’t explain the red pyramid at the centre of proceedings.