Named after the nom de guerre of their charismatic frontman (b. Illya Kuryakin), Galileo Figaro formed in London in 1972 and put out a string of albums over the next decade. (1980’s The Glam reached No. 91 in the U.S., with the third track “The Letter” (a tragic tale of infidelity and lingerie) becoming the band’s best-selling single, although even those sales were relatively modest.) Known for their bombast, attempts at lush studio vocals and iconic (some would say grating) guitar sound, Galileo Figaro became a staple at arenas--mostly municipal auditoriums--for much of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Following Figaro’s decision to retire in 1987 to raise competition cockerels, the rest of the band attempted to keep it going but had limited success. However, a series of carnival tours beginning in 2011 featuring former Singer Man runner-up Napoleon Solo received a reasonably enthusiastic response from those in attendance (except in Iowa).