5000 Volts is the name of a British disco recording act which achieved success throughout Europe during the 1970s. The group consisted of vocalists Tina Charles and Martin Jay, with a changing group of session musicians.
CareerThey released several singles in the mid 1970s, but did not achieve success until radio stations began playing the B-side to their 1975 single, "Bye Love". The song, "I'm On Fire", was then released in its own right and became a major hit throughout Europe, peaking at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and at number 1 on the German Top100 Singles chart and the Swedish chart and also number 10 in South Africa. It also charted in the United States where it reached number 26 and reached the #1 spot on the South African charts. Though Charles provided the vocals, she was not at the time publicly acknowledged as the group's singer, and on the band's 1975 appearance on BBC Television's Top of the Pops, singer/actress Luan Peters fronted the group.
In 1975 the group was expanded by record producer Tony Eyers into a permanent five piece, by the inclusion of Martin Cohen (bass and vocals), Kevin Wells (drums) and Mike Nelson (keyboards).
Subsequent singles failed to attract widespread interest in the UK, although the group became popular in South Africa and Germany. On the eve of a German tour, Charles left the group after a dispute with their record label, continuing on with her successful solo career She was replaced by Linda Kelly. The next single "Doctor Kiss-Kiss" reached number 8 in the UK and number 6 in South Africa, but the band struggled to maintain public interest. A handful of further UK singles and a self-titled album followed, as the band tried to come back with "Light the Flame of Love", "Take Me Back" and "(Walkin' On) A Love Cloud" throughout 1976/77 (Walking On A Love Cloud did however top the South African charts in June 1977). None of those songs registered with the UK commercial mainstream. One further single, "Can't Stop Myself from Loving You" (South Africa #12), appeared the following year before the band, never fully recovered from Charles' acrimonious departure, disbanded for good
Jay launched a solo career without success, and eventually returned to his earlier role as a session musician, working for such bands as Enigma and Tight Fit in 1981, and the UK Mixmasters in 1990.