Shattered Dreams – Johnny Hates Jazz | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#2 for 3 weeks); 1988

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

How perfectly fitting that Johnny Hates Jazz lead singer Clark Datchler’s Dad, Fred, played in a popular jazz group. However, the real inspiration behind the British trio’s name lay with a friend – Johnny – who did, indeed, hate jazz.

The other two group members, Calvin Hayes, son of famed producer Mickie Most (Animals, Herman’s Hermits, Donovan), and Mike Nocito both worked at Most’s RAK studios. In 1986 Me And My Foolish Heart became JHJ’s first single – on RAK Records – and the band began to shop for a major label deal.

Shunning the competitive route of submitting a demo tape, JHJ chose to promote themselves through a showcase performance. Ironically, the acoustic set that snagged them a deal with Virgin took place at Ronnie Scott’s famous jazz club in Soho. Unfortunately, the success of Shattered Dreams did not bring them additional hits, and JHJ quickly vanished.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Calvin Hayes
  • Mike Nocito

Lyrics Written by:

  • Clark Datchler


  • The music video for “Shattered Dreams” won the award for Best Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Video at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards