Olive was a trip-hop\electronic\dance group from England that consisted of producer\instrumentalist\songwriter Tim Kellett (born on July 23, 1964 in Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England), singer Ruth-Ann Boyle (born on April 26, 1970 in Sunderland, England) and producer\keyboard programmer Robin Taylor-Firth.
Tim was a member of Simply Red, playing keyboards & providing background vocals. After the band’s fourth album “Stars,” he left the band. Robin was a member of George Evelyn’s music project, Nightmares on Wax. Ruth-Ann used to sing in bands in her hometown of Sutherland. Tim & Robin met through a mutual friend who joined Simply Red as a bassist and together, they formed a musical collaboration.
By 1994, the duo had made three demos while searching for a singer. When Tim was on tour with Vini Riley’s The Durutti Column, playing keyboards, he was playing back pre-recorded keyboard samples on stage when he heard a vocal sample & the voice on the sample was Ruth-Ann (who provided the sample for The Durutti Column’s album “Sex and Death”).
Tim contacted Ruth-Ann (who was working at a bar at the time) about singing for the band & after an audition, she was in the band. After the demos were finished, they attracted the attention of record labels in the United Kingdom. In September of 1995, Olive signed with RCA Records.
In 1996, Olive released their debut album “Extra Virgin” which peaked at #15 on the U.K. Albums chart. In the U.S., the album managed to peak at #32 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart.
The first single from the album “Miracle” peaked at #41 on the U.K. Singles chart. It was originally released in 1996, but then it was re-released a year later as a remixed version. It peaked at #41 on the U.K. Singles chart and #10 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart.
The follow-up single “You’re Not Alone” topped the U.K. Singles chart for 2 weeks, making it their biggest hit to date.
The remixed version of the song managed to peak at #56 on the Billboard Hot 100, #9 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #5 on Billboard’s Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart. The song also won the “Best Dance Music” award at the 1997 Ivor Novello Awards.
The last single from the album “Outlaw” peaked at #14 on the U.K. Singles chart and #4 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart. A promotional single “You Are Nothing” was released, but it didn’t make any charts at all.
Robin later left the band to focus on Nightmares on Wax and other various projects, leaving only Tim & Ruth-Ann as a duo. Later on, RCA Records’ U.K. branch dropped Olive from their label, but they were signed by Madonna’s Maverick Records (supposedly after Madonna went to one of their concerts in Germany).
In May of 2000, Olive released their sophomore album “Trickle” which peaked at #28 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart, but missed the U.K. Albums chart.
They released a cover version of 10cc’s 1975 hit song “I’m Not in Love” which topped Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart for a week in July of 2000. It was featured on the soundtrack to the film “The Next Big Thing” (which starred Madonna). It also peaked at #12 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
Olive’s success started to fade & they ended up going into an hiatus. Tim focused on songwriting so he could spend time with his family. Ruth-Ann joined music group Enigma as a vocalist and in 2007, she released her debut solo album “What About Us” through iTunes.
In 2009, rapper Tinchy Stryder released his version of Olive’s hit song “You Are Not Alone” which sparked new interest in them.
During that same time, it was announced that Olive was working on their third album which was scheduled to be released in 2011, but as of 2014, it remains unreleased & it’s unknown what the current status of the album is.
These days, Robin Taylor-Firth resides in Spain and he recently signed a publishing deal with Sony Atv Music Publishing. Tim Kellett resides in Derbyshire, England where he owns a residential recording studio. It’s unknown what Ruth-Ann Boyle is up to these days.
To see a fan-made video for “You’re Not Alone,” go to:
To see the music video for “Miracle,” go to:
To see a fan-made video for “Outlaw,” go to:
To see the music video for “I’m Not in Love,” go to: