Foster and Allen began in 1975 when they were playing in country music bands around Ireland. Soon after they formed a small group and went over to the UK to work the Irish music venues on a short tour. At this stage they had the idea of working together as a duo, playing easy listening music with traditional Irish instrumentals.
When their UK tour finished, they decided to let the band return to Ireland whilst they stayed behind to try to break into the public eye. They played several venues in the London area and the reaction was favourable; they decided to remain as a duo, and Foster and Allen was formed. After a time working around the circuit in the UK and Ireland, they released their first single, “The Rambles of Spring”. This made an impact on the Irish market and Foster and Allen were soon in demand for cabaret venues all over Ireland.
At the end of 1979, Foster and Allen released the single, “A Bunch of Thyme” in Ireland, and it entered the Irish chart. Despite the romance and charm of the music and lyrics the song is in reality a warning to young women to protect their virginity. The girl in the song ultimately ignores the warnings and becomes infected with syphilis. It became their first number one single, and stayed on the chart for 40 weeks. It was not until 1982 that this single was released in the UK. It was played by all the radio stations in Britain, and peaked at No. 18 in the UK Singles Chart. At the time, Foster and Allen were in the United States on a tour. They were contacted and told to fly back to the UK to appear on BBC Television’s Top of the Pops.
Demand for Foster and Allen’s services at venues all over Ireland and the UK increased. They released another single, “Old Flames”, which peaked at No. 51 in the UK chart. They undertook their first concert tour of the UK in 1983, and this tour was boosted by the release of another single “Maggie”. This reached No.27 in the UK Singles Chart and became a No.1 in New Zealand for four weeks.
Foster and Allen have toured Ireland, the UK, the US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. They have also had their own TV series on RTÉ Television in Ireland.
In the early days, Mick Foster and Tony Allen performed on stage as a duo, but in 1982 (when the concert tours started) they added a band to their show, thus giving a much fuller sound to their program. On the recording front, Foster and Allen have released over 30 albums, many of which entered the UK Albums Chart. As well as the albums, they have released thirteen videos. The video “Souvenirs and Memories” reached No. 3 in the UK video chart around Christmas 1991, the “By Request” video went straight into the No. 1 spot in 1993. Their DVD/video release After All These Years became Top 10 in the UK. To date, Foster and Allen have achieved album and video sales in excess of 22 million worldwide.
Foster and Allen celebrated their 30th Anniversary together in the music industry with the release of their album, Foster and Allen Sing the No. 1’s, which was a Top 30 hit in the UK Albums Chart during Christmas 2005. Their “World Concert Tour – 2005/2006” took them to the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, US and Australia.