The group is known for its 1982 hit single "I Eat Cannibals Part 1", which reached #8 in the UK and was also a hit in many other countries, including South Africa where it was named the 17th biggest selling single of 1983. They also issued a less successful follow-up, "Dracula's Tango (Sucker For Your Love)". An album was issued containing both singles, together with B-sides and a selection of unreleased tracks in 1983 titled Man o' War. It was not a commercial success. "Milk from the Coconut" charted in the South Africa top 20 as well.
The group's name is Latin and means "by the whole extent of the heavens" or "heaven-wide", but is commonly translated as "completely", "entirely" or "utterly". Of the name, Sheen Doran said, "It has a number of meanings, such as 'heart and soul', 'root and branch' and 'totally different'. It seemed to describe what we were. Plus, it's strange-sounding and hard to pronounce, so it sticks in your mind." The group was renamed Total Coelo in the United States to avoid confusion with the American group, Toto.