Birmingham chart-toppers Musical Youth have been denied a big-money payout in a High Court legal battle.
The reggae band were aged just 11 to 15 when they had a No.1 smash with four million seller Pass The Dutchie in 1982.
But the surviving members have been told a claim for thousands of pounds-worth of unpaid royalties had “no chance of success”.
Dennis Seaton, 44, Michael Grant, 42, Kelvin Grant, 40, and Frederick Waite Jnr, 43, went to the High Court claiming negligence and fraud over a deal with law firm Woolf Seddon in 1984.
But judge Mr Justice Roth ruled in favour of partners in the company, which no longer exists, and said the band’s claim had no “merit”.
Former lead singer Seaton said the decision was a blow but he vowed the fight for payments would continue.
“These things can take time, but all we want is justice,” he said.
“We’ve not had time to study the judgement with our advisers. Everyone seems to forget we were minors when we agreed to these deals.”
The band members, pals from Duddeston Manor School, began the claim when Pass The Dutchie was used in the hit film The Wedding Singer.
Royalty cheques did not arrive and the musicians claimed for “significant unpaid recording royalties”.
Fraud accusations against top music industry lawyer Tony Seddon were also rejected as having “no chance of success and wholly without merit” by the judge.
The negligence claims were also hopelessly “out of time”, he ruled.
The band still has several other outstanding claims.
Original members Seaton and Michael Grant are attempting to revive the band’s fortunes under the guidance of Birmingham-based Big Bear Music.
Waite Jnr suffers from schizophrenia and his brother Patrick died in 1993, aged just 24.
Seaton said he did not want to speak in detail because several actions were still ongoing.
But he said they were putting finishing touches to a new studio album with Big Bear.
“We are still one of the few true reggae acts around,” Seaton said.