This was our final incarnation, with Tich Critchlow on drums. He moved on to form Living In A Box and showed us all how to make money…
The recording sessions of my last 45 with this band covered the full range from ecstatic to miserable. We were sent first to Chipping Norton studios, to lay down the backing tracks. As it turned out, the cordon bleu cook, the barrels of Hook Norton beer and the racks of porn videos in our individual cottages took their toll. After the allotted week, we’d got the drums recorded and that was all. We’d also jammed to the B side song in order to get the drum tracks for that.
On to Britannia Row to add the rest of the tracks. Took on and lost a game of snooker with Nick Mason (Floydian co-owner of the studio) Producer Carey Taylor (who went on to work with KD Lang, George Harrison & others – he’s now a millionaire) was a bohemian type who had the idea of turning us into a smart, funky outfit, so out went the distorted guitars I loved so much, in came Nile Rodgers styles. A highlight was the hiring of Raf “Baker Street” Ravenscroft to do some brass stabs and a solo (“this song doesn’t suit a guitar solo Nick”). I also laid down some piano, before succumbing to a nasty virus & heading home whilst the others sat in on the mixing.
So, I get my cassette through the post and Lo! the piano parts had been redone by the guy from Darts. The B side, which we’d all forgotten about, was all beautifully produced drums, with us banging away over the top of it, thinking we were doing guide instruments for overdubbing later. Come the guitar solo, instead of the awesome noise-fest I’d planned, there was… nothing, just strumming away on rhythm. Jeez. They’d also vari-speeded it up a semi-tone, rendering Elaine’s vocals a tad more Mickey Mouse than we cared for. It bombed. Below is the track pitched back to where it should have been!
Shortly afterwards, I was relieved of my duties in the band, the best reason they could come up with was the width of my lapels, which clearly indicated I was out of touch. I should have quit long before it came to this, but you should try walking out on a band with a Polydor deal. They recorded a 4th single, pre-announced in the local paper as “having NO guitar anywhere!” but Polydor saw sense, pulled the plug and it was never released. Tragedy 😉
( L-R) Tich Critchlow – drums / Elaine McLeod – vocals / Nick Robinson – guitar / Les Heath – bass