Sting “Set Them Free” (Torch Song version) 1985

Torch Song and Sting did a few sessions together around 84-85, until he decided to ship out to the Caribbean and make his album there. This is the one track that was almost completed, although it lacks the middle eight added to the final version.

It was decided to include this version on the 12″, and I got to do the mix, my first major mix to be released. I can’t take too much credit for it though as William Orbit had practically mixed it onto the multitrack tape.

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Futurama 3 1981

 

A big barney in a big barn. We were on just before the superb 23 Skidoo and we stuck around long enough to see their set. Later I had the pleasure and privilege of doing a few sessions with the Skidoo boys, although I don’t think anything was released that I worked on. Excuse the cliché, but that really was a band ahead of its time.

In other news: a nice review of Frogmore on the Cold War Nightlife website…thanks to Simon Helm for caring.

Last but not least, we salute another music giant lost to us this week, the great Glen Campbell.

Etienne Daho “Le Plaisir De Perdre” 1988

Etienne’s 1988 album Pour Nos Vies Martiennes had a cool Guy Peellaert cover and two songs co-written by me: Le Plaisir De Perdre with Etienne and Winter Blue with Laurie Mayer.

Here’s a nifty live version of Le Plaisir De Perdre:

Winter Blue was performed as a duet with Laurie:

I was unable to work on the album, having already been booked to record Let’s Go à Goa with Arnold, but it turned out great anyway…

Torch Song “Toward The Unknown Region” 1995

This album was a long time in the making, as I have previously mentioned. Laurie Mayer started demoing it in 1988 at a studio called Bedlam in Wandsworth, owned by the Thompson Twins. She was aided initially by one Rik Kenton, a man whose immortality is assured by his short tenure with Roxy Music, and the fact that he played bass on their classic debut single Virginia Plain.

We then developed it for a while in our home studio and at Guerilla in Crouch End. But other projects kept getting in the way, and it wasn’t until 1993 that William Orbit started to mix it, a mix that ended up taking a couple of years. When William landed a label deal with Warner Brothers we finally had the means to finish it and release it, along with William’s Strange Cargo: Hinterland and his first volume of classical arrangements, Pieces In A Modern Style. These albums were unavailable for a long time but Warners have now kindly made them available on YouTube.

I feel that William’s mix of this album is one of his very best, and it still sounds good to me more than 20 years later. Uniquely, there was also a live performance, which took place at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and can be viewed here. Yes reader, that is me lurking behind Laurie, with the untenably long hair. I’m happy to say that my barber-phobia is now cured.

Polaroid “Rock Star” 1995

Michael Cook decided to move back to England so we set up a second studio in Kingly Street, central London…a location that is now the Soho Oyster House.

Unfortunately that was the beginning of the end of our company. Being on opposite sides of the world rather upset the creative chemistry. I think this Tarsem directed spot was our last successful collaboration.