Typically we would work on the album two times a week in the studio or occasionally three, for three hours or so at a time. This would consist of recording drums first, then piano, bass, organ, guitar, then vocals. Brass strings and extra guitar usually came later as these were decorations hung on the main theme and needed perspective.
I would usually take the unfinished track home then having listened, imagined played and sung along, I would arrive the next day with a long list of amendments and ideas and slowly implement and evaluate each one.
Although I have recorded many tracks alone I did often find myself wishing I had George Martin's wisdom to guide me on this my greatest ever, recording project, but I found I could largely imagine what he would have done from recording "Say Something" with him and when I got stuck, Chris helped me and served as an excellent sounding board on many occasions.
I believe these are the best vocals I've ever sung
The vocals were always the crucial part of the recording and though I wasn't always on top form due to illness and age, I made valiant efforts time after time to aspire to the pristine perfection of say something and though a gap of over 20 years cannot be without its toll I believe these are the best vocals I've ever sung. Experience, depth of feeling and a more mature timbre give these vocal recordings a beauty and authenticity previously unattainable for me.
I also worked constantly at home refining the tracks for the greatest effect and trying to retain the initial magic I felt on writing each song and yet giving the tracks a commercial power and slick raw emotive force to grab the listener and take them on my journey. All in all I probably worked on this whole album for about 20 to 30 hours a week for three years or so. Although none of it was work to me, and not once did I ever lose heart. In fact the music gave me energy and a reason to be.
At the same time I was writing new songs and some of these also begged inclusion, including my latest composition, Love is your Soul. As well as living each day as my last I have put this album together as if it is my last and indeed it may well be.
When someone as respected and obviously worthy of his own legendary status as George Martin describes you as "the real McCoy" and compares you to the likes of Elton John and Paul McCartney it can be a huge inspiration and also a burden, and although I have recorded two albums in the meantime this is the true follow up to my debut, 22 years ago. I intend to release the other recordings next year as a retrospective for anyone who needs to fill the gap!
It will remain your inspiration joy and solace for the rest of your life.
Meantime relish imbibe and enjoy this sprawling epic work of Art. Its packed with emotion and love from start to finish and if you give it time to grow in you, it will remain your inspiration joy and solace for the rest of your life.
So much nowadays is throwaway and cheap, but this album is different, Effectively a double album in old money, yours forever, worth every penny, built to last like a 1974 Volvo but made from roses, the Dorian Grey of the music world.. Forever young fresh and beautiful as the day it was born.
God bless you all for listening.
It was the summer of 2008 and I’d been feeling pretty run down and ill for at least three years. I went to various doctors but with no results, which seemed to exacerbate the condition
The fifteen years of being in The Blue Angels party band had finally caught up with me and even my greatest sidekicks and supporters had left to pursue their own interests.
I was so tired I could only get through each day on coffee, sugar, Lemsip, painkillers and anything to help. My left foot dragged and I couldn’t even walk to the local shops. My speech slurred and I couldn’t sing or play piano properly.
My supercharged gigs became a shadow of what they were and although my new band members were very good my own magic had seriously begun to fade.
It was a rainy afternoon on 4th July 2008, I was told by my specialist, I had a serious condition which medical science did not yet understand, and that unless I changed my lifestyle completely I may not have long to live, and that my current state could not be cured, only alleviated by medication.
It was a terrible, soul destroying blow and it’s impossible to convey how devastated I felt at that moment and, this sad realisation hit me every morning for the next few years.
I decided to tell no-one as I wasn’t ready for the drama, and sympathy, and preferred to take comfort in peace and quiet and believe in a miracle cure or anything to avoid the harsh reality.
So this is the first time anyone who knows me will realise what has been wrong.
We took a long, long holiday and everything, ground to a halt…including me. We were gone so long I almost forgot about my life in England. I went into a deep silent period and went for days at a time without hardly moving or speaking. I faced my darkest fears, but something in me just hung in there and refused to give in. I made some great new friends and seriously considered never coming home….
Nine months later I wrote a new song for the first time in many years. It was called ‘Maybe’, it’s a song for everyone who cares for a loved one in their time of need. I felt very inspired to have written something new and it made me smile again. I started writing new songs everyday and recording them at my friend’s studio in Lichfield.
I also remixed my first album ‘Say Something’ from 1989 which carried me back to the most inspiring time of my life. I fed on this and let it nourish me. I imbibed the sound and effortless joy of the youthful me. In the next few weeks I found I could almost walk normally again though not properly, and my vision and energy improved;
Over the next few years I very slowly pulled back from the brink. I believe it was in no short measure due to writing, creating and recording, and also following my heart and my true dream again, as well as the loving kindness and constant care I received at home. I had to become a completely different person to cope and through my songs exorcised many savage demons.
So forgive me if I sing a little too often about God or death as for me every song is a minor prayer. My music has definitely helped to bring me back to health, a ‘soul medicine’ I craved. The way I see it this album has probably saved my life.
You may wonder why I reveal this here? Well because it’s true, and relevant, and it had to come out eventually, so better from me than some reporter or gossip-monger.
Here are the best of the songs I created in the last three years, plus a few other favourites. I hope they can do for you a little of what they did for me whether you are ailing or not. They are songs about many varied things, not just my own situation, and I have put all my heart, energy and soul into them.
In the end simply enjoy the music.