Island ILPS Catalogue

In case anyone has a passing interest, here is the Island Records ILPS Catalogue(1969 – 1980)

I know nothing about the missing numbers…

ILPS 9100 – Clouds: Scrapbook, 1969

ILPS 9101 – Blodwyn Pig: Ahead Rings Out, 1969

ILPS 9102 – Fairport Convention: Unhalfbricking, 1969

ILPS 9103 – Jethro Tull: Stand Up, 1969

ILPS 9104 – Free: Free, 1969

ILPS 9105 – Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left, 1969

ILPS 9106 – Doctor Strangely Strange: Kip Of The Serenes, 1969

ILPS 9107 – Spooky Tooth: Ceremony, 1969

ILPS 9108 – Mott The Hopple: Mott The Hoople, 1969

ILPS 9110 – Quintessence: In Blissful Company, 1969

ILPS 9111 – King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King, 1969

ILPS 9112 – Traffic: The Best of Traffic, 1969

ILPS 9113 – John & Beverley Martyn: Stormbringer, 1970

ILPS 9114 – Renaissance: Renaissance, 1969

ILPS 9115 – Fairport Convention: Liege & Lief, 1969

ILPS 9116 – Traffic: John Barleycorn Must Die, 1970

ILPS 9117 – Spooky Tooth: The Last Puff, 1970

ILPS 9118 – Cat Stevens: Mona Bone Jakon, 1970

ILPS 9119 – Mott The Hopple: Mad Shadow, 1970

ILPS 9120 – Free: Fire And Water, 1970

ILPS 9122 – Blodwyn Pig: Getting To This, 1970

ILPS 9123 – Jethro Tull: Benefit, 1970

ILPS 9124 – Bronco: Country Home, 1970

ILPS 9125 – Fotheringay: Fotheringay, 1970

ILPS 9126 – McDonald & Giles: McDonald & Giles, 1970

ILPS 9127 – King Crimson: In The Wake Of Poseidon, 1970

ILPS 9128 – Quintessence: Open Up To You, 1970

ILPS 9129 – If: If, 1970

ILPS 9130 – Fairport Convention: Full House, 1970

ILPS 9131 – Alan Bown: Listen, 1970

ILPS 9133 – John & Beverley Martyn: The Road To Ruin, 1970

ILPS 9134 – Nick Drake: Bryter Layter, 1970; (Re-issue CD: Island CID 9134, 5/1987)

ILPS 9135 – Cat Stevens: Tea For The Tillerman, 1971

ILPS 9136 – Amazing Blondel: Evensong, 1971

ILPS 9137 – If: If 2, 1971

ILPS 9138 – Free: Highway, 1971

ILPS 9139 – Renaissance: Illusion, 1971 (not released in the *UK)

ILPS 9140 – Incredible String Band: Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending, 1971

ILPS 9141 – King Crimson: Lizard, 1971

ILPS 9142 – Traffic: Live Nov. ’70 (unissued)

ILPS 9143 – Quintessence: Dive Deep, 1971

ILPS 9144 – Mott The Hopple: Wild Life, 1971

ILPS 9145 – Jethro Tull: Aqualung, 1971

ILPS 9146 – Mike Heron: Smiling Men With Bad Reputation, 1971

ILPS 9147 – Mick Abrahams: A Musical Evening With Mick Abrahams (Label: Chrysalis), 1971

ILPS 9148 – Mountain: Nantucket Sleighride, 1971

ILPS 9149 – Heads Hands & Feet: Heads Hands & Feet, 1971

ILPS 9150 – Paladin: Paladin (Label: Bronze), 1971

ILPS 9151 – Clouds: Watercolour Days (Label: Chrysalis), 1971

ILPS 9152 – Uriah Heep: Salisbury, 1971 (Label: Bronze; re-issue, Original auf: Vertigo)

ILPS 9153 – Tir Na Nog: Tir Na Nog

ILPS 9154 – Cat Stevens: Teaser And The Firecat, 1971 (re-issue CD Island CID 9154)

ILPS 9155 – Emerson Lake & Palmer: Tarkus, 1971

ILPS 9156 – Amazing Blondel: Fantasia Lindum, 1971

ILPS 9157 – Juicy Lucy: Get A Whiff A This, 1971

ILPS 9158 – Procol Harum: Broken Barricades (Label: Chrysalis), 1971

ILPS 9159 – Jimmy Cliff: Another Cycle, 1971

ILPS 9160 – Free: Live!, 1971

ILPS 9161 – Bronco: Ace Of Sunlight, 1971

ILPS 9162 – Fairport Convention: Angel Delight, 1971

ILPS 9163 – The Alan Bown Set: Stretching Out, 1971

ILPS 9164 – War: War, 1971

ILPS 9165 – Sandy Denny: The North Star Grass Man And The Ravens, 1971

ILPS 9166 – Traffic: Welcome To The Canteen, 1971

ILPS 9167 – John Martyn: Bless The Weather, 1971

ILPS 9168 – Luther Grosvenor: Under Open Skies, 1971

ILPS 9169 – Uriah Heep: Look At Yourself (Label: Bronze), 1971

ILPS 9170 – Mike Harrison: Mike Harrison, 1971

ILPS 9171 – War: The World Is A Ghetto, 1971

ILPS 9172 – The Incredible String Band: Liquid Acrobat As Regards The Air, 1971

ILPS 9173 – Colosseum: The Collector’s Colosseum (Label: Bronce), 1971

ILPS 9174 – Tony Hazzard: Loadwater House, 1971

ILPS 9175 – King Crimson: Islands, 1971

ILPS 9176 – Fairport Convention: “Babbacombe” Lee, 1971

ILPS 9177 – War: All Day Music, 1971

ILPS 9178 – Mott The Hopple: Brain Capers, 1971

ILPS 9179 – Mountain: Flowers Of Evil (Live/Studio), 1971

ILPS 9180 – Traffic: The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys, 1971

ILPS 9181 – Sutherland Brothers: The Sutherland Brothers Band, 1971

ILPS 9182 – Claire Hamill: One House Left Standing, 1971

ILPS 9183 – Vinegar Joe: Vinegar Joe, 1972

ILPS 9184 – Nick Drake: Pink Moon, 1972

ILPS 9185 – Heads Hands & Feet: Tracks, 1972

ILPS 9186 – Emerson Lake & Palmer: Trilogy, 1972

ILPS 9186 – Toots And The Maytals: Funky Kingston, 1972

ILPS 9187 – Jim Capaldi: Oh How We Danced, 1972

ILPS 9188 – Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu & Rabbit, 1971

ILPS 9189 – Bunch: Rock On, 1972

ILPS 9190 – Paladin: Charge! (Bronze), 1972

ILPS 9191 – Mike McGear: Woman, 1972

ILPS 9192 – Free: Free At Last, 1972

ILPS 9193 – Uriah Heep: Demons & Wizards (Bronze), 1972

ILPS 9194 – War: Deliver The World, 1972

ILPS 9196 – Dick Heckstall-Smith: A Story Ended (Bronze), 1972

ILPS 9197 – Richard Thompson: Henry The Human Fly, 1972

ILPS 9198 – Smith / Perkins / Smith: Smith/Perkins/Smith, 1972

ILPS 9199 – Mountain: Road Goes On Forever, 1972

ILPS 9200 – Roxy Music: Roxy Music, 1972

ILPS 9201 – Persuasion: Street Corner Symphony, 1972

ILPS 9202 – V.A.: Jimmy Cliff In The Harder They Come, 1972

ILPS 9203 – Dave Mason: Headkeeper (Label: Blue Thumb), 1972

ILPS 9204 – Dan Hicks And The Hot Licks: Striking It Rich (Label: Blue Thumb), 1972

ILPS 9205 – Amazing Blondel: England ’72, 1972

ILPS 9206 – Cat Stevens: Catch Bull At Four, 1972 (re-issue CD: Island CID 9206)

ILPS 9207 – Sandy Denny: Sandy, 1972

ILPS 9208 – Fairport Convention: Rosie, 1972

ILPS 9209 – Mike Harrison: Smikestack Lightning, 1972

ILPS 9210 – Patto: Roll ’em Smoke ’em Put Another Line Out, 1972

ILPS 9211 – Incredible String Band: Earth Span, 1972

ILPS 9212 – Sutherland Brothers: Life Boat, 1972

ILPS 9213 – Uriah Heep: The Magician’s Birthday (Label: Bronze), 1972

ILPS 9214 – Vinegar Joe: Rock & Roll Gypsies, 1972

ILPS 9215 – Mott The Hoople: Best of Mott The Hoople, 1972

ILPS 9217 – Free: Heartbreaker, 1972

ILPS 9218 – The Crusaders: The Crusaders, 1972

ILPS 9219 – Phil Upchurch: Darkness Darkness (2LP, Label: Blue Thumb), 1972

ILPS 9220 – Tempest: Tempest (Label: Bronze), 1972

ILPS 9221 – Mike Maran: Fair Warning (Label: Bronze), 1973

ILPS 9222 – Tony Hazzard: Was That Alright Then, 1972

ILPS 9223 – Ken Hensley: Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf, 1973

ILPS 9224 – Traffic: Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory, 1973

ILPS 9225 – Claire Hamill: October, 1973

ILPS 9226 – John Martyn: Solid Air, 1973

ILPS 9227 – Spooky Tooth: You Broke My Heart So … I Busted Your Jaw, 1973

ILPS 9228 – Stomu Yamashta: The Man From The East (Soundtrack), 1972

ILPS 9229 – Incredible String Band: No Ruinous Feud, 1973

ILPS 9230 – King Crimson: Lark’s Tongue In Aspic, 1973

ILPS 9231 – Toots & The Maytals: In The Dark, 1974

ILPS 9232 – Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure, 1973

ILPS 9233 – Sharks: First Water, 1973

ILPS 9234 – Scaffold: Fresh Liver, 1973

ILPS 9235 – Jimmy Cliff: Struggling Man, 1973

ILPS 9236 – Mountain: The Best Of Mountain, 1973

ILPS 9237 – Morning Glory: Morning Glory, 1973

ILPS 9238 – Rabbit: Broken Arrows, 1973

ILPS 9240 – Cat Stevens: Foreigner, 1973

ILPS 9241 – Bob Marley & The Wailers: Catch A Fire, 1973

ILPS 9242 – Stomu Yamashta: Freedom Is Frightening, 1973

ILPS 9243 – Pointer Sisters: Pointer Sisters (Label: Blue Thum), 1973

ILPS 9244 – McGuinnes Flint: Rainbow (Label: Bronze), 1973

ILPS 9245 – Uriah Heep: Sweet Freedom, 1973

ILPS 9246 – Fairport Convention: Nine, 1973

ILPS 9248 – Grimms: Rocking Duck, 1973

ILPS 9249 – Bryan Ferry: These Foolish Things, 1973

ILPS 9250 – Meters: Cissy Strut, 1974

ILPS 9251 – V.A.: This Is Reggae Music, 1973

ILPS 9252 – Roxy Music: Stranded, 1973

ILPS 9253 – John Martyn: Inside Out, 1973

ILPS 9254 – Jim Capaldi: Whale Meat Again, 1974

ILPS 9255 – Spooky Tooth: Witness, 1973

ILPS 9256 – (Bob Marley &) The Wailers: Burnin’, 1973

ILPS 9257 – Blondel: Blondel, 1973

ILPS 9258 – Sandy Denny: Like An Old Fashioned Waltz, 1973

ILPS 9259 – Sutherland Brothers: Dream Kid, 1973

ILPS 9260 – Butts Band: The Butts Band (Label: Blue Thumb/ABC), 1973

ILPS 9261 – Bob Dylan: Planet Waves, 1974

ILPS 9262 – Vinegar Joe: Six Star General, 1973

ILPS 9263 – Kevin Ayers: The Confessions Of Dr. Dream, 1974

ILPS 9264 – Paul Kossoff: Back Street Crawler, 1973

ILPS 9265 – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band: Solar Fire (Label: Bronze), 1973

ILPS 9266 – Richard & Linda Thompson: I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, 1974

ILPS 9267 – Tempest: Living In Fear, 1974

ILPS 9268 – Brian Eno: Here Come The Warm Jets, 1973

ILPS 9269 – Stomu Yamashta: One By One, 1974

ILPS 9270 – Incredible String Band: Hard Rope & Silken Twine, 1974

ILPS 9271 – Sharks: Jab In Your Eye, 1974

ILPS 9272 – Sparks: Kimono In My House, 1974

ILPS 9273 – Traffic: When The Eagle Flies, 1974

ILPS 9274 – Cat Stevens: Buddha and the Chocolate Box, 1974

ILPS 9275 – King Crimson: Starless And Bible Black, 1974

ILPS 9276 – The Pointer Sisters: That’s A Plenty (Label: Blue Thumb), 1974

ILPS 9278 – Andy Mackay: In Search Of Eddie Riff , 1975

ILPS 9279 – Bad Company: Bad Co. (different Label design), 1974

ILPS 9280 – Uriah Heep: Wonderworld (Label: Bronze), 1974

ILPS 9281 – Bob Marley & The Wailers: Natty Dread, 1974

ILPS 9282 – Prelude: After The Goldrush, 1974

ILPS 9284 – Bryan Ferry: Another Time, Another Place, 1974

ILPS 9285 – Fairport Convention: Fairport Live Convention, 1975

ILPS 9286 – Jess Roden: Jess Roden, 1974

ILPS 9287 – Bryn Haworth: Let The Days Go By, 1974

ILPS 9288 – Sutherland Brothers: Beat Of The Street, 1974

ILPS 9289 – Rabbit: Dark Saloon, 1974

ILPS 9290 – Jade Warrior: Floating World, 1974

ILPS 9291 – Ayers / Cale / Eno / Nico: June 1st 1974, 1974

ILPS 9292 – Spooky Tooth: The Mirror, 1974 (not issued in the UK, for US)

ILPS 9293 – Georgie Fame: Georgie Fame, 1974

ILPS 9294 – Robert Palmer: Sneaking Sally Through The Alley, 1974

ILPS 9296 – John Martyn: Sunday’s Child, 1974

ILPS 9297 – Heptones: Book Of Rules, 1974

ILPS 9298 – Peter Cook & Dudley Moore: Good Evening1974

ILPS 9299 – Swamp Dog: Have You Heard This Story, 1975

ILPS 9300 – New World Electronic Chamber Orchestra: Switched On Beatles, 1974

ILPS 9301 – John Cale: Fear, 1974

ILPS 9302 – McGuiness Flint: C’est La Vie, 1974

ILPS 9303 – Roxy Music: Country Life, 1974

ILPS 9304 – Bad Company: Straight Shooter, 1975

ILPS 9305 – Richard & Linda Thompson: Hokey Pokey, 1974

ILPS 9306 – Manfred Mann’s Earthband: The Good Earth (Label: Bronze), 1974

ILPS 9307 – Ken Hensley: Eager To Please (1975) (Label: Bronze), 1974

ILPS 9308 – King Crimson: Red, 1974

ILPS 9309 – Brian Eno: Talking Tiger Mountain, 1974

ILPS 9310 – Cat Stevens: Greatest Hits, 1975

ILPS 9311 – Nico: The End, 1974

ILPS 9312 – Sparks: Propaganda, 1974

ILPS 9313 – Fairport Convention: Rising For The Moon, 1975

ILPS 9314 – Gene Pitney: Pitney ’75, 1975

ILPS 9315 – Phil Manzanera: Diamond Head, 1975

ILPS 9316 – King Crimson: U.S.A. (Live), 1975

ILPS 9317 – John Cale: Slow Dazzle, 1975

ILPS 9318 – Jade Warrior: Waves, 1975

ILPS 9319 – Stomu Yamashta: Raindog, 1975

ILPS 9320 – Mike And Cookies: Mike And Cookies, 1975

ILPS 9321 – Ronnie Lane & Slim Chance: Ronny Lane’s Slim Chance, 1975

ILPS 9322 – Kevin Ayers: Sweet Deceiver, 1975

ILPS 9323 – Franco Battiato: Clic, 1975

ILPS 9324 – The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, 1974

ILPS 9325 – White Lightning: White Lightning, 1975

ILPS 9326 – Blackfoot: No Reservation, 1975

ILPS 9327 – V.A.: This Is Reggae Music Vol. 2, 1975

ILPS 9329 – Betty Davis: Nasty Gal, 1975

ILPS 9330 – Toots & The Maytals: Funky Kingston, 1975

ILPS 9331 – Fania All-Stars: The Fania All-Stars, 1975

ILPS 9332 – Bryn Haworth: Sunny Side Of The Streets, 1975

ILPS 9333 – Pete Wingfield: Breakfast Special, 1975

ILPS 9334 – Chieftains: Chieftains V, 1975

ILPS 9335 – Uriah Heep: Return To Fantasy (Label: Bronze), 1975

ILPS 9336 – Jim Capaldi: Short Cut Draw Blood, 1975

ILPS 9337 – Manfred Mann’s Earthband: Nighingale & Bombers (Label: Bronze), 1975

ILPS 9338 – Speedy Keen: Y’know Wot I Mean, 1975

ILPS 9340 – Nasty Pop: Nasty Pop, 1975

ILPS 9342 – David Byron: Take No Prisoners, 1975

ILPS 9343 – John Martyn: Live At Leeds, 1975

ILPS 9344 – Roxy Music: Siren, 1975

ILPS 9345 – Sparks: Indiscreet, 1975

ILPS 9346 – Bad Company: Run With The Pack, 1976

ILPS 9347 – Murray Head: Sooner Or Later (Say It Ain’t So), 1975

ILPS 9348 – Richard & Linda Thompson: Pour Down Like Silver, 1975

ILPS 9349 – Jess Roden: Keep Your Hat On, 1976

ILPS 9350 – John Cale: Helen Of Troy, 1975

ILPS 9351 – Brian Eno: Another Green World, 1975

ILPS 9352 – Peter Skellern: Hard Times, 1975

ILPS 9353 – Mike Gibbs: Only Chrome Waterfall Orchestra, 1975

ILPS 9354 – Paco de Lucia: Paco, 1975

ILPS 9355 – Osibisa: Welcome Home (Label: Bronze), 1975

ILPS 9356 – Colosseum II: Strange New Flesh (Label: Bronce), 1976

ILPS 9357 – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band: Roaring Silence (Label: Bronze), 1976

ILPS 9358 – Sutherland Brothers & Quiver: Sailing, 1976

ILPS 9360 – The Wild Tchoupitoulas: Wild Tchoupitoulas, 1976

ILPS 9362 – Rock Follies: Rock Follies, 1976

ILPS 9364 – The Chieftains: The Chieftains 1, 1976

ILPS 9365 – The Chieftains: The Chieftains 2, 1976

ILPS 9366 – Ronnie Lane & Slim Chance: One For The Road, 1976

ILPS 9367 – Bryan Ferry: Let’s Stick Together, 1976

ILPS 9368 – Spooky Tooth: Best of Spooky Tooth, 1976

ILPS 9369 – Third World: Third World, 1976

ILPS 9370 – Cat Stevens: Numbers, 1975

ILPS 9372 – Robert Palmer: Pressure Drop, 1975

ILPS 9374 – Toots & The Maytals: Reggae Got Soul, 1976

ILPS 9375 – UriahHeep: Best Of Uriah Heep (Label: Bronze), 1975

ILPS 9376 – Bob Marley & The Wailers: Live At The Lyceum, 1976

ILPS 9377 – Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey, 1975

ILPS 9378 – War: Why Can’t We Be Friends, 1976

ILPS 9379 – The Chieftains: The Chieftains 3, 1976

ILPS 9380 – The Chieftains: Women Of Ireland (The Chieftains 4), 1976

ILPS 9381 – The Heptones: Night Food, 1976

ILPS 9382 – Burning Spear: Garvey’s Ghost, 1976

ILPS 9383 – Bob Marley & The Wailers: Rastaman Vibration, 1976

ILPS 9384 – Uriah Heep: High & Mighty (Label: Bronze), 1976

ILPS 9385 – Dillinger: CB 200, 1976

ILPS 9386 – Jah Lion: Colombia Colly, 1976

ILPS 9387 – Stomu Yamashtu: Go, 1976

ILPS 9389 – Fairport Convention: GottleO’Gear, 1976

ILPS 9390 – Jorge Ben: Tropical, 1976

ILPS 9391 – V.A.: This Is Reggae Music Vol. 3, 1976

ILPS 9392 – Max Romeo: War Ina Babylon, 1976

ILPS 9393 – Jade Warrior: Kites, 1976

ILPS 9397 – Automatic Man: Automatic Man, 1976

ILPS 9398 – Gavin Christopher: Gavin Christopher, 1976

ILPS 9399 – Aswad: Aswad, 1976

ILPS 9400 – Roxy Music: Viva Roxy Music, 1976

ILPS 9401 – ILSP 9410 – not issued

ILPS 9411 – Osibisa: Ojah Awake, 1976

ILPS 9412 – Burning Spear: Man In The Hills, 1976

ILPS 9413 – War: Greatest Hits, 1977

ILPS 9414 – Jimmy Cliff: Jimmy Cliff (Erstveröff. 1969), 1976

ILPS 9415 – Bunny Wailer: Blackheart Man, 1976

ILPS 9416 – Justin Hines: Jezebel, 1976

ILPS 9417 – Upsetters: Super Ape, 1976

ILPS 9419 – James Montgomery Band: James Montgomery Band, 1976

ILPS 9420 – Robert Palmer: Some People Can Do What They Want, 1976

ILPS 9422 – David Pritchard: Nocturnal Earthworm Stew/ Bouillabaisse Nocturne Aux Vers De Terre, 1976

ILPS 9425 – Michael Nesmith: Compilation, 1977

ILPS 9426 – Osamu Kitajima: Osamu, 1977

ILPS 9428 – Mike Nesmith: The Prison, 1977

ILPS 9429 – Automatic Man: Visitors, 1977

ILPS 9431 – Burning Spear: Dry & Heavy, 1977

ILPS 9432 – Chieftains: Bonapartes Retreat, 1977

ILPS 9433 – Sandy Denny: Rendezvous, 1977

ILPS 9434 – Derek & Clive: Peter Cook & Dudley Moore Present Derek & Clive, 1976

ILPS 9439 – Michael Nesmith: And The Hits Just Keep On Coming, 1977;
(original release in 1972)

ILPS 9440 – Michael Nesmith: Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stach, 1977; (original release in 1973)

ILPS 9441 – Bad Company: Burnin’ Sky, 1977

ILPS 9442 – Jess Roden: Play It Dirtz Play It Class, 1977

ILPS 9443 – Third World: 96 Degree In The Shade, 1977

ILPS 9444 – 801 – 801 Live, 1976

ILPS 9445 – Sparks: Big Beat, 1976

ILPS 9446 – Eddie Quansah: CheCheKule, 1977

ILPS 9447 – Fania All Stars: Delicate And Jump, 1976

ILPS 9449 – Ultravox! Ultravox! 1977

ILPS 9450 – American Standard Band (1979)

ILPS 9451 – Cat Stevens: Izitso

ILPS 9452 – The Goodies: Nothing To Do With Us, 1976

ILPS 9453 – Free: Free’n Easy Rough’n Ready, 1977

ILPS 9454 – Booker Little – The Legendary Quartet Album, 1977

ILPS 9455 – Dillinger: Bionic Dread (Black Swan label), 1976

ILPS 9456 – Heptones: Party Time, 1977

ILPS 9457 – Eddie And The Hot Rods: Teenage Depression, 1976

ILPS 9459 – John Cale: Guts, 1977

ILPS 9460 – Heron: Diamond Of Dream, 1977

ILPS 9461 – Klaus Schulze: Mirage, 1977

ILPS 9462 – Kaleidoscope: When Scopes Collide, 1976

ILPS 9464 – Max Romeo: Reconstruction, 1977

ILPS 9470 – Grace Jones: Portfolio, 1977

ILPS 9474 – Roomful Of Blues – Roomful Of Blues, 1977

ILPS 9476 – Robert Palmer: Double Fun, 1978

ILPS 9478 – Brian Eno: Before And After Science, 1977

ILPS 9483 – Uriah Heep: Firefly (Label: Bronze), 1977

ILPS 9484 – John Martyn: So Far So Good, 1977

ILPS 9485 – Rico: Man From Wareika, 1977

ILPS 9486 – Michael Nesmith: From Radio Engine To The Photon Wing, 1977

ILPS 9487 – Georgie Fame: Daylight, 1977

ILPS 9488 – Paco De Lucia: Almoraima, 1977

ILPS 9489 – Illusion: Out Of The Mist, 1977

ILPS 9490 – Rough Diamond: Rough Diamond, 1977

ILPS 9491 – Reebop Kwaku Baah & Ganoua: Trance, 1977

ILPS 9492 – John Martyn: One World, 1977

ILPS 9493 – Sparks: The Best Of The Sparks, 1977

ILPS 9494 – Steve Winwood: Steve Winwood, 1977

ILPS 9496 – Jess Roden: Blowin´ (Live), 1977

ILPS 9497 – Jim Capaldi: Play It by Ear, 1977

ILPS 9498 – Bob Marley & The Wailers: Exodus, 1977

ILPS 9499 – Junior Murvin: Police & Thieves, 1977

ILPS 9500 – Ian Gillan: Clear Air Turbulence, 1977

ILPS 9501 – Chieftains: Chieftains Live, 1977

ILPS 9502 – Steel Pulse: Handsworth Revolution, 1977

ILPS 9503 – Max Romeo: Reconstruction, 1978

ILPS 9504 – George Faith: To Be A Lover (Black Swan label), 1976

ILPS 9505 – Ultravox! : ha!-ha!-ha!, 1977

ILPS 9506 – Jess Roden: The Player Not The Game, 1977

ILPS 9507 – War: Platinum Jazz (2LP), 1977

ILPS 9509 – Eddie And The Hot Rods: Life On The Line, 1977

ILPS 9510 – Klaus Schulze: Body Love (Soundtrack), 1977

ILPS 9511 – Ian Gillan: Scarabus, 1977

ILPS 9512 – Bunny Wailer: Protest, 1977

ILPS 9513 – Burning Spear: Live, 1977

ILPS 9516 – Rico Rodriguez: Midnight In Ethiopia (never released)

ILPS 9517 – Bob Marley & The Wailers: Kaya, 1978

ILPS 9519 – Illusion: Illusion, 1978

ILPS 9521 – I Jah Man: Haile I Hym, 1978

ILPS 9523 – Wailing Souls: Wild Suspense, 1978

ILPS 9524 – V.A.: Intensified! (1962-66), 1978

ILPS 9525 – Grace Jones: Fame, 1978

ILPS 9527 – Roundtree: Roller Disco, 1978

ILPS 9529 – MX-80 Sound: Hard Attack, 1977

ILPS 9530 – V.A.: One Big Happy Family, 1978

ILPS 9531 – Jess Roden: Stone Chaser, 1979

ILPS 9532 – Justin Hines & The Dominoes: Just In Time, 1979

ILPS 9534 – Toots & The Maytals: Pass The Pipe, 1979

ILPS 9535 – Joe Higgs: Unity Is Power, 1979

ILPS 9536 – Runner: Runner, 1979

ILPS 9537 – Invisible Man’s Band: Invisible Man’s Band, 1979

ILPS 9538 – Grace Jones: Muse, 1979

ILPS 9539 – Manu Dibango: Gone Clear, 1980

ILPS 9541 – Pablo Moses: A Song, 1980

ILPS 9542 – Bob Marley & The Wailers: Survival, 1979

ILPS 9544 – Robert Palmer: Secrets, 1979

ILPS 9545 – Ian Gillan: Liva At The Budokan, 1980

ILPS 9547 – Zap Pow: Zap Pow, 1980

ILPS 9550 – Darryl Way: Concerto For Electric Violin, 1978

ILPS 9551 – Roger McGough: Summer With Monica, 1978

ILPS 9552 – Jade Warrior: Way Of The Sun, 1978

ILPS 9554 – Third World: Journey To Addis, 1978

ILPS 9555 – Ultravox: Systems Of Romance, 1978

ILPS 9556 – Burning Spear: Social Living,1978

ILPS 9557 – I Jah Man: Are We A Warrior, 1979

ILPS 9558 – Inner Circle: Everything Is Great, 1979

ILPS 9559 – Charlie Dore: Where To Now, 1980

ILPS 9563 – Eddie & The Hot Rods: Thriller, 1979

ILPS 9564 – Hi-Tension: Hi-Tension, 1978

ILPS 9565 – Cat Stevens: Back To Earth, 1978

ILPS 9566 – Linton Kwesi Johnson: Forces Of Victory, 1979

ILPS 9567 – Burning Spear: Harder Than The Best, 1978

ILPS 9568 – Steel Pulse: Tribute To The Martyrs, 1979

ILPS 9569 – Third World: The Story’s Been Told, 1979

ILPS 9570 – Marianne Faithful: Broken English, 1979

ILPS 9572 – Kim Fowley: Snake Document Masquerade, 1979

ILPS 9573 – The Slits: Cut, 1979

ILPS 9574 – Third World: Arise In Harmony, 1980

ILPS 9576 – Steve Winwood: Arc Of A Diver, 1980

ILPS 9577 – In Crowd: Man From New Guinea, 1979; (ZCI 9577)

ILPS 9579 – Gibson Brothers: Cuba, 1979

ILPS 9580 – The B-52’s: The B-52’s, 1979

ILPS 9581 – Serge Gainsbourg: Aux Armes Et Cetera, 1979

ILPS 9583 – V.A.: Scratch On The Wire, 1979

ILPS 9585 – Buggles: Age Of Plastic, 1980

ILPS 9587 – V.A.: Rockers (Soundtrack), 1979

ILPS 9590 – Toots & The Maytals: Just Like That, 1980

ILPS 9591 – Sugar Minott: Black Roots, 1979

ILPS 9592 – Grace Jones: Warm Leatherette, 1980

ILPS 9593 – Black Uhuru: Sinsemilla, 1980

ILPS 9594 – Strand: Strand, 1980

ILPS 9595 – Robert Palmer: Clues, 1980

ILPS 9596 – Bob Marley & The Wailers: Uprising, 1980

ILPS 9599 – Aswad: Live & Direct, 1983

ILPS 9601 – Secret Police Men: Secret Policemen’s Ball, 1980

ILPS 9603 – Jags: Evening Standards, 1980

ILPS 9604 – Distractions: Nobody’s Perfect, 1980

ILPS 9605 – Linton Kwesi Johnson: Bass Culture, 1980

ILPS 9606 – Michael Prophet: Serious Reasoning, 1980

ILPS 9608 – Inner Circle: New Age Music, 1980

ILPS 9611 – Aswad: Hulet, 1979

ILPS 9613 – Steel Pulse: Caught You, 1980

ILPS 9614 – Ultravox: Three Into One, 1979

ILPS 9615 – Vivian Jackson (Yabba U): Jah Jah Way, 1980

ILPS 9616 – Third World: Prisoner In The Street, 1980

ILPS 9617 – Rivits: Multiplay, 1980

ILPS 9618 – Randy Vanwarmer: Terraform, 1980

ILPS 9619 – Toni Tuff: Tony Tuff, 1980

ILPS 9620 – Gibson Brothers: On The Riviera, 1980

ILPS 9622 – The B-52’s: Wild Planet, 1980

ILPS 9641 – Basement 5: 1965-1980, 1980

ILPS 9646 – U2: Boy, 1980

ILPS 9647 – Toots & The Maytals: Live, 1980

ILPS 9649 – Judy Mowatt: Black Woman, (Label: Island/Grove Muzic) 1980

ILPS 9650 – Linton Kwesi Johnson: LKJ In Dub, 1980

ILPS 9656 – Ruichi Sakamoto: B-2 Unit, 1980

 

 

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Paul Simon (AjantaMusic) – Part 2

Part Two – Surviving the Fallout

© Martin Smith, May 2014.
There’s a lot of work gone into this. Please do not copy without permission.

Former Ultravox and Magazine guitarist Robin Simon and his brother Paul (both of Neo) have recently released their third album’ The Secret Door’ as AjantaMusic on Paul’s label Stratotester Records.

Both musicians share a hidden history of influential associations and peripheral infiltration that spans over 30 years.

I caught up with Paul Simon recently at his home in West London to talk about his journey through the independent music scene, their recording history and his latest projects.

 

What happened next [after Neo split] and how did you become involved with Trevor Herion?

I started The Civilians in 1978 with Michael French, a bass player and song writer. He’d seen Neo, he knew they’d gone and I was at a bit of a loose end. He kept pestering me to start a group with him. He came from Lewisham but he’s living in San Francisco now. I’ve just got back in touch.

We got a really great guitarist called Mark Scholfield who had had some success with a group called Fischer-Z. Our first singer was a Scot, Billy Rankina boy wonder who had played with The Alex Harvey Band when he was 16 and later played with Nazareth. He sang lead and played guitar. When he left The Civilians we did a kind of publishing swap, and Nazareth had a hit with one of my Civilians co-writes (‘My Preservation’).

Anyway, it took a while to replace Billy, but eventually we found Trevor Herion. We put an advert in Melody Maker and we must have auditioned 100 singers, and then we found him. When he came along, we knew we’d got the right singer. He had a great image and he could deliver a good vocal. He had a unique, jerky way of dancing when he sang, a little bit like Ian Curtis of Joy Division. He was a bit quirky, a strange character. But he was really good. A tremendous singer with a lot of style.

There was another really odd line-up around then too, that lasted for one afternoon. One day Marco Pirroni rang me up and he said, “I’ve got this singer. Well, he thinks he’s a singer, and I’m thinking of doing a line-up with him.” Marco knew me and Michael, so he said, ” I’ll bring this guy along. I’ll play guitar, you and Michael do the rhythm section” I remember clearing all the furniture out of the dining room of my house one afternoon when everybody else was at work and Michael and I set our gear up. Marco turns up with this guy – and it’s Steve Strange! He had all the leather gear on, that peaked cap image like the one Midge [Ure] went through a little bit later on. He didn’t seem confident in his singing, but he looked the part, and I could see why Marco wanted to do something with him. We jammed away for a couple of hours but that was it. Steve spent most of the afternoon listening to us.

That’s so cool! Nice little story. Go on, The Civilians?

From a standing start it took The Civilians about two years to land a major recording contract with Arista Records, in 1979 after being chased by several other major labels. We did a showcase at a studio called Suma on Lots Road in Chelsea, where the Pistols used to rehearse. It was run by Chris Suma who used to be the lighting guy for The Rolling Stones. We had about ten record companies in the room at the same time. One of our guests was ‘Woody’ Woodmansey from the Spiders From Mars[13]. I loved Woody’s playing. I remember he stood right at the front of the crowd while I played – very nerve-racking for me.

Was he impressed?

Yeah, he loved it! It was a good time. I didn’t see him again for about twenty years.  I met him again in 1994 when I played the Mick Ronson tribute gig with Glen Matlock at the Hammersmith Odeon. Woody was playing in another version of the Spiders. They had Joe Elliott[14] on lead vocals, Trevor Boulder and Woody from the original Spiders and … guess who stood in for Mick Ronson – guitarist Billy Rankin from The Civilians! Small world…

The Civilians lasted up until 1980. We got this major record deal with Arista.  We were signed by Billy Lawrie, Lulu’s brother. He used to write for The Bee Gees and he’d been at Island in publishing, and knew me from Radio days. I trusted Billy, plus Iggy Pop was on the label, and Clive Davis (Bob Dylan’s mentor) was in charge, so we signed to Arista. We received a substantial advance, and they sent us into the studio with a producer to make some new demos. Our manager had played me ‘Video Killed the Radiostar’ by the Buggles before its release, to see if I thought anything of it. I immediately recognised a hit and, yes, the production was great! We needed a producer for our first single and asked Trevor Horn if he was interested.  We auditioned him in a tiny basement rehearsal room opposite the then Camden Palace. He said we were amazing and wanted to work with us.

In the event, as soon as ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ was released and went to No. 1, Trevor Horn’s diary filled up rapidly. We were told we’d have to wait 6 months to work with him. Arista suggested Andy Arthurs, a young producer who was flavour of the month at the time. We went into Wessex Studios, where all the Roxy Music albums and The Sex Pistols album had been recorded. The Clash were semi-resident in the smaller studio during our time there. We recorded three tracks with Andy, ‘Made for Television’, ‘I See My Friends’ and ‘Is This Romance?’. We brought in Hans Zimmer to play keyboards for us. Our first single was released shortly afterwards, but was withdrawn after we’d been on Arista for only two months. There was a political upheaval in the company. Billy Lawrie got fired and all his acts (including us, Iggy Pop and Simple Minds) were dropped.

We carried on for a while, trying to secure another record deal and did some gigs, but unfortunately Trevor [Herion] became awkward and tried to take over the group. This was ironic as he was the last member to join, we had handed him the deal on a plate and, up to that point, he had made no contribution to the song-writing. So I left, to join Cowboys International, and they carried on. Not long after I left, they fired Trevor; Michael took over as lead singer. They had a deal with Secret Records, owned by our former manager Martin Hooker who later made a fortune by signing Metallica to his label. I also had a solo deal with the same label.

OK. I didn’t know you ever went solo?

In 1981 when I started Happy Birthday Records, I recorded as a solo artist under the name ‘Paul Dupre’ (my mother’s maiden name). I released one single, backed by members of Cowboys International. I sang and played drums.

Cowboys International – another one of those ‘collectives’?

Shortly after The Civilians broke up, I had joined Ken Lockie’s group Cowboys International. The original drummer Terry Chimes (formerly of The Clash alongside Keith Levene) had left to join Billy Idol; Jimmy Hughes the bass player had left; and they’d never really had a proper guitarist. I helped Ken restructure the group by bringing in Stevie Shears who’d been replaced in Ultravox! by Robin. I was still friends with Stevie and I thought he needed a break. I also brought in Lee Robinson, former bass player for Boney M and Marcia Griffiths.

I did a European tour with them and started recording what was going to be the second Cowboys album, with Stevie, Lee and Ken at Good Earth Studios in Soho.

I’d done some stuff with them earlier, too, while I was still in The Civilians. Some of the original songs, that became the first and only Cowboys International album had been originated by Ken Lockie and Keith Levene. They shared a squat in Regents Park, so it was easy for them to work together. An early version of Cowboys International, before they were signed to Virgin, included me, Ken Lockie and Marco Pirroni – Keith [Levene] was never an official member of the band, but played guitar on several tracks on the album. Marco was a member of Cowboys International before I joined and, around this time, I did one of my early production jobs, recording his group Rema Rema.

The early recordings we made were produced by Mitch Mitchell [drummer] from the Jimi Hendrix Experience and [John] Poli Parmer who used to play for Family.

How did you meet Mitch Mitchell?

During the punk days a lot of the previous generation’s stars were still working and living in London. I met Mitch and Poli through friends in Fulham and shared a social scene with them, meeting Bad Company and Led Zeppelin. It was all going on at the same time and some of them took a great interest in Neo. They would come down The Vortex to check us out. Mitch helped me a great deal with his generosity and good advice.  He was my drummer hero and it was a gas to work with him.

Tell me some more about Happy Birthday Records…

It was my idea.  Through my then partner and former EMI publicist Paula Adams, I met the late Marcus Östherdahl. He owned Marcus Recordings, the former CTS recording studio in Kensington Gardens Square, where The Beatles recorded ‘She’s Leaving Home’. It was a fabulous studio with a very big live room. The three partners in the company were Marcus, Paula and me. Amongst the people I signed were Thomas Dolby, Trevor Herion and Girls At Our Best!

Before bringing them to the label, I had worked with Girls At Our Best! on Rough Trade Records. I was recommended to them by Glen Matlock of The Sex Pistols. I produced and played drums and synth on two songs, ‘Politics’ and ‘It’s Fashion’[15]. Backing tracks were recorded at Cargo Studios in Rochdale and I mixed the single at Matrix Studios, London. John Peel was a big fan of ours and gave us a lot of airplay. At one point he described Girls At Our Best! as his favourite indie band. It was Rough Trade’s first ever international release. It appears on numerous Best Of Rough Trade compilations and was a hit in the UK Independent Charts.

The Fallout Club was formed when Tom brought in Matthew Seligman to join Trevor and me. With The Fallout Club, I recorded Trevor’s song ‘Dream Soldiers’[16] and one of Tom’s, ‘Pedestrian Walkway’.

I’m a fan of Trevor Herion. The ‘Beauty Life’ album is quite special and I’ve got a couple of singles too I think. ‘A Kiss Of No Return’?

Yes, after The Civilians and The Fallout Club, Trevor had a solo deal.  Although his releases weren’t commercially successful, they’re classics of the 80s. The last time I saw Trevor was at the Marquee in 1984.  He apologised profusely for breaking up The Civilians.  He committed suicide in 1988.

What was Robin up to at this time?

Robin was in New York, living in Coney Island. As you know, he left Ultravox! when John did in ’79, because he didn’t think the group had much of a future without John. He stayed on in New York for a year and a half, trying to find another band to join. He also got married there.

The interesting thing is that on both the first Ultravox album with Midge and on the first John Foxx solo album there are versions of songs worked on by the original five-piece with Robin. What’s even more interesting is that I think ‘Metamatic’ is the best album John has ever made, and I think the first Ultravox album with Midge is the best one they made. However, I think the best work Midge and Billy ever did together was with Visage. Especially that second album, ‘The Anvil’.

When the Vox went over to New York for the first time after John had left [November 1979], they asked Robin if he wanted to join them on the tour, on guitar. However, it wasn’t on the same terms as before. Back when John was there, all members had been on an equal share of royalties. When they offered Robin the gig back with Ultravox, it was only on a session basis so he declined.

When Robin eventually came back to England he got offered the gig with Magazine. That was really the next thing he did properly after leaving Ultravox, and it was set up through a guy called Raf Edmunds who at one time had managed Neo. He heard that Robin was back in England, so when John McGeoch left magazine to join Siouxsie & The Banshees, Robin replaced him. He toured the USA with Magazine; they also did gigs in Europe and Australia. He plays on the live album of the tour, ‘Play’, and made a contribution to the album that followed.

Part One Part Three

Notes on the text

[13]Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey, drummer with The Spiders From Mars, 1969 – 1973

[14]Joe Elliott : Singer / songwriter and guitarist, Def Leppard

[15]Girls At Our Best! single : ‘Politics! c/w It’s Fashion (RoughTrade RT055).

[16]The Fallout Club : ‘Dream Soldiers’ c/w ‘Pedestrian Walkway’ (Happy Birthday

records, May 1981)

 

Dream Soldiers (Paul Simon remix) now available from AjantaMusic

http://www.ajantamusic.com/News/tabid/61/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/14/Dream-Soldiers-EP–The-Fallout-Club.aspx

 

The Fallout Club – Still Dreaming

We’re the Dream Soldiers who’ll always be there
We’re the Dream Soldiers you’ll always love…

The Fallout Club’s  Dream Soldiers, originally released in the spring of 1981, is one of those classic singles most 80s muso’s seem to love but for some reason was never the massive hit it should have been.
Which of course leaves the track free to enjoy a richly deserved, somewhat enigmatic cult status. It’s a big step forward from the band’s synthpop debut of six month’s earlier, though that simple track too (Falling Years) is another favourite of mine and was similarly overlooked in those fickle times.

I’m a big fan of singer Trevor Herion, a young Irishman with a distinctive voice and style. His album ‘Beauty Life’ (Interdisc 1983) is a gem and well worth checking out if you can find a copy. And graced by a Peter Saville cover too, as if that weren’t endorsement enough…

Before that recording though, Herion was discovered and astutely recruited by drummer Paul Simon for his band The Civilians and recorded one single with them on Arista (Made For Television, featuring Hans Zimmer), before joining synth-meister Thomas Dolby and bassist Matthew Seligman at Paul’s Happy Birthday Records as The Fallout Club.

And here they are again. Still dreaming, and still sounding just as romantic and cool as they ever did. Paul Simon has done a wonderful job remixing and digitally remastering the track, retaining the melody and atmosphere of the original among new layers of guitar and voice provided by his colleagues in AjantaMusic – guitarist and ever-understated prince of plectra Robin Simon and soprano Gina Watson. Her operatic backing vocals complement the richness of Herion’s mournful crooning perfectly, and Robin’s fretwork takes the song into another dimension altogether. He’s given even more space to play, perchance to dream, in the Alternative Mix, weaving around Dolby’s confident synths with a sensitive balance of lead and echo.

There’s a delicious clarity to Herion’s haunting vocal too that the original lacks, and (perhaps as you’d expect) the persistent drum that holds it all together is higher in the mix. For those familiar with the original – included on this EP as the second track – the extended ending of Paul’s remix is a refreshing twist.

Rest easy. If you loved the Fallout Club and the Dream Soldiers then, be assured that you always will, as AjantaMusic effectively deliver on Herion’s original promise.

Dream Soldiers (Paul Simon & AjantaMusic remix) EP is available now

http://www.ajantamusic.com/News/tabid/61/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/14/Dream-Soldiers-EP–The-Fallout-Club.aspx

Paul Simon (AjantaMusic) – Part 1

Part One – From Yorkshire Funk to London Punk

© Martin Smith, May 2014.
There’s a lot of work gone into this. Please do not copy without permission.

Former Ultravox and Magazine guitarist Robin Simon and his brother Paul (both of Neo) have recently released their third album’ The Secret Door’ as AjantaMusic on Paul’s label Stratotester Records. Both musicians share a hidden history of influential associations and peripheral infiltration that spans over 30 years. I caught up with Paul Simon recently at his home in West London to talk about his journey through the independent music scene, their recording history and his latest projects.

Tell us about where this all started. Weren’t you in a band with Billy Currie once at the beginning, up in Yorkshire? 

I formed my first band, The Cosmonauts, at school when I was 12. We played songs by Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and the Rolling Stones. When I was 16 and at grammar school, I formed another band with my friend Philip McNally, this time playing original music. Coincidentally, my younger brother Robin had rapidly progressed from playing rhythm to lead guitar in the space of one summer holiday and I asked him to join us.  Kandahar was a kind of psychedelic rock band with an Indian influence. We did our first gigs in youth clubs and local pubs.

I met Billy Currie when I was 17. I was in the sixth form at school and had become a member of the Junior Arts Council, through which I helped found a club called the Halifax Arts Lab, modelled on the Arts Lab in Drury Lane, London. We had the top floor of an old warehouse in the centre of Halifax and used to show arts films such as Fellini’s ‘Satirycon’ [1969] and ‘Repulsion’ by Roman Polanski [1965].  We also ran gigs and staged improvisational theatre. The People Show eventually grew from this scene. I was the DJ there, playing American psychedelic rock alongside The Beatles and Pink Floyd. One night Billy walked in and introduced himself as a fellow musician. He’d come over from nearby Huddersfield. He was already playing viola then and a little later, when the Kandahar violinist (Janet Austin) left, Billy replaced her. He was already a consummate player and, though his background was classical, he could play freeform too. We didn’t actually do any gigs, but rehearsed in the local church hall for some months and would jam away for hours. Billy drifted off after a while, though we remained friends, and was replaced by another guitarist. Kandahar progressed to the college circuit and continued until I left Halifax to go to Art College in Birmingham.

After leaving Art College, I travelled overland to India on a six-month journey of cultural discovery and when I got home I worked with Billy again. We became the backing musicians for a theatre group[1] in a show called ‘The Electric Sunrise, whose director had also been the director of Apple Theatre for The Beatles. I played tablas, Billy played viola; we improvised whilst Eddie Maelov and Sunshine Patterson (later of Gloria Mundi) danced. We did some college gigs around the north of England, but not quite a tour. Kandahar re-formed but by 1975 Robin and I were ready to do something more professional. We couldn’t find local musicians ambitious enough, so we advertised in Melody Maker for band members and found an American bass player, Tom, and a keyboard player from Essex, Gary. After a time with a female singer from Sheffield, a friend of the early Human League, we advertised again. We were contacted by a London management company who were looking for a band to back a singer from the USA called Limmie Snell. The previous year, along with his two sisters as Limmie and The Family Cookin’, he’d had two international Top Ten hits with ‘It’s A Walking Miracle’ and ‘You Can Do Magic’[2].

He had split with his sisters, left America and relocated to London. Limmie came up from London with a management representative and his MD, auditioned us and we became Limmie Funk Limited[3] – so we had the funk before the punk.

There’s an element of ‘the funk’ in The Secret Door too…

Oh yeah, you can hear the funk in a lot of what we do, and so you can still hear some of the funk in AjantaMusic. Limmie had been in the band that became the O’Jays and he’d also toured supporting James Brown with The Family Cookin’. We learned a great deal from being schooled in the style of an American soul review. This involved rehearsing 6-8 hours a day. We began a tour with Limmie, but it ran out of steam and ended in London in early ’76. Tom knew somebody who had a squat in Vauxhall which became our new base.

Everybody lived in a squat in London in ’76, I think!

Yes, there was a large squatters community and some strange coincidences around that time – we shared the house with a girl who was going out with Dave Robinson who managed Graham Parker and the Rumour and Ian Dury. Those bands would come round to the squat to collect their wages from Dave. He later started Stiff Records.

I’d been in London less than two weeks when this same girl told us there was a pub in Balham, The Bedford, with live music. We went along and the band that night was the 101’ers with Joe Strummer on vocals and guitar.
At the end of the evening I looked over at the bar and there was Billy. He had already moved down from Huddersfield via a stint in Bristol with The Company Road Show, but I hadn’t seen him for a while and had no idea he was in London. (The last time I’d seen him was when I was hitch-hiking down to London to a Pink Floyd gig. I was on the motorway, and this guy in a van stopped to let me get in, and when I got in Billy was already sat in the back, also hitching to London!) Anyway, Billy’s there at the bar and I guess we both thought, “Great! Mates from home”, so we started knocking around together again.

Is this the first time you encountered Ultravox!?

Yes. One night round at Billy’s flat in Herne Hill, he said, “Have a listen to this. I’m playing with this group called Tiger Lily. What do you think?”. He played me three or four tracks and he showed me a photograph of the group.

I said to him “Yeah, I think it looks very interesting”. The image was interesting and I thought it had something going for it and advised him to stick with it, They were rehearsing in a mannequin factory at the time and recording with Steve Lillywhite on studio downtime. I went there a couple of times and they were struggling. I remember Billy saying he and Dennis [Leigh, latterly ‘John Foxx’ ] had been down to Oxford Street giving away tickets to a gig they’d set up, just trying to get anybody interested. Anyway, eventually, with the help of the Steve Lilywhite recordings, they got the deal with Island Records.

They were looking around for a name – I think they were going to be called The Innocents. One day I said to Billy to tell Dennis to come up with a name that says “extra” something, “more than” something. I don’t know if that was fed back, but shortly after that “Ultravox!” came up…

And around the same time you met Ian North?

Yes. Again, Billy was responsible for introducing us. He rang me up one day and said, “There’s this guy buzzing around called Ian North. Eno’s brought him over from New York and he’s looking for a drummer. He’s auditioning.” So I went up to Island and got the gig with Ian’s Radio. It was Ian and another guy who I didn’t know at the time so I asked someone who it was. They told me it was Martin Gordon, from Sparks.

So how did Robin come to meet Ultravox!?

The first link was my friendship with Billy, and Billy joining Kandahar in Halifax. When we first came to London, Robin and I were playing in a Bowie-ish band called Wild Side, fronted by Claire Fletcher. We quit that to look for something that was better established. For a while, Robin played in a group called Hellhound with Sammy Mitchell who was a really noted British blues player, famous for playing the lead guitar on ‘Sailin’ by Rod Stewart. The bass player was Brian Turrington, who’d been in Eno’s band The Winkies[4]. I joined a band with Top Topham from the Yardbirds, playing my first London gig at the Marquee.  Billy was there. That was the beginning of it really. When Hellhound broke up, I suggested to Robin that he join Ian’s Radio because it seemed likely we were going to get signed to Island, who had been giving us free rehearsal space and studio time. Ian and I had already done one gig as a trio, with Martin Gordon (ex Sparks), at the Nashville, supporting Ultravox!, before changing the name to Radio when Robin came on board.

What happened to Radio, and what did you do after that?

Martin Gordon had another long-standing musical relationship going on with Andy Ellison from John’s Children, a group which had once included Marc Bolan. They’d had a group called Jet that signed to CBS and he was in the process of rebranding them as Radio Stars (a strangely similar name!)

At the end of ’76, Martin asked me to go to a studio in Tooting to record some tracks with him. (The studio was where New Muzik used to do all their stuff. In fact I think it was the same engineer[5].) At that time Martin and I were both still in Radio and were managed by John Hewlett who had been Sparks’ manager. John had a fallout with Sparks and he had the backline and the whole of their touring PA in his garage in Carshalton. We used to go down there and raid it for amps and all sorts of bits and bobs.

So Radio was not the same band as Radio Stars?

No, it wasn’t, although at one point the two bands almost merged. There are some recordings called ‘Radio’ which are me, Ian, Martin and Robin together just very briefly as a four-piece with Andy Ellison on backing vocals. We were a power-pop band. When Martin left to start Radio Stars, he asked me to join them. At that the same time, Radio changes its name to Neo, with a line-up of myself, Ian and Robin, so there’s some overlap between the two bands.

The first record I played on was the ‘Stop It’ EP by Radio Stars, recorded for Chiswick Records while I was in Neo. It was good experience for me as Martin knew a lot more about production than I did.  While with Sparks he’d arranged their track ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough (For The Both Of Us) – still Sparks’ biggest hit to date. I’m also on some of the first Radio Stars album, though not credited, as I decided to continue with Neo and not join Radio Stars full time.

Tell me how you got involved with the punk scene.

Ian North introduced me to punk and the ex-pat New Yorkers, who by this time were arriving in London – people like Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan, Lee Black Childers, Wayne County, Cherry Vanilla and a certain Nancy Spungen. Ian had been in a group called Milk ‘n’ Cookies who played CBGB, and he already had a deal with Island. Interestingly, Ian had a Saturday job when he was at school, working at Manny’s Music Store in New York and he sold Joey Ramone his first guitar. Ian had brought some stuff over from America.

The first punk record I ever heard was ‘Blank Generation’ by Richard Hell and the Voidoids. It’s one of the best punk records ever. I think actually there were only two or three real punk groups – The Ramones, The Voidoids and The Sex Pistols … and The Damned, probably. And of course, I soon discovered Iggy Pop, the archetype punk. So Neo became involved in the punk scene. We toughened up our sound and added a hard edge to the power pop. For a while, Neo had a residency at The Man In The Moon on The King’s Road, a really early punk gig.

We had bands like Adam And The Ants and X-Ray Spex supporting us. Now it’s a gastro-pub! When we were playing there, all sorts of people used to come down. I remember Tim Rose, Andy Summers[6] and Mitch Mitchell coming to see us. There were all these people around, but actually the punk thing was quite small. Billy and Dennis (now calling himself John Foxx) also knew about punk. I used to go down to the Roxy Club in Covent Garden with Billy and John to see The Damned at The Hope and Anchor[7]. It was very early days for The Damned. We also went to see The Clash at the ICA when there were five of them[8], when another guitarist that I worked with called Keith Levene was in them. That was the night Patti Smith jumped up on stage…

The Clash were very good, right from the start. I first met Glen [Matlock] at one of the Neo gigs at the Roxy Club in Covent Garden. We came off stage one night and two guys came up to me and started talking. They were really enthusiastic and I thought, “We’ve got some fans here”. Then somebody told me afterwards that they were Mick Jones from The Clash and Glen from the Pistols. I’ve known Glen well ever since then.  Neo played four or five gigs a week throughout 1977 with residencies at The Marquee, The Speakeasy and the Vortex Club. While we were playing down the Vortex [Wardour Street, Soho] I met The Models, whose guitarist was called Marco Pirroni[9]. I got to know him quite well early on.

And another of those early punk bands was Mean Street, with Gary Numan. They are on the ‘Live At The Vortex’ album that Neo have two tracks on[10]. I heard that the album went to Number One in Germany and sold 50,000 copies, but we never saw any money from it.

I understand John Foxx was quite a fan?

Yes, John used to come and see us at the Hope & Anchor and invited us to support Ultravox! on numerous occasions.  He said to us that, including the Pistols, Neo was the best punk band he ever saw. I remember Maria[11] from X-Ray Spex telling us that we were at least two years ahead of it all. We were a bit too competent for punk really, although The Pistols were competent, and The Clash because they had Joe Strummer who had done an incredible number of gigs. I must have seen him at least 25 times with the 101’ers before he joined The Clash. Most of the other so-called punk bands of the time were too painful to witness.

Ultravox! were arguably one of those bands ‘too competent to play punk’ as well…?

Well, yeah, they were. In fact, one of the reasons we used to go to The Roxy was because Billy was trying to get Andy Czekowski to book Ultravox!. But Andy wouldn’t book them because they were too good. He only wanted beginner-type things. Punk was very clique-y really and very competitive. It wasn’t everybody trying to help each other. Eventually, it became a scramble as the major labels caught up on the street scene and realised it spelled the death knell for old bands.

What happened to Neo?

Neo were a very successful live band. By the time we were recording the ‘Live At The Vortex’ album, we were receiving offers from major record companies. It eventually came down to a choice between Charisma who had the first Peter Gabriel album then (which they played to us before it was released) and Jet Records. run by Don Arden[12], a notorious heavy, known for hanging people out of windows by their ankles! Neo broke up over which record deal we should sign. Robin and I wanted to sign with Charisma; Ian wanted to sign with Jet, because they had ELO and he was modelling himself on Jeff Lynne, in more ways than one. Jeff Lynne is a kind of autocrat which was the way Ian wanted to go, and that’s what broke the group up. Ian didn’t want to let us write any songs in Neo, which was difficult because we have always written, and a lot of Neo’s arrangements were done by Robin and me.

We did contribute to the songs, although Ian had originated them. Interestingly, some months later Peter Gabriel’s manager called me asking if Robin and I would audition for his band. By this time, I had started The Civilians and Robin was a member of Ultravox! Ian signed for Jet but ended up buying back his own recordings from the label and leaving the UK empty-handed

to be continued… www.ajantamusic.com

Part TwoPart Three

Notes on the text

[1]  The ‘Ritual’ Theatre Company (www.billycurrie.com)

[2]  Limmie Snell : LS & Family Cookin’ (Canton, Ohio). Released three singles in the UK – ‘You Can Do Magic’ reached No.3 (1973) and ‘A Walking Miracle’ reached No.6 (1974)

[3]  As ‘Limmie Funk Limited’, with Tony Mansfield and Nick Straker who went on to form New Muzik in 1976.

[4]  The Winkies were independent of Brian Eno, but supported him on his first and only tour with ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’ in February 1974.

[5]  Tony Mansfield.

[6]   Andy Summers : Guitarist, The Police

[7]  The Damned played at The Hope and Anchor in Islington several times between November 1976 and February 1977

[8]   Saturday 23rd October, 1976, featuring support from The Subway Sect

[9]   Marco Pirroni : Guitarist and songwriter. (Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cowboys International, Adam and the Ants)

[10] Various Artists : ‘Live At The Vortex‘ (NEMS, December 1977)

[11]  Marianne Said or Mari Elliot, aka ‘Poly Strene’ : X-Ray Spex

[12]  Father of Sharon Arden, wife of Ozzy Osbourne.