Alan Charnley – vocals, Chris McMahon – keyboards & programming, Nick Robinson – guitars
Alan was a local journalist who had been pursuing stardom through his songs for many years. I’d known him for some years and did the odd session or two for him. He’d decided it was time for an album and asked me and Chris to produce the music. The songs verged on the corny (sometimes exceeding it) and Alan’s vocals were preternaturally high and (some might say) a little squeaky.
Nonetheless, some of his songs were real corkers – he could have easily made a fortune, with no more than a lucky break.
Anyways, we rehearsed long and hard and ended up in Fairview Studio just outside Hull, recording for 3 days, kipping in the van outside at night. Chris and I decide the best approach was to figure out a song in a similar style that had charted, and try to incorporate all the good aspects of that into the arrangement. Hence, one song sounded like Madonna, the next like Elton John etc. However, I put down some damn fine guitar work in an awkward atmosphere: “Nick, that’s shit – you’re wasting my money” etc. I left the fledgling outfit on the way back in the van. It was released to vast indifference, but crops up in Sheffield charity sops!
Here’s an unreleased track from the album.
Best Years, Smoke Signals, Desperation, Without You, Love For All Seasons / Rodeo Rider, Natural High, Faithful, Safe From The Storm, Home, Leaving