Here are all the albums I have been involved in recording over the years with the exception of compilations and boxed sets. Hover over each album to see the title and release date. Click on each album to see a larger image.
PLASTIC PENNY & CHICKEN SHACK
Two Sides of a Penny – Wow! My very first pop album. Up to this point it had been singles only. The single “Everything I am” from this album got into the UK top ten. Another unreleased song “Waiting” which I co-wrote with Tony Murray, will be included in my new album Rewind 50 available later this year.
Currency – Nigel Olsson and I took on shared responsibility for lead vocals on this album. The direction of the band was getting progressively heavier after a diet of listening to Vanilla Fudge and Deep Purple had influenced our writing…..interesting! (or so we thought) The fans, (mainly teenage girls) unfortunately, had different ideas!
Hundred Ton Chicken – Chicken Shack was basically a covers band at this point. I learned a lot from these guys about blues and how simple little things make it work. Stan, Andy and Dave were extremely good at what they did.
Accept – Fleetwood Mac were experimenting, trying to get away from the rigid blues format. Stan and I shared a flat and began writing some material. Mike Vernon produced it but blues fans were not impressed. In hindsight the album should have been called “Accept Failure!” apart from the single, “Maudie”, that made it into the top 20.
Street Corner Talking
Still a favourite of mine. We’d done a co-headlining U.S. tour with The Faces in January/February 1971 and they had utterly blown us away! After returning back to the UK, Kim sacked the other band members and we put our heads together and came up with some cracking material and gave a couple of covers a new lick of paint. Kim hired Andy Silvester and Dave Bidwell (previously from Chicken Shack) and with Dave Walker, charismatic front man, the line-up was complete. We played all the songs around Europe for a couple of months then recorded it “almost” live at Olympic Studios in Barnes, London. MAGIC!
By this time, we were on the tour-album-tour-album treadmill. We moved into Trident Studios in London and virtually wrote and recorded it as we went along, as most bands did back then. (think of the money we all wasted!) I remember David Bowie and Mick Ronson always seemed to be hanging around the reception area with full make-up and hair-do’s going on. I didn’t actually know who they were until much later!
Holed up in Trident Studios again! Funny the things you remember – I recall producer Neil Slaven complaining that the engineer Roy Thomas Baker (later to be Queen’s producer) had distorted the drums. Sounded OK to my ears! I wrote two songs on this album that I am very proud of, “The Saddest Feeling” and “I Can’t Find You.”
Jack the Toad
Not a favourite of mine. Recorded at Pye Studios. We seemed to have ended up with the same rhythm section that was fired in 1971. How did that happen?!!
This one was recorded back at Olympic Studios in Barnes. We decided to carry on as a four-piece with a bass player/vocalist. The U.S. tour we did to support this album was the best I can remember. The camaraderie between band and crew was very special.
Skin ‘n’ Bone
Recorded at Island Studios in 1975 and released in 1976. Our Manager, Harry Simmonds (Kim’s brother) decided he would produce this one. Kim and I were still turning out some cool stuff like “Get on Up and Do It” and “Part Time Lady“. In particular I liked the cover of Thurston Harris’s “She’s the One“. This was to be my last album with Savoy Brown before I left to join UFO in late 1976.
A different band, different music – I had to adapt quickly! I wrote “Just Another Suicide” at the same time as I was trying to decorate the interior of my house. I remember Phil called me and I had to climb down from the ladder to play it down the phone to him. He sounded impressed with the song, but not so impressed that I wasn’t concentrating 100% of my attention on song writing! In return, he played me a guitar solo of Michael’s and asked if we could do something with it. I wrote the vocal melody for the verse, the lyrics were originally something like, “Tell me why, the sun refused to shine”, Phil had the melody and some lyrics for the chorus and we worked on developing the lyrics together. I added a piano intro and the song became “Try me”. Lights Out was recorded at Air Studios in London, Ron Nevison’s production was ground-breaking.
Obsession was again recorded with Ron Nevison at the helm and Mike Clink (of Guns ‘n’ Roses fame) assisting. It was recorded in various locations around Los Angeles with the Record Plant mobile and at the Record Plant studios in Hollywood. This is probably my favourite album of ours. As was the case with Savoy Brown, this album was created in between tours, song by song in the studio. “Looking Out for Number One ” is another of my songs that will be making a re-vamped appearance on the aforementioned “Rewind 50” album
Strangers in the Night
This was the record that cemented all the good work that went before and became a “classic” album. I remember very little about the actual performances now. I can only put that down to the constant touring; it was very much “business as usual” and we had no way of knowing how popular the recordings of those particular shows would become. We were probably also at the height of our “decadence” by that stage, which may also explain some of the blank memories or memories that are not suitable for publishing! Sad to say, by the time the album was released, Michael had left the band.
No Place to Run
This was the first time I had recorded with Paul Chapman. It was a very memorable experience as it was recorded at Air Studios, Montserrat in the Caribbean with Beatles producer George Martin and Jeff Emerick engineering. It was a beautiful location by day; sunshine, golden sands, clear blue seas, water ski-ing and everything you would expect from an island paradise, but by night it turned nightmarish with every nocturnal creature known to man coming out to play, including rats on the patio! Musically, it was an OK album, I don’t think George enjoyed the experience much, he is on record saying that it was a mistake on his part, I think he was used to working in a more structured way with all parts being worked out prior to recording – but that’s just not how UFO works, even to this day. It did do very well though, as I recall, it out-sold Obsession.
Recorded at Manor Studios in Oxford UK and Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, Netherlands. Apparently our excesses during recording at the Manor beat even the legendary Black Sabbath and we won the prize for the largest bar tab ever! It was the age of MIDI keyboards and big hair and I had them both in abundance! Jeff Beck hilariously referred to the eighties in PRS’s M Magazine as the era of the one finger keyboard guys (and he wasn’t far wrong) I distinctly remember I played 8 different keyboards on the track “Blue” (my favourite song from the album) but not all at the same time I hasten to add!
Walk on Water
Almost a decade had passed before I was to record with the band again and 16 years since the classic line-up had last recorded together. It was all the old faces back and reunited including the producer Ron Nevison. We recorded this at Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park, California. The studio was owned by husband and wife duo The Captain and Tennille (Love Will Keep Us Together, Do That to Me One More Time) and the studio was made to look like a ship’s cabin! Unfortunately, I was a little bit detached from the recording of this album as my father had just passed away and I had to return to London for the funeral and it was a very stressful time for me. I never quite understood the logic of recording Doctor Doctor and Lights Out exactly the same as the originals, but there was still some strong song writing and great lyrics on the other songs.
You Are Here
Recorded in 2003 at Area 51 Studios near Hannover with producer Tommy Newton. After a long lay-off period, UFO was finally in a position to record again. I got a call from Phil to ask whether I would be interested in getting back on board with Vinnie Moore and Jason Bonham as our new lead guitarist and drummer respectively. It sounded like a fantastic combination. Some of the material for “You Are Here” had been previously recorded by Vinnie as an instrumental solo project, but Phil wrote some outstanding lyrics to the music, notably “When Daylight Comes to Town” and “Baby Blue”. My contribution was “Sympathy” written as an angry song about people who stare at me! I shall revisit this song in due course (They’re still staring!)
Showtime was a CD/DVD package, including a live show recorded at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, studio sessions at Peppermint Park, Hannover and a selection of interviews. mixed by Tommy Newton at Area 51 Studios.
At the rehearsal for the live show I recall Jason being in fine form, singing and doing impressions on the mic. Not a lot of people realise what a great vocalist he is. His impressions included Paul Rodgers, Bon Scott and Bruce Dickinson (complete with visuals) He can also do Noddy Holder (although he only does that at Christmas and usually wrecks his voice in the process) In addition, we were treated to a rendition of “Delilah” (including ad-libbed lyrics that are not printable )with me accompanying him on piano.
I really enjoyed recording with the string section at Peppermint Park. They were classically-trained musicians with their music stands and arrangements in proper notation and there was Pete, across the room from them, looking completely bedraggled reading his music from random pieces of paper scattered on the floor written in HUGE letters G / D / C /A etc. Total opposites, but the result made interesting viewing!
The Monkey Puzzle
Recorded in 2006, Hannover (Peppermint Park Studios and Area 51 Studios) The Monkey Puzzle welcomed back founding member Andy Parker on drums after the departure of Jason Bonham to join Foreigner. I suggested the album title “Heavenly Body” but it somehow ended up as a title for one of the songs! My favourite cut on this album is “Kingston Town”. I would love to play that one live.
Recorded at Area 51 Studios, Hannover in 2009. I was never quite sure who “The Visitor” was referring to! We used a session bassist, Peter Pichl , as Pete Way was sadly no longer a member of the band for reasons I won’t visit here. Peter wrote down all the music in notation and read it from a music stand – (must be a German thing?)! I loved Vinnie’s “Saving Me” and my ballad “Forsaken” which was a nod to the Rolling Stones.
Recorded at Area 51 Studios, Hannover in 2012. Our 4th record with Tommy Newton as producer. Although I like Tommy a lot as a person, he (as a guitarist) was not a very keyboard-friendly kind of guy! A lot of my work got buried in the mix or completely removed, which was starting to get a bit er, “tiresome” from my perspective! Vinnie’s songs “Wonderland” and “Burn Your House Down” were outstanding tracks and I have 3 cuts on this one. “Fight Night” became the opening track, “The Fear” which (I think) is about all the scary stuff that can happen coming off alcohol and Bag O’ Blues which was a hastily assembled piece added as a bonus track when one of the tracks we had planned on including just wasn’t coming together in the studio.
I remember a random conversation happening with our manager just prior to the release of this album. He stated that “All your fans are old and dying out” Well, boy did you proved that statement wrong! It was our biggest-selling record in years and the tour was a sell-out!
A Conspiracy of Stars
MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP – WAYSTED – MOGG/WAY
Recorded at Air Studios, London in 1981. The return of producer Ron Nevison. During recording, Paul McCartney was working in the studio next door to us with George Martin and he popped in to say “Hi” a few times. Contrary to popular myth, he didn’t actually play on any songs that were recorded. However, he did play with us in the studio as a joke to wind up Chris Glen who was always late for the recording sessions. If anyone is familiar with the Comic Strip Presents “mockumentary” More Bad News, it was similar to the scene where Rik Mayall’s character Colin Grigson arrives late at the studio to hear someone had taken over bass duties in his place, storming in and enquiring “Who’s that playing bass?” Ron Nevison was then able to reply (completely deadpan) “Oh, just some guy that used to be in the Beatles”!
Chrysalis signed me as a writer and asked me to come up with a “hit” single for MSG. I wrote Never Trust a Stranger – sounded like a hit, but it wasn’t! I really liked “ Attack of the Mad Axeman” – great dance tune for the first 32 bars!
One Night at Budokan
Recorded live in Tokyo, 1981. Michael and Cozy were so popular in Japan at this time it was almost like a pop star vibe. Hundreds of screaming girls surrounded us to the point that we couldn’t leave our hotel rooms. Cozy was quite ill during the show, he had picked up a stomach virus on the flight over from London, but you would never have guessed it from the performance – what a professional – he was the best.
Recorded in 1983 with Manor Mobile and at Park Gate Studios with producer Mick Glossop. We recorded the drums in a hotel ballroom – Wow – so LOUD! I think Mick made a great job of this record, the powers that be at the record company were dancing around their offices to “Women in Chains” it was a really good song, but again, sad to say, not a hit. The band members, (or maybe it was the record company – who knows) decided I was surplus to requirements and I got fired. I subsequently saw them on tour supporting Dio and I wondered if perhaps they had regretted it… I had left Terry Reid in the lurch to join Waysted and I DEFINITELY had regrets about that.
Recorded at Prairie Sun Studios, Cotati, California with producer Mike Varney. I got a phone call from Phil just as I was wrapping up the PRP album Man on a Mission asking whether I would be interested in being involved, in the new Mogg/Way album which of course I was! but it did mean that I was totally burned out at the start. There had been a legal agreement signed somewhere along the way that the name UFO couldn’t be used unless both Phil and Michael were in the band, so the name Mogg/Way was used so that Phil and Pete could remain musically productive. (incidentally, this agreement spawned the name “Covenant” which was to be the next UFO album, once differences had been resolved). Jeff Kollman had sent Phil some pretty cool demos and it seemed we were in business.
My outstanding memory of this was that Mike Varney was keen to keep costs to a minimum and studio time was precious. The night before recording was to begin he called drummer Simon Wright and told him that his intention was to record all 13 drum tracks in one session. I can’t repeat Simon’s response, but it was to the effect that the quality of the drumming at the end of the day might not be quite up to par….. However, Mike was not to be dissuaded and so we started out at 10am and went for it! I played along with him until the very end until we were both laughing hysterically from delirium at 11.30pm that night and had to be sedated with large quantities of alcohol – what a nightmare!
PAUL RAYMOND PROJECT
Under The Rising Sun
I moved to Japan in 1988 and was looking to do something different. I flew Frank Di Mino out to do vocals as I was having trouble finding a singer who understood and could sing in English. Osaka guitarist Reibun Ohtani was terrific as was Masayoshi Yamashita from Loudness on bass, but this first incarnation of PRP unfortunately didn’t really get off the deck.
1990-1992 home production (hence the title!) Paul Raymond Project mark II. Frank didn’t make a return journey back to Japan (he couldn’t get a decent spaghetti!) but I was very fortunate to find a young vocalist, Aki Fukasawa who was just perfect for the job. Around this time, The Black Crowes and The Quireboys were really hitting their stride with their bluesy style of rock ‘n’ roll, so I changed direction slightly to go back to my roots; rock ‘n’ roll piano, wheezy Hammond and slide guitars, pretty much the same as I had done with Savoy Brown. I didn’t test the water to make sure that Japan was embracing that genre of music as much as the US, UK and Europe were. They weren’t. Whoops! My mistake. I still love these songs though and I included a couple of them on my UK mini tour in 2013.
Worlds Apart was essentially a repackage of the first two PRP albums. The title I suppose was a reflection of my experiences of two so completely different cultures.
Man on a Mission
Engineered by Mike Jones and mixed by Andy Le Vien at RMS Studios, Selhurst, Surrey. Once the dust had settled after the Tokyo dust-up with Michael Schenker I woke up one morning to the realisation there was no more UFO again. Something had to be done! Enter Julian Artis, a young entrepreneur and music fan who lived close by. Julian financed my next solo project, Man on a Mission under the banner of Paul Raymond Project and introduced me to a brilliant local guitarist, Andy Simmons, which was to become the beginning of a long friendship on both a musical and personal level.
Man on a Mission was a return to a heavier rock format and I had put the blues away for another day. Phil kindly agreed to sing vocals on “She’s on a Roll” and my arrangement of the UFO classic “Lights Out” (who else could do it justice?) It turned out to be a love-it-or-hate-it track, with widely divided opinion ranging from being acclaimed as a masterpiece to harsh criticism. (Well at least it wasn’t ignored!) I’m personally quite proud of some of the music on this record, but I think some of the demo’s were actually better.
Terms & Conditions Apply
A return to my roots as a jazz musician. I was working as the resident pianist at a hotel in central London at the time, playing a lot of Standards and arrangements of popular music – and I got the idea that maybe I should capture some of this on a CD. The arrangements vary quite wildly from jazz to big-band swing and even a bit of gospel thrown into the mix, which I really enjoyed creating. Recorded between RMS and my home studio – but it had limited appeal to my usual fan- base I think!
My latest offering – the clue is in the title! It’s a retrospective of my recording and songwriting as a professional musician which began way back in 1964 with Tony Jackson and the Vibrations. We got into the UK Top 20 with a cover of the Mary Wells song “Bye Bye Baby” (not to be confused with the Bay City Rollers song of the same name!) That was my first taste of success and it has continued with varying degrees of success to this day. The album goes through a wide range of genres, following the path of my musical career, from psychedelic pop with my band Plastic Penny through blues with Chicken Shack and Savoy Brown to hard rock or what is now referred to as “Classic Rock” with UFO, MSG, Waysted and my own solo work with PRP.