(the albums not the tv show!!)
became the voice of Gilbert OSullivan and
Elton John, and tonight Matthew, Im
going to be, Gilbert OGold!!!!! Maybe we
were the first tribute acts????
No, I wouldnt want that on my conscience.
always did a great job on the, Donny Osmond/
Osmonds / Stylistics and of course some of the Freddy
Mercury lead vocals. I usually got the
naff covers like, Chicory Tip/ Sweet/ Mud/
Sex Pistols, although I did get to do the occasional 10.cc
cover, and some of the great Simon and Garfunkel
stuff with John Perry, on the Best Of Simon
and Garfunkel. This I enjoyed, because we
sang it live, having rehearsed it to
perfection. If you hear this album, I think its
clear which tracks we sing, because they also used
some tracks which were laid down a couple of years
earlier (before our time)!
Saving money again!
was on some of the
albums, although usually it was John, Ken and me. He did
sing on the Sweet tracks, such as Little
Willie, Blockbuster, Ballroom
Blitz etc. He was the only one who could hit
those top notes!
Tony Rivers with Ken Gold
John Perry and the late Stu Calver
All four of us
sang on Bohemian
Stu Calver can be heard hitting the absolutely amazing
high parts. This was recorded at De Lane Lea studios,
right next to Wembley Stadium. We usually took a
day to lay down lead and backing vocal tracks, and would
be on our way home by 11pm. Not this time!
As usual, I had the job of sorting out the vocal
arrangement. Normally this wouldnt be too big a
deal, but with this song, I had to sit for hours at home
listening and making notes, and writing notes and
memorising vocal lines, apart from the other tracks we
had to do that day!!!
The time consuming job of, layering track after track of
vocals, til we got the sound, and the voicing
right, seemed to take forever, but in the end, it had
been a great opportunity to find out how that song was
put together. What was quite amazing too, was the fact
that, when this album came out, Bohemian Rhapsody
was actually talked about on tv, by Michael Barratt (6 oclock
news-round programme) and Kenny Everett
played it on his radio show. He played our version and
Queens, cutting between the two, and asking can
you tell which ones the ten bob
version, and which one cost 6 million squid to make?
I have nothing but admiration for the man who created it--------!
Freddy Mercury!!! WOW!!! What a record.
A bit different from Little Willie!
Apart from my team, some of the other
George Chandler and Jimmy Chambers
(who were two of the singers Paul Young would use, many
years later, on hits such as Everything Must Change)
they would take care of the soul tracks
did all the girlie
stuff like maybe, Donna Summer/the Nolans, until she got
her own hit with I Love To Love.
(is a great singer with a
voice like Mel Torme. There wasnt much call for
that sort of voice on these albums, so he ended up doing
jokey things like Convoy and
On The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine!!!).
He also got some success, as the voice behind the kids tv
show theme tune, Postman Pat.
I used to watch and listen to Ken singing, with the
Phil Tait Orchestra, at the Ilford Palais, in
the East End of London.
They used to do a great Four Freshmen
type arrangement of Moonlight In Vermont,
and every week Id drive them mad, requesting it.
This was before I had any idea Id do this for a
A girl who had a
great voice, from Manchester. She did a lot
of the girl soul covers for a while.
All in all, a great team. I think some of these singers
were as good as, and in some cases maybe even better than
the original artists who they were covering.
Photographs © copyright Tony Rivers
Mojo article, September 2000