Home Music Video Photos Guestbook Contact Links

(the albums not the tv show!!)
  De Lane Lea was the setting for another interesting story.
I was sitting at the control desk, while John and Stu were on the ‘mike’ doing ‘backing vocals’ on the Sex Pistols ‘dire classic’ ‘Pretty Vacant’(vol.60) (i.e. shouting at the top of their voices “We’re so pretty, oh so pretty--vacant--ah!!”) Suddenly, in walked ‘Macca’, Paul McCartney!!  “Hi Tony, is it ok if I have a listen?”. I’d already done the ‘lead vocal’ (Johnny Rotten sounded like Norman Wisdom to me, so that’s how I did it!!) Then Paul said, “Do you mind if I bring Linda in to have a listen?”.  When he returned, he not only had Linda McCartney with him, but the producer of the Sex Pistols, Chris Thomas!!!!
Oh how we laughed!!
They couldn’t have picked a worse piece of music to walk in on! Strangely enough, I’ve also sung on another ‘cover’ of this song. Produced by Tim Rice and sung by Paul Jones (ex Manfred Mann). This was a strange ‘latin american’ arrangement!!

Several of the ‘TOTP, albums were recorded at De Lane Lea studios, but I think they probably went wherever they could get the cheapest ‘studio time’.

Vol 49 ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
Bruce Baxter phoned me one day and asked if Anthony my son could sing? He needed someone to sing ‘Long Haired Lover From Liverpool’. I asked Anthony if he’d like to try it (he was 9 yrs old)! We recorded it at the ‘Hit Factory’ (CBS) Whitfield St, in Central London (where I used to work as producer). He had to take the day off school, on the agreement that he would stand up in assembly the next day, and tell all the school of the experience. Not many people can say that they recorded at a major London studio at 9 yrs of age. He’s still trying to live it down!!

You can look back at these albums and say “that was good, that was ‘crap’” and you’d be right, there was good and there was bad. What I do know is, Bruce Baxter is an excellent musician and producer and if he could get it better in the time available he would, and I have always done the absolute best job that I could.
When you put your performance on tape, for all to hear, you never know just who will hear it, so you better make it good!! We always did.
The experience, gained from these recordings, was invaluable for our future studio work. Going into Abbey Rd to record (with Sir Cliff / Steve Harley and Al Stewart, etc.) could  have been a daunting prospect at one time, but was second nature to us after 5 years working together so consistently as a team.

  MOJO magazine thought ‘TOTP’s’ was worth a feature, in issue 82 September 2000, and BBCTV, interviewed Bruce Baxter, Kieron Tyler, me, and others, for their ‘I Love A 1970’s Xmas’ show which  shown on Xmas Eve 2000. The subject once more, was the TOTP albums. ‘What did they mean to you?’ and all that hi-brow stuff!!  We didn’t know that they would be discussed on television and written about, all these years later.
I even hear that a record company has recently released, on CD,
I imagine, the ‘Best Of.’------- AMAZING!!!!

“The Top Of The Pops series was a vital part of the 70’s pop scene-- total sales must have topped three million”
“Where irony filled ABBA tributes are OK, these products of the 70’s pop boom were created with an admirable lack of kitsch. Perhaps that’s why they’re still fun.”

Kieron Tyler MOJO 82.

Photographs © copyright Tony Rivers

MOJO Magazine Vol.82