(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 Were so pretty, oh so pretty--vacant--ah!!)
Suddenly, in walked Macca, Paul McCartney!!
Hi Tony, is it ok if I have a listen?. Id
already done the lead vocal (Johnny
Rotten sounded like Norman Wisdom to me, so thats
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
Oh how we laughed!!
They couldnt have picked a worse piece of music to
walk in on! Strangely enough, Ive 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!!
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’
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 hed 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. Hes still trying to live it
You can look back at these albums and say that
was good, that was crap and youd
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
MOJO magazine thought TOTPs was worth a
feature, in issue 82 September 2000, and BBCTV,
interviewed Bruce Baxter, Kieron Tyler, me, and others,
for their I Love A 1970s 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 didnt
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,
I imagine, the Best Of.------- AMAZING!!!!
Top Of The Pops series was a vital part of the 70s
pop scene-- total sales must have topped three million
Where irony filled ABBA tributes are OK, these
products of the 70s pop boom were created with an
admirable lack of kitsch. Perhaps thats why theyre
Kieron Tyler MOJO 82.
Photographs © copyright Tony Rivers
MOJO Magazine Vol.82