Friday, 16 October 2009

Hello: Star Studded Sham (a-side), Son of a Gun: La Maison De L'Amour (a-side)

Other "second generation" glam acts who were having hits towards the end of the glam rock period include: Hello who had a moderate hit in 1975 with "Star Studded Sham" and Son of a Gun who also had a flop single the same year with the song "La Maison De'L'Amour".

The songs are a good example of late period glam, while not up to the standards of the songs produced by the'premier' glam acts, they are still under-rated songs in their own right.

Hello were discovered by Argent songwriter Russ Ballard and the Zombies' old road manager David Blaylock. Russ Ballards first attempts at writing songs for the band was not successful so Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, then riding high with hits by the Sweet, offered one of their own latest compositions, "Dyna-Mite".

Hello recorded a version of the song, only for its scheduled release to be cancelled by producer Mike Leander, in favour of the band's own "Another School Day." Chinn and Chapman took the song back, handed it to Mud and promptly scored a massive hit.

"Another School Day," on the other hand, went nowhere and Hello disappeared from recorded view for much of the next three years. Their debut album, Keeps Us off the Streets, was wrapped in a mock denim cover which looked great on the racks and the band's next single, Ballard's "Star Studded Sham" brought them another German Top 20 hit on the heels of a sell-out tour with Smokie.

"La Maison De L'Amour was produced by Phil Wainman one of the biggest producers in the country. He produced "Sweet Fanny Adams", the best Sweet album of the lot, he produced two albums for the Bay City Rollers, including both their British #1 singles (the second of which, 'Give A Little Love' he co-wrote with John Goodison), and he worked with Mud after they split from Chinn & Chapman.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. It's cool to hear the story behind some of my favorite songs. The songwriters and producers were sometimes more interesting than the band members!