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Music labels 22.07.2008

Polydor-Urban and Sanctuary-PWL


In 1991, as Head of The Urban Division of Polydor Records, covering the labels Polydor, M&G, Slamm, Raiders and Love Records with very able colleague Sue Jeoffroy we went on to help secure hit records for Tony,Toni,Tone with "It Never Rains In Southern California", Cathy Dennis with "Touch Me",  "Just A Little Time" and "Everybody Move" on Polydor Records, Love Inc "Love Is The Message" on Love Records as well as Zoé "Sunshine On A Rainy Day" for M&G Records whilst also scoring Record Mirror Club No: 1 places for D'bora "Dream" and The James Taylor Quartet "Love The Life You Live". Plus an underground cult House Music EP by Chicago's Bam Bam..


Another grassroots project worthy of mention was "The Fuschia Is Orange", a non-stop electronic dance music album musically following a night out at a Rave from driving to the gig, the energy of the party then chilling down after. Remixed by Juan Atkins in Detroit USA. The album was released in the USA by Radikal Records. 

Steve Travell and Don Mitchell produced this album as a project that they could take live out to the Universities and play the complete album for 80 mins as a DJ and Musician set. This idea became the future for groups like the Chemical Brothers, Orbital and Underworld. The Underworld guys were in a studio next to Steve and Don at Nomis in West London where they would share their knowledge.

I've often wondered, because Don and Steve were not only real musicians with great engineering ability, but also very open friendly guys, if they said too much about their plans ahead of them with the University tours etc. Sometimes it's hard to keep a good idea down when its all exciting.  At the time the bosses at Polydor thought I'd lost my senses but it's always hard to get people to see the horizon, the future if you like, when they are too focused on the ground beneath them.

Here's a sample of 25 mins of the album, way ahead of its time really.


I walked out of Polydor after a year, with a year's salary, because the Chairman of the parent company, Polygram, put the immediate future of Polydor into the hands of a Managing Director who was sadly out of his depth - my career was too important to let it drift into the River Thames and I really missed being in the studio creating music with people instead of shuffling other people's recording budgets around. It was a brave and as it turned out, the best decision. Within a short space of weeks I was deep inside the most successful studios in UK Pop music history - PWL, with my own imprint Sanctuary Records. I also had a recording bubbling away in the studios to start the new journey on.



In 1992 I was invited into the world famous recording studios known as The Hit Factory by Pete Waterman to work with Tony King and Asher as AKA and we came out with the UK Single No: 3 hit record, West End feat. Sybil, The Love I Lost for Sanctuary Records. The song also stayed at No: 1 in the UK Club Charts for 4 weeks. We also enjoyed No: 1 UK Club Chart positions with Wag Ya Tail - Xpand Ya Mind, Key West - Looks Like I'm In Love Again and Club Z - I Wanna Be Someone all on Sanctuary Records. The label was called Sanctuary as it was my sanctuary after not enjoying working within non-creative restraints of Polydor. Here the idea of Westend was born. (Gary Bartz "Music Is My Sanctuary" in mind too)


With the demand for Westend remixes I left PWL to work for myself running the diary of remix work and build a club promotion company called Song & Dance. Both projects worked hand in hand and over a very short space of time became hot businesses. I'd learnt fast at PWL the importance of Radio mixes when remixing records so soon all the major labels were employing Westend to create Radio and Club remixes of their new releases.