Category Archives: MIKE HURST
Seven years down the line from its predecessor, this disc could have been a barrel-scraping effort if it wasn’t so consistent quality-wise, despite the mostly non-familiar names on display. Focused for the most part on MOR, now the standout tracks are those that Mike Hurst had a hand in writing of, while covers such as Billy Fury’s barrelhouse take on “(Hi-De-Ho) That Old Sweet Roll” or an attempt to glamorize “Wild Thing” by FANCY firmly remain in the sweet early ’70s pocket. FINGERTIPS’ cheerfully delicate “Anyone You Want Me To Be” may be a prime example of the period’s light side, but the song’s title is also a possible motto for the producer’s method of bringing out the best in artists he worked with, and the same goes for his own projects, as suggested by 1969′s “Wednesday’s Child” – credited to MIKE HURST ORCHESTRA – which, drenched in strings, had emerged like a space-era answer to Strauss’ waltzes…
DMME.net (November 2016)
Billy Fury’s 1970 takes on two City-era Carole King songs, ‘Old Sweet Roll’ and ‘Paradise Alley’, are pleasant enough… Kiwi psych-poppers Human Instincts’ ‘Pink Dawn’ still sounds as tough and assured as the first time most will have heard it on Rubble Volume 12, 20 years ago…
Shindig Magazine (November 2016)
Mike Hurst has over the decades produced a massive amount of music. Mike was originally a member of The Springfields…and they were the first British vocal group to have a top 20 single in the USA, with ‘Silver Threads And Golden Needles’…Mike then turned to producing and initially worked with Andrew Loog Oldham and Micky Most. He then went on to produce The Wizard for Marc Bolan and Cat Stevens’ ‘Matthew & Son’ and ‘I’m Gonna Get Me A Gun’…his production work included ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’ by P.P. Arnold, ‘The Mighty Quinn’ by Manfred Mann and ‘Curly’ by my old band, The Move.
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (November 2016)
The Briton Mike Hurst has been an important person in the music industry for more than 40 years. He was originally part of the group The Springfields, with Tom and Dusty, and they were the first British group who had a single in the top 20 with “Silver Threads”. At the end of 1963, the group broke up, and Mike started playing for producer Andrew Loog Oldham and Mickie Most, and in 1965 he produced ‘The Wizard’ by the young Marc Bolan. He formed his own company, discovered Cat Stevens and produced his first five singles, including ‘Matthew And Son’ and ‘I’m Gonna Get Me A Gun’. Later, he would take care of PP Arnold’s ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’, The Move’s ‘Curly’, Manfred Mann’s ‘Mighty Quinn’, as well as Spencer Davis Group, New World, Hot Sounds and Alan Bown Set. During the following decade he founded, Showaddywaddy and produced a string of hits such as ‘Under The Moon Of Love’, ‘Three Steps To Heaven’ and ‘When’. At the end of the ’70s he signed Shakin’ Stevens and produced his debut album ‘Hot Dog’. The fourth producers archives volume features tracks from the period 1966 to 1980.
Keys and Chords (October 2016 – Translated)
This fourth collection contains some well-known artists such as The Bachelors, Billy Fury and
Russ Abbot. There is also the presenter of TV’s ‘Lift Off’ Ayshea Brough and Aussie ‘folkies’ New World. Sprinkler was Dennis Waterman’s backing band, they went on to back Bucks Fizz and leader Alan Coates was a member of The Hollies for many years. Some fine recordings here too: ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’ comes courtesy of The Bachelors and the Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields song ‘I Won’t Dance’ is well sung by John Henry. The Troggs’ ‘Wild Thing’ gets a seventies make-over by Fancy, whose lead singer was a Penthouse Pet! Add to this a couple of Carole King songs and you can’t go wrong.
Amplified Magazine (October 2016)
Here we open with a monster American hit single, Fancy’s 1973 soft-porn reworking of the Trogg’s “Wild Thing”, still riding the squelchiest, filthiest bass line ever to get past the Thought Police, and its “Touch Me” follow-up, too. New World resurface with a James Taylor b-side; and fifties rocker Billy Fury, making a comeback in 1970.
There’s another late-in-the-day revival…the Bachelors from 1977 (“they were…on their last legs when we made this,” Hurst’s refreshingly honest liner notes admit), and also a handful of cuts by bands which he acknowledges he simply doesn’t remember. But we also hear Human Instinct, a New Zealand psych band that you need to hear; and the Cymbaline, who Hurst describes as a Beach Boys style band from England’s industrial north east.
And more and more and more, twenty-two tracks in all, that also see Hurst at the helm for singles by TV comedians (Russ Abbot’s rather spiffy “The Space Invaders Meet The Purple People Eater”) and presenters (Ayshea Brough’s “Moonbeam”); a youthful Gary Barnacle and even his own pop orchestra. Add this disc to the other three volumes and you’re on the way to a lesson in British pop history that nobody else could tell.
Goldmine Magazine (October 2016)
Hurst must have been great to work with, because all of these artists sound like they’re having the best time playing in the studio. Hurst’s involvement in music has touched millions upon millions of listeners and yet his name probably doesn’t ring a bell with most…Volume 4 of the Producers Archives focuses on the period from 1966 to 1980. We never heard most of these tracks so this serves as an introduction to some wonderfully entertaining music. Groups in this collection include Fancy, Fingertips, Billy Fury, Mike Hurst Orchestra, Hit & Run, The Speedos, The Bachelors, John Henry, and Russ Abbot. We’ve rarely heard any various artists compilation as thoroughly entertaining as this one. Highly recommended. TOP PICK.
babysue (October 2016)
This is a DVD of a sell out concert performed earlier this year by a man and his band who have four decades of experience in rock music…One for the more mature rocker!
Classic Rock Society (August 2003)
A decent enough collection of songs and a look back through the career of one of the top producers of the time
Martin Hutchinson, The Bolton News (May 2009)
…a very enjoyable collection of obscurities and rarities comprising some richly diverse performances…
Russell Newmark, Obscurities and Rarities (May 2009)
…most of the tracks on offer testify the sharpness of the producer’s ear…
www.dmme.net (June 2009)
…some real gems including a never-before-released track from Cat Stevens…Also included is the original version of Handbags and Gladrags…
Classic Rock Society (June 2009)
Pick up this one or any of the others in this Producers Archive Series for a great look at what really is just the tip of the iceberg in Hurst’s storied career.
Ryan Sparks, Classic Rock Revisted (June 2009)
Musically the set is all over the map, jumping genres and decades in a single bound, but the song-by-song sleevenotes, penned by Hurst himself, helps bring some coherency to what might otherwise prove a terminally eclectic set.
For fans of guitar heroes, there’s Hurst’s own “Anytime That You Want Me,” a 1965 waxing which proudly boasts Jimmy Page’s first ever recorded guitar solo, while Jonas (Hurst’s own, particularly precocious son) takes on “Splish Splash” and “Little Queenie,” to the accompaniment of a fiery Alvin Lee.
Every song has a great story behind it, as well as Hurst’s distinctive imprimatur. Fashions changed, stars came and went, but the producer was always up for something fresh and new, shifting with the times, and lavishing attention on even the least deserving.
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (February 2005)
The structure of the second volume’s post’60s segment, is quite superior, featuring Bruce Woolley & The Camera Club’s original version of “Video killed the radio star”, the glammy power-pop ’72 good times of Fumble’s “Rock’n’roll school”, or Lena Zavaroni’s pair of Mann/Weil written early’60s girly pop pieces, released in ’77 (!?).
Still, it’s the ‘60s section that makes it even more worthwhile, with Mike Hurst’s own 1965 recordings of the 12-string acoustic jangle beat of “Show me around” and the one that Mike says he hates called “Anytime that you want me”, though it’s actually a more than a decent beat pop tune, most notable because it features Jimmy Page’s first recorded solo.
Let’s hope that Mr.Hurst will “get rid of the dust on the shelves, to be able to find enough for the 3rd volume”, as he promised himself, and until then, dig out some other, more accessible works of his, like the post-Stevie SDG, Manfred Mann, early Cat Stevens, P.P.Arnold … or more recently Belle and Sebastian.
Goran Obradovic / POPISM radio show; Serbia & Montenegro
On this album, Hurst goes through his attic, dusts off the tapes and shares the treasures and trinkets he unearths…There are some absolute gems here…
Tony Shevlin, East Anglian Magazine, (November 2002)
Mike Hurst was originally a member of The Springfields and after they broke up he became a record producer…This is a collection of bands that he has produced, and it has to be said that some of the songs are interesting (I am always fascinated by songs by Episode Six, just because they are so different to Deep Purple). there is also a song by The Alan Bown Set which features the recording debut of one Robert Palmer.
Feedback (January 2003)
Legendary producer Mike Hurst produced some of pop music’s biggest names during his time with labels such as the cutting-edge Deram.
Names that pop up on this new compilation include Paul and Barry Ryan…New World, Eddy Grant and Colin Blunstone…
The whole album is full of quirky little stories and quirky little songs…
The Mercury (January 2003)
…The Episode Six track here, ‘My Little One’, is nothing less than a 60s rock classic…Although other tracks blend into a mish-mash of 60s and 70s pop, there are some real gems and rarities, too. The Four Tops’ ‘For Your Love’ is a previously unreleased treasure while Eddie Hardin’s ‘Resurrection Shuffle’ is a classy new wave rocker…
Record Collector (January 2003)
…whereas some other producers have name-recognition with even non-collectors, Hurst has labored in comparative anonymity.
Producers Archives Volume One…might well be the disc to change all that…It portrays the full breadth of his vision…A record not to miss.
Jo-Anne Greene, Goldmine (February 2003)
The album does no end of good for Hurst as it shows his diversity and ability to deal with all kinds of music from rock, thorugh pop to soul.
Modern Dance (June 2003)
Considering the time range covered by the first two volumes, it’s no surprise that both of them are a kind of a mish mash of sounds, but on each of them you’re most likely to find quite a few classics that never were.
Goran Obradovic / POPISM radio show; Serbia & Montenegro
‘Home’ the earlier album, is mainly gently paced folky rock, orchestrated in places…’In My Time’ treads a similar path…but with a very obvious Country slant to many of the songs…It is, however, the two bonus tracks which are the real gems of this release. Recorded in 1982 by the short-lived band Sundance, which featured Hurst and Mary Hopkin (of ‘Those Were The Days’ fame) they are excellent Nicks era Fleetwood Mac style rockers and really showcase Hopkins’ wonderful voice.
Steve Ward, Wondrous Stories (December 2001)
Long out of print, the two albums are entertaining in an adult-rock kind of way. Lushly produced, exquisitely played and boasting any number of pleasantly memorable songs….
Goldmine, (March 2002)
…this entertaining listen (boasting the talents of Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Tony Ashton, Rod Argent and more) showcases the singer’s rich voice.
The music may sound dated but the delivery is polished and well worth a replay.
Peter French, Hartlepool Mail 6 July 2002
As popular music goes this should go far, it’s very entertaining and nostalgic. The albums were released in 1970 and 1971 (the bonus tracks by Sundance were recorded in 1982), there’s over an hour of music with twenty one songs.
Modern Dance #39 (August 2002)