Here Henry provides us with a guided tour through the highlights of his songwriting and recording career, revealing his inspirations, the creative dynamic and excitement of collaborating on his material with true musical talent, the circumstances which shaped his experiences and the environments in which his pieces blossomed. This is of course, only if Henry has any recollection at all with regard to those now somewhat blurrier sessions - but worry not, there is plenty to feast upon here!
Ain't No'body's Business (But Mine)
"I wrote this in the South of France wearing nothing but a pair of Shorts and a flask of water meandering along the côte d'azur seashore - one of those magical days. Everytime I hear this, I am back there with a spring in my step and the sun on my back... bliss"
All By Myself
"Recorded at the same sessions as 'You're Right, I'm Left, She's Gone' with the same musicians (Porl Thompson, Rod de'Ath, Chris Glenn and Dave Edwards - nice solo Dave) I was the next artist signed to Logo Records (RCA) after Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart's band Th
"Sophie Zelmani enchanted me throughout the summer with this song. It was on the radio all through my holiday and I just couldn't resist recording it on my return."
"Flying home from holiday the pilot said "We start our decent at Paris to land at Gatwick" and it occured to me that this very same airspace was where the battle of britain was fought all those years ago and how that bravery is forgotten - what horror our mothers must have felt awaiting our father's hopeful return. How easily we forget..."
"Perhaps Phil Cordell's zenith production. Rosetta Hightower on backing vocals. Between us we played and sung everything on the track."
Carnival of Light
"(Recorded 1994) Inspired by the embryos of Smokeytime Springtime which I didn't know existed in finished form (until May 2007).I regard this as the highlight of my writing, performing and producing career."
"I had this idea around the same time as Sting wrote Walking on the Moon at Surrey sound (Where I was working) and felt the sentiments were too similar. I finished writing it years later I managed to take it away from the orignal concept and Jolly it up. Reminds me of sand in my shoes and having no sense of time"
Concrete And Clay
"We all have favourite songs and this was something I couldn't resist recording. I gave it a deliberate latin American feel and enjoyed inserting a Wah-Wah guitar to compliment the acoustics."
Do You Believe
"I was the first solo artist to be signed by Air (London), George Martin's new production company formed after the demise of the Beatles. Released on EMI's Columbia label and features famed session players Chris Spedding (Lead Guitar), Herbie Flowers (Bass) and Clem Clatini (Drums). I was thrilled to learn that a German girl - Hanna Aroni had covered this song and even more thrilled when the then famous Tony Blackburn played it two or three times-a-week on the radio 1 breakfast show. Unfortunately we were plagued with powercuts and I only heard it once"
Footloose and Fancyfree
"It was a big thrill hearing this frequently on national radio, where they classified it as a lament to lost youth.I suppose we all fooled at school and hurried home to watch the Beatles in monochrome and wondered in later life what we're doing at a crowded railway station stuck in a 9 to 5 situation to pay the bills - like a mouse on a treadmill... help!"
(He's Taken) Shiela (Off His Windscreen)
"How could I resist recording a song with a title like this?"
Highway to the Sun
"Bright, jolly, holiday tune - autobiographical; We always take the roof down on the car, load the picnic basket and set off on a two day journey to the South of France and delicious sunshine. Simple as that. That is what this song is all about
TRIVIAL FACT; Highway to the Sun is actually the A1.(Auto-route in France - going South)"
Hound Dog Man
"A Surrey Sound recording using all of the Police's equipment once they had gone home during the recording of their second album 'Reggatta de Blanc' produced by Nick Smith, son of Norman who engineered most of EMI's top artists of the 60s and 70s, including The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Manfred Mann."
I Didn't Wanna Touch
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. No recollection of recording this or with whom. Probably recorded between sessions whilst the Police were recording their first two albums at Surrey Sound in Leatherhead, Surrey (UK). It has never been released... but."
"I wrote this in 4 minutes. It just came out of the ether at me. I don't understand as I'm not a huge John Lennon fan. But I am very proud of the finished product"
Just A Smile
"This was originally intended to be the follow up single, on Bell records, to 'When Eleanor Comes Around'. Recorded at R.G.Jones Studios, Wimbledon, the next session in after the Rolling Stones who were leaving as I arrived, leaving Congas, Guitars and a Hammond Organ, which of course I used. Thank You Gerry"
(Lets Get) That Loving Feeling (Again)
"Produced by Phil Cordell, the first white man to be signed to the Tamla Motown label. He reached Number 1 in the UK charts with 'I Will Return' under the name of Springwater. Despite every adversity, he could finish and mix a track in time to be at the saloon bar pub entrance as they opened at 6.30 - never missed - incredible virtuosity"
Let's Slip Away
"I wrote this laying on a pile of deckchairs with my son age 2 asleep on my chest. It was a lazy midsummer evening and I could hear the waves rolling in and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and as I lay there this song just emerged, from somewhere amongst the deckchairs I fancy and was captured & recorded immediately. A big favourite and national radio hit in 2000!"
Loneliest Boy on the Beach
"I love doing the hoovering to this with my apron, marigolds and sunny disposition to the fore and perhaps a cup of tea as a prize at the end of my endeavours... Try it."
Nice Work If You Can Get It
"I would like to write a book about where people's minds were at when recording their hits. In this case our cat Bertram had been run over and I had to bury him before this recording session and you can hear the sadness in my voice."
"The biggest airplay hit of '84. One of my best productions, but then I had Eden studios at my disposal (Where I was working at the time) where I met Bob Dylan, The Everly Bros., Sex Pistols, Duran Duran, Shakin' Stevens, Elvis Costello, Dave Edmunds, Aha, Dire Straits all using the same studios."
"Christopher Pigeon - Arranger Extraordinare asked me to record this in the same vain as 'Wonderful Tonight' - so I did. At the time of recording it was an obscure Lou Reed B-side. And then everyone else seemed to have the same idea... !"
Poetry in Motion
"My favourite ever recording session. Another R.G.Jones session (My favourite studio) with Gerry at the controls. Old school friends helping out on guitars, congas and bongos. A demo which got me the deal with Air (London). Salvaged from a decaying cassette, this track features a very famous lead guitarist - guess who."
Run Wild, Run Free
"I dedicate this to my one and only dog Sam, now in heaven"
Ride A Wild Horse
"The wonderful Rosetta Hightower. It was such a compliment that she wanted to work with me and assist me on other songs such as '98.6', 'Bust Loose', 'It's Now or Never' and 'Everlasting Love'."
"I hitchhiked all the way to England with just the moon and stars for company". I love the côte d'azur and the lunar parks on approach to Saint-Tropez always make me feel that I have arrived. Lots of people seem to be hitchhiking somewhere as you drive out and that set my mind into imagining their stories and this is the end result."
"The first song I ever wrote. Recorded at the famous Decca Hamstead studios, the same weekend that the Moody Blues recorded 'Nights in White Satin'. I Know that as I met them in the loo. I was lead singer in Doves who had a big cult following in the late 60s, playing at the Marquee, the Uppercut and Whisky A Go Go. I Had never heard it finished until May 2007 when my son located it being played on a large underground radio station in Texas. The original b-side was called 'I'll Cry If You Make Me' which was written and sung by Terry Clarke and also included on the album mentioned below. It was included in a psychedelic compilation album which included some liner notes, featuring John Edward who produced the record and was one of the top pirate radio DJs on Radio London."
Click for more on the Doves
When Eleanor Comes Around
"Produced by Phil Swern now Radio 2 Sounds of the Sixties producer. I was heavily influenced by The Supremes 'Where Did Our Love Go'. A tip of my hat to Bowie, he knows what I mean"
"I was determined not to use any guitars on this track. How Mike Piggot manages to make a violin sound so exciting, romantic and full is beyond me... My Favourite vocal and dedicated to my divine Charlotte."
You Turned Your Back and Walked Away
"Recorded in the same session as 'Do You Believe' featuring the same musicians. (Chris Spedding, Herbie Flowers and Clem Catini).This was the A side in Europe , B side UK. At Air studios that morning, George Harrison, Cilla Black and T-Rex were all recording. I met George Martin in the lift with his future wife Judy and was shocked by how tall he was. Due to lack of funds I visited Charing Cross hospital, to the student dentistry department and had a wisdom tooth removed and then walked to the studios at Oxford circus - nothing could keep me from that session!"
"I met John Sebastian in my Californian past before he had a hit. 2 years later I had a residency at the Troubadour in Chelsea and at the end of the evening somebody told me he had been in the audience. The following evening he returned - I was flabagasted (But I didn't show it). Phil Cordell did everything on this record including backing vocals and I just had to croon it. A great production by Phil and a tribute to John Sebastian who came to see me! - twice"
You're Right, I'm Left, She's Gone
"This features a cultured line-up of musicians: Porl Thompson (Cure, Guitars), Rod De'ath (Rory Gallacher, Drums), Chris Glenn (Alex Harvey Band, Bass)and Dave Edwards (Guitars, Noted Session Player). Recorded at Pebble beach studios in Worthing, Sussex, UK."