The Glitter Band History -Page 4
The band were by now touring extensively overseas in such places as Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan, amongst others and it was during a short break in their schedule that Gary had announced his retirement from the music scene. (Possibly deliberately set up by the management as concert tickets had not been selling well).
The band's priority then became that of supporting him on his final tour in March 1976 and continuing to promote their own new single, again penned by Gerry and John, which had just been released in February, 'People Like You And People Like Me', the title of which was inspired by a cigarette commercial! Beyond the idea for the title, the song's lyrics showed that Gerry and John liked to write from their personal experiences and feelings. They showed that they were 'socially conscious' and were disenchanted with the selfish attitudes of society - this was their 'protest song'. This song was one that, like others before it, had been re-recorded. It was decided to rearrange the song slightly to subdue the original country music feel of the existing recording, and give it a slight disco feel, as they were now competing with this style of music to get into the charts.
Life was even more hectic than usual, but they managed to get in a lot of promotion for the ‘People Like You’ single to push it to no 5. Interestingly, the b-side of this single, the funk genius that was 'Makes You Blind', (also from the album), received a lot of plays in the discos and nightclubs, and was a minor hit in the United States. 'People Like You' was still doing the rounds during Gary's Farewell tour, a tour which saw renowned keyboard player 'Sir' Peter Oxendale (a gentleman with whom Gerry was to work with a few years later!) join the band for the live shows, and to promote Gary's 'final' single -'You Belong To Me'.
After the departure of Gazza, The Glitter Band were now left to carry on entirely on their own. The band's next move was to look long and hard at their future aims together and the direction that they wanted to go in. In an attempt to establish a new beginning, severing as best they could the more hindering ties of the past few years, the lads decided it was time to try to put the “Glitter” to rest, and they subsequently dropped the 'litter' from their name to now become 'The G.Band'! It was quite a natural decision for them to adopt this name as they had been nicknamed the G. Band by their management staff for quite a while now.
Not wishing to waste too much time, the G. Band quickly released the single, another song written by Gerry and John, 'Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep, in May 1976 (on which Gerry played banjo!). However, despite being featured as a new release on Top Of The Pops, and some other television shows, the single didn't unfortunately reach the charts as it deserved. The song centred on a Native American theme and the band performed the song around a stage set of totem poles on the television. However, its sentiment led many to draw the conclusion that it was a covert swipe at Gary.
Recognising a commercial opportunity when they saw it, Bell Records had quickly churned out a Glitter Band's Greatest Hits album to mark the occasion of the name change and to ride on any wave of increased popularity that the exposure of the Farewell tour might have generated.
It wasn't too long after this that the band signed to CBS Records, and once they were settled in with CBS, progress was made in completing the band's fourth album in Paris, with Mike Leander still producing and in fact lending a hand in the composition of some songs. The resulting album, Paris Match, released in October 1976 was duly released, showing yet another progression in their collective songwriting and musical style, incorporating more of the Reggae, Funk, straight Rock and Soul styles that they had already been showing signs of on "Listen To The Band".
The album and the singles taken from it; 'Lay Your Love On Me' released in November ‘76 and 'Look What You've Been Missing' released in March 1977, received little exposure however and regrettably failed to make it. Some of the promotion for ‘Lay Your Love On Me’ featured Gerry on lead vocals, notably the Arrows TV show, as John had suffered a foot injury. John’s first appearance on TV show, Supersonic, showed him singing the song sitting down with a cushion under his foot. Peter Oxendale also appeared with the band again as Lay Your Love On Me had prominent keyboards within the track.
It seemed as though the record buying public weren't impressed or fooled by the band having dropped the 'litter' from their name. The tracks were good so it seemed as though nobody wanted any more singles from the Glitter Band (which was what everyone seemed to still think of them as). A further single was released in May 1977 in the form of a four track EP, the title track being 'She Was Alright'. This EP was the first UK picture sleeve release for the band and was shown as being recorded by the Glitter Band again. (Well actually some crafty design work led to it being attributed to the G Band and the Glitter Band at the same time!).
The EP cover showed a picture on the reverse for a new cover for the Paris Match album which was to be re-launched as a Glitter Band release.