The Glitter Band History -Page 2
The band were also by now keenly expressing their interest in doing their own shows and recordings and once their feelings had become known, this led to immediate and full backing and encouragement from the management and in stepped Mike Leander to give them some studio time in December 1973. During these sessions, at Mayfair Studios, London, the band recorded an initial version of a song that Gerry Shephard and John Rossall (with the help of Pete Phipps) had written - 'Angel Face', along with ‘You Wouldn’t Leave Me Would You?’, ‘Gonna Be With You Tonight’, ‘It’s Alright Baby’, and ‘Teenager In Love’.
The first version of Angel Face that was recorded, with Gerry on lead vocals and Mike Leander producing, was somewhat different to the song that was eventually released. The track was a little reminiscent of some singles that had been produced by Leander, under the group name of 'Hot Rocks' in the previous year. This initial version of Angel Face was a reasonable track but bearing in mind the lack of success of the Hot Rocks singles, it was decided to have another stab at recording it.
Another version was duly recorded, and it was given some re-arrangement and lyric changes and the full Mike Leander-'Glitter-feel' production, with that distorted slide-guitar sound, the heavy snare-led drumbeat, the 'heys!' and the catchy chanted chorus. It was a brave move to go ahead with this idea, as the band could have all fallen flat on their faces piled under much criticism. It did seem, inevitable, however, that this Glitter treatment should happen. In the song's favour was the fact that the song differed in style from the songs that Gary and Mike would write together, so it retained its own identity as a song and this added weight to the band justifiably going out on their own. All agreed that the song would make an excellent first single. It was decided that the band would be called “The Glitter Band” and Angel Face would be the first release of The Glitter Band!
The band’s very first gig took place on 15th February 1974 at the Aquarius Club in Lincolnshire, where they were billed as a ‘mystery band.’ The band’s set consisted of a number of their favourite songs from the 1950’s and 60’s.
Bell records (Gary’s record company) signed the Glitter Band as a new artist and released the Angel Face single on 1st March 1974. Angel Face met with instant success and it reached. no.4 in the BRMB chart in the UK with no effort and stayed in the charts for 10 weeks.
The band made their first of what was to be many appearances on Top Of The Pops, without Gary, on 21st March 1974. It was obvious that the band were going to follow up this success swiftly and they wanted to determinedly pursue their own career but they felt that it was only right to (and wanted to) continue working with Gary, as well as doing their own thing. This often as you can imagine provided the management with no end of headaches in trying to organise the separate and joint diaries for the two now separate artists!
The schedule became extremely hectic. The band's first album was recorded in less than two weeks and was released in August, simply entitled 'Hey!' and it charted at no 13 and remained in the charts for 12 weeks. The album featured a mixture of some of the band's compositions and some of those favourite cover versions that they enjoyed performing live at their own gigs, with Gerry and John Springate alternating on the lead vocals. The band's second single, which followed the same formula as Angel Face, was also lifted from this album. Gerry and John Rossall’s song 'Just For You' was released in July 1974 and reached No 10, and hung around the charts for 8 weeks!
Initially, the management were pushing for the track ‘Tell Him’ to be released as the second single, however the band were keen not to be seen as a covers band, particularly as there were a few cover versions on the Hey album already. Happily they won the day and the chart position of Just For You was very satisfying for all concerned. The group ‘Hello’, who were also produced by Mike Leander and signings of Bell Records, were steered towards releasing Tell Him with a Mike Leander production which was much the same as the Glitter Band version.
The band's gigs quickly turned into official tours. It initially felt odd at first for them to be regularly playing large venues like they had been with Gary but they soon got used to it and enjoyed every minute!
The next single to be released in October 1974 was a further Shephard/Rossall composition, 'Let's Get Together Again'. Gerry was still on lead vocals and the song reached no 8 in the charts and it was at about this time that the band was thrown into the movie business (well sort of!)