The Thoughts “Wait A Long Time For You”
Video courtesy of Formula Einz TV Germany
The creation of Straight8Records started when a band from the Thanet area called Naughty Thoughts were recording a cover version of the Small Faces All Or Nothing track. I was keen on this band and this was released on Maestro Records MR004 b/w a band original Weekdays The band’s manager, Andrew McPherson, (nicknamed McSpokesperson), had high hopes for his protegés who were the leading lights in the area but he couldn’t land a deal for next single or debut album he hoped would elevate them to the next level. I decided to invest in this band and hired the services of Clive Scott (he of the band Jigsaw and the hit Sky High fame) as producer. the now newly named and maturing The Thoughts to me in the first place. We got through it though and, as described in a later chapter, got together again for The Titanic Suite.
So off we went with the now newly named and maturing The Thoughts to meet Clive Scott at Majestic Studios in downtown Clapham (London). Clive had recommended the studio to me as he had produced there many times with his engineer Andy Pearce assisting as the so-called ‘knob twiddler’. We recorded 15 new tracks, all originals written by different collaborating combinations of the band members, notably Chris Waters and Mark Edwards, who were the driving force behind the power pop unit. Clive was an excellent musician and songwriter in his own right, writing and performing a string of hit singles by Jigsaw (who were massive in Japan) and providing hits for acts such as Camberwick Green and so on. He brought a musical discipline to the band and played keyboards on many of the tracks. We decided to put three of the tracks on an e.p. (extended play) and release it on Straight8Records. The marketing idea behind this was to distance the band from Maestro Records by having a new deal with a new label. The flagship track of the whole project was a track called ‘Wait A Long Time For You that guest-featured top saxophonist Gary Barnacle who put a marker down with his solo riffs and expert playing. Next up was Who said Anything About Love a racy number that was softened a little by Clive’s ‘Horse Of The Year Show’ string arrangements that brought the band into unknown musical territory with understandably hilarious reactions in the studio and the e.p. was topped off by a band favourite Fooled Again. We had pro sleeve-designers dagama on board for the whole project and released the 3 tracks on two formats, 1) e.p. 2) 12″ 3 track maxi-single as a teaser for the album but, due to a lack of mainstream airplay, had limited success and poor sales. Mainstream airplay was a vital ingredient in those days to have any chance of a chart place. We had decided on a ten track album titled Passion’s In Fashion dropping two of the tracks from the single release and leaving 3 other tracks in the can so to speak. In the meantime, with no revenue coming in, I set about looking for a deal with a third-party record label to licence the album. Networking in Europe would come to fruition as I had struck up a friendship and business relationship with Rudie Holzhauer who owned an indie publishing company based in Hamburg, Germany and he liked the album a lot. He touted it around several labels for a GAS (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) deal and, as luck would have it, had an offer from Teldec a leading label in that territory. Teldec initially just wanted to licence the single but I refused that deal and stood my ground and we did a deal for the whole project that was a two single release with the album released in between the singles promotion. It was looking good as Teldec managed to get the band on Formula Einz, a sort of Top Of The Pops TV show that was the leading promotional tool in Germany. We had good sales and this led to a negotiation with another label for a worldwide release but a stuttering second single release put paid to that deal. It was a Maestro Record Production that failed to bring in the revenue for any further investment in the band and we drifted apart.
If you wish to buy The Thoughts releases on Straight8Records (vinyl only) here is a link to our Discogs page.