Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dave Edmunds (including Love Sculpture and Rockpile)

Dave Edmunds was born in 1943 in Cardiff, Wales. Aged 12, he heard his brother’s copy of Jerry Lee Lewis’s Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On!, he was hooked. The music of Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochrane and Chuck Berry became his inspiration to learn to play the guitar. His first group played local gigs in churches and youth clubs in the suburbs of Cardiff. Dave (guitar), linked up with Tommy Riley (drums) and they played as a duo called Image Band but Dave kept his day time job as a car mechanic. Then when they met bass player John Williams (sometimes called John David) they formed a trio called Human Beans before devolving into Love Sculpture. Love Sculpture had an instrumental hit with Sabre Dance (a reworking of Khachaturian classic).

Love Sculpture toured the US and when Dave heard Wilbert Harrison's Let's Stick Together he intended to record it. Unfortunately Canned Heat beat him to it. When Dave realised his I Hear You Knocking would fit almost like a glove into the arrangement he had made for Let’s stick together, he was well pleased. When Love Sculpture failed to follow up with another hit, they split up. Dave Edmunds started to produce records in the Rockfield Studios, Gwent and worked with Shakin Stevens and the Sunsets’ on their first album, ‘A legend.‘

Keen to pursue a solo career he released, I hear you knocking which was a hit both in the UK#1 and US#4.

He switched labels and under his new label Rockfield had two hits with Baby I love you (1972) and Born to be with you (1973).

In between performing, Dave continued to produce new pub rock bands including producing Brinsley Schwarz, Ducks Deluxe and the Flamin’ Groovies.

During this time he met Nick Lowe fellow producer and musician and together they formed Rockpile with Billy Bremner, Terry Williams and Gerry Hogan (steel). Contractual problems prevented the group from recording under their own name, until 1980.

The band did play on Nick and Dave’s solo albums: Nick Lowe's Labour of Lust and Edmunds' Repeat When Necessary proved very successful.

Ironically Rockpile split up after their first album, Seconds of Pleasure.

Billy Bremner worked with Shakin Stevens before going onto a less successful solo career; Terry Williams joined Dire Straits then Meatloaf. Dave Edmunds continued to enjoy more UK hits with a cover version of Elvis Costello’s "Girls Talk", and Nick Lowe's "I Knew The Bride".

“Queen of Hearts” was written for him by Hank Deviot and later became a smash for Juice Newton in the U.S. Dave also recorded Graham Parker's "Crawling From The Wreckage", and Melvin Endsley's "Singing the Blues" (originally a hit for Guy Mitchell).

The remaining years of the late eighties Dave collaborated with and produced an assortment of artists, from Paul McCartney to King Kurt; and from The Stray Cats to Status Quo. He continued to record and wrote the soundtrack for Porky's Revenge, including the theme, "High School Nights."

Dave Edmonds was the musical director for a television special starring Carl Perkins, with assorted guests including George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Rosanne Cash.

His last US chart entry was in 1983 with Slipping Away (written by Jeff Lynn) and taken from the Information album.

From the mid 80s Dave Edmunds ceased recording and retreated to Wales. He subsequently suffered heart problems and underwent a triple bypass. Although he continued to tour occasionally, in 2007 Dave went back on the road with Joe Brown entertaining live audiences in the UK. He released an album in 2013 called Again which features recordings from the 1990s plus four brand new tracks.

Dave Edmunds had one acting role playing a band member (Stray Cats) in the Stardust (1973) movie starring David Essex and directed by David Putnam.

Worth a listen

Love Sculpture
Sabre Dance (1968)

Dave Edmonds
I Hear You Knocking (1970)
Baby I Love You (1973)
Born To Be With You (1973)
I Knew The Bride (1977)
Girls Talk (1979)
Queen Of Hearts (1979)
Crawling From The Wreckage (1979)
Singing The Blues (1980)
Almost Saturday Night (1981)
The Race Is On (with The Stray Cats) (1981)
Slipping Away (1983)
King Of Love (1990)

No comments: