Amy Winehouse’s exclusive cover of Sam Cooke‘s ‘Cupid’, recorded to support Artists Project Earth (APE), is set to become one of last non-X-Factor related hits of the year.
The track, recorded earlier this year for the ‘Rhythms Del Mundo Classics’ compilation, hopes to raise funds and drive awareness for the charity ahead of the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, December 7-18, where APE will be voicing the concerns of the world’s leading musician’s on the issue.
Despite ‘Rhythms Del Mundo Classics’ being released in July, ‘Cupid’ has received huge radio support recently. The compilation also features covers by Rodrigo Y Gabriela and Cat Power.
Clive Gregson is another British singer/songwriter who deserved greater commercial success.
His start in the music business was as a founding member and leader of Any Trouble, a band that released five albums and performed hundreds of gigs but which broke-up at the end of 1984.
In 1985 Gregson released his first solo record, Strange Persuasions, described by Hot Press as “a truly exceptional piece of work”.
Following the release of the above album he partnered up with vocalist, Christine Collister. This partnership was to prove to be highly successful and helped re-invigorate British folk-rock in the late 80s and early 90s. So much so they were described in Rolling Stone Magazine as “the state of the art in British folk-rock”, the same magazine have also described him “one of their 1,000 Greatest Guitarists”.
Their first four albums all achieved chart success and numerous tours of the UK, USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan further established Gregson’s name in the world of British folk-rock.
Throughout this period Clive was also a member of the Richard Thompson Band and in demand as a record producer and session musician. He compiled his second solo project, Welcome To The Workhouse and by October 1992 was performing as a solo artist again.
During this time he developed a song-writing partnership with Boo Hewerdine, founder member of The Bible. They toured the UK in the spring of 1993 as a trio completed by Eddi Reader, the ex-Fairground Attraction vocalist.
In November 1994 Clive released Carousel of Noise, a mix of live and studio recordings, hailed as “brilliant” by the Manchester Evening News. The following April, Clive released People and Places, a new studio record, which Pulse gave five stars. August 1996 saw the release of I Love This Town, a CD that Clive describes as a “return to the Any Trouble sound: short, upbeat pop songs with lots of guitar…”.
It was greeted by rave reviews, while Nanci Griffith recorded the title song as a duet with Jimmy Buffett, scoring the UK Radio 2 ‘A’ List and 5,000 US plays in 2006.
In September 1996 Clive took part in Dublin sessions for a new Nanci Griffith CD Other Voices, Too, and in February ’97 he was nominated for a Nashville Music Award in the Artist/Songwriter category.
Further touring in 1997 took Clive to the UK, Europe, Canada and Japan. He also managed to record a CD with Plainsong, a 4-piece group including Ian Matthews and Andy Roberts described as a “Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for the ’90′s…”.
Throughout 1998 Clive interspersed recording with yet more touring, re-uniting with legendary producer John Wood (Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny) for the mixing of Clive’s next solo project Happy Hour. The year ended with Clive’s appearance as a special guest on Nanci Griffith’s “Other Voices Too…” tour.
Happy Hour was released in April 1999 to glowing reviews: “Gregson has come up with one of his best ever records…” Dirty Linen. The album is a truly solo project, with a sparse and intimate sound. Fred Astaire has established itself as a fan favourite and was recorded by Norma Waterson.
April 1999 also saw a reunion of the Gregson/Hewerdine/Reader Trio with USA dates followed by a Boo & Clive Japanese tour, and the year concluded with a solo UK tour.
Clive was also busy in the studio, playing on album projects for Boo Hewerdine, Ian Gomm and Andy West among others. 2000 saw Clive join Boo for their first UK duo tour, more Trio dates, a guest appearance with Nanci Griffith & The Atlanta Symphony, solo summer festivals, sessions and finally another successful solo UK tour.
Comfort & Joy was released in 2001, with much solo touring to promote the album, including a trip to Japan and Clive’s first solo dates in the USA in almost five years. 2002 saw the first official label release of Carousel of Noise and a compilation of Any Trouble tracks from their Stiff Records era, ‘Girls Are Always Right’. The latter met with a great response from critics and fans alike and even showed up on the Amazon.com best sellers list.
In October 2003, Clive managed to fall off a ladder, breaking his left arm and shoulder, which required a lengthy healing process and the cancellation of touring and recording commitments.
The end of January 2004 saw Clive back in the studio playing on sessions for a new Nanci Griffith CD (including his song ‘I Love This Town’) and a couple of weeks later he played his first solo gig since the accident. His next solo CD Long Story Short had been completed the week before his accident and the album was released in the UK in May 2004.
In April 2004, Clive teamed up with John Wood to remix Nick Drake’s catalogue into 5.1 sound (John was the original engineer on every Nick Drake recording). In October, Clive rejoined Nanci Griffith’s band for a UK & Ireland tour, followed by more solo UK dates.
In 2006, the first two CDs from Clive Gregson & Christine Collister and a ‘Best Of’ collection were re-released though Gott Discs, while 2007 saw the reunion of Any Trouble for a brand-new album ‘Life In Reverse’, released on their first label, the legendary Stiff Records, now owned by ZTT’s Trevor Horn.
March 2009 also sees the reissue of remastered versions of the final 3 Gregson & Collister albums via BGO Records: ‘A Change In The Weather’, ‘Love Is A Strange Hotel’ and ‘The Last Word’.
Clive tours the UK every year and in April 2009 sees the first compilation of Clive’s solo material: ‘The Best Of Clive Gregson’, culled from his 8 solo albums, and featuring many of the songs covered by others and acclaimed in concert.
It includes Clive’s original version of the Nanci Griffith radio hit ‘I love This Town’, and a solo version of the Any Trouble classic ‘Trouble With Love’, plus his renditions of songs covered by others: ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ (Fairport Convention), ‘Fred Astaire’ (Norma Waterson), ‘Touch And Go’ (Kim Carnes) and ‘Jewel In Your Crown’ (Fairport Convention). A further 10 tracks from Ciive’s 8 solo albums are included, focussing on those that have pleased live audiences on his many tours.
‘The Best Of Clive Gregson’ (along with the Any Trouble compilation ‘Girls Are Always Right’ and ‘The Best Of Gregson & Collister’) gives the uninitiated the rare chance of discovering genuine British talent – a songwriter of great versatility, a singer of great sensitivity, and a guitarist of great ability, all contained in one person.
As of 2009 his career spans 29 years and 17 albums, plus numerous collaborations. His professional career started in 1980 when he helped form Any Trouble bringing out their first record release with Stiff Records. Both the band and their first release, “Where Are All The Nice Girls”, were greeted with positive critiques from British music press. Ultimately they released five albums, several singles and disbanded in 1984. The subsequently reformed in 2007 and released a new album entitled Life In Reverse.
The Independent has stated that “Gregson is as fine a singer-songwriter as anyone has a right to expect. He does the lot
To buy the music of Clive Gregson click HERE
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