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Belated R.I.P. Pete Solley

Belated R.I.P. Pete Solley
March 17, 2024 08:34AM
Fell into a Wiki wormhole this morning - I don't really remember where I started, but the clicking of links from one article to the next led me to Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons, and that led me to their producer Pete Solley, whose name rang a bell from many records back in the day. Unfortunately, I saw that Solley had passed from oral cancer back in November.

He was one of those guys like the also fairly recently departed Ray Shulman whose long career led from psychedelia through prog to new wave. In the late 60s, he was the organist for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, then drifted through random bands like Procol Harum, Whitesnake and Fox - who were one of those weird unclassifiable UK bands of the mid-70s whose only song I'm familiar with at all is "S-S-S-Single Bed," which sounds like a proto-Clare Grogan fronting a Yacht Reggae band, if Yacht Reggae was a genre.

Anyhow, Solley eventually began doing production work and produced Only a Lad for Oingo Boingo, the first Romantics album, The Wonderful World of Wreckless Eric, 1916 and March or Die by Motorhead, and albums by the Sports, Jo Jo Zep, Steve Forbert, Rachel Sweet, and Fuckhead Nugent, but nobody's perfect. He also did string arrangements for the Jam, most notably on the album version of "Smithers-Jones."

So rest in peace, Pete. Sorry I missed your passing back in November.

Here's the aforementioned "S-S-S-Single Bed" by Fox, which I gather Bananarama covered long after I paid any attention at all to Bananarama. It also has a brief detour into talkboxing, so shout out to Bob Heil. [www.youtube.com]

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2024 09:32AM by breno.
Re: Belated R.I.P. Pete Solley
March 18, 2024 07:03AM
Quite the body of work when one considers that the whole Arthur Brown sound pretty much centered on that great organ sound. No idea there was a connection to that and those Australian artists. The two Sports albums he produced contain their biggest hits. Ironically Joe Camilleri from Jo Jo Zep produced the first two. Small world.
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