Peter Skellern: The Complete Island & Mercury Recordings. "...full of potential " - George Harrison
PETER SKELLERN: The Complete Island and Mercury Recordings: includes two albums never-before released on CD, plus bonus singles & extensive sleeve notes.
Label: Mint Audio Records. Available for pre order now from : www.mint-audio.co.uk Released 7th May 2021
“I think out of all the English people I’ve heard so far, the best is Peter Skellern. He reminds me of Harry Nilsson, full of potential” – George Harrison
To most familiar with his name, Peter Skellern will be forever connected with the huge success of ‘You’re A Lady’ in 1972. The single sold in excess of 800,000 copies in the UK alone.
Hard Times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq3iTtvfdlg
The Cloud Will All Roll By: https://youtu.be/GKP55_sj8KU
At the beginning of his career in the late Sixties, Bury, Lancashire-born Peter was the keyboard player and one of the vocalists in a group named March Hare. After the group split in 1971, his new, original songs caught the ear of the bands’ Manager, Johnny Stirling, who heard in Peter “the classic songwriters of an earlier era - people like George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Hoagy Carmichael – while also bringing something completely fresh and innovative”. Peter was also possessed of a highly distinctive voice, so with this exciting combination of talents, Peter and Johnny set out “to see if we could get anywhere”.
‘Anywhere’ became hugely successful career for Peter, with many dedicated fans. An entertainer in the truest sense of the word, he could adapt to any situation, from TV guest spots and theatre shows with Richard Stilgoe (who some will remember from his musical ‘interludes’ on TV’s ‘That’s Life!’ with Esther Rantzen), concerts with brass bands and choirs, to classical piano concerts as well as his own solo shows.
Peter Skellern songs have been recorded by a diverse array of artists, including Davy Jones of The Monkees; Ringo Starr, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams and Brigitte Bardot!
Peter also wrote the lyrics for ‘One More Kiss, Dear’, featured in the film and soundtrack album for ‘Blade Runner’’ directed by Ridley Scott in1982.
An impressive array of musicians across ‘The Complete Island and Mercury Recordings’ include – Mick Green (The Pirates), Rob Townsend (Family, The Manfreds); George Ford (Cockney Rebel); Roger Pope (Elton John), Kevin Peek (Sky) and George Harrison. – as well as the distinctive sound of The Grimethorpe Colliery Band. Arrangements come from Andrew Pryce Jackman (Rush, Barclay James Harvest, Chris Squire and Steve Howe of Yes)
The release is being supported by the Skellern family, his long-time manager and friend Johnny Stirling, Producer of ‘Hard Times’ and ‘Kissing in the Cactus’, Geoffrey Haslam, and Peter's long-time engineer Steve James (who engineered four of the albums).
This next stage in the release of Peter’s recordings follows ‘The Complete Decca Recordings’ in the Summer of 2019, which brought together all of the material Peter recorded for that label, (including ‘You’re A Lady’, ‘Hold On To Love’ - another hit single from 1975 - and ‘Still Magic’ from 1974) and follows a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the collection via Richard Moore at Mint Audio. He first approached Peter’s family with the idea of releasing his BBC recordings, however, the cost proved too prohibitive at the time, but the idea of a comprehensive collection of Decca recordings proved more feasible. "The Success of ‘Decca’ led me to plan the next volume covering Peter’s time with Island and Mercury”, Richard explained. “It took a while to track down rights holders and negotiate a deal, but we had a second successful Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2020 and are shortly due to release ‘The Complete Island/Mercury Recordings’ which covers six albums, two of which (‘Hard Times’ and ‘Kissing In The Cactus’) have never been re-issued on cd and a number of singles”.
The set is the work of Sound Engineer, Richard Moore who has compiled and remastered the recordings from the original master tapes. The 3 CD is released on his own label Mint Audio Records.
Profits from both releases will offset the large cost of clearing Peter’s BBC recordings for a future release.
Peter Skellern sadly passed away in 2017, but clearly his legacy is in the very safe hands.
Peter Skellern on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/124253529073