Friday, 5 June 2015

Dream On

Only one track today principally because – on this particular record – the same track appears on both sides. The only difference between the two versions of Like a Dream is that, on the A-side of the disc, the song plays backwards!

The first (and, I believe, only) release on G.H.M Records, Freda Gothenburg’s Like A Dream sounds like a reject from an amateur production of The Rocky Horror Show or similar: I can certainly hear major similarities between Freda’s performance and the vocal technique employed by Little Nell. G.H.M stood for Mike Gatton, Roy Hurley and Ken Murray, the writers of the song and the men who came up with the idea of a backwards-playing disc. Issued in 1979, other credits for the trio of Gatton, Hurley and Murray include the songs Late Night Lady (recorded by Wild Willy Barrett the same year) and What Hit Me (recorded by UK act Rich Gypsy in 1980). As a duo, Gatton and Murray wrote several songs on Barrett’s debut solo album Call of the Wild (Polydor, again 1979).

Ken Murray now runs his own recording studio and song writing business in Rochester, Kent. Mike Gatton, who sadly was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year, recently wrote a musical for schoolchildren, Delahaye the Dog, which focuses on the issue of bullying and its impact on victims. Bassist, sound engineer and songwriter Roy Hurley is still gigging today, as part of the four-piece band Elliot’s Sleeping.

Freda Gothenburg was a studio backing singer, and today is pursuing a career as a writer and proof reader; Like A Dream was her only release under her own name. It’s an awful record, but this is not her fault: she was clearly encouraged to sing the song as playfully and exaggeratedly as she could. As she herself put it when responding to a post on “I reserved my 'good' singing for the session work I did. It was a blast making this record…even if it doesn't have listen appeal!” I’m unsure who the Charlie-boy mentioned in the song is (if indeed it is meant to be anyone): it could be Prince Charles, who in 1979 was still, young, free and single and seen by the press as the world’s most eligible bachelor (it would be two years before he would marry Diana Spencer), or Charlie Townsend, the forever-unseen titular star of Charlie’s Angels.




  1. The idea of records starting the centre and playing outwards is of coures not new, the old 16 inch transcription discs and radio-only 12 inch LPs were the same. Not to mention every CD, they start in the middle.

  2. 6/6/15 wrote:
    !fierG dooG


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