Thursday, September 9, 2010

WHITE CHINA - smiles & jokes 12'' 1985




Formed 1981 in Dunfermline Scotland, the Band got their first lucky break by having a night on Radio 1 with Annie Nightingale, the show was recorded at the origional REL Studios in Edinburgh and the Dunfermline studio of first Skids manager Mike Douglas aka "PANO" and heard by the Managing Directors of WEA Records in London, Max Hole and Mike Heap while driving home. WEA invited the Band down to London to discuss a recording deal, at that time the oldest member of the band was 16 the youngest being 13, they were tempted with the offer of working with producer Tony Visconti, sadly they never got to meet Mr Visconti . A&M Records contacted the band wanting to meet at a Police concert in Edinburgh Playhouse to sign a record contract, the offer of a support slot to the Police on the next tour was offered as an addition, at the time the band had wanted to sign to A&M but the bands manager talked them out of signing as he had other offers. Peter Powell of Radio 1 heard early demos of the Band, he then Invited them to do 4 live tracks on a session for Radio 1 late 1983, and to appear for the first time live on tv on his show "The Oxford Roadshow" ORS 84 which was filmed in Manchester. The bands first tour was support act for Rock Band Big Country. - Early 1984 White China signed a record breaking major production deal with Island Records and Stiff Music in the UK, an American Deal with MCA was complete by the middle of that year. It became quickly obvious to the Band that things werent all they could be, after spending 6 days in RAK Studios in London with Steve Brown as producer and Pete Glenister as co-producer, "Real World" the first single, was delivered to Dave Robinson owner of Stiff Music and now MD of Island Records. Robinson wasnt happy with what he heard so, he asked Steve Brown to remix the song at Wessex Studios in London, but again he didnt like what he heard. Robinson then had the single remixed a further 17 times with various producers and different studios, the final version being done in Rockfield, Wales with Julian Mendelsohn as producer, Robinson was heard in conversation stating, the success other artists like U2, Bob Marley, Frankie Goes to Hollywood were having on Island meant he had to delay the Bands debut single, due to no staff being available to push the band to radio and tv. The Band werent happy with his decisions or this version of "Real World" and let Dave Robinson know in no uncertain terms, it appeared at that time Julian Mendelsohn was the prefered producer in Robinsons eyes, but on his first efforts the Band didnt want to work with him, Peter Powel of Radio 1 agreed that the Bands efforts with Steve Brown were by far a better version. The tapes were then sneaked up to Scotland for Neil Ross at REL studios in Edinburgh to remix and complete a 12" version, Neils remix was considered good by the Band and management, he had origionally produced the Bands demos that had attracted so much attention from various major labels, but again Dave Robinson rejected this version. At this point producer Martin Rushent stepped in, he was willing to do a new version of "Real World" at his Genetic Studios, Goring on Thames, this session didnt better that of the first Version by Steve Brown, but an experience the band would never forget and would like to thank him for!!, thanks to Martin the band found a studio and environment that suited them, somewhere they returned to for a further 5 months of recordings. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- by this time, Dave Robinson had decided to release Julian Mendelsohns version of Real World against the bands wishes. The Band then Toured for the 3rd time with Big Country in the UK, Eagerly awaiting to find out how there first single was doing in the charts the band were given a bombshell blow, they had been penalised for selling to many copies in Scotland, indications of an initial top 40 with the first single were now in tatters. The Band went back to the drawing board to find another producer to do a second single "Too Young", this was to be released 2 weeks into the Steeltown tour the band had agreed with Big Country. Producer Howard Gray was then chosen, the Band then went to CBS Stusios in London, and then to be haunted in, The Manor Studios and Ridge Farm, again with co-producer Pete Glenister to complete the second single "Too Young", the Band were happy with the results, but Dave Robinson was not, his mention of Julian Mendolsohn again drove the band out of Islands offfices in disgust and off to tour with Big Country with no single to promote. On this Tour the Band decided that this time they would find a producer to record the first Album "The Innocence" with or without Islands approval. The Band were introduced to producer John Punter, instantly they struck up a good relationship with John and decided to go back to Genetic Studios, Phil Tennant was to be the engineer who the Band had previously worked with on Martin Rushents version of "Real World" so things were looking up!, we must say a big thanks also to Tim Baldwin who stepped in to engineer while Phil had his tackle sorted in hospital, during that time John also lost the skin off his nose from a holiday to Montserrat, he had no shame at leaving the band back in snowy England while he indulged himself with his new wife in such a great and now sadly destroyed place, he did bring Rob Dean of Japan to stay at the studio for a couple of weeks, a great experience to meet such a genuine bloke, great musician and friend to the band at that time. Now late 1985, the album was finished, the final mixes were to be completed in Air Studios, Oxford Street, London. The Band were happy with what John Punter had finished for them, at last after having to record 48 track for most of the album it sounded close to how the Band did live. Dave Robinson was given the album early 1986, this time he liked what the Band had done, he quickly released "Smiles and Jokes" to be followed by "Too Young" but sadly disaster struck, Dave Robinson was given his marching orders from Island and Chris Blackwell wasnt going to be back incharge for some time, so all Island releases were shelved for the time being. The Band completely disolusioned by this time, and feeling very much a good TAX loss for Island, refused Dave Robinsons offer to move to Stiff to release the first album, a move that they might be thankfull for, Stiff Records/Music shortly after got into financial trouble, and the Band negotiated to get off Island, sadly the Band went there different ways at this point never to reform, but still remain good friends to this day. The first album "The Innocence" is now being persued by the Band, it is hoped that an agreement can be reached with Universal, if not the full album will be re-recorded for fun. Possible release date 2011 in 5.1 surround sound. this is a request'' and recommended to everyone you can also visit the band {http://www.myspace.com/httpwwwmyspacecomwhitechina]enjoy..

tracks:

1.smiles & jokes [ extended version }
2.seen from above
3.how i wish [instrumental remix]

here

3 comments:

  1. Do you have the lyrics to Smiles & Jokes? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. sorry melo' i don't have the lyrics for this song' this is really a great song' thanks melo'

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know my high where my dreams were set to go
    It was a jewel time which never came true
    Your pressure's on, it crashed through my illusions
    Your wanting face has ruined my life

    But at the start
    Things weren't so different
    Your smiles and jokes, your smiles and jokes
    But at the start
    Things weren't so different
    Your smiles and jokes, your smiles and jokes

    Now I've gone down and looked and seen the ruins around me
    I despise your face and the look I hope we'll never see
    You put your head with modern prayers and in your prayer is star wars
    You were the good in the tick-by TV screen

    But at the start
    Things weren't so different
    Your smiles and jokes, your smiles and jokes
    But at the start
    Things weren't so different
    Your smiles and jokes, your smiles and jokes

    But at the start
    Things weren't so different
    Your smiles and jokes, your smiles and jokes
    But at the start
    (But at the start)
    Things weren't so different
    Your smiles and jokes, your smiles and jokes
    But at the start
    (But at the start)
    Things weren't so different
    Your smiles and jokes, your smiles and jokes
    But at the start
    (But at the start)
    Things weren't so different
    Your smiles and jokes, your smiles and jokes

    Is that right?
    I don't think so but I hope it is...
    I just found it somewhere..

    http://thesoundtripper.com/

    ReplyDelete