Producers David Courtney And Mike Batt Publish Autobiographies

Both of them were born in 1949, both of them contributed their talents to British music scene – enough to change it – and both of them publish their autobiographies this year: one already out and the other forthcoming. Both are producers – only both David Courtney and Mike Batt are much more than that. Aming other things, they are hitmakers – in songwriting terms.

Giving it All Away

Courtney’s most famous composition – recorded by co-writer Leo Sayer and also Roger Daltrey, who took it up the charts – is “Giving it All Away”; a little surprise, then, that David titled his book after it. Of course, his career as a creative partner of both these legends, as well as of Adam Faith whose DC-masterminded “I Survive” album featured such luminaries as Ritchie Blackmore and Paul McCartney. His own longplay, the brilliant "David Courtney's First Day" from 1975, might have had David Gilmour and Francis Monkman as guests, yet it was the songs, rather than instrumentalists, that made the record so special. Best sampled on "Anthology" through artists like SMOKIE, Roger Chapman and DOLLAR, Courtney the performer shines on the coupling of his two long-unreleased albums "Midsummer Madness / Shooting Star" from, respectively, 1976 and 1980. And don’t forget him being a founder of the Walk of Fame in the United Kingdom and the first Football Walk of Fame in the world, his a Grammy nominations, and a man behind million-selling platters; so there’s a lot of stories to tell in this volume, which is already available.

The Closest Thing to Crazy

As for Batt, whose “The Closest Thing to Crazy: My Life of Musical Adventures” will see the light of day on September 26th, his most impressive achievement may seem to be “Bright Eyes” – a piece Mike wrote for Art Garfunkel to deliver – yet, in fact, it’s the invention of THE WOMBLES’ musical aspect and realizing the critters’ sounds in the company of Chris Spedding and other kindred spirits. The likes of McCartney, Chapman and Prince figure in his book too, yet Batt’s tales about HAPSHASH AND THE COLOURED COAT, STEELEYE SPAN or GROUNDHOGS whom he worked with mayy be even more arresting, as are the fables behind his solo projects “Tarot Suite” and “The Hunting Of The Snark” or such the chart-busting cuts as “Please Don’t Fall In Love” recorded by Cliff Richard. “A Winter’s Tale” done by David Essex, and “I Feel Like Buddy Holly” preserved for posterity by Alvin Stardust. Batt wrote some lyrics for the titular track of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom Of The Opera” and curated “Classic Blue” for Justin Hayward, but the latter part of Mike’s career was marked by his discovery of Katie Melua and making her “Call Off The Search” and “Piece By Piece” global successes that were guaranteed a place on his pages.

A splendid reading it all must be.

June 30, 2024

Category(s): News
Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *