The cast

Oral histories




He was a fantastic producer, you know, made some of the best records of the 70s. Before that though, back in the 60s, he was a drummer in The Quotations, providing backing for American stars who turned up in Britain without a band: if you couldn't get Sounds Incorporated, you went for The Quotations. Then he decided to have a go at songwriting and, although he was never prolific enough to make a real go of it, he did write 'Little Games' for The Yardbirds in collaboration with Harold Spiro (later to write 'Nice One Cyril').

On the strength of that and a couple of other successes, he got into producing song demos. Which is where he met a couple of aspiring songwriters called Nicky Chinn & Mike Chapman. He put their songs together with The Sweet - a band who he had already worked with - and invented the 70s.

Well, not quite. But the ripples from those early hits like 'Funny Funny' and 'Co-Co' were to be felt throughout the decade. Chinn & Chapman went on to become the most successful songwriting team since Lennon & McCartney, The Sweet went on to become the best pop-rock band of the decade and Wainman went on to be one of the biggest producers in the country.

He produced Sweet Fanny Adams, the best Sweet album of the lot, he produced two albums for the Bay City Rollers, including both their British #1 singles (the second of which, 'Give A Little Love' he co-wrote with John Goodison), and he worked with Mud after they split from Chinn & Chapman. He also produced a single called 'La Maison de L'Amour' for Son Of A Gun, which wasn't a hit, but which I want to mention because I'd like to track down any members of the band. Any leads gratefully received.

When punk arrived he worked with Generation X, but it wasn't an experience he remembers with any affection: 'Billy Idol kept on saying, "Do you think I'm going to make it?" I said, "Well, you're absolutely bloody talentless, but you look great."'

I've long felt that Wainman hasn't been given the respect he deserves as one of the key players in the 70s. Alongside the late Mike Leander and the late Gerry Shury, he is one of the key back-room figures who made our music what it was. Without him, I have serious doubts about whether Mike Chapman would have made it, whether the Rollers would have survived the split with Martin & Coulter and whether The Sweet would ever have had a hit at all. It's time to redress the balance and proclaim the truth: Phil is cool.

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Eddie Amoo
Ken Andrew
Dave Bartram
Mike Batt
Wayne Bickerton
David Blaylock
Trevor Bolder
Jacko Boogie
Tony Burrows
Sally Carr
Tina Charles
David Courtney
Rob Davis
Richard Dodd
Patrick Doonan
Ray Dorset
Herbie Flowers
Ken Gold
Graham Gouldman
Dave Hill
Harvey Hinsley
John Hughes
Jim Irvin
Jimmy James
Steve Jones
Lorraine Kelly
Paul Layton
Les McKeown
Russell Mael
Johnny Moore
Mike Moran
Chris Norman
Bill Oddie
David Paton
Lyn Paul
Phil Pickett
Suzi Quatro
Chris Rae
Chris Redburn
Norman Rogerson
Ron Roker
John Rossall
Andy Scott
Eddie Seago
Mat Snow
Chris Spedding
John Springate
Ray Stiles
Alwyn W Turner
David Van Day
Phil Wainman
Johnny Wakelin
Jeff Wayne
Alan Williams
Pip Williams