GetoutofLondon - Recorded with Martin Rushent. Co-wrote and co-sung with Simon G. This was the song which got Intaferon our deal with Chrysalis. Lyrics written Dylan-style, there are lots of time-specific references (Keys on the TV is a reference to the launch of TV-AM). The video was directed by Storm Thorgeson. Cover shot en verité on Oxford Street.
Steamhammer Sam was written by SG as a plaintive and personal lament. The steel strikes in the UK were a big deal at the time. The song included a brass band and children choir in a wry attempt to counteract the bleakness of the lyric. Martin Rushent whistles on the remix. The great actor Jack Watson starred in the video.
Baby Pain is another SG song. The cover pictures Edie Sedgwick after the Chelsea Hotel fire. We originally wanted the cover to be all black with dark purple lettering - a big bruise. Produced by David Motion, the song signalled the end of Intaferon, the lyric at the beginning of the 12” remix uncannily preempting it.
Gun Control was my first solo album. After breaking with SG a month before release, I had to take the Intaferon singles off the record and write three new songs. By the time it was done, I had left London for New York. The cover shot was by Robert Mapplethorpe. The American version of the album was renamed Gun on the strong advice of the record company.
I Want You Back - a cover of a Hoodoo Gurus song - was the first single off Gun Control. Co-produced with guitarist Steve Stevens, it featured piano by Holly (Love is a Battlefield) Knight. The video was directed by DJ Webster, the featured actress in the clip previously seen in The Power Station's ‘Some Like it Hot’.
NeverNeverLand was my debut LP for Warner Bros. It was produced by Phil Thornalley, myself and Tom Lord-Alge. The video for ‘American Dream’ was directed by Peter Care and banned by MTV for its portrayal of an interracial romance. The video for ‘New York Girl’ was directed by Alex Keshshian - his directorial debut. I also helped him get his first movie.
Here Comes the 21st Century was produced by Mike Clink of Guns n’ Roses fame. I changed my name to F Machine in an attempt to get away from the pop persona the record company had created. The cover featured a high school mock-up of my favorite 20th century killers. The only single was ‘Runaway Train’. My favorite song on the album - ‘Sexy Terrorist’.
Child Bride was recorded in the early 90‘s. I had returned to the UK and was once again working with David Motion. A one-off track for my friend Tav, now managing Wolf Alice and Alt-J, this track is all about the remix done by Keith Fernley (Feedback Max). For a songwriter whose strength, if anything, was his lyrics, this was a particularly strange time for me.
Lost in America was the single I released on Korda Marshall’s Infectious Records. I figured, as a bookend to GetoutofLondon, I should write a song describing what I had discovered during my American journey. The record company preferred the instrumental version to the 7", something that seemed oddly symbolic at the time.
She’s All Over Me is described in my novel 'Don't Breathe the Air' as ‘a song of wittering complaint’. The cover by artist Allan Martin is probably the best thing about it. Shoehorning myself into a world in which I no longer fit was a difficult and ultimately pointless experience. The ‘She’ of the title was less about a girl, but life in general.
The Final Recordings were, as the title suggests, the last songs I produced. Recorded in 1996 with self-styled legendary underground producer Kramer, they were paid for by my publisher Hartwig Masüch at BMG in the hope that a new record deal could be found. Despite all efforts this wasn't to be the case and I turned my creative lens elsewhere.