Phil Thornalley

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Phil Thornalley
Background information
Birth name Philip Carden Thornalley
Born (1960-01-05) 5 January 1960 (age 54)
Origin Worlington, Mildenhall, Suffolk, England
Genres Punk rock, post-punk, new wave, gothic rock, alternative rock
Occupations Songwriter, producer
Instruments Bass guitar, guitar, vocals, drums
Years active 1978–present
Associated acts The Cure
Johnny Hates Jazz

Philip Carden Thornalley (born on 5 January 1960) is an English songwriter-producer who has worked in the music industry since 1978. He is perhaps best known for co-writing (with Scott Cutler and Anne Preven) the Ednaswap song "Torn" (made famous by Natalie Imbruglia's cover version) and Mama Do (with Mads Hauge) for Pixie Lott. He was also member of The Cure for a brief stint in the early 1980s, as well as the acting frontman for the band Johnny Hates Jazz in the early 1990s.


He was born in Worlington, near Mildenhall, Suffolk, England.

Thornalley began working as a recording engineer in 1978, at RAK Studios in St. John's Wood, London for producer Mickie Most. He also worked with producer Steve Lillywhite (the Psychedelic Furs and the Thompson Twins) and Alex Sadkin.[1]

Thornalley became the producer for The Cure on their fourth album, Pornography.[2] After Simon Gallup quit in 1982, he filled in as their bassist for their 1983 single The Love Cats and their first live album, Concert but eventually quit to keep on working as a songwriter and producer.[3]

In 1984, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for Into the Gap by the Thompson Twins.

Thornalley has worked as a mixer for Duran Duran, XTC, Sting, Ash and Cyndi Lauper.

In 1988 he released his only solo album (Swamp).[1] He then joined Johnny Hates Jazz, and was the frontman on their 2nd album, 1991's Tall Stories. In 2010, Thornalley referred to his time with the band as “a grand mistake, in the sense that I devoted three years to it, and it was deeply unsuccessful. But you learn from your mistakes."[1]

Since leaving Johnny Hates Jazz, Thornalley has worked primarily as songwriter and record producer for other artists. In 1991, he co-wrote "Torn" (with Scott Cutler and Anne Preven), which later appeared on Ednaswap's 1995 debut album.[1] Subsequently he was asked to produce some songs for Natalie Imbruglia, and "Torn" was rerecorded, as among five songs Thornalley co-wrote on Imbrulgia's 1997 debut album Left of the Middle, and became a worldwide hit single.[1]

Other artists Thornalley has worked with include Wax, Bryan Adams, Melanie C,[4] Hepburn,[4] Ronan Keating, BBMak,[4] and Pixie Lott.[1][5]

Thornalley is primary influence on Soul singer/musician Reggie Sears.[6]

In 2009, two songs co-written for Pixie Lott reached #1 on the UK charts.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Tingen, Paul (June 2010). "Phil Thornalley: Torn". Sound on Sound. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ Rees, Dafydd & Crampton, Luke (ed.) Rock movers & shakers, Volume 1991, Part 2 (1991)(ISBN 978-0874366617)("...the band going into RAK studios to record with new producer Phil Thornalley")
  3. ^ "The Cure - Interview". Rockerilla (original in Italian). September 1983. Retrieved July 6, 2010. (noting that Thornalley is a current member of the Cure)
  4. ^ a b c "Production notes". Music Week. July 17, 1999. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ Savage, Mark (June 5, 2009). "Pop Pixie has a whole Lotta love". BBC News. Retrieved July 6, 2010. ("For the last three years, she has been collaborating with some of the biggest hitmakers in the industry, including Red One (Lady GaGa's Just Dance), Phil Thornalley (Natalie Imbruglia's Torn) and Toby Gad (Beyonce's If I Were A Boy).")
  6. ^ "Reggie Sears". Something For The Soul Radio Interview. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "QUICKFIRE: Twelve years in waiting: Lott hitmaker reaches top". Music Week. June 27, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 

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