Absolute (production team)

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Absolute are a music production team responsible for a number of hits in the 1990s and first decade of the 21st century.


Absolute was formed in 1988 by Paul Wilson and Andy Watkins after they met at university and decided to pursue a career in music. Initially, they remixed under the name of Bristol Baseline Productions including remixes for Biz Markie, Everything but the Girl and The Chimes. Their radical remix of "Take Me" by Everything but the Girl in 1989 is documented to have inspired Massive Attack to work with Tracey Thorn which led to the writing of the track "Protection". In 1991 they changed their name to Absolute. Absolute was originally a band project with the release of two singles: "Don't You Wanna Be Mine" (1991) and "Introduce Me to Love" (1992) on Rhythm King Records. The latter featured the vocals of John Paul Barrett. Watkins and Wilson, without Barrett, then ventured into the world of dance remixing. After achieving critical acclaim for their work on artists such as Lisa Stansfield, Melanie Williams the Nightcrawlers, Mica Paris, James Taylor Quartet and Al Green, the pair were approached by Pete Evans of Big Life Management for management. Evans himself was considering branching out on his own and, with the help of Simon Fuller, formed Native Management with Absolute as his initial signing. Tracey Ackerman joined the songwriting duo in the late 1990s as a regular songwriting partner.

Simon Fuller offered the pair a publishing deal to concentrate on songwriting. Through BMG Music, Absolute were introduced to a new girl band called, at that time, Spice by BMG Publishings' Mark Fox. Absolute told Fuller of the girls they had discovered and asked whether he would consider managing them. This he did, and after much songwriting, the now Spice Girls were signed to Virgin Records and the first album Spice was released in November 1996 leading to a BRIT nomination in that year for Best Producers. Also that year, Absolute were approached by Alan Pell of Polydor Records to write the theme tune to the new Mr. Bean movie to be recorded by Boyzone. The song "Picture of You" went on to win the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song in a Film in 1997.[1]

Absolute continued to work on the subsequent Spice Girls album, Spiceworld, and then continued their development of singer/songwriter Shernette May. After this, they undertook the writing and production and the second album for Virgin Records artist Kavana while relocating to Italy. During this time they were contacted by Geri Halliwell who informed them of her decision to leave the Spice Girls and asked them whether they would consider writing and producing her solo project. On returning to the UK, Watkins and Wilson embarked on the project, leading to the release of Schizophonic in May 1999. They continued to contribute to Halliwell's subsequent albums but to a lesser extent. Also in 1999 they were asked to contribute songs for Tina Turner's Twenty Four Seven album working with artists such as Bryan Adams. They went on to write and produce three songs for that album. Watkins and Wilson also produced and wrote the second international album of the Polish artist Edyta Gorniak, which was released in 2002 in Poland as "Perła" and in 2003 as "Invisible" in other European countries. Absolute have produced and written, in total to date, 7 UK and 1 U.S. No1 singles, 20 UK Top 10 singles and sold in excess of 50 million records worldwide.[2]

In recent years they continue to write and produce music for British pop artists including Will Young, Darius, Atomic Kitten, Girls Aloud, Gareth Gates, Jamelia, Gary Barlow, Andy Abraham, S Club 7, Keisha White and Shaznay Lewis.

In 2006 their song "Do I Make You Proud" was performed by Taylor Hicks,[3] winner of American Idol 2006. In 2008 their song "Even If" was chosen to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest.



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