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.
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.
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.
- "Don't You Wanna Be Mine" (Absolute featuring Joe Church)
- "Introduce Me to Love" (Absolute)
- "Just a Friend" (Biz Markie remix)
- "Take Me" (Everything but the Girl remix)
- "Free" (Tammy Payne single)
- "Too Many People" (Pauline Henry remix)
- "Living Inside a Dream" (Nightcrawlers single)
- "Piece by Piece" (Kenny Thomas single)
- Right Now (Atomic Kitten album)
- "Keep On Pushing Love" (Al Green remix)
- "Stop Sign" (Abs single)
- "Picture of You" (Boyzone single)
- "Ultra-Obscene" (Breakbeat Era single)
- Invisible (Edyta album)
- Open Road (Gary Barlow album)
- Schizophonic, Scream If You Wanna Go Faster and Passion (Geri Halliwell albums)
- "Look at Me" (Geri Halliwell single)
- "I'm Every Woman" (Girls Aloud from DiscoMania album)
- "If I Can't Have You" (Jamelia from DiscoMania album)
- "See a Brighter Day" (James Taylor Quartet remix)
- Instinct (Kavana album)
- "I Can Make You Feel Good" (Kavana single)
- "Someday (I'm Coming Back)" (Lisa Stansfield remix)
- "Supernatural" and "Roll the Dice" (Lulu songs)
- "I Wanna Hold on to You" and Two in a Million" (Mica Paris remixes)
- "Saturday" (Omar remix)
- "You're My Number One", "Everybody Wants Ya", "Bring the House Down" and "Cross My Heart" (S Club 7 songs)
- "I'm Your Man" (Shane Richie single for Children in Need)
- Spice and Spiceworld (Spice Girls albums)
- "Say You'll Be There", "Who Do You Think You Are", "Too Much" and "Stop" (Spice Girls singles)
- Twenty Four Seven (Tina Turner album)
- "Strange" (Wet Wet Wet single)
- "Light My Fire" (Will Young single)
- "Do I Make You Proud" (Taylor Hicks single)
- "Don't Mistake Me" (Keisha White single)
- "Even If" (Andy Abraham single)
- Open (Shaznay Lewis album)
- "Spice Girls Wannabe is 20, so here are 20 awesome facts". 8 July 2016.
- Metro.co.uk, Jon O'Brien for (4 November 2016). "20 things you may not know about Spice Girls' first album".
- "Review: Taylor Hicks' 'Do I Make You Proud' is still a compelling vocal". 23 April 2015.