Andrew McMaster (songwriter)

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Andy McMaster
Birth nameAndrew McMaster
Born (1941-07-27) 27 July 1941 (age 82)
Calton, Glasgow, Scotland
GenresRhythm and blues, pub rock, power pop, pop rock
Instrument(s)Piano, organ, keyboards, vocals, bass
Years active1965–present

Andrew McMaster (born 27 July 1941) is a Scottish songwriter, best known for writing the lyrics and music of hit songs "Airport"[1][2][3][4][5] and "Forget About You"[6][7][8] and co-writing, with Nick Garvey, "Dancing the Night Away";[9] these reached numbers 4, 13 and 42 respectively in the UK Singles Chart between 1977 and 1978 for their group The Motors.[10][11] The Motors' single "Tenement Steps" was also written by McMaster, and peaked at number 17 in Holland in August 1980.[12] He also wrote works that were recorded and released by Anita Harris,[13] Alex Harvey,[14] Ducks Deluxe,[15] and James Dewar.[16]

Early life[edit]

McMaster was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and raised in the city's Calton area, which is part of Glasgow's East End.


Early career[edit]

In May 1968, one of his songs, "Tuppenny Bus Ride", was released by singer and television star Anita Harris.[13][17] He co-wrote a song, "Broken Hearted Fairytale", with Alex Harvey,[14] which appeared on Harvey's solo album Roman Wall Blues, released in 1969.[18] In 1970, McMaster released a solo single on President Records, titled "I Can't Get Drunk Without You Babe".[19]

Ducks Deluxe[edit]

In 1972, he joined pub-rock band Ducks Deluxe as a keyboard player. The rest of the line-up consisted of Sean Tyla on vocals, Martin Belmont on lead guitar, Tim Roper on drums and Nick Garvey on bass. McMaster played on their second album, Taxi to the Terminal Zone,[20] which featured one of his compositions, "Love's Melody",[15] a song later recorded by singer James Dewar on his solo album Stumbledown Romancer.[16]

The Motors[edit]

In February 1977, McMaster co-formed The Motors with ex-Ducks Deluxe colleague Nick Garvey. The band's first album, 1, featured the single "Dancing the Night Away", co-written by McMaster and Garvey, which reached number 42 in the UK Singles Chart in September 1977.[11] The Motors' second album, Approved by the Motors, was released the following year;[21] it contained a song that would prove to be the band's biggest hit, "Airport", going to number 4 in the UK Singles Chart in June 1978,[11] and which McMaster wrote "while living under the Heathrow flightpath" according to an interview in the August 2015 issue of Record Collector magazine.[22] The second single from the album, "Forget About You", also written by McMaster, reached number 13 in the UK chart, in August 1978.[11]

Solo writing and recording[edit]

After The Motors, McMaster wrote and recorded some solo recordings in 1987, but only one song, a single, "No Joy", was released.[23]

James Dewar's solo album Stumbledown Romancer featured four songs written by McMaster, on which he also played "organ, piano and synthesisers":[24] "Love’s Melody" (previously released by Ducks Deluxe), "Goodbye Love", "Bright Lights" and "Lay Down the Night".[16] Although the songs were recorded in 1981, Stumbledown Romancer was not released by Dewar's record label, Chrysalis, until 1998.[16][25]

McMaster's most recent work includes the singles "Agenda 21" (August 2016), "Catchy" (October 2016), and "Switzerland" (February 2017).[26] In April 2017, McMaster released the album, Agenda 21.[26][27]

McMaster issued "Impossible Is Nothing" as a single in October 2018.[28] In December 2018 he released another single "Solidarity."[29] The album Rays On The Water[30] was released in April 2021, followed by another single, "Road to Montgomery" in September of that year.[30]


  1. ^ McMaster, Andy (1978). "Airport Sheet Music (Digital Download)" (sheet music). Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  2. ^ McMaster, Andy. 'Airport' Printed Sheet Music (1976). Island Music Ltd (IS 5193 5)
  3. ^ [1] [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Motors, The – Airport". Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  5. ^ "The Motors – Airport". Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  6. ^ McMaster, Andy. 'Forget About You' Printed Sheet Music (1976). Island Music Ltd (ID 2001 6)
  7. ^ [2] [permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Motors, The – Forget About You". Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Motors, The – Dancing The Night Away". Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  10. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Motors − Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2002). British Hit Singles (15th ed.). Guinness World Records. p. 340. ISBN 085112-187-X.
  12. ^ "The Motors - Tenement Steps". Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Record Details (Anita Harris single)". Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  14. ^ a b Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third series. 1 January 1971. p. 75.
  15. ^ a b "Ducks Deluxe". 1 July 1975. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  16. ^ a b c d "Stumbledown Romancer". 22 July 2001. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Anita Harris – We're Going On A Tuppenny Bus Ride". Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  18. ^ "Alex Harvey – Roman Wall Blues". Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  19. ^ "Andrew McMaster (pre: Motors) – 1.Can't Get Drunk Without You Baby". YouTube. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  20. ^ "Ducks Deluxe – Ducks Deluxe/Taxi To The Terminal Zone". Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  21. ^ Edwards, Gavin (11 June 2015). "20 Rock Albums Rolling Stone Loved in the 1970s That You Never Heard". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  22. ^ Geesin, Joe (August 2015). "The Motors". Record Collector (443): 29.
  23. ^ "Andy McMaster – Discography". Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  24. ^ Fields, Robert (2009). Minstrels, Poets & Vagabonds. Paisley: Macdonald Media Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-9553126-9-4.
  25. ^ "Stumbledown Romancer – James Dewar | Credits". AllMusic. 11 May 1998. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  26. ^ a b "Andy McMaster – The Motors – Airport – Dancing The Night Away". Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Andy McMaster – Agenda 21". Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  28. ^ "Andy McMaster". Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  29. ^ "Andy McMaster". Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  30. ^ a b "Album review: ANDY McMASTER – Rays On The Water". Retrieved 11 October 2021.

External links[edit]