Barry Blue

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Barry Blue
Barry Blue on the Dutch television programme 'Popzien', 8 June 1973
Barry Blue on the Dutch television programme 'Popzien', 8 June 1973
Background information
Birth nameBarry Ian Green
Born (1950-12-04) 4 December 1950 (age 70)
London, England, UK
GenresPop, glam rock
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsVocalist
LabelsBell Records, Decca, Private Stock, Jet
Associated actsBee Gees, Lynsey de Paul, Heatwave, Lydia Canaan, Bananarama, Toto Coelo, Cheryl Lynn, Brotherhood of Man, Toto Coelo, Five Star, Dina Carroll, Andrea Bocelli, Diana Ross, Celine Dion, The Saturdays, Pixie Lott, C.J. & Company
Websitehttps://BarryBlue.co.uk

Barry Blue (born Barry Ian Green, 4 December 1950)[1][2] is an English singer, producer, and songwriter. As an artist, he is best known for his hit songs "Dancin' (on a Saturday Night)" and "Do You Wanna Dance" (both 1973).[2]

Blue has also been a prolific songwriter and producer for many artists, and has had over forty worldwide hits, including Andrea Bocelli, Diana Ross, Celine Dion, The Saturdays, The Wanted, and Pixie Lott. In film and television, Blue has provided soundtracks and/or themes for productions including Eyes of Laura Mars, Long Good Friday, and Escape to Athena.[2]

Early days[edit]

At the age of 13, Barry Blue made his first television appearance with his school band The Dark Knights, performing on Stubby Kaye's Silver Star Show, a weekly children's talent show hosted by Kaye via Granada TV. By the age of 14, Blue had signed with record producer Norrie Paramor, whose assistant was Tim Rice; the producer of Blue's first song Rainmaker Girl,[3] which became a hit for Gene Pitney in the United States. Later he became a bassist in the line-up of Spice; the band featured Mick Box and David Byron, and was the precursor to the heavy rock band Uriah Heep.[2] He followed this in 1966 with a two-year period in A&R at the Bee Gees' publishing company Abigail Music, under direction of their manager Robert Stigwood.

In 1970, Blue signed as a songwriter to ATV-Kirshner located in Bruton Street, London, where he joined a group of professional songwriters that included Lynsey de Paul and Ron Roker. One of their earliest songs was Sugarloaf Hill,[4] recorded by the reggae artist, Del Davis. Other early career notable songs co-written by Blue and de Paul include Tip of My Tongue for the British group Brotherly Love,[5] as well as female vocal trio Ellie, and House of Cards recorded by a number of artists including John Christie, Australian artist Rob Guest, and the D.J. Tony Blackburn. Another from this period included Crossword Puzzle, also co-written with de Paul, and which led to an appearance on Top of the Pops for Irish singer Dana. At the time, he was still using his real surname of Green.[6]

Blue wrote his first UK Singles Chart hit back in 1972 with de Paul, titled Sugar Me. The song originally was written for Peter Noone, but de Paul's boyfriend at the time, Dudley Moore, suggested that she should take a demo version to manager Gordon Mills, who told her she should record it herself. The song also charted in singles charts in the Netherlands, Spain, and Belgium. Sugar Me was also covered in the United States of America (USA) by Nancy Sinatra and Claudine Longet.

Career[edit]

He released his first record in June 1971, under his real name of Barry Green, on the Ember label titled 'Together', written by Jean-Pierre Mirouze,[7] taken from the French film Le mariage collectif.[8] He signed to Decca Records, and released four singles between 1971 and 1974.[9] Including Papa Do, which was released by Barry Green as a single. His first UK chart success came with a change of name, and record deal with Bell Records in 1973, billed as Barry Blue,[2] and had five hit singles, Dancin' (On A Saturday Night) (no. 2, 1973) (co-written with de Paul), Do You Wanna Dance? (no. 7, 1973), School Love (no. 11, 1974), Miss Hit and Run (no. 26, 1974).[10] His final Top 40 hit in the UK Singles Chart occurred in October 1974, when Hot Shot, another song co-written with de Paul, climbed to number 23,[11] and number 3 in Zimbabwe.[12] Blue returned to the UK charts in 1989 with a remix version of Dancin' (On A Saturday Night).[13] Throughout 1973–74, Blue appeared on many major TV shows and tours alongside artists such as Queen, ABBA, and Status Quo.

Blue achieved a million seller in 1975 with Kiss Me Kiss Your Baby, recorded by Brotherhood of Man. Two years later (1977), he co-wrote Devil's Gun, a song by C. J. & Company from the album of the same name. The song went to number 1 for five weeks on the Billboard disco/dance chart. The single also peaked at number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 2 on the R&B chart.[2] Written by Blue, Ron Roker, and Gerry Shury, and produced by Mike Theodore and Dennis Coffey. The song is notable for being the first record played at the opening of Studio 54 on 26 April 1977 by DJ Richie Kaczor.[3] The instrumental portions of Devil's Gun were featured prominently in the international version of the film Crocodile. It also featured in the film The Real Bruce Lee. In 2016, the song was included in The Get Down soundtrack, and the following year it was featured in the film Borg vs McEnroe.

One of his major production successes was the multi-racial, Anglo-US funk/soul band Heatwave, who enjoyed hits in the UK and US with Boogie Nights, Always and Forever, Mind Blowing Decisions, and The Groove Line.[14][15][16] Other funk songs produced by Blue include Funk Theory,[17] by Rokotto[18] in 1978 reached number 49, Somebody Help Me Out[19] by Beggar and Co which reached number 15 in the UK in 1981, and Say Yeah[20] by The Limit which peaked at number 17 on the UK Singles Chart and number 7 on the U.S. Billboard Dance/Club Play chart in 1985. In 1989, under the banner of Cry Sisco!,[21] Blue had another minor hit with a song called Afro Dizzi Act, which reached number 42 on the UK Singles Chart.[22][23]

In April 2021, Barry Blue announced a new 4CD box-set recording project entitled ‘Out Of The Blue – 50 Years of Discovery’ (released 28 May 2021) with an intergalactic theme running through the set; 'Stellar Hits', 'Black Holes & Supernovas', his most recent studio album ‘Boy In The Moon’ and 'Sonic Spaces' (Podcast interview) but this collection is more than that.

'Out Of The Blue...' celebrates 50 years since the release of his debut single 'Together', which is included on this set, alongside all of his UK hits, 'Dancing' (On A Saturday Night)', 'Do You Wanna Dance', 'School Love', 'Miss Hit And Run' and 'Hot Shot'. Also included are album tracks, non-album b-sides, rarities and his 2020 album, which features his songs that have been recorded by other artists, including 'Escaping' which was a #3 hit for Dina Carroll. “They are the soundtrack to my life, and I couldn't leave them in the past. I needed to drag them kicking and screaming back into the light where they belong".

To make this special anniversary release extra special, Barry has selected 14 completed but unreleased recordings, to be made available for this set. These tracks were recorded between 1973 and 1990 and include his later versions of his co-written song 'Sugar Me' by Lynsey de Paul, and Toto Coelo's 'I Eat Cannibals'. Other great songs of many styles have been unearthed which include New Romantic, ballads, pop, soul and dance but which were left behind as he became an in-demand writer for young artists, which continues well into the 2000s. ‘Sonic Spaces’ gives some perspective of his early career as it focuses on Barry's life way-back to the time-line before his 1970s heart-throb days in the vanguard of Glam-Rock in an animated conversation with DJ Paul O’Reilly.

This is the first time that such a comprehensive set of his own recordings has been released and a respectfully appropriate way to reflect on 50 years as a recording artist and producer.


Selected songs for other artists[edit]

song title artist year songwriter producer album (a) / single (s)
I Hope And I Pray Alvin Stardust & Sheila Walsh 1986 Brenner, Lippell, Moss Barry Blue (s) see title
E Sara' A Settembre (Someone Like You) Andrea Bocelli 2001 B. Blue, A. Salerno, R. Smith (a) Cieli di Toscana
Old Flame Burnin' Andy Gillin 1989 B. Blue, J. Cavanagh Uno Hoo (s) see title
We All Work Out Beggar and Co 1982 Jonathan Perkins Barry Blue (s) see title
Trop jeune à dix-sept ans Celine Dion 1984 Barry Blue, P. Greedus Eddy Marnay Rudi Pascal (a) Les oiseaux du bonheur
Who Diana Ross 1982 Barry Blue, Rod Bowkett Diana Ross, Michael Jackson (a) Silk Electric
Escaping Dina Carroll 1996 Barry Blue, Robyn Smith Nigel Lowis (a) Only Human
What A Bitch Is Love Marcia Hines 1982 Paul Greedus, Barry Blue Dave MacKay (s) see title
Love The Way You Love Me Marti Caine 1981 Blue, Greedus Blueytunes Productions (a) Point Of View
The Little Things Matt Monro 1976 Blue, Worth John Burgess (s) see title
Tremblin' Mel Smith 1986 Barry Blue, Paul Greedus Pete Wingfield (s) see title
No Time To Be Hurt Pixie Lott 2009 Barry Blue, Pixie Lott Barry Blue (a) Turn It Up (unreleased)
Just A Disillusion Sandie Shaw 1976 W. & M. J. P. Vermuelem Barry Blue (s) see title
Flashback The Saturdays 2010 The Saturdays Barry Blue (s) Ego
Radiator Rock The Sting-Rays 1982 Paul Greedus, Barry Blue Paul Greedus (s) see title
Replace Your Heart The Wanted 2010 Cathy Dennis, Kasia Livingston Barry Blue, Greg Kurstin (a) The Wanted
Don't You Remember When Vera Lynn 1976 De Paul, Blue De Paul (s) see title
Travelin' On Acker Bilk & Paramount Jazz Band 1972 Blik, Green, Mazi Terry Brown (a) Acker Pie
Je compte jusqu'à toi Patricia Kaas 1997 Barry Blue, Robyn Smith, Zazie Jefferey (C.J.) Vanston (a) Dans ma chair
Love in Me Danni Minogue 2009 Blue, Mallozzi, Sabiu Rapino Bros (a) The 1995 Sessions
New York Moon Louise 1997 Barry Blue, Robyn Smith Steve Levine (a) Woman in Me
Love Bomb Cheryl Lynn 1980 De Paul, B. Blue Barry Blue (s) see title

Chart hits as a songwriter[edit]

Chart hits as a producer[edit]

  • Fairytale for Dana (1976)[45]
  • Boogie Nights for Heatwave (1977)[46]
  • Have I The Right for Dead End Kids (1977)[47]
  • Too Hot To Handle / Slip Your Disc To This for Heatwave (1977)[48]
  • The Groove Line for Heatwave (1977)[49]
  • Mind Blowing Decisions for Heatwave (1978)[50]
  • Always And Forever for Heatwave (1978)[51]
  • Something's Cooking in the Kitchen for Dana (1979)[52]
  • I've Got Faith in You for Cheryl Lynn (USA R&B hit) (1980)[53]
  • (Somebody) Help Me Out for Beggar and Co (1981)[54]
  • Cheers Then for Bananarama (1982)[55]
  • Say Yeah for Limit (ft. Gwen Guthrie) (1985)[56]
  • Mony Mony for Amazulu (1987)[57]
  • Afro Dizzi Act for Cry Sisco! (1989)[58]

Film, television and advertising[edit]

Blue has provided soundtracks and / or themes for various productions:

TV themes / songs film themes / songs
The Golden Shot

Alexander The Greatest

Shirley's World

Lift Off

Billy Liar

Come Midnight Monday

Praying Mantis

Puhd Aineet

Dia Spot Autogrip

Oppenheimer

Faszinationen

Sharp Intake of Breath

Sex in the City

Breaking Bad

The Getdown

Path to 911

Only Fools and Horses

Coronation Street

The Benny Hill Show

Eastenders

Escape to Athena

Eyes of Laura Mars

Long Good Friday

The Boy Who Won the Pools

Chico and the Man

Felicity

Ishikawa Hiduni

Kids World

Sweeney

Girls, Girls, Girls

Mackenzie Appointed

Mompti

Side by Side

The Get Down

The Real Bruce Lee

Crocodile

Borg vs. McEnroe

Anita & Me

Top Boy

Money Heist

British Airways

Walls

Honda

Ford

Fabreze

B & Q

Airbus Industries

Camelot

McDonald's

Paramount Pictures

Wella

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • 1971: Together (from the film Collective Marriage) (as Barry Green)[7]
  • 1971: I Wanna Join The Cavalry (as Barry Green)[59]
  • 1971: Alexander The Greatest (as Barry Green)[60]
  • 1972: Papa Do (as Barry Green)[61]
  • 1973: Shake A Tail Suzy (as Barry Green)[62]
  • 1973: Dancin' (on a Saturday Night) UK number 2, Australia number 2, Austria number 3, Germany number 9, Zimbabwe number 10, Netherlands number 11, Belgium number 13
  • 1973: Do You Wanna Dance UK number 7
  • 1974: School Love UK number 11, Danish number 3, Australia number 31, Zimbabwe number 9, number 5 on the Hessischer Rundfunk Hitparade International[63]
  • 1974: Miss Hit and Run UK number 26
  • 1974: Hot Shot number 1 Swedish Poporama chart,[64] UK number 23, Zimbabwe number 3, number 8 on the Hessischer Rundfunk Hitparade International[65]
  • 1975: You Make Me Happy (When I'm Blue)
  • 1975: If I Show You I Can Dance
  • 1975: Happy Christmas to You from Me (with Lynsey de Paul, credited as Lynsey de Paul / Barry Blue),[66] covered by Japanese artist Microstar[67]
  • 1976: Tough Kids
  • 1977: Billy
  • 1977: A Lover Lovin' You
  • 1989: Dancin' On a Saturday Night '89 UK number 86[11][68][69]

Albums LP[edit]

  • 1974: Barry Blue
  • 1974: Hot Shots[70]

Albums CD[edit]

  • 1989: The Best Of & The Rest Of, (Action Replay Records – CDAR 1003)
  • 1993: The Very Best Of (Dancin' On A Saturday Night), (Music Club – MCCD 103)
  • 1996: The Greatest Hits, (Hallmark Music & Entertainment – 305782) (also re-released 2003)
  • 1999: Greatest Hits, (Repertoire – RR 4817)
  • 2003: The Best Of (Dancin' On A Saturday Night), (Castle Music Ltd – CMDCD 828)
  • 2003: The Singles Collection, (Cherry Red 7ts – GLAM CD 14) (also re-released 2012)
  • 2012: The Very Best Of, (Demon Music Group / Music Club Deluxe)

Honours, awards, and achievements[edit]

  • 1965: Silver Star (Stubby Kaye’s talent show)
  • 1973: Carl Allan Award – Record of The Year (Dancing’ On A Saturday Night)
  • 1977: 6 BMI / ASCAP Awards (Heatwave USA)
  • 1977: Councillor – BASCA
  • 1977: Music Week – Market Survey Top Record Producer
  • 1986: Founded Aosis Studios in London[71]
  • 1989: Founded The Escape Artist Company[72]
  • 1995: Founded Connect 2 Music[73]
  • 2007: Founded Plan 8 Music[74]
  • 2010: Director, PRS for Music Ltd (2010–2019)
  • 2014: Director, Karma Songs[75]

References[edit]

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  50. ^ "Mind Blowing Decisions – full Official Chart history". OfficialCharts.com. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  51. ^ "Always and Forever / Mind Blowing Decisions – full Official Chart history". OfficialCharts.com. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
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  75. ^ "Karma Songs". KarmaSongs.co.uk. Retrieved 10 April 2018.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]