|This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (December 2011)|
19 October 1948 |
|Occupation(s)||Instrumentalist, record producer|
|Instruments||Hammond organ, piano|
|Associated acts||Procol Harum|
Peter "Pete" Solley (born 19 October 1948, London) is an English Hammond organ player, pianist and a Grammy-nominated record producer. He has recorded with Eric Clapton, Al Stewart and Whitesnake as well as producing records for Ted Nugent, Oingo Boingo, Motörhead, The Romantics, Jo Jo Zep with Des 'Animal' McKenna, Peter Frampton, The Sports, Wreckless Eric and many others.
At the age of 13 he won a scholarship to Trinity College of Music in London and after graduating became a session musician. In the late 1960s he played in The Thunderbirds, the backing group for vocalist Chris Farlowe, and was also in the backing band of singer Terry Reid, who toured with The Rolling Stones and Cream in the United States in 1968. During 1969 and 1970 he served as touring organist for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.
Solley was a founding member of British progressive rock band Paladin, whose second LP Paladin Charge! featured a cover design by Roger Dean. Following the break-up of Paladin in 1973, Solley joined Fox, which had a series of hit singles before breaking up in 1977.
After turning down membership in several groups, Solley became a member of the progressive rock group Procol Harum playing organ and synthesisers, (this allowed Chris Copping to take over on bass guitar). During his time with the group he recorded one album, Something Magic, and toured extensively to promote the album. Shortly afterwards the group broke up.
In 1978 he joined the newly founded Whitesnake recording their debut EP Snakebite. On the sleeve, he was credited as a special guest, but he continued touring with the band until July 1978. His position in the band was later taken by Jon Lord.
In the 1980s, Solley began writing TV jingles for clients including British Airways, BMW, and Coca-Cola, and he became a record producer. His credits include albums for the Australian bands Sports (Don't Throw Stones) and Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons (Screaming Targets, Hats Off Step Lively) and the 1982 Jo Jo Zep album Cha, featuring the novelty salsa-rock hit "Taxi Mary" with vocals by Jane Clifton, and Ray Pereira and Des 'Animal' McKenna on percussion and drums. Solley's best-known production is the 1980 single "What I Like About You" by The Romantics. He also produced the Grammy nominated album, 1916 by Motörhead.