Phil Thornalley

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Phil Thornalley
Background information
Birth name Philip Thornalley
Born (1960-01-05) 5 January 1960 (age 55)
Origin Worlington, Mildenhall, Suffolk, England
Genres Punk rock, post-punk, new wave, gothic rock, alternative rock, pop rock
Occupation(s) Songwriter, producer
Instruments Bass guitar, guitar, vocals, drums
Years active 1978–present
Associated acts The Cure
Johnny Hates Jazz

Philip Thornalley (born on 5 January 1960) is an English songwriter-producer who has worked in the music industry since 1978. He is perhaps best known for co-writing (with Scott Cutler and Anne Preven) the Ednaswap song "Torn" (made famous by Natalie Imbruglia's cover version) and the number one hits "Mama Do", "Boys and Girls" and "Cry Me Out" for Pixie Lott. He has produced The Cure and was their bass player for eighteen months.


Thornalley was born in Worlington, near Mildenhall, Suffolk, England.

He began working as a recording engineer in 1978, at RAK Studios in St. John's Wood, London for producers Mickie Most, Steve Lillywhite and Alex Sadkin.[1]

Thornalley became the producer for The Cure on their fourth album, Pornography.[2] After Simon Gallup parted ways with the band in 1982, he was The Cure's bassist for eighteen months. He produced their 1983 single The Love Cats and their first live album, Concert. However, he quit to resume working as a songwriter and producer.[3]

He was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical in 1984 for Into the Gap by the Thompson Twins and released his only solo album (Swamp).[1] in 1988.

Thornalley has worked primarily as songwriter and record producer for other artists. In 1991, he co-wrote "Torn" (with Scott Cutler and Anne Preven), which later appeared on Ednaswap's 1995 debut album.[1] Subsequently he was asked to produce some songs for Natalie Imbruglia, and "Torn" was re-recorded alongside four other songs Thornalley wrote on Imbrulgia's seven million selling 1997 debut album Left of the Middle, and became a worldwide hit single.[1]In 2012 the single was covered by One Direction on their live concert DVD 'Up All Night: The Live Tour'.

Other artists Thornalley has worked with include Bryan Adams, BBMak,[4] and Pixie Lott.[1][5]

In 2010, he wrote three UK number ones,"Mama Do", "Boys And Girls" and "Cry Me Out", for Pixie Lott,[6] and in 2012 the top ten "Kiss The Stars".


Thornalley's influences are Todd Rundgren, The Beatles,and Pink Floyd. Soul and R&B singer Reggie Sears has named Thornalley as his favourite singer and credits Thornalley's 1988 release Swamp as the main driving force for wanting to be a singer and musician.[7][8]

Selected work[edit]

Writer/ Producer (Singles)

Natalie Imbruglia: 'Torn' (#2 UK)

Natalie Imbruglia: 'Wishing I Was There' (#15 USA)

BBMak: 'Back Here' (#11 USA / No. 5 UK) (writer only)

Bryan Adams: 'Today's The Day' (#12 UK)

Ronan Keating: 'The Way You Make Me Feel' (#5 UK)

Pixie Lott: 'Boys And Girls' (#1 UK)

Pixie Lott: 'Mama Do' (#1 UK)

Pixie Lott: 'Cry Me Out' (#5 UK)

Pixie Lott: 'Kiss The Stars' (#9 UK)

Hepburn: 'I Quit' (#5 UK)

Shannon Noll: 'Drive' (#1 Australia)

Writer/ Producer (Albums)

Natalie Imbruglia: 'Left of the Middle' (#5 UK)

Bryan Adams: 'On A Day Like Today' – writer 'On A Day Like Today' & 'How Do You Feel Tonight'

Bryan Adams: 'Room Service' – writer 'Not Romeo Not Juliet'

Bryan Adams: 'Bare Bones' – writer 'The Way You Make Me Feel"

Melanie C: 'Reason' – writer 'Do I'

Melanie C: 'Northern Star' – writer 'Gaga' & 'Be The One'

Producer (Singles)

The Cure: 'Hanging Gardens'

Prefab Sprout: 'When Love Breaks Down' (#25 UK)

The Cure: 'Love Cats' (#5 UK)

Holly Vallance: 'Naughty Girl' (#9 UK)

Robbie Nevil: 'C'est La Vie' (#2 USA)

Wax: 'Right Between The Eyes' (#1 Spain)

Producer (Albums)

The Cure: 'Pornography' (#2 UK)


Ash: 'Girl From Mars'

Psychedelic Furs: 'Pretty in Pink' (original version)

Sting: 'Spread A Little Happiness'

Duran Duran: 'Is There Something I Should Know?' (#1 USA/UK)

Thompson Twins: 'Hold Me Now'

Thompson Twins: 'Doctor,Doctor'

Thompson Twins: 'In The Name of Love'

Thompson Twins: 'Lies'

Cyndi Lauper: 'What's Going On'


  • ASCAP 'Song of The Year' 1998 for 'Torn' (Natalie Imbruglia)
  • ASCAP 'Song of The Year' 2000 for 'Back Here' (BBMac)


  • Grammy Award 'Best Engineered Pop Album 1984' for The Thompson Twins 'Into The Gap'


  1. ^ a b c d e Tingen, Paul (June 2010). "Phil Thornalley: Torn". Sound on Sound. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Rees, Dafydd & Crampton, Luke (ed.) Rock movers & shakers, Volume 1991, Part 2 (1991)(ISBN 978-0874366617)("...the band going into RAK studios to record with new producer Phil Thornalley")
  3. ^ "The Cure – Interview". Rockerilla (original in Italian). September 1983. Retrieved 6 July 2010. (noting that Thornalley is a current member of the Cure)
  4. ^ "Production notes". Music Week. 17 July 1999. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Savage, Mark (5 June 2009). "Pop Pixie has a whole Lotta love". BBC News. Retrieved 6 July 2010. ("For the last three years, she has been collaborating with some of the biggest hitmakers in the industry, including Red One (Lady GaGa's Just Dance), Phil Thornalley (Natalie Imbruglia's Torn) and Toby Gad (Beyonce's If I Were A Boy).")
  6. ^ "QUICKFIRE: Twelve years in waiting: Lott hitmaker reaches top". Music Week. 27 June 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Reggie Sears". Something for the Soul Radio Interview. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Reggie Sears Biography". Artist Direct. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 

External links[edit]