Savage Progress

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Savage Progress
Origin London
Genres Pop, dance, synthpop
Years active 1982–1985
Labels Ten Records/Virgin Records
Associated acts Roxy Music, Thompson Twins, Indigo Girls
Past members Glynnis
Rik Kenton
Ned Morant
Carol Isaacs
Andrew Edge

Savage Progress was a pop group in the 1980s from England that had hits in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The band was founded by Rik Kenton (b. 31 October 1945, in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England) Glynnis Thomas (voc) Ned Morant (perc.) Carol Isaacs (keyboards/background vocals) and Andrew Edge (drums). They were a mixed-race group of musicians who used traditional pop styles as well as reggae, Caribbean dance rhythms and African rhythms.

Savage Progress joined the Thompson Twins on the "Into The Gap" tour of Britain (February 1984) as support act. Savage Progress' biggest hit was "My Soul Unwraps Tonight", which was written by Kenton, a former member of Roxy Music.

Early years[edit]

The band started with the meeting of Kenton and Glynnis Thomas (later to be known only as Glynnis) in 1982. They later recruited Morant, who was not a professional percussionist, but was eager to learn and fitted in with the visual style of the band. They recorded a few basic demos over Christmas in 1982, at The Point studio in Victoria, London, with a young tape operator called Danny Hyde,[1][2] who used the free time he was allowed by the studio to record four basic tracks. At that time the Point studio was under the control of Rupert Merton, who owned the Point Music publishing company.[3] After hearing their demos he asked them to record more songs. Merton was then the Thompson Twins publisher, and later signed Freur/Underworld.

As Savage Progress had no drummer at that time, they invited Edge to join. Edge had rehearsed in The Point studio a few years before with the Thompson Twins, and was a friend of Alex Burak, the chief engineer.[4][5] Edge had previously played with David Lloyd in Uropa Lula, and later introduced Isaacs to Savage Progress, as they had both previously worked together in Uropa Lula, which had been signed to Arista records the previous year.[6]

Racial mix[edit]

The racial mix within Savage Progress was never fully stressed in the media, but had a definite effect on their music: Glynnis was born in Botswana to English-African parents, Kenton is from Nottingham, Isaacs is English-Jewish, Morant has Indian parentage, and Edge is from Leeds, in northern England. This mix of differing cultures proved to be advantageous for Savage Progress' music, as Kenton infused their songs with as many cultural influences as possible. Larry Heard commented on his early influences, which include the Savage Progress song, "Heart Begin To Beat".[7][8][9]

Recording contract[edit]

After signing a publishing contract with Point Music, the band signed a contract with 10 Records (a subsidiary of Virgin Records) and released their first single, "My Soul Unwraps Tonight".[10][11] The first album, Celebration, was partly produced by Paul "Wix" Wickens, who plays keyboards for Paul McCartney.

Touring[edit]

Savage Progress supported Tina Turner at The Venue in Victoria, London, and joined the Thompson Twins on the "Into The Gap" tour of Britain (1984) as support act:[12] 21 February 1984, Goldiggers, Chippenham/22, Apollo, Oxford/23, The Leisure Centre, Hereford/24-25, Brighton Conference Centre, Brighton/26-27, Colston Hall, Bristol/28, Coliseum, St. Austell/29, Arts Centre, Dorchester/2-3-4-5–6 March 1984, Hammersmith Odeon, London/8, Sheffield City Hall/9, Newcastle City Hall/10, Glasgow Apollo, Glasgow/11-12, Edinburgh Playhouse/13-14, Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham/15, Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool/16, Manchester Apollo/17-18, Birmingham Odeon, Birmingham/19, De Montfort Hall, Leicester/25, Birmingham Odeon/26-27, Hammersmith Palais.[13]

In October of the same year they went on a tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, to capitalize on the success of their single releases.[14][15][16]

Session musicians[edit]

Keyboarder Steve French had earlier worked with Haircut One Hundred, and played keyboards for Savage Progress on the Thompson Twins Mind The Gap tour in February 1984, and after Savage Progress he worked with Tom Robinson and numerous other artists.[17][18] Edge left shortly after the Thompson Twins tour, but was asked back to play on the European tour in October 1984. During his absence, drummer Stuart Elliot (previously with Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel) played drums with the band for a John Peel session on 18 July 1984,[19] and also played on the song, "Ball and Chain", for their first album, Celebration. Neil Conti—from Prefab Sprout—played drums with them during the summer of 1984, before Edge was asked to rejoin. Mark Ferda played guitar with them on their European tour, and later worked with Jah Wobble, Bill Laswell, Brian Eno, and The Wolfgang Press.

Lyrics[edit]

Kenton avoided normal topics and styles when writing lyrics, such as on, "My Souls Unwraps Tonight":

The end[edit]

Glynnis left the band after their tour of Europe in October 1984. The band were offered the chance to play European festivals in the summer of 1985 (with another singer) but Kenton declined and broke up the band. The remaining members played together as a backing band for other artists, but never re-formed using the original name.

Before Savage Progress[edit]

After Roxy Music, Kenton recorded Bungalow Love in 1974 for Island Records (1974 /UK Island 7 Inch, WIP6214).[20] In 1976 Kenton recorded "The Libertine/Messin' Around" (7" single) (UK) EMI/EMI 2443.[21] His band members for the recording included Chris Spedding/guitars, Jim Cregan/guitars, Herbie Flowers/bass, and Tony Newman/drums.

Glynnis had never sung on stage before she met Kenton, and Morant had had various jobs, including inoculating chickens. Edge had played with the Thompson Twins, and Viva Lula, as well as drumming for various artists.

After Savage Progress[edit]

Kenton worked with Bassomatic on one track of Set the Controls for the Heart of the Bass in 1990, but has not released any solo material.[22] Carol Isaacs went on to work with many other artists, such as Sinéad O'Connor, Sam Brown, Squeeze, and the Indigo Girls.[23] Edge moved to Austria to start a singing career, signing with EMI (YOYO) and later, BMG (as a solo artist), singing on various recordings, but is now working with Drumsing.[24][25][26][27] Morant has worked with other bands, such as The 4 Of Us, Alabama 3, and Anne Clark.[28] Guitarist Ferda later formed a duo with Glynnis after she left the band. Called 'Angel Chorus' they landed a recording deal with Virgin 10 Records and released a single, "Devil on my shoulder", produced by Zeus B. Held.[29] Thomas has since changed her name to Urtema Dolphin and is now a spiritual healer working in London. She has one son, Marlon (born 2 February 1995).

Discography[edit]

Albums and singles[edit]

  • Celebration (LP) Ten Records Ltd. (10) (UK) 1984
  • "My Soul Unwraps Tonight" (7") Virgin Records (Germany) 1984
  • "Burning Bush" (7") Ten Records Ltd. (10) (UK) 1984
  • "Heart Begin To Beat" (7") Ten Records Ltd. (10) (UK) 1984

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Hit-News (LP) "My Soul Unwraps Tonight" – K-Tel International GmbH 1984
  • Megamix Vol. 1 (2xLP) "My Soul Unwraps Tonight" – Virgin Scandinavia AB Virgin Scandinavia AB Virgin Scandinavia AB 1984
  • Megamix Vol. 2 (2xLP) "Burning Bush (Testify)" – Virgin Scandinavia AB Virgin Scandinavia AB Virgin Scandinavia AB 1984
  • Super 20 Hit-Sensation (LP) "Heart Begin To Beat" – Ariola (Germany) 1984
  • The Best of 1980 – 1990 Vol. 6 (2xCD) "My Soul Unwraps Tonight" – EMI Electrola GmbH 1992

References[edit]

  1. ^ Danny Hyde brainwashed.com – Retrieved: 14 December 2006
  2. ^ Hyde’s discography discogs.com – Retrieved: 5 August 2007
  3. ^ Rupert Merton homepage rupertmerton.co.uk – Retrieved: 5 August 2007
  4. ^ Burak homepage alexburak.com – Retrieved: 5 August 2007
  5. ^ Alex Burak: Alchemea site Archived 9 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine. alchemea.com – Retrieved: 5 August 2007
  6. ^ "Allan Dias Interview". Fodderstompf. 2004. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  7. ^ Larry Heard and his influences redbullmusicacademy.com – Retrieved: 28 July 2007
  8. ^ Larry Heard and his music redbullmusicacademy.com – Retrieved: 28 July 2007
  9. ^ Andy Kellman, Allmusic review artistdirect.com – Retrieved: 30 July 2007
  10. ^ 10 Records homepage discogs.com – Retrieved: 24 November 2006
  11. ^ My Soul Unwraps Tonight video youtube.com – Retrieved 26 November 2007
  12. ^ Thompson Twins tour schedule, 1984 geocities.com – Retrieved: 30 July 2007
  13. ^ "Thompson Twins Past Concerts". Song Kick. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  14. ^ German chart positions germancharts.com – Retrieved: 30 July 2007
  15. ^ Austrian chart placing austriancharts.at – Retrieved: 30 July 2007
  16. ^ Swiss chart placing swisscharts.com – Retrieved: 30 July 2007
  17. ^ Steve French web site Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. stevefrench.co.uk – Retrieved: 24 July 2007
  18. ^ Steve French biog farsongs.co.uk – Retrieved: 30 July 2007
  19. ^ John peel session bbc.co.uk – Retrieved: 8 January 2007
  20. ^ Roxy Music biog delmere.de/roxy – Retrieved: 15 July 2007
  21. ^ The Libertine single Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. chrisspedding.com – Retrieved: 15 July 2007
  22. ^ Bassomatic CD discogs.com – Retrieved: 30 July 2007
  23. ^ Squeeze on myspace.com myspace.com – Retrieved: 31 July 2007
  24. ^ Edge blog blogspot.com – Retrieved: 30 July 2007
  25. ^ Karli Möstl homepage Archived 25 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine. karlmoestl.com – Retrieved: 2 August 2007
  26. ^ Karli Möstl CD discogs.com – Retrieved: 30 July 2007
  27. ^ Mojique v2.0 on ORF m4.orf.at- Retrieved: 3 August 2007
  28. ^ Ned Morant’s Disc biog rock.discogs.com – Retrieved: 28 July 2007
  29. ^ "Angel Chorus". Discog. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 

External links[edit]