Andy Richards

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Andy Richards
Andy Richards Out of Eden 2009.jpg
Andy Richards in his studio, Out of Eden, September 2009
Background information
Birth nameAndrew John Richards
Born (1952-10-26) 26 October 1952 (age 68)
London, England
GenresPop, rock, folk, jazz, classical, alternative, soundtrack
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, producer, film scoring mixer and engineer, music supervisor
InstrumentsPiano, organ, keyboards, synthesizers, pro tools music engineer
Years active1978–present
Associated acts Strawbs
Frankie Goes to Hollywood
George Michael
Propaganda
Grace Jones
Rush
Annie Lennox
Pet Shop Boys
Nik Kershaw
T'Pau
OMD
Website www.andyrichards.com

Andrew John Richards (born 26 October 1952) is a British–Australian pianist, composer, music producer and keyboardist.

Contents

The artists he has played with [1] include Frankie Goes to Hollywood, George Michael, Propaganda, Grace Jones, Rush, Annie Lennox, Gary Moore, Pet Shop Boys, Godley & Creme, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Strawbs, OMD, Malcolm McLaren, Nik Kershaw, T'Pau, Maddy Prior and Denny Laine.

Richards has performed and programmed keyboards on 8 UK No. 1 singles, namely: Relax (1984) and Two Tribes (1984) by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Careless Whisper (1984) by George Michael, The Lady in Red (1986) by Chris de Burgh, It's a Sin (1987), Always on My Mind (1987) and Heart (1988) by Pet Shop Boys and Spaceman (1996) by Babylon Zoo.

The movies Richards has worked on include [2] Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Touching the Void (2003), The Last King of Scotland (2006), Slumdog Millionaire (2009), which gained 2 Oscars for the music, and 127 Hours (2010).

On Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) [2] and Frankenweenie (2012), Richards played the classical organ in the chapel of his alma mater, Rugby School.

Early life

Richards began studying piano at the age of 6. At 8, he went to Yarlet School in Staffordshire, England. He also took up the organ and by age 13, whilst at Rugby School (Warwickshire), he dropped piano tuition to focus full-time on the classical organ. He studied with David Gatward in the school chapel which housed a cathedral-sized 4 manual Walker organ. [3]

He left Rugby School at the age of 17 and moved to London where he played with various artists and bands, including the singer Maggie Nicols at her experimental voice and jazz workshops at the Oval House Theatre. At that time, Richards also took jazz piano lessons with jazz pianist Howard Riley.

At 19, he returned to the Midlands and studied piano, organ and composition under Dr. Leon Forrester in Newcastle-under-Lyme. In 1975 he gained an LRAM in Pianoforte Teaching and 1976 an ARCM in Pianoforte Performance, while at the same time working and playing in a number of semi-professional rock and jazz-rock bands in Stoke-on-Trent. After completing his studies with Leon Forrester, Richards taught music at South Cheshire College.

Career

Strawbs


In October 1977, Richards auditioned for the folk-rock band, Strawbs. Pete Solley, the producer and keyboard player in the band Paladin spotted Richards playing in the band 'Rock Workshop' in Stoke-on-Trent and recommended him to Dave Cousins at a time when Strawbs were looking for a full-time keyboardist. A week later, Dave Cousins and the band invited him to join the group.

He toured and recorded with Strawbs, his first gig being at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, but the first album that he made with them in 1978 had its release stalled due to management and record company problems. Heartbreak Hill was recorded at Startling Studios in Ascot, Ringo Starr's home. Heartbreak Hill was finally released in 1995.

In 1979, Tom Allom, Heartbreak Hill's record producer, invited Richards to play for the very first time as a session musician on Michael Chapman's album Life on the Ceiling at Sawmills Studios in Cornwall.

Early sessions

In mid-1980, Strawbs split up and Richards became a musician for hire, working and recording with Maddy Prior (from Steeleye Span) and Denny Laine (from Wings) touring both Europe and Scandinavia. He played on sessions for Junior Campbell (from Marmalade) at Startling Studios and in Manchester at Pluto Studios with Keith Hopwood where he played keyboards and wrote a number of jingles.

Whilst in Manchester, he was part of a band called Sneaky Pierre, [4] featuring the cream of Manchester's session musicians which included some members of Sad Café, and in 1983 was invited by Mike Stone of Clay Records to produce the synth-pop band White Door from Stoke-on-Trent. It was recorded at Pluto Studios by Phil Bush and was mixed in Sarm East Studios by Julian Mendelsohn who was working with Trevor Horn at the time.

Trevor Horn and Relax

Richards (centre) with producer Peter Collins (left), Julian Mendelsohn (2nd left) and J. J. Jeczalik (right) in Sarm East Studios, London. 1984. Photograph c/o Andy Kinch. Andy Richards, Peter Collins, Julian Mendelsohn and JJ Jeczalik at Sarm East Studios, London, 1984.jpg
Richards (centre) with producer Peter Collins (left), Julian Mendelsohn (2nd left) and J. J. Jeczalik (right) in Sarm East Studios, London. 1984. Photograph c/o Andy Kinch.

In the fall of 1983, Richards was playing keyboards for the show Electric Ice, which was being performed at the Victoria Palace Theatre by ice skater Robin Cousins and his troupe of skaters, when he received 2 calls – one from the band Yes and the other from record producer Trevor Horn via a recommendation from audio engineer and mixer Julian Mendelsohn. He auditioned for Yes but immediately began work as Horn's keyboard player in October 1983. The first track they recorded together being Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Ferry 'Cross the Mersey , written by Gerry Marsden, and the second was Relax .

Horn had made 3 versions of "Relax" prior to Richards and guitarist Stephen Lipson joining his ZTT Production 'Theam' in late 1983. Horn left the studio late one night asking for Lipson to erase the multitrack (of version 3) due to lack of progress, but came back into the studio some time later to hear Richards playing a variety of modal chords based around the key of E minor with Lipson playing guitar along to the unerased multitrack. [5] [6] The final version of "Relax" was born and it won Best British Single at the 1985 Brit Awards and was at No. 1 in the UK charts for 5 weeks after being banned from BBC Radio, initially by DJ Mike Read, for being "obscene".

In 1984, as a keyboard player Richards was at number one in the UK singles chart for a total of 19 weeks, [7] [8] performing on Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax and Two Tribes and George Michael's Careless Whisper . This launched his career as both a Fairlight programmer and a top UK session musician. During the following years, apart from playing the keyboards for Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Richards played with bands and artists including Propaganda, Grace Jones, Nik Kershaw, Rush, Gary Moore, Pet Shop Boys, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Seal and Godley & Creme.

Music production

From the mid 1980s and through the 1990s, Richards continued with his session work but also branched out into record production, producing bands and artists including Pet Shop Boys (with Heart being at No. 1 in the UK charts for 3 weeks [9] ), T'Pau, Fuzzbox, Prefab Sprout, Malcolm McLaren, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, OMD and Berlin.

Out of Eden Studios and film score mixing

Richards (2nd from front) recording at Air Studios with director Derek Frey, Mike Higham & Ric Levy, 2011. Photograph c/o Leah Gallo Andy Richards, Mike Higham, Derek Frey and Ric Levy at Air Studios, 2011.jpg
Richards (2nd from front) recording at Air Studios with director Derek Frey, Mike Higham & Ric Levy, 2011. Photograph c/o Leah Gallo

In 2000, Richards setup one of London's first bespoke all-digital mixing/recording studios 'Out of Eden' – a partnership between himself and the directors of the late studio complex Eden Studios in Chiswick, West London. [10] It was a revolutionary audio concept which was the subject of a number of articles on the web, including The Polymath Perspective. [11] [12] It was here that Richards began the transition from being purely music-based into being involved in music for film and beyond.

In 2005, Richards began a partnership with acclaimed film music editor and producer Mike Higham [13] (who had also worked with Trevor Horn) which has endured as Higham-Richards.

Movie scores mixed in Out of Eden include Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Dirty Pretty Things (2002), Mona Lisa Smile (2003), Touching the Void (2003), Shaun of the Dead (2004) and The Last King of Scotland (2006).

Current projects

Richards continues to run his own digital studio, Out of Eden, in West London where he has mixed a number of movie scores, including the surround scores for Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (2009) (which gained 2 Oscars) and 127 Hours (2010), State of Play (2009) and Tim Burton's Frankenweenie (2012) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) (nominated for a Grammy).

He is currently working on his solo project entitled 'This Time... an imaginary soundtrack' that is due for release in 2019. [14]

Discography

Source: [15]

1970s

YearTitleArtistCredits
1978 Heartbreak Hill Strawbs Piano, synthesizers
1978Life on the Ceiling Michael Chapman Piano, synthesizers
1979The Old Pals ActPeter BennettSynthesizer (Yamaha CS80)

1980s

YearTitleArtistCredits
1980Snaigow Dougie MacLean Synthesizers
1980 Japanese Tears Denny Laine Keyboards, piano, organ
1981 My Very Favourite Nursery Rhymes Tim Hart and Friends Synthesizers
1981On a Wing and a Prayer Dougie MacLean Piano, synthesizers
1982The Unexpected Guest Demon Keyboards, synthesizers
1983WindowsWhite DoorKeyboards, synthesizers, producer
1983Mixed EmotionsIan SutherlandSynthesizers
1983The Plague Demon Keyboards, synthesizers
1983Love Breakdown (single)White DoorKeyboards, synthesizers, producer
1984PhonogenicR.P.M.Piano, synthesizers
1984 Make It Big Wham! Piano, synthesizers
1984 The Riddle Nik Kershaw Keyboards
1984 Welcome to the Pleasuredome Frankie Goes to Hollywood Keyboards, synthesizers
1984 You Caught Me Out (single) Tracey Ullman Keyboards
1984 Careless Whisper George Michael Piano, synthesizers
1984 Relax (single) Frankie Goes to Hollywood Pianos, keyboards, synthesizers
1984 Two Tribes (single) Frankie Goes to Hollywood Pianos, keyboards, synthesizers
1985 Phantasmagoria The Damned Keyboards
1985 The Ups and Downs Stephen Duffy Keyboards
1985Whats the Password Trio Keyboards
1985 Power Windows Rush Guest artist, keyboards, programming
1985 A Secret Wish Propaganda Keyboards, synthesizers
1985Big Music Machinations Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1985Shine Kids in the Kitchen Keyboards
1985 Slave to the Rhythm Grace Jones Keyboards, synthesizers
1985 Run for Cover Gary Moore Keyboards
1985 Air Supply Air Supply Keyboards, synthesizers, programming
1985Kiss and Tell (single)The David Austin BandKeyboards, synthesizers, programming
1985 Cry Godley & Creme Keyboards, synthesizers, programming
1986 Disco Pet Shop Boys Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1986 Radio Musicola Nik Kershaw Keyboards, programming
1986 Liverpool Frankie Goes to Hollywood Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1986 Into the Light Chris de Burgh Keyboards, synthesizers, programming
1986 Enough is Enough Billy Squier Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1986 Count Three & Pray Berlin Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1986 Suburbia (single) Pet Shop Boys Keyboards, synthesizers, programming
1986 The Lady in Red (single) Chris de Burgh Keyboards, synthesizers, programming
1987 Hold Your Fire Rush Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1987 Actually Pet Shop Boys Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1987Soldier of Fortune (single) Thin Lizzy Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1987 Walk on Fire Silent Running Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1987 Always on My Mind (single) Pet Shop Boys Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1987 It's a Sin (single) Pet Shop Boys Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1987 Rent (single) Pet Shop Boys Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1988The Power of SixThe Mint JulepsKeyboards, Fairlight programming
1988 Introspective Pet Shop Boys Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1988Medicine ManHabitKeyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1988 After the War Gary Moore Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1988 Flying Colours Chris de Burgh Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1988 Push Bros Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1988 Don't Say Goodbye Strawbs Keyboards, synthesizers
1988Hey Manhattan! (single) Prefab Sprout Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1988 Heart (single) Pet Shop Boys Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1988 Missing You Chris de Burgh Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1989 Waltz Darling Malcolm McLaren Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1989 Results Liza Minnelli Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1989 Blast Holly Johnson Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1989 Big Bang! Fuzzbox Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1989Love and PowerCry No MoreKeyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1989 Young Man Running Cory Hart Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1989The Best of Berlin 1979–1988 Berlin Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1989 Losing My Mind (single) Liza Minnelli Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1989 Love Train (single) Holly Johnson Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1989 Americanos (single) Holly Johnson Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1989International Rescue (single) Fuzzbox Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1989Oh Sharon (single)Cry No MoreKeyboards, Fairlight programming, producer

1990s

YearTitleArtistCredits
1990 1234 Propaganda Keyboards
1990Move Until We Fly Nick Kamen Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1990Planet Oz Inga Humpe Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1990 Reputation Dusty Springfield Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1991 The Promise T'Pau Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1991 Discography: The Complete Singles Collection Pet Shop Boys Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1991 Sugar Tax Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1991 Dreams That Money Can't Buy Holly Johnson Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1991 Call My Name (single) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1992If You Don't Love Me (single) Prefab Sprout Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1992 The Singles Corey Hart Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1992Oxygen (single) Petula Clark Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1994Blue Nights Denny Laine Keyboards, synthesizers
1994Can't Get Off Robin Beck Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1995 Heart and Soul - The Very Best of T'Pau T'Pau Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1995Anthology Nik Kershaw Keyboards, programming
1995Memento: The Best of Maddy Prior Maddy Prior Keyboards
1995Are My Ears on Wrong? Jakko Keyboards
1995 Medusa / Live in Central Park Annie Lennox Keyboards
1995Right Here, Right Now (single)The FloodKeyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1995Free Vol (single)Pierre MorinKeyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1995 Wherever Would I Be Dusty Springfield & Daryl Hall Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1995 No More I Love You's (single) Annie Lennox Keyboards
1996Reach for the Sky: The Anthology Billy Squier Keyboards, synthesizers
1996 Spaceman (single) Babylon Zoo Fairlight programming
1997Reputation & Rarities Dusty Springfield Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1997The Plant Life Years Dougie MacLean Mini Moog, piano
1998 Salvation Alphaville Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1998Wishful Thinking (single) Alphaville Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1998 Human Being Seal Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1998 The OMD Singles Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1998 Where We Belong Boyzone Keyboards, programming
1999 Concert Classics, Vol 6: Alive in America Strawbs Keyboards
1999 Turn It On Again: The Hits Genesis programming
1999 The Seduction of Claude Debussy Art of Noise programming
1999 Visions of Dreamscapes Alphaville Keyboards, Fairlight programming, producer
1999 Every Day I Love You (single) Boyzone Keyboards

2000s

YearTitleArtistCredits
2000 Ronan Ronan Keating Keyboards, piano, synthesizers, programming
2000SonnetOberonEngineering
2000Dino Jessica Folker Keyboards
2000The Singles Collection: 1994–1999 Boyzone Keyboards
2001They Called Him Tin Tin Stephen Duffy Keyboards
2002Tracey Ullman Takes on the Hits Tracey Ullman Keyboards
2002 Ringing Down the Years/Don't Say Goodbye Strawbs Keyboards, composer
2002The Ultimate Collection Petula Clark Arranger, producer
2002 Kylie Fever: 2002 Live in Manchester (video) Kylie Minogue Producer, director
2003 Blue Angel Strawbs Keyboards, composer
2008Gold Dusty Springfield Keyboards, producer

2010s

YearTitleArtistCredits
2010 Ultimate Pet Shop Boys Keyboards, producer
201040th Anniversary Celebration Vol 1: Strawberry Fayre Strawbs Piano, synthesizer
2011Sector 3 Rush Keyboards, piano, synthesizers, programming
2011Combined Claudia Brücken Keyboards, Fairlight programming
2013 Greatest Hits Dido Engineer, mixer
2015Prognostic Strawbs Piano, synthesizers
2018WGAF... AWGUI! (single) Fuzzbox Keyboards, programming, engineer, producer

Filmography

1980s

YearTitleCredits
1986 Biggles: Adventures in Time Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1987TurnaroundKeyboards, Fairlight programming, composer (with Mark Shreeve), producer
1989 The BFG Keyboards, Fairlight programming

1990s

YearTitleCredits
1995 The Glam Metal Detectives (TV series)Keyboards, Fairlight programming
1996 True Blue Keyboards, Fairlight programming

2000s

YearTitleCredits
2001 Bridget Jones's Diary Score mixer
2001 The Parole Officer Score mixer
2001 Mike Bassett: England Manager Score mixer
2002 Dirty Pretty Things Score mixer
2002 Ali G Indahouse Score mixer
2002 My Little Eye Score mixer
2003 Mona Lisa Smile Score mixer
2003 Touching the Void Score mixer
2003 Johnny English Score mixer
2004Terrible Kisses (short)Composed, performed (as Andy Richards/Mike Higham), produced & score mixer
2004Bushido: The Way of the Warrior (short)Composed, performed (as Andy Richards/Mike Higham), produced & score mixer
2004 Dead Cool Composed, performed (as Andy Richards/Mike Higham), produced & score mixer
2004 Shaun of the Dead Score mixer
2004 Out of Reach Score mixer
2004 Dear Frankie Score mixer
2005 The Jacket Score mixer, music supervisor & producer
2005Avant l'oubliScore mixer
2005 Mrs Henderson Presents Music editor
2006 The Bridge Score mixer
2006 The Last King of Scotland Score mixer
2006 Wild Romance Composed, performed (as Andy Richards/Mike Higham), produced & score mixer
2006 Tsunami: The Aftermath Score mixer
2007 Hannibal Rising Score mixer
2007 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Music engineer, score mixer, organ & additional music.
2008 Incendiary Score mixer
2008 Slumdog Millionaire Score mixer
2009 State of Play Score mixer

2010s

YearTitleCredits
2010 Inside Job Score mixer
2010 Kick-Ass Music editor
2010 The First Grader Choir production, score mixer
2010 127 Hours Score mixer
2011 The Rum Diary Song producer: The Mermaid Song by Patti Smith
2011The Ballad of Sandeep (short)Composed, performed (as Andy Richards/Mike Higham), produced & score mixer
2012 Dark Shadows Additional score mixer
2012 Frankenweenie Organ and additional score mixer
2014 Big Eyes Composed, performed, produced score mixed the cue: "The Art Gallery" by Andy Richards
2018 Mission: Impossible – Fallout Piano

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