|Birth name||Michael Peter Hayes|
|Born||20 June 1938|
Aldershot, Hampshire, England
|Died||30 May 2003 64) (aged|
|Occupation(s)||Record producer, arranger, singer|
|Associated acts||The Animals, Arrows, Herman's Hermits, Donovan, Suzi Quatro, and Jeff Beck|
Michael Peter Hayes (20 June 1938 – 30 May 2003),known as Mickie Most, was an English record producer behind scores of hit singles for acts such as the Animals, Herman's Hermits, the Nashville Teens, Donovan, Lulu, Suzi Quatro, Hot Chocolate, Arrows, Racey, and the Jeff Beck Group, often issued on his own RAK Records label.
Most was born as Michael Peter Hayes in Aldershot, Hampshire, England. 1 singles there, mostly with cover versions of Ray Peterson, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran songs. Returning to London in 1962, Most appeared on package tours as well as recording "Mister Porter", a No. 45 hit in the UK Singles Chart in July 1963 and had moderate success with 'The Feminine Look' in 1963, this latter featuring Jimmy Page on lead guitar and heralding early British heavy rock.The son of a regimental sergeant-major, he moved with his parents to Harrow, Middlesex in 1951. He was influenced by skiffle and early rock and roll in his youth. Leaving school at 15, he worked as a singing waiter at London's The 2i's Coffee Bar where he made friends with future business partner Peter Grant, and formed a singing duo with Alex Wharton (aka Alex Murray) who billed themselves as the Most Brothers. They recorded the single "Takes A Whole Lotta Loving to Keep My Baby Happy" with Decca Records before disbanding. Wharton later went on to produce the Moody Blues single "Go Now". After changing his name to Mickie Most in 1959, he travelled to South Africa with his wife Christina, and formed a pop group, Mickie Most and the Playboys. The band had eleven consecutive No.
Becoming tired of touring clubs, Most decided to concentrate on other aspects of the music industry. His first job was selling records in stores and displaying them on racks (later inspiration for his record label, RAK) before finding a niche with production for Columbia Records. After spotting The Animals at Newcastle's Club A-Go-Go, he offered to produce their first single, "Baby Let Me Take You Home", which reached No. 21 in the UK Singles Chart. Their follow-up 1964 single, "The House of the Rising Sun", became an international hit.
Most had success with Herman's Hermits after being approached by their manager Harvey Lisberg at Derek Everett's suggestion. 1 in September 1964, beginning a run of single and album sales (ten million over 12 months), the group for a time challenging The Beatles in popularity in the United States. His down-to-earth handling of the band, his business acumen and knack for selecting hit singles, established Most as one of the most successful producers in Britain and kept him in demand throughout the 1960s and 1970s.Their first Most production, "I'm into Something Good", went to No.
In July 1964, Most scored another top 10 hit with the Nashville Teens' cover of the John D. Loudermilk song "Tobacco Road". In September 1964, with Most at the control board, Brenda Lee recorded "Is It True" and "What'd I Say". "Is It True" was released in England and later in the US, and it became a hit and a gold record. "What'd I Say" became another hit throughout Europe but was never released in the US. Most had equal success with other artists for whom he produced chart-topping albums and singles between 1964 and 1969, notably Donovan with "Sunshine Superman", "Mellow Yellow", "Jennifer Juniper", and Lulu's hits "To Sir, with Love", "The Boat That I Row", "Boom Bang-a-Bang" (which finished equal first in the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest), "Me the Peaceful Heart", and "I'm a Tiger".Most also produced the final studio single of the 1960s by The Seekers, "Days of My Life", in 1968, and Nancy Sinatra's "The Highway Song" in 1969. Additionally in the 1960s, Most signed and produced artists such as singer-guitarist Terry Reid, and all-girl rock band The She Trinity.
Most's productions were backed by London-based session musicians including Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass guitar and arrangements, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and Bobby Graham on drums. He produced Jeff Beck's hits "Love is Blue" and "Hi Ho Silver Lining" and the Jeff Beck Group albums Truth and Beck-Ola . By 1967, after commercial and critical failure of The Yardbirds album Little Games , he decided to steer clear of rock groups. The Yardbirds objected to his insistence that every song be cut to three minutes and that albums were an afterthought following the singles. His focused approach also led to a split with Donovan in late 1969. Most and Donovan reunited in 1973 for the album Cosmic Wheels on which Most was credited under his real name, Michael Peter Hayes.
Despite these setbacks, Most set up his own production office at 155 Oxford Street, sharing it with his business partner Peter Grant. It was through Most's association that Grant was asked to manage The Yardbirds. In 1968, Most and Grant set up RAK Management, but Grant's involvement with The Yardbirds, which soon evolved into Led Zeppelin, meant Most had control in late 1969. RAK Records and RAK Music Publishing were launched in 1969.RAK Music Publishing has the copyright of such classic popular songs as "You Sexy Thing" composed by Hot Chocolate singer Errol Brown and a half interest in the song "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of the band Arrows.
With RAK Records, Most's success continued with folk singer Julie Felix's hit "El Condor Pasa".Felix was the first artist signed to the label. Most then produced Mary Hopkin's 1970 hit "Temma Harbour" for Apple Records, followed by her Eurovision Song Contest entry, "Knock, Knock Who's There?". In 1970, Most approached Suzi Quatro for a recording contract after seeing her on stage at a Detroit dance hall with the band Cradle (which also had Quatro's sisters Arlene, Patti, and Nancy as members), while on a production assignment in Chicago. Quatro was among a growing roster of artists signed to RAK Records which included Alexis Korner's CCS, Arrows, Smokie (with Chris Norman) (originally spelt Smokey), Hot Chocolate, Angie Miller, Chris Spedding, and Heavy Metal Kids. Hiring the songwriting production team of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, RAK scored several British number 1 singles with Suzi Quatro ("Can the Can" and "Devil Gate Drive") and Mud ("Tiger Feet", "Lonely This Christmas" and "Oh Boy").
For RAK in the 1970s, Most also produced hits for New World, Duncan Browne, Cozy Powell, Tam White, Kandidate, and Racey, as well as Chris Spedding's self-titled 1976 album, which was Spedding's fifth solo record. He also produced "We Vibrate", the first 45 by punk band The Vibrators. In 1980, Most discovered Kim Wilde, who was doing backing vocals for her father Marty Wilde at a Luton recording session. After hearing her, Most signed Wilde who immediately scored a hit with the single "Kids in America" which reached number 2 in the UK, and number 25 on the US Billboard chart.[ citation needed ] In the 1980s, the band Johnny Hates Jazz, which featured Most's son Calvin Hayes, was also signed to RAK Records.
In the 1970s, Most was a panellist on the ITV talent show New Faces and, along with fellow record producer Tony Hatch, became known for his harsh comments on the acts performing on the show. He was a producer of Revolver , a TV programme devoted to punk rock which was at odds with his 'studio factory' approach to pop music.
RAK sold out to EMI in 1983 but was revived in 1988. Most was one of the first producers to own the rights to his own records and RAK Studios, which opened in 1976 in St John's Wood, remains active.
He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1981 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.
In 1995, Most's fortune was estimated at £50 million and he appeared in The Sunday Times annual Rich List among the Top 500 in England. His house, Montebello, in Totteridge Lane, London, was claimed to be the largest private home in the UK, worth an estimated £4 million. His production work diminished after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2000.[ citation needed ]
On 30 May 2003, Most died at home aged 64 from peritoneal mesothelioma, a complication of asbestosis. [ citation needed ]The investigative journalist Paul Foot thought it probable that he contracted the cancer from ingesting fibres from vinyl tiles impregnated with asbestos, intended to improve soundproofing in recording studios. He was cremated at Golders Green crematorium. He is survived by his wife Christina and their three children; Calvin, Nathalie, and Cristalle. A blue plaque, to commemorate his life, donated by the Heritage Foundation/Musical Heritage, was unveiled at RAK Studios on 16 May 2004. The lunch and auction that followed raised £40,000 for research into mesothelioma.
Susan Kay Quatro is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress. In the 1970s she scored a string of hit singles that found greater success in Europe and Australia than in her homeland, reaching No. 1 in the UK, other European countries and Australia with her singles "Can the Can" (1973) and "Devil Gate Drive" (1974).
Little Games is the fourth American album by English rock band the Yardbirds. Recorded and released in 1967, it was their first album recorded after becoming a quartet with Jimmy Page as the sole guitarist and Chris Dreja switching to bass. It was also the only Yardbirds album produced by Mickie Most.
Cozy Powell was an English rock drummer, who made his name with many major rock bands and artists such as The Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Gary Moore, Robert Plant, Brian May, Whitesnake, Emerson, Lake & Powell, and Black Sabbath.
Christopher John Spedding is an English musician, singer, guitarist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and record producer. In a career spanning more than 50 years, Spedding is best known for his studio session work. By the early 1970s, he had become one of the most sought-after session guitarists in England. Spedding has played on and produced many albums and singles. He has also been a member of eleven rock bands: the Battered Ornaments, Frank Ricotti Quartet, King Mob, Mike Batt and Friends, Necessaries, Nucleus, Ricky Norton, Sharks, Trigger, and The Wombles.
Rak Records is a British record label, founded by record producer Mickie Most in 1969. Rak was home to artists such as Herman's Hermits, Suzi Quatro, Mud, Kenny, Hot Chocolate, Smokie, Arrows, Span, Racey and Kim Wilde. Rak Records were distributed via a licensing deal with EMI Records, which bought the company and its master recordings from Most in 1983. Most kept the company name and his RAK Studios, which still exists in St. John's Wood along with Rak Publishing. The latter company represents artists such as Joan Jett, Ben Taylor and KK. In 1986, Most defected the label from EMI to PRT Records which handled the last releases until February 1988. Owing to the records not being hits, the label folded. However, 26 years later in late 2014, Rak Records was revived as a label for new artists releasing both downloads and 7-inch vinyl in the form of a singles club. The Cadbury Sisters, Trojanhorse, and Beautiful Boy were the new signings. They recorded their own original songs as the A-sides, and covered a classic Rak artists cover as the B-side. The Cadbury Sisters covered Steve Harley's 1975 classic "Make Me Smile ", Trojan Horse did Cozy Powell's "Dance With The Devil", and Beautiful Boy did "Kids In America". As PRT Records is no longer in existence, the label is now distributed by Gearbox Records using the original sailing yacht paper label and the records packaged in the original royal blue paper sleeves.
"Beck's Bolero" is a rock instrumental recorded by English guitarist Jeff Beck in 1966. It is Beck's first solo recording and has been described as "one of the great rock instrumentals, epic in scope, harmonically and rhythmically ambitious yet infused with primal energy". "Beck's Bolero" features a prominent melody with multiple guitar parts propelled by a rhythm inspired by Ravel's Boléro.
Paul Granville Samwell-Smith is an English musician and record producer. He was a founding member and the bassist of the 1960s English rock band The Yardbirds, which launched leading guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page to fame. As a youth, Samwell-Smith attended Hampton School with The Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty.
The Vibrators are a British punk rock band that formed in 1976.
Nicholas Barry Chinn is an English songwriter and record producer. Together with Mike Chapman he had a long string of hit singles in the UK and US in the 1970s and early 1980s, including several international number-one records. The duo wrote hits for The Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Mud, New World, Arrows, Racey, Smokie, Tina Turner, Huey Lewis and the News and Toni Basil.
Michael Donald Chapman is an Australian record producer and songwriter who was a major force in the British pop music industry in the 1970s. He created a string of hit singles for artists including The Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Smokie, Mud and Racey with business partner Nicky Chinn, creating a sound that became identified with the "Chinnichap" brand. He later produced breakthrough albums for Blondie and The Knack. Chapman received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2014 Australia Day Honours.
"Touch Too Much" is a 1974 top 10 UK Singles Chart hit by the band Arrows, sung by Arrows lead vocalist Alan Merrill, and composed by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn. Merrill told Songfacts that the song was turned down by David Cassidy, Suzi Quatro and Sweet.
"Can the Can" is the second solo single by Suzi Quatro and her first to reach number one in the UK, spending a single week at the top of the chart in June 1973. It also reached number one on the European and Australian charts in whose market Quatro achieved her most consistent success throughout her career as a recording artist. The single belatedly became a hit in the US peaking at number 56 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. It was re-released as a B-side single in 1984, but this time it failed to chart. The single hit the charts again in 1987 in the UK at number 87, it also appeared on her 1995 album What Goes Around.
The Pleasure Seekers was a 1960s-era, all-female pop band from Detroit, Michigan. The band morphed into Cradle, changing direction musically. They are known due in large part to the later prominence of band member Suzi Quatro.
The Dandy(EP) by Herman's Hermits is the band's sixth EP and was released in Great Britain by EMI Records, in 1966. This EP recording was produced by Mickie Most, who produced records for such groups as The Animals, Donovan, Suzi Quatro, and The Jeff Beck Group.
Back to the Drive is an album by Suzi Quatro. Released in March 2006, it was her comeback album, and her first since 1990's Oh Suzi Q. and her eleventh studio album. Produced by Sweet guitarist Andy Scott and Steve Grant, it was overseen by veteran producer Mike Chapman and featured backing vocals by Shirlie Roden, and ex-husband Len Tuckey on guitar, including her daughter Laura Quatro duetting with her on the download-only single "I'll Walk Through the Fire With You".
Cosmic Wheels is the tenth studio album, and eleventh album overall, from British singer-songwriter Donovan. It was released in both the UK and the US in March 1973.
The Yardbirds are an English rock band, formed in London in 1963. The band's core lineup featured vocalist and harmonica player Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty, rhythm guitarist/bassist Chris Dreja and bassist/producer Paul Samwell-Smith. The band is known for starting the careers of three of rock's most famous guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, all of whom ranked in the top five of Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 greatest guitarists. The band had a string of hits throughout the mid-1960s, including "For Your Love", "Heart Full of Soul", "Shapes of Things" and "Over Under Sideways Down".
Aggro-Phobia is the fourth studio album by Suzi Quatro, recorded in the Autumn of 1976. It is the only one of her albums to be co-produced by Mickie Most.
Suzi ... and Other Four Letter Words, released in 1979, is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter, bass guitar player, and actress Suzi Quatro. By August 2012 this was still Quatro's highest-charting album in Norway and her second-highest-charting album in the United States .
"Tonight I Could Fall in Love" is a song by American singer-songwriter Suzi Quatro, released as a non-album single in 1985.