Making All You Need Is...

Following the end of Friends Again, James Grant was looking for something new to get started. As mentioned in the Friends Again section, he was even a part of Hipsway for a short time. While that band went on to have some limited success in the U.S. with "The Honeythief" in 1987 (albeit only slightly more than "Halleluiah Man," L&M's closest thing to a States-side hit). That sort of success was to elude Grant and his cohorts in the U.S., but as the band got underway with its first album in 1985, the future was still unknown....
(The following short bit of Love and Money history is taken lock, stock and barrel--and without permission, but with much respect and gratitude-from The History of Scottish Rock and Pop by Brian Hogg, Guinness Publishing, 1993; pages 260-261. It's an excellent book, and if you can find it, I strongly recommend that you pick it up, not only for the L&M content, but the hundreds of other bands that he documents within it's pages.)

Hipsway's brief ascendancy coincided with a period wherein several Glasgow groups assiduously courted the city's soul traditions, albeit with original material. Freed from the sense of compromise which had bedevilled Friends Again, James Grant forged Love And Money with McGeehan, Kerr and Cunningham from the former act, although the last-named was later replaced by Bobby Paterson. This new group was also unashamedly brash. "We shared an attitude with Hipsway," James explains. "Both groups bid this upfront, dance groove. We were part of a new generation with a strong image and strong sound," The quintet was signed to Phonogram within weeks of its inaugural demos, although sadly the label proved more tardy in finding a suitable producer. A frustrated Grant sought to fill the gap with a one-off single.

"I wrote 'Candybar Express' in the back of a van halfway through a Friends Again tour. To me was just a joke - I actually thought it would be a good thing for Wham! to do - but when Graham Wilson from the Sub Club offered to let us put something out on his label, we recorded it ourselves." The plan to issue the song under a pseudonym was thwarted when Phonogram heard the finished tape. "It had turned out well," Grant concedes, "considering how effortless it was. The record company loved it, but it was a year and a half from the time we first recorded the song before Phonogram released it. That defeated the purpose, and the joke backfired."

Grant's reservations concerning this fervid composition stem from its inception as a rebuttal to the pensive Friends Again. Like Hipsway's "The Honeythief," its brazen sexual acclamation was couched in metaphor, yet the exuberant performance left little to question. It was not, however, a commercial success, thanks in part to Phonogram's dithering, and a similar problem bedevilled All You Need Is Love And Money. By the time the album was completed its creator had outgrown its content. "I can't listen to our first record," Grant states quite unequivocally. "I just don't think its very good." Certainly several of the songs mine Candybar's ebullient noise, with rampant horns and stinging guitar, and the pervasive image of Americana, heard in "Cheeseburger" and "Love And Money," now seems artificial.

"I had a knack of convincing people I had this political scheme, an anti-American propaganda, that I did nothing to dissuade. In reality it was just complete chancerism." Nonetheless, there was much to admire on the record, in particular "Pain Is A Gun." Despite its awkward analogy - and Grant's own misgivings - it showed its creator shedding his group's inceptive trappings and developing a more individual approach.

Released in 1986, All You Need Is Love And Money featured two contrasting producers. Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor worked on three tracks, including "Candybar," for which he had great affection. "He was the ideal to produce that song," Grant opines. "He was an exponent of the corruption I was singing about." Tom Dowd, a legend through his years with the Atlantic label, completed the remainder and if the use of the former was purely expedient, the latter suggested a made-in-heaven combination. Grant, however, feels it was ultimately disappointing. "Tom Dowd was so arithmetical...it was a big deal if you played through a song three seconds faster than you had the day before. Yet at the same time we were more critical of our music than he was." The accumulated travails affecting the launch of Love And Money were far from unique, as evinced by trials of contemporaries Wet Wet Wet.


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