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RPM Rescues “The Sixties Sounds of Tim Andrews” On New Anthology

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Tim Andrews - SuburbiaWill the real Chris Andrews please stand up?

Well, that’s easier said than done.  Singer/songwriter Chris Andrews is known for penning hits such as Sandie Shaw’s “Girl Don’t Come” and “Long Live Love,” but there’s another Chris Andrews who rose to prominence during the same era – and also did so in Swingin’ London.  This man of the same name recorded with The Gremlins and The Fleur de Lys, and sang the lead on the 1967 hit U.K. single “Reflections of Charles Brown,” issued under the name of Rupert’s People.  This “other” Chris Andrews is the subject of RPM’s Something About Suburbia, credited to Tim Andrews – the name he took on to avoid confusion with his contemporary.   (Wikipedia – among other online sources – is still mixed up, crediting the Sandie Shaw-associated Chris with the Tim Andrews recordings.)  This 16-track anthology brings together a number of singles released under the Tim Andrews name, as well as tracks from The Gremlins, The Fleur de Lys and Rupert’s People.

Reissue co-producer Stefan Granados tells the whole Chris/Tim Andrews story in the liner notes of Something About Suburbia.  Andrews, born in London, entered show business at an early age, replacing a certain David Jones as the Artful Dodger in the London production of Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! and eventually appearing in the American touring company, as well.  When Andrews returned to London in late 1965, he joined the Spencer Davis Group-esque band The Gremlins, represented here with their 1966 garage-style rendition of that band’s “High Time Baby.”  It was childhood friend Phil Sawyer – a future member of the Spencer Davis Group, in fact – who enlisted Andrews into the Fleur de Lys.  With Sawyer, he co-wrote the energetic, snarling “Mud in Your Eye,” but it soon, Sawyer departed the band ranks to join Shotgun Express.  (Trivia fans, take note: Rod Stewart is another alumnus of Shotgun Express.)

Andrews stayed onboard, recording the psychedelic Columbia single “Reflections of Charles Brown” b/w “Hold On” as a side project with members of Fleur de Lys for producer Howard Conder.  “Reflections,” however, was quickly recognized as being rather derivative of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” so the decision was made to release it under the pseudonym of Rupert’s People.  (“Whiter Shade” was released in May 1967 and charted the following month; “Reflections” also arrived that summer.  It’s been mooted that “Reflections” may have been recorded earlier than the Procol Harum song, but “Whiter Shade” was released first, causing the trouble.)  The single was a minor hit, charting in Australia and receiving frequent play on pirate radio, but its success backfired on the Fleur de Lys.  Soon, Conder was recruiting another band to perform as Rupert’s People.  Andrews reveals to Granados that the situation “in a sense, broke the band up in a way.”  Both sides of Columbia DB 8226 are included here.

You’ll find the rest of the story after the jump, including the full track listing with discography and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 26, 2013 at 13:48