Martin Gordon

~ Person


Martin Gordon began his career with eccentric Californian pop band Sparks, after they ditched their fellow countrymen and moved to London to acquire some musical muscle and a little Englishness. Their treacherous move paid off handsomely with the monster success of the album 'Kimono My House' and singles 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us' and 'Amateur Hour'. Martin played bass, provided most of the arrangements and was dismissed shortly thereafter for obstreperousness.

No matter - he picked himself up, dusted himself off and, forming the band Jet, 'climbed aboard the sparkly bandwagon of glam-rock just before the wheels fell off and deposited the occupants in the cosmic ditch'. Less doctrinaire observers today describe Jet as the "seminal oompah-glam supergroup"; Jet's sole LP has been hoisted into the musical firmament as 'a near-perfect slice of fun' (All Music Guide).

Following a disagreement with the record company of the time (over Martin's proposal to record all the songs on the second LP as a single continuous piece of music, admittedly not the most sensible idea), Jet were shown the door. Pausing at the threshold for the briefest of moments to change their name to Radio Stars, they found a home at Chiswick Records and instant acclaim along with it. Radio Stars did not survive the departure of their songwriter and producer for Paris, where he worked as house producer with Barclay Records, and sat in with the Rolling Stones on a few occasions when their bassist was otherwise engaged.

Upon his return to the UK, he trod water (but not literally) with the Blue Meanies until he hit upon the considerably more lucrative concept of working for other people. Among those who used Martin's services as keyboard player, programmer, producer, co-writer, arranger and washer-up are Kylie Minogue, George Michael, Boy George, Blur, Primal Scream, Robert Palmer, Vanessa-Mae... the list is interminable.

In the early Nineties, Martin was invited to Bombay to work with Boy George, a plate of blancmange and assorted queens on a project recorded in the music studios of Bollywood, and found himself working with such stellar figures as Asha Bhosle and Sultan Khan. Bombay opened his eyes and ears to a wider musical world, and he and his career took a turn towards 'world music'.

Since that time, he has worked with a dazzling array of talented musicians from around the globe (not least his own world/pop project Mira). He is also a sought-after producer, and the marvellous Tiger Lillies (Bad Blood & Blasphemy) are included in his extensive production discography. Another high point was a stint with Turkey's iconic Sezen Aksu, with whom he recorded the 'Sarki Soylemek Lazim' CD in Istanbul in 2002; he later played bass on her European tour in 2003. The tour brought back memories of the delights of the pop circus and he resolved to throw his hat back into the pop ring.

He provided bass for the 90s revival of semi-legendary proto-punks John's Children, until they embarked upon the inevitable, slow walk back to the pavilion. Following his return to pop territory in 2003 with the release of his first solo CD ‘The Baboon in the Basement', he has never looked back, although he will not say why. He released The Joy of More Hogwash in 2004 to even more wide acclaim, including a Rolling Stone nomination as one of the best albums of 2004, and, remarkably, some major UK and US airplay. 2005 saw the release of the third in the series, God's On His Lunchbreak (Please Call Back). A boxed collection of the three releases ('The Mammal Trilogy') and a single CD version ('How Am I Doing So Far?') was released in 2006. Part IV of the Trilogy, also known as God's on His Lunchbreak, followed in 2007.

In 2009 Martin Gordon, irritatingly described by Classic Rock magazine as being 'like Brian Eno fronting 10CC at a cleverness convention' released the fifth part of the Mammal Trilogy. 'Unless you count the simultaneously released 'Time Gentlemen Please - the demos', which is exactly as described, in which case that's six parts. The next installment in the Trilogy is currently underway in Berlin (September 2012).

Annotation last modified on 2012-09-14 18:56 UTC.



Year Title RatingReleases
2003 The Baboon In The Basement 1
2004 The Joy Of More Hogwash 1
2005 God's on His Lunchbreak 1
2006 How Am I Doing So Far? 1
2007 The World is Your Lobster 1
2009 Time Gentlemen Please 1
2009 Time Gentlemen Please - demos 1
2013 Include Me Out 1

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