Released today in 1987: Keeping The Mystery Alive

EMI CF1

EMI CF1

Before deciding to try his hand at fronting a band of his own, Simon Climie already had several years’ experience as a song writer behind him.

Nearly all his songs were co-written with others. An early credit was the track Time Wounds All Heels with Carlene Carter and Nick Lowe for Lowe’s album The Abominable Showman (it must have been a year for puns); in the same year another Climie original could be found on an album of Carter’s. In 1984, he co-wrote a couple of tracks on Frida’s album Shine with Kirsty MacColl and the year after, his Invincible, co-written with Holly Knight, was recorded by Pat Benetar for the soundtrack of the movie ‘The Legend of Billie Jean’. 1986 saw one of his songs on Smokey Robinson’s album Smoke Signals. Several other artists in this period recorded songs from co-written by Climie, including Jeff Beck, Leo Sayer, Roberta Flack and The Who’s Roger Daltrey.

By the middle of the decade though, Climie was working with Rob Fisher in their own group Climie Fisher and accordingly he concentrated on perfecting the material for their records. The track Keeping The Mystery Alive, though, had a third co-writer, Dennis Morgan. Morgan was born in the US and Climie in the UK, but both got their breaks in the music industry as session musicians who branched into song writing. (In Climie’s case, an early credit is Fairlight programming on a track on the Scritti Politti album Cupid and Psyche ‘85.) At the time Keeping The Mystery Alive was released as a single, Climie and Morgan were still enjoying a huge international hit with another song, I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me), recorded by Aretha Franklin and George Michael (see 19 January); another of their compositions would appear on Franklin’s album of 1987, Aretha. In 1988, the duo’s My Heart Can’t Tell You No, performed by Rod Stewart, would also make the charts.

The first Climie Fisher album included a mixture of songs Fisher and Climie wrote together with others they co-wrote with Morgan. Although Climie was giving away fewer songs to other artists at this point, the quality of the Climie Fisher compositions meant that they were frequently covered by other acts. This was as true of their well-known catalogue as it was of more obscure songs in their repertoire. For example, in 1988 their breakthrough hit Rise To The Occasion was covered by Jermaine Jackson, while Godsend, which would later as appear as a Climie Fisher B-side, was recorded by Five Star for their Rock The World album.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Mar. 16
1981
ULTRAVOX (Midge Ure) Slow Motion (Island WIP6454)
1984
SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES (Siouxsie Sioux) Swimming Horses (Wonderland SHE6)
1987
CLIMIE FISHER Keeping The Mystery Alive (EMI CF1)
RADIO HEART FEATURING GARY NUMAN Radio Heart (GFM GFM109)
SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES (Siouxsie Sioux) The Passenger (Wonderland SHE12)
U2 With Or Without You (Island IS319)

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