Who remembers Phil Cordell?

Ricky Adelaide… This LP cover thing going on, can anyone remember this local chap great musician sadly no longer with us. Had a studio back of Catsfield went there few times was a really nice man ,,,, back in the day

Martin Stringer… I was in his band and spent many happy hours writing songs with him. Eventually I used to live in his house every weekend so we could work into the early hours. Very fond memories of Phil and Kevin Hoad. We had so.much fun.

Ricky Adelaide… Few credits on here of local musicians

Chris Cozens… Tape-Op – Mike Hedges!!! Whatever happened to him?

Phil Gill… Stallion enjoyed a brilliant relationship with Phil Cordell from 1975/76. He paid for studio time for us in two studios, and brought us into his home studio at Ninfield on several occasions. I remember at one of these sessions at his house he played us a rough mix of a song called “Bavarian Nights”, which later surfaced on his 1977 album “Born Again”, which I have. He was great to be around and we learned a lot from him in terms of studio techniques. He also very kindly lent me a Revox tape recorder so I could demo up some song ideas I had. I found him to be very creative and fun to be around and I guess we owe him some sort of acknowledgement. He’s referenced in the sleeve notes for our CD, “The Hard Life” and I’ve pasted below some paragraphs from that which may be of interest.
“With John (Wilde) on board, Stallion began making something of a reputation for themselves and, as a result, they appeared on the radar of producer and solo artist Phil Cordell. Promptly deciding they should have some
studio time with him in the producer’s seat, in July 1975, Cordell took them into the studio to cut an edited
version of their seven minute song “If Life Were Death”, proposing it as the follow up single to his
number one hit in Europe, “I Will Return”, which he had recorded under the pseudonym “Springwater”. It was the band’s first outing with a producer. Cordell’s techniques were certainly not wasted on them and his
production ideas were quickly assimilated and mentally stored for future use. His producer’s flair for
arrangements and overdubs, particularly keyboards, opened the band’s eyes to many new possibilities.
Cordell showed them how to double track the string sound, with the second track detuned slightly to give a
thicker, richer sound, a technique the band used in the studio thereafter to provide the Mellotron texture they
were seeking.  Bassist Phil Gill, then on his debut studio outing, was asked to lay down several overdubs
of 12 string acoustic guitar. He assumed Cordell was being sarcastic when, at the end of his first overdub,
he told him to go and do another take in the toilet. After the band stopped laughing, they realised that
Cordell was serious; the lavatory was tiled and provided a great natural reverb which brought the acoustic guitar to life, another trick noted and used again in later recordings. The time they spent with Cordell became something of a defining moment for the band, with the results serving to help crystallise their signature sound.”

Robert Searle… Phil, I recorded at Phil’s studio at Ninfield in the early 70s. I used to live in Ninfield and wasn’t too far from his place. He was a real nice guy and fun to be with.

Shaun Pont… Dan the Banjo Man. Radio Luxembourg Powerplay in 1973 and a number one in Europe that year.

Terry Pack… Kev Hoad introduced me to Phil around 1979/80. We met at The Merry Harrier(?) in Cowbeech with a view to doing something, but what actually resulted was a lot of talking and drinking!

Mike Waghorne… I remember him

Alan Pepper… Fascinating  Phil . What an interesting read . Thank you for sharing your memories . I didn’t know Phil was such a great fellow . All I knew was what I had heard about his Rare Earth records  – Great stuff  !!

Neil Stephen Partrick… Was he IN Rare Earth?

Alan Esdaile… No. Dan The Banjo Man singles were released on Rare Earth Records. His biggest hit, under the name Springwater was I Will Return.

Martyn Baker… This “Steppin’ Out” version of a Bruce Springsteen unreleased song was recorded by Phil at his Ninfield studio, and was produced by Ray Fenwick. (Ray had a demo from Bruce). This was just before the formation of The Roaring 80’s – so it would have been about 1976 maybe? One of my girlfriends at the time (Terri Ogley) provided the breathy girly voice.

https://soundcloud.com/martyn-baker/steppin-out-seaside-bar-song?in=martyn-baker%2Fsets%2Froaring-80s-steppin-out&fbclid=IwAR2dldwlGSCb3-zKhhrxkCJtpdtnWMNhkIVzBiaYK5kTZLD_TZVse2vTwzc

Martyn Baker… Tich is doing his best Bruce impression?

Mick O’Dowd… I used to use Springwater’s version of Sailing as my run-out groove at the end of the night.

Jonathan Ward… I ended up buying a car he used to own in the 70’s – a black soft-top Skilton Perkins Roadster. If anyone who knew him has memories of this car when he owned it, we would love to hear from you! We believe he used to ride around Ninfield on a palomino horse too?!

Phil Gill… I remember this car, he drove it open top from Ninfield on a sunny July day in 1975 to Saturn Sound Studio in Worthing for our first Stallion session with him. We all followed in the band van, apart from John Wilde, who blagged the passenger seat in Phil’s roadster. Fabulous car.

Alan Esdaile… I remember going to the studios in Worthing with Steve. Don’t know if this was the same session but started out early evening and went on all night, with about 40 plus takes and then decided the 2nd or 3rd one was the best!

Phil Gill… That would probably have been the Skinny Kid/Cobra sessions, assuming you went to Saturn Sound, so no, that was earlier in the year than the one I was on with Phil C in 1975, which we did in two days, with a day’s break in between. We recorded on Tuesday 29th July 1975, took Weds 30th off and went back in on Thursday 31st to overdub and mix. Also I would have remembered if you’d been there. I didn’t keep a diary, but the dates are etched on my memory due to it being my debut studio outing and my friend dying in a motorcycle accident on the Wednesday. I met him in town at lunchtime and we chatted about how cool his job at at Herstmonceux Observatory was, and about my previous day’s studio session and what Stallion were due to do in the studio on the following day. He rode off back to work and died an hour later. I heard the news the following day. Those are the sort of events which stay with you when you’re 19.

Alan King… Alan, that’s always the way, musos in studios, boys with toys

Robert Searle… A good friend

Martin Stringer… I was in Springwater along with Kevin Hoad. Phil and I along with copious amounts of booze would write songs long into the night. So many happy memories. Great man. Massive talent.

Stuart Moir… Met him many times on the booze circuit sinking the dreaded lager

Garry Wonfor… Wasn’t he the man behind “Springwater”…. with the instrumental “I will return”… with “Stone Cross” on the B side??… On Polydor records if I remember right.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Who remembers Phil Cordell?”

  1. Fascinating Phil . What an interesting read . Thank you for sharing your memories . I didn’t know Phil was such a great fellow . All I knew was what I had heard about his Rare Earth records – Great stuff !!

    Reply
  2. I ended up buying a car he used to own in the 70’s – a black soft-top Skilton Perkins Roadster. If anyone who knew him has memories of this car when he owned it, we would love to hear from you! We believe he used to ride around Ninfield on a palomino horse too?!

    Reply

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