Everlasting sound of music and rhythm

Apr 2018 Everlasting sound of music and rhythm

Breakfast with: Steve Ellis

“MAYBE if we live long enough, we grow into what we always wanted to be.
“Just maybe, if we stick at what we love, it’ll come around and come good. Steve Ellis has earned the right to sing the Blues if he wants. And sing it he does!”
Paul Weller

IT WAS 50 years ago, on February 6, 1968, when one of the UK’s most endearing No.1s, Everlasting Love, topped the charts.
The group ‘Love Affair’ was fronted by singer Steve Ellis, acknowledged as having one of the best soul-rock voices in the business. With their sharp Mod looks and a host of national TV appearances behind them, Love Affair found themselves enjoying the kind of exposure and adulation given to the The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Everlasting Love is a stone-cold classic, one which not only reached No.1 in the UK, but went into the Top 10 in seven other countries It has amassed more than 10 million sales to date.
It has been copied by many big names such as U2, and the the cast from Casualty, as well as appearing in numerous films and adverts. But the only member of Love Affair to appear on the actual record is Steve Ellis, and this provides the backdrop to a 50-year tale of triumph, tragedy and resurrection.
2018 is a very important anniversary for Steve. In the same year that Everlasting Love celebrates its 50th birthday, Steve releases a new album ‘Boom Bang Twang!’ on April, 20. It reunites Steve with the label on which he enjoyed great success with Love Affair – CBS/Sony. It is an expertly-crafted mix of new songs and some heartfelt covers, with a host of guests and long-time friends Paul Weller, COW, Manfred Mann’s Mike d’Abo, Kev Wallbank (The Dream Foundry), Andy Crofts and Ben Gardelier (The Moons). ‘Boom Bang Twang!’ is the painstaking work of a man who does not believe in resting on his laurels.

The compilation shifts effortlessly through soul, rock, rhythm & blues, reggae and pop with all the quality one would hope for from an artist who’s been there, seen it, done it, and still has the T-shirt, but HAS YET TO WRITE THE BOOK. The first single is a heart-rending Lonely No More, co-written with Paul Weller, a glorious Northern Soul-esque shaker absolutely primed for radio.
Soul Trek is another stand-out. Using an exquisite John Schroeder string arrangement, Steve delivers an outright corker of a song. Forever (written by COW) is a real sweet, catchy love song; Forgot To Be Your Lover is a truthful and respectful cover of the William Bell classic, and Gerry Marsden’s Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying runs deepest soul.
Cry Me A River, with Paul Weller) is a basic rhythm & blues stomper: Jimmy Cliff’s Sitting In Limbo gets the energetic Ellis makeover as does Tim Hardin’s Black Sheep Boy.
Closer Oh Death has Steve exploring psychedelic blues to dramatic effect.

STEVE ELLIS began his 50-year-so-far career in1966 as a 15-year-old.
His first professional performance was with a group called Soul Survivors. The band had its first release on Decca, but moved to the CBS label and became one of the most successful British pop acts of the late 1960s under their new name ‘Love Affair’ scoring a string of chart-busting singles in 1968, including Everlasting Love, Rainbow Valley, Bringing Back The Good Times, One Road and A Day Without Love.
But in autumn, 1969, Steve walked out of Love Affair to re-think his musical direction. CBS retained him as a solo artist and his future appeared decidedly rosy. Steve seemed to have the world at his feet, but it didn’t work out that way.
Some excellent solo singles and a killer soundtrack (Loot) failed to ignite. Then came stints with two new bands, firstly under the name Ellis, followed by one album with rock super group Widowmaker – before another solo album was shelved due to contractual issues.
This was followed by tragedy when, having given up on the music industry to work as a docker to get “match fit” and to re-think his next musical step, Steve suffered an horrific accident, or – as he calls it – “an altercation with some two-tonne forklift blades.”
An incredibly brave, eight-year fight to regain his mobility followed, but it led him back to music in the early 90s.
For the best part of the next 10 years, he toured as Steve Ellis’s Love Affair, and once again found himself being feted as a Mod hero to a new generation of fans while retaining the support and respect of his own musical peers.
One occasion was the 2001 Steve Marriott Memorial Concert (held at the Astoria), a much-revered show in which Steve performed alongside Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Peter Frampton and Small Faces’ Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones.
In 2004, it was somewhat fitting to see Steve joining Pete Townshend, Ronnie Wood and Slim Chance for the unforgettable Ronnie Lane tribute show at the Royal Albert Hall.
During the past few years, Steve has released two acclaimed solo albums ‘Best Of Days’ & ‘Ten Commitments’, as well as touring regularly and generally applying himself at what he does best – singing and performing from the heart with that tremendous – and most definitely intact – voice of his.
Now back with the label where his recording days all started and with a fine new album to unveil, Steve Ellis can reckon to have come full circle.

WORKING alongside Paul Weller, Steve Ellis has a new album on CD and vinyl, with the unusual title of ‘Boom! Bang! Twang!’
The album is to be released 50 years after Steve had a huge hit with the classic Everlasting Love, and it’s a return to the label behind that single, CBS (via Sony).
The album was co-produced by long-time fan Paul Weller, also featuring Weller, Andy Crofts and Ben Gordelier (The Moons) and several other notables. The end result is a mix of new songs and covers, with the first single off the album, Lonely No More, co-written with Paul and said to be a ‘glorious Northern Soul-esque shaker’.
The covers, they take on tunes from William Bell, Gerry Marsden, Jimmy Cliff and Tim Hardin, all of which sounds promising.
The album is on CD and limited edition vinyl, both available before the April 20 release date. The CD is £16.08 and the vinyl is at £21.99.

Album Track Listing:
1. Black Sheep Boy
2. Sitting In Limbo
3. Soul Trek (Holy Blue)
4. Tobacco Ash Sunday
5. Forever
6. Forgot To Be Your Lover
7. Lonely No More
8. Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying
9. Cry Me A River
10. Glory Bound
11. Oh Death