Iconic songwriter of pop’s golden age, Tony Hazzard, brings a remarkable solo album THE HALLICOMBE SESSIONS, the result of extraordinary musical collaboration that spans two continents and half a century of song.
Tony, author of such legendary hits as ‘Fox on the Run’ and ‘Ha Ha Said the Clown’, recorded the album at his home studio in Cornwall with the American songwriter, performer and producer Matt Harding.
Matt was convinced that a pared-down, intimate approach suited Tony’s songs, and so the pair recorded The Hallicombe Sessions unplugged-style over just a week in the summer of 2015 in Cornwall. Tony says: “We started out with no preconceptions at all, and the music just evolved into what we hope is an entirely new environment for these songs.”
These songs span Tony’s near half-a-century in showbiz. One of the tracks is a 60s song called ‘She’s Not You’, which he hasn’t performed in decades. “I played it to Matt and he loved it – insisted it should be on the record,” says Tony. The music stretches through the 1970s (the beautiful ballad ‘Journey’s End’) to new material, like the haunting folk song ‘The Spice Trader’.
Tony said: “We’d record a take, then go outside, sit in the sun and chat. Matt fell in love with Cornish beer, Cornish pubs and the British sense of humour.”
Tony Hazzard was the author of international smashes like ‘Ha Ha Said the Clown’ and ‘Fox on the Run’ for stars ranging from The Hollies to Manfred Mann, from Cliff Richard to Andy Williams. In an eight-year period from 1966 to 1974, he penned a host of top 20 hits recorded by The Yardbirds, Gene Pitney, Herman’s Hermits and many others. He also sang on Elton John’s first three albums and performed live with him, wrote for TV and cinema (winning an award at the Cannes Film Festival) and worked as a session singer and guitarist.
Tony’s songs are played, sung and recorded all over the world – Fox on the Run won a Citation of Achievement from BMI in the USA, having become a bluegrass standard, while songs such as Fade Away Maureen, recorded by The Yardbirds, have become much anthologised psych-pop classics. Tony’s 1970s singer-songwriter albums Loudwater House and Was That Alright Then? are cult collectors’ items.
After a long break from the music business (during which time he retrained as a counsellor and ran one of Britain’s leading drug and alcohol rehabs), Tony released his first album in 35 years in 2011, Songs From The Lynher. This has now been followed by The Hallicombe Sessions