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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Apr 2019 - Bananarama! > THE PRODUCERS BEHIND THE MUSIC GARY STEVENSON

THE PRODUCERS BEHIND THE MUSIC GARY STEVENSON

HE HELPED LAUNCH GO WEST, FOUND SUCCESS WITH RICK ASTLEY AND RECENTLY MADE THE CHARTS AGAIN WITH TONY HADLEY. THEN THERE’S WORKING WITH GARY BARLOW AND A WHOLE SET OF 80s ICONS TO TALK ABOUT. WELCOME TO THE HIT-MAKING WORLD OF PRODUCER EXTRAORDINAIRE GARY STEVENSON…

If you’ve ever bought a guitar from your local dealership, you’ll have no doubt met that typical music store salesman.

They will either be the young, starry-eyed, rockstar wannabe, or the old wizened guitarist with many a story to tell of life on the road and playing around the edges of success. Gary Stevenson definitely fell into the former camp when he landed a job at ABC Music in Addlestone in Surrey, demonstrating guitars… “Well, I got to meet loads of people and was really trying to get my own band together,” he tells Classic Pop. Stevenson was already a few steps ahead, though, having assembled the parts required to create an eight-track recording studio and the knowledge to use the whole shebang. He had also teamed up with guitarist Dave West to form his band Radar – so called “because we were based right next to Heathrow Airport,” – and then took one giant leap, landing a deal that so many music store people dream of. “We picked up a deal with Atlantic for a five-track EP and they allowed me to do the production on it.”

DEAL OR NO DEAL

Deal signed, studio assembled, band created, songs written and production skills honed – surely all that was needed now was to record the songs, get the fans and watch the success and money roll in, right?

Actually, not quite. You probably don’t recall the band name Radar as having scored many hits back in those heady days of the early 80s, but you will recall another duo, Go West, who did have some success. Quite a bit of it, as it goes…

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About Classic Pop

Issue 51 of Classic Pop is on sale now! This month, we have an exclusive interview with Bananarama's Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward as they return with their first new studio album in a decade. We also meet iconic duo Hall & Oates before their UK arena tour and talk to Gary Numan as part of our look into the superfan phenomenon. Classic Pop pays tribute to the wonderful Mark Hollis from Talk Talk and we celebrate the band's iconic Spirit Of Eden in our latest Classic Album feature. Squeeze's Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford take us inside their spiky songwriting partnership and we also hear from Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder about his life as a one-of-a-kind wordsmith. Our packed new album reviews section includes Bananarama, Edwyn Collins, Toyah, Andy Bell and The Chemical Brothers. On the reissues front, we revisit New Order's debut album Movement plus re-releases from Prince, Kate Bush, R.E.M, David Bowie and more. In our live reviews section, we elbow our way down to the front for Tears For Fears, The Revolution, Holy Holy and Bryan Adams. Enjoy the issue!