"Last Year's Dreams"
In a sense, Barton DeLisle and "Last Year's Dreams" began over forty years ago, at Granada TV's studios in Manchester.
In 1971, Chris Pye and Paul McDowell met up while working on a soon-to-be-unsuccessful TV sketch comedy called "Flat Earth". Paul had previously been a writer on "The Two Ronnies" and "The Frost Report" and before that had been the lead singer in the very successful pastiche 1920's jazz band, The Temperance Seven.
Chris was the assistant producer on the show and, together with Chris' friend Jules Burns, the three of them started to write songs together. A few months later, they recorded an album at newly-opened Indigo Studios in Manchester. The band and the album were both called GUGGENHEIM. It was not a big seller.
At this point, the original Guggenheim members went their different ways. Paul became a successful actor in TV series like "Porridge" and eventually a Tai Chi instructor.
Jules joined Chris in Manchester to work at Granada, where he eventually became the MD of Operations of Granada Group and, later, co-founder and COO of All3media.
At Granada, Chris produced "So It Goes", hosted by Tony Wilson, which gave the Sex Pistols their first live performance on television and then he became a TV writer and producer in Los Angeles. He came back to the UK in the 1990's as Head of Entertainment for the BBC.
Over the years, Jules and Chris stayed in touch and then - a couple of years ago, Jules came across the original master tapes of GUGGENHEIM in his attic...... and they began to rearrange and rewrite some of the old material - and then also started to write new songs together.
Eventually, they had a universe of twenty songs and needed to build a band to work with them on recording all of the material.
Chris talked to Pete Baikie, a composer, musician and writer who is part of Absolutely Productions, a TV company of which Chris is the Chairman. He was keen on the songs and along with his friend, bass player Richard Allen, they volunteered to produce the new album.
Of the twelve tracks on the CD, five are reworkings of songs from the original GUGGENHEIM album: the rest is more recent material.