Abbey Road

I could be found at Studio 2 in Abbey Road today as Jim Hawkins led the 300-strong London Hospices Choir in performing the backing vocals for a new take of ‘The Living Years’, the Mike & The Mechanics classic from 1988.

The Choir, which consists of patients, staff and volunteers from Hospices across the region, was recorded in four groups of 75 during the day. The collective singing only broken mid-afternoon by a lead vocal recording by the legendary Paul Carrack, the hit single’s original vocalist. The track stays fairly true to the Mechanics’ version and should prove extremely popular as a Christmas single release. It was a pleasure to hang out in the Control Room with Paul, his manager Peter Van Hooke, Clare Cook who is handling PR for the project, bassist Geoff Gascoyne (with whom I had an pleasant lunch in the studio’s canteen), co-producer George Shilling and photographer Jonathan Stewart who captured the events of the day. My thanks to all for a warm welcome and generous hospitality.

Jonathan was also able to photograph the LSO who were recording a soundtrack in Studio 1 and the two of us then drove over to James Reynolds’ studio in Parsons Green. Wonderful to see James, his wife Camilla (Jonathan’s sister), Jonathan’s wife Jacqui and their families after so long. A very enjoyable day all round.


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