LIQUID GOLD

Ellie Hope - Lead Vocals 1977-1984
Ray Knott - Bass 1977-1984
Syd Twynham - Guitar 1977-1983
Wally Rothe - Drums 1977-1983
Tom Marshall - Keyboards 1980
Franco Morruzzi - Keyboards 1981-1984

One of the biggest dance-pop hits in the late 70s Britain was Dance Yourself Dizzy, written by Eddie Seago and Adrian Baker, and recorded by Liquid Gold. All members had previously been in bands with years of experience behind them, and although this band's career was spread over just 6 years, they did prove that they could write great material later on, just like their biggest hit.

Syd Twynham, Wally Rothe and Ray Knott had all grown up in the area of Buckinghamshire, but all within close range of each other. Syd's first band was called Unknown People, then he joined Swampdog, and after this - a progressive/glam rock band Rocket - all this in 1972!

Rocket was a three-piece featuring Wally Rothe and Marks Woolscroft. Wally had already recorded an album, The Amazing Sound Of S.P.Leary. Wally and Syd had been playing in local bands in the area, but never together in the same band until now.

While still playing with Rocket in 1974, Syd got an offer to play with a Scandinavian rock band, Hector. They were signed to DJM records, which at the time had Elton John, hence the label was having some success. He played with Hector for around 6 months, out on tour, mainly in Europe where they had their main following. After this stint, he formed Brewster with Wally Rothe and Syd Knott - this group played a mixture of covers and originals. By this time, all three members were living in the London area.

Ellie Hope had been in an aptly named band called Ellie around 1974-75, and released a few singles already but with no real success. Ray Knott and Ellie Hope then met in 1976 when both tried out for Babe Ruth, who had some minor hits; both members had joined in 1975. They wound up contributing to Babe Ruth's last album, entitled, Kids Stuff. Six months after the album stalled, the record company let them go, and a few of the original members left. They drafted in Wally and Syd and carried on playing live gigs. At the time (mid-1976), Hansa had showed interest in the group - one of many bands of the day in England they were considering. With a name change to Dream Coupe, the future looked good, but Hansa soon lost interest and let them go. With this happening, the only members interested in carrying on with the band were Wally, Syd, Ellie and Ray. With Progressive rock acts not making it anymore due to the impact of punk, even getting paying gigs became a hard task. With a view to making money, the band turned to playing dance music in the effort that clubs would pay for this. With this in mind in early 1977, they had worked their ideas out, and began practicing dance cover hits. Syd started to write a few songs with the others adding their input - to add to the repertoire.


Babe Ruth

Dream Coupe's first gig was, in fact, for the Queen's Silver Jubilee Party in July 1977. By January 1978, within 6 months, they had managed to get a residency at Caesars Palace in Luton. Although they were getting paid, they were working hard for the money doing 4 sets a night, 7 days a week. Playing there from January through May, they drew a good reputation and a big crowd. At the time, Ellie had done backing vocals on a few songs for the group Mud, in particular on their hit cover version of Oh Boy. After this, Adrian Baker had wanted her to try out and do a demo for him on some material he had written. Adrian Baker had had his own hit with Sherry back in 1975, the Frankie Valli song, and had been producing and recording for himself and others as of late. Adrian thought she was a great vocalist, and wanted to use her in some projects. Ellie mentioned she was in a band at the time, so Adrian came down to Caesars Palace to check out Dream Coupe. He liked what he saw, and the band signed with Creole records under one year's contract, to see how things would go. To give it a fresh start, they decided to change the band's name again. All members' input came up with the word Gold in the name; everyone thought that was a good word to have in the band's name. They wanted to make it sound as if it was worth something, so they padded it out with Liquid. After their Caesars Palace gigs, they played a few residences in London until their first record release. In October 1978, the first single came out, titled, Anyway You Do It. The record landed just outside the charts, which meant they couldn't get on Top of the Pops, one of Britain's biggest music TV shows. But with one of the bands that had been scheduled to play pulling out, they got the last minute call to perform on the show, this being the group's first ever television appearance. Syd was a veteran, already having been on TV back in 1974 with Hector, in a show called Liftoff. With this, the band found themselves in demand and subsequently played shows in England, as well as various TV shows all over Europe.

Creole Records product was being distributed by another company called Polo, and they upgraded Liquid Gold's 1-year deal to a one-album, five-single deal. In America, the label distributing their records was Parachute, and although Anyway You Do It wasn't a hit, the B-side was getting airplay in clubs. The song was What She Got, and it looked certain now the band were going to go out on a promotional tour of America. In fact, a special new mix had been made of their album for the American market, and the added use of sound effects such as fire extinguisher had even been used on one track!! At the time, no one in the USA knew what the band looked like, and they had figured with Ellie's voice she was a black singer, so they were planning to push the group into such TV shows as Soul Train. Sadly though, for some reason (maybe office politics), they never got to go to the USA, the closest place they'd gotten to being Mexico, to do some promotional TV appearances in 1980, though they never played live there either. Back in England, the group's next single was released in May 1979, Mr. Groovy, which totally flopped, and the band weren't doing too much between recording sessions. The touring had slowed down to a crawl, and with no hits the offers were becoming more and more scarce. In April 1979, Syd and Ray attended Les Gray's (of Mud) 40th birthday party. Mud had, in fact, split up with Les Gray going solo, but not having the success he'd hoped for. He then wanted to get Mud back together, but the original members weren't interested in going out and playing again. So, as Syd and Ray were free at the time, they went out and played on the road together with Les Gray as Mud! Throughout Liquid Gold's career, their paths would always cross with those of Mud, some ways or other. In fact, at one Top of the Pops appearance, Syd even borrowed Rob Davies' infamous guitar, shaped as a heart with an arrow going through it, for the show. Shortly after this, Liquid Gold's next single, Dance Yourself Dizzy, was released in January 1980. This became their biggest hit which pushed them into the forefront in the pop world. With the sudden success and the schedule of doing appearances for the song, Wally and Syd had to leave the Mud tour. Around this time, they brought in Tom Marshall on keyboards, as many of the songs featured strings, and they needed someone to cover the keys for the live shows. With live shows getting bigger turnouts due to their chart success and TV appearances such as main TV shows of the time like Basil Brush, Little & Large and Cheggars Plays Pop, they were becoming more and more visual. Radio 2 at the time had a competition which rivaled the Eurovision song contest in some ways, only on the radio. This was, in fact, held in Yugoslavia at this point, and Liquid Gold was chosen to write Great Britain's entry. The song written by the band actually won, though it was not technically performed by them but by an orchestra with a conductor. Though due to Eastern block's territorial and other constraints at the time, nothing ever came of this. Up until now, in fact, most of the songs the band had performed were written by Baker and Eddie Seago who was his writing partner. He had worked with Adrian in the past and had written for the group Vanity Fair. Although, from the beginning, Baker/Seago had written the songs, the band didn't mind. If the songs were making it work, then why ruin the formula, though the band continued to write their own material too. In fact, the duo encouraged the band and said they would work with them if they felt they needed extra input on the songwriting. When the band did write songs, there were possibilities for these songs to make it onto the album, but the record company always had the last say. After the hit with Dance Yourself Dizzy, they changed management, and the new manager was Barry Collins. The follow-up single was Substitute, released in May 1980; while not as big a hit as their previous one, it was still enough to get them back on TV. After this, they released an album, Liquid Gold, but it didn't make an impact on the charts, and is, unfortunately, hard to find these days. An American version has a different picture on the back sleeve than the European release.

The next single was called The Night, The Wine, The Roses, released in November 1980, and again, it charted but not to the same heights as Dizzy, although it did feature the same infectious groove as their previous records. They were still touring constantly and promoting their new material all the time, so there was no real time in between for them to look back. In fact, one of their biggest gigs took place in Malta, at a open-air venue, where, before they started, the band had to say a certain phrase to the crowd as if it was a political rally! The band had no idea about what any of it meant until afterwards.

March 1981 saw the release of Don't Panic, still written by the same songwriting duo, Baker/Seago, but this one was pushed to represent Great Britain in Song for Europe. One of the other bands also performing there was then-unknown Bucks Fizz. While watching them rehearse, Syd remembers seeing their famous dance routine with the guys whipping the girls' skirts off to reveal tight shorts underneath. It was at that point that they realized that Bucks Fizz would win over the crowds on that gimmick alone. On a historical note though, Liquid Gold are the only band to have not won a Song for Europe, yet have their own song still chart. Interestingly enough, years later, Tom Marshall, the band's session keyboard player, ended up working with Bucks Fizz on the road and was injured in that coach crash that badly injured the band.

Following this, the band changed writers, enlisting the services of Steve Most (Mickie Most's brother) and his writing partner Glen Burns. They had written some hits for the RAK label, for groups such as Racey before. The new single to be released was called Where Did We Go Wrong (August of 1982), and it only reached the outer limits of the charts. From what Syd Twynham remembers, when driving back after doing the demos, Burns/Most suggested that Liquid Gold weren't that impressed with them. After this came the single, Turn The Table which was written by Rob Davies of Mud, who had by now ventured into dance-pop himself. The single flopped, but at the time, the band had recorded a few other songs during that same session, such as Shake, Lucky and Hit The Roof. These were recorded at Rob's own studios, and, strangely enough, after the last Liquid Gold single, two of these songs (Lucky b/w Shake) came out on a single credited to Ellie Gold! Hit The Roof still remains unreleased to this day. In 1983, Wally was the first to quit the group, followed by Syd, although Liquid Gold did carry on without them. Syd joined the Roadknights which included Wally Rothe and Ian Murray, a 3-piece pop-rock band. Although within 6 months Syd did go back and help out Liquid Gold once again as the new members were drafted in, it didn't work out the second time. After two years in the Roadknights, Syd started out a blues-rock band called 147 with Bernie Marsden from Whitesnake. By 1987, Mud were back on tour, and Syd went back out on the road, this time with Wally on drums. Since then, Ellie had worked with a group called Two Minds Cracked, their album being called Victory Parade, in the mid-80s. She and Ray Knott now own a pine store and have gotten out of the music business altogether. In 1992, when Mud had to pull out of an appearance at Butlins, the promoters thought maybe Liquid Gold could take their place as they had two of the members present. Wally and Syd were skeptical as Mud had a totally different sound from Liquid Gold, and wasn't sure if people would accept them. They called Ellie and Ray who immediately agreed to do it as a one-off. They totally stole the show that day and started getting calls for bookings and have done another gig up in a working men's club in Woking which was somewhat different than the Butlins gig. Ray and Ellie had business ties with their pine store and had no time to commit further than that. Although fun at the time, it wasn't something they wanted to go back to. Presently, Wally Rothe is drumming with the Searchers and Syd Twynham has played with Brian Connolly's Sweet and is now with Les Gray's Mud again.

SINGLES
YEAR A SIDE B SIDE CAT #
Oct 1978 Anyway you do it My Baby's baby Creole CR159
May 1979 Mr Groovy C'mon and dance Creole CR170
Feb 1980 Dance yourself Dizzy Dance Yourself Dizzy (instr.) Polo 01
May 1980 Substitute Substitute (instr.) Polo04
Nov 1980 Night, the wine, the roses (Instrumental version) Polo06
Mar 1981 Donít Panic Donít Panic (instr.) Polo08
Jul 1982 Where did we go wrong Ripping up the letter Polo23
Sep 1984 Turn the tables Holding back the tears Ectasy9
1983 Whats she got Coming down Critique 701
ALBUMS TITLE TRACKS LABEL
1980 Liquid Gold Polo
Ellie Hope
SINGLES
YEAR A SIDE B SIDE CAT #
1982 Lucky Shake Polo25
Ellie
SINGLES
YEAR A SIDE B SIDE CAT#
Aug 1974 Tip of my tongue Someone has stolen my marbles Fresh Air 6121111
Apr 1975 My Love is your love Let me shout, its out Fresh Air 6121123
Babe Ruth
ALBUMS
YEAR TITLE TRACKS CAT#
1976 Kids Stuff Capitol

Misc. Recordings

Two Minds Crack Ellie Hope on backing vocals
ALBUMS
YEAR TITLE TRACKS CAT#
1986 Victory Parade Sire
Mud Ellie Hope on backing vocals
SINGLE
YEAR A SIDE B SIDE CAT#
May 1975 Oh Boy Watching The Clock RAK201
Matador (musicle) Ellie Hope on backing vocals
ALBUM
YEAR TITLE TRACKS CAT#
1991 Matador
Tom Pacheco Ellie Hope on backing vocals
ALBUM
YEAR TITLE TRACKS CAT#
1999 Sunflowers and Scarecrows
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