ABC | RICK ASTLEY | BANANARAMA | BAND AID II | BASIA | CHIC | CLIMIE FISHER | THE COOL NOTES | DEAD OR ALIVE | HAZELL DEAN | DEPECHE MODE | DIVINE | DOLLAR | JASON DONOVAN | EIGHTH WONDER | ERASURE | FIVE STAR | THE FOUR TOPS | LONNIE GORDON | DEBBIE HARRY | THELMA HOUSTON | IMAGINATION | THE JACKSON FIVE | JESUS JONES | MATT BIANCO | MEL & KIM | KYLIE MINOGUE | GARY MOORE | NITZER EBB | PET SHOP BOYS | PRINCESS | CLIFF RICHARD | DIANA ROSS | SINITTA | JIMMY SOMERVILLE | SONIA | JERMAINE STEWART | DONNA SUMMER | THE THREE DEGREES | T'PAU | JOHN TRAVOLTA & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN | VOICE OF THE BEEHIVE...
From tea boy to internationally-successful record producer, Phil Harding's extraordinary music industry career spans over 30 years - from recording The Clash in the 70s to producing number ones for East 17 and Boyzone in the 1990s. Phil played a key role at PWL Studios, Pete Waterman's vision for a 'British Motown', alongside the legendary Stock, Aitken and Waterman production team, whose Hit Factory productions and mixes sold over 30 million units around the world via a surprisingly diverse CV of artists (including those above). It also produced early hits for (amongst others) one highly-determined, unknown industry newcomer, *Simon Cowell*.
Phil Harding's experience extended right from 'the top' of the organisation (mixing many classic SAW hits), down to 'the bottom' (establishing the studio and training up-and-coming engineers with state-of-the-art technology and techniques), as well as covering the creative, business (and diplomatic!) aspects of being a critically-acclaimed producer in his own right (together with Ian Curnow) and developing their own music industry profile, artists and client base, under the management of Pete Waterman.
The book is *over 600 pages* not 250 as listed on many websites, so great value. Highlights include... Phil's behind-the-scenes journey through the eventful rise (and fall) of PWL, commentaries on many classic PWL mixes, in-depth interviews on working with specific key artists of the time (Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Mel & Kim, Bananarama, Hazell Dean and Dead Or Alive), a guide to the studio building, a case study of the mixing of a No. 1 single (Kylie's `Hand On Your Heart'), Phil's PWL Discography - a comprehensive guide to his many hundreds of releases (with details, for the first time, on many unreleased PWL projects), and a new Harding/Curnow interview looking back on their time at PWL.
The book also contains an in-depth technical section, setting out a definitive description and history of music technology/recording equipment as used at PWL Studios during the 1980s, with a thorough explanation and insight given into the SAW/PWL recording/mixing techniques. Along with the inclusion of many previously-unseen photographs, at over 600 pages, `PWL From The Factory Floor - Expanded Edition' is a must-read for 80s, club, dance and pop devotees, contemporary music followers, studio technicians and creators and those with any interest in the extreme highs and lows that only pop music can provide.
SOME READER FEEDBACK... "This book is AMAZING. I hate that word. It's thrown around a lot now, but really, no other word will do. Such good value and packed to the rafters with extra stuff not in the first edition. Loved the background into individual acts (Hazell Dean, Dead Or Alive, Kylie, etc)."
"Wow. Just finished reading Phil's book from start to finish. I've read both Mike Stock's and Pete Waterman's efforts, but this is truly in a league of its own - in terms of depth and presenting the PWL story in such a vivid, definitive and 'real' way. The MS and PW books feel artificial and 'window dressing'-like, in comparison... For me, this is the business. I totally forgive Phil for brushing off my demo tape in 1989!!"
Phil Harding is now a regular speaker and guest lecturer at Universities and Colleges around the UK, and is Chairman of the Joint Audio and Media Education Service (JAMES), the Educational representative body of the MPG (Music Producers Guild) and the APRS (Association of Professional Recording Services).
A double-CD of classic mixes is planned for release soon as a tie-in to the book.