Friday, December 28, 2012

Island Records: Pilot of the Airwaves

In 1978, Chris Blackwell of Island Records signed Charlie Dore, a multi-genre talented artist from Great Britain, to his label. “Where To Now” was her only album on Island and was recorded in Nashville. It was originally produced by Audie Ashworth. Not to Blackwell’s liking, the album was remixed by veteran producer Joe Boyd; however, his mix also sounded too country and it was shelved.

Blackwell employed a couple ex-members of The Shadows, Alan Tarney and Bruce Welch, to rerecord a number of the cuts including her only US hit – “Pilot of the Airwaves.” Released in late 1979, the tune charted in the US in 1980 at #13. Dore’s career looked promising as one of the big four US music trade magazines, Record World, named her “New Female Artist of the Year.” On the strength of “Pilot of the Airwaves,” Billboard tabulated Dore at #86 in the Top 100 Single Artists of 1980.

Although Dore released several other albums, she became better known as a song writer for other artists. Sheena Easton’s recording of her and Julian Littman’s composition “Strut” charted at #4 in the US. For her competence as a songwriter, she received two ASCAP awards that recognized this talent.

After being out of print for two decades, “Where to Now” was finally released on CD in 2005 on Lemon Records. The album was completely remastered for its CD debut.

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