Albert Finney

Albert Finney's Album

Music by Denis King - Lyrics and vocals by Albert Finney

Produced, arranged and conducted by Denis King for Motown Record Corporation; Recorded at The Music Center, Wembley, 1977; Engineer John Richards

Musicians: Eric Allen, Andy Babynchuk, Kenny Baker, Dennis Bigay, David Boswell-Brown, Tim Brown, Jeffrey Bryant, Anthony Camden, Gordon Carr, Raymond Cohen, Douglas Cummings, Gwynne Edwards, Kenneth Essex, Robin Firman, Tony Fisher, Tristam Fry, Bill Geldard, Colin Green, Geoffrey Grey, Keith Harvey, Brian Hawkins, Alan Hawkshaw, Clive Hicks, Dave Horler, John Huckridge, Ian Jewel, John Jenkins, Terry Johns, Homi Kanga, Alexander Kok, Duncan Lamont, Alan Loveday, John Ludlow, Don Lusher, Celia Mitchell, Al Newman, Brendan O’Reilly, Alan Parker, Bernard Partridge, John Pigneguy, Ronnie Price, Chris Pyne, William Reid, Daryl Runswick, Graeme Scott, Kenneth Sillito, Bill Skeat, Wally Smith, David Snell, Ray Swinfield, Christopher Taylor, Maurice Taylor, Clare Torry, John Underwood, Ronnie Verrell, Jeffrey Wakefield, Donald Weeks, John Willison, Roy Willox and George Hamer (contractor)

Kings Comment

Side One:

Side Two:


This is how the curious pairing of Albert Finney and Motown Records came about:

One evening in 1975 after rehearsals at the Royal Court Theatre (I’d provided some recorded music for Albert’s production of Joe Orton’s “LOOT”) Albert asked what I thought about the idea of his making a record. I was intrigued, and a few days later took him into a studio to record him singing a couple of standards so we could hear what he sounded like. The overall result was pretty good. He then told me that he would want the album to be original material and asked would I be interested in writing it with him.

Six months later, having made time between our other projects, we’d completed twelve songs. They were for the most part autobiographical, starting with Albert’s life growing up in Salford during the war. We’d shared a similar childhood and I found his lyrics not only well-constructed but truthful.

After recording the album we placed it in the hands of my music publisher, David Platz, who was wildly excited about the project and within a few weeks rang me to say he’d done a deal.

“Who with?” I said.

“Are you sitting down?” he said. “Motown!”

I burst out laughing, as did Albert when I told him a few minutes later. As far as we knew, Albert was the only white artist on their label. Motown, however, was convinced it would be a smash and promptly sent us on a six week first class promotional tour throughout the States. Richard Harris had just had a massive international hit with “MacArthur Park” from his album “A Tramp Shining” and perhaps Motown envisaged a similar success with Mr. Finney.

Alas, this was not to be. But both our mothers liked it.   Denis King

Fact of the Day
In the early 60s a young unknown band called The Beatles came to see The King Bros at the Liverpool Empire, asked for their autographs, and invited them to a party, which Denis couldn't be bothered to attend and is still kicking himself.
Listening Post
Rainbow's End - Doris Day Vocal