Song of the day: The Tarney/Spencer Band – "No Time To Lose"

December 28, 2010

I’m afraid that today I’m going to engage in a bit of shameless name-dropping.

When I was growing up, I lived on the same street two houses away from a member of The Tarney/Spencer Band – The Alan Tarney part to be precise.

Alan and his family had emigrated from England to South Australia when he was kiddy and moved in to the same street as us. As he was (and still is, presumably) 16 years older than me, we never played together. Compounding the I-didn’t-get-to-play-with-Alan situation was his decision to move back to England in 1969 to follow his dream of making it in the music industry there. A couple of years earlier, Alan had met fellow South Australian Trevor Spencer in a local band called Johnny Broome and The Handels (and I thought that my puns were groan-worthy). After playing around town and eventually not getting very very far, Alan and Trevor both decided on the move to England. When they got there, they formed a band, recorded a couple of things that did nothing on the charts, and ended up as session musicians. They did some session work for The Shadows, and Alan joined that band as their bass player in 1973. (He stayed with them until 1977.) In 1975 Alan and Trevor formed a duo called Tarney and Spencer which became The Tarney/Spencer Band (when they signed with A&M).

The Tarney/Spencer Band (don’t worry – you will get to hear a song today) recorded three albums, none of which set the charts ablaze, so the band/partnership sort of just fizzled out. When the band went pffft, Alan and Trevor went their separate ways, with Trevor becoming a producer. Alan stayed in England as a session dude, playing guitar and/or bass, and ended up doing session work for a gaggle of English artists (which makes sense, considering that’s where he was). The most well-known is Cliff Richard, and Alan was a rather large contributing factor in resurrecting Cliff’s ailing career in the late 1970’s. Alan wrote (and played on) Cliff’s comeback single “We Don’t Talk Anymore” (1979). Incidentally, ex-next-door-neighbour Alan also co-wrote, arranged, produced, and played on Cliff’s “Wired For Sound” (1981), a song I adore.

I don’t know how interested you are in any of this. (You may just want to hear today’s song and don’t care about the people who made it.)

As far as I know, Alan’s still playing and producing English musicians.

Oh, by the way: in addition to English musicians, Alan has also produced the occasional international artiste. The ex-next-door-neighbour-I-never-played-with produced a-ha‘s “Take On Me“. (Yes, really.) And Alan produced a-ha’s other big hit, “The Sun Always Shines On T.V.” as well.

So, with all of that information out of way, here’s today’s song:

The Tarney/Spencer Band – “No Time To Lose” (1979)

Video (Embedding disabled. Grrr.)

“No Time To Lose” appears on the band’s third (and last) album, Run For Your Life (1979).

I had never noticed it until now, but that song reminds me of (Rumours-era) Fleetwood Mac.

As a bonus, here’s another song from Run For Your Life that sounds even more like Fleetwood Mac – and I like it:

The Tarney/Spencer Band – “Won’tcha Tell Me” (1979)


I’ll try to make tomorrow’s post a little shorter.