Scouse Pop - Paul Skillen

Scouse Pop - Paul Skillen

Some Aspects of the Music Industry in Liverpool

Scouse Pop - Paul Skillen

Paul Skillen [+-]
University of Chester
Paul Skillen works as Programme Leader in Education Studies at University of Chester. He has recently published a chapter in Social Theory and Educational Research (Routledge, April 2013). Alongside working in Education, Paul has also maintained a passion for Liverpool music. In the late seventies and early eighties Paul wrote articles for the fanzine Merseysound edited by Radio Merseyside’s Roger Hill. He reviewed and interviewed many local bands. Paul developed an in-depth knowledge of the local music scene during this time and saw the rise of many of the local bands to national and international success. The knowledge came to good use when in 1985 he travelled to Frankfurt to help Klaus Schwartze compile the legendary two-volume ‘Scouse Phenomenon’ a book of family trees which outlined the incestuous web of musicians who were the Liverpool music scene of the time and archived their reviews and releases. Paul was also involved in his own recording career with his band This Final Frame, releasing records in UK and Europe as well as achieving great popularity in the Philippines where This Final Frame still release albums on Universal Records. This Final Frame receives national and international radio play and have made television appearances.


This chapter deals with how the diverse ideas produced by the musical auteurs of Liverpool became the successful singles and albums of the eighties. The effect of the music industry through record labels and tour promoters as well as the support from the DJs in both local and national radio stations in promoting Liverpool’s new crop of bands reveals how the music became the soundtrack to the eighties. The journey taken by the bands to achieve the success is revealed in a mixture of hard work, stubborn personalities, genuine talent along with a sprinkling of good luck, opportunism and timing. The bands arrived at their success through a variety of routes. With A Flock of Seagulls, Ali Score describes how their tour management were pivotal to their worldwide success and how this made huge demands on the band. The biggest thing was that we worked hard. We played every night. We played 120 shows in a row in the States, night after night. We were determined that they were going to like us whether they wanted to or not. It was sheer hard work and bloody mindedness. The chapter will also examine how other bands such as China Crisis, OMD and The Christians were not prolific performers in their early days and used the record companies to promote their early tracks to become the classics of the eighties. Henry Priest man explains When we signed to Island Records, it was just me playing guitar, backing tracks on a porta studio and the lads singing in my flat in Liverpool. Gary kept forgetting some of the words so we wrote them in the dust on the mirror in the bedroom where we auditioned. Still in the suburban bedrooms of Merseyside, China Crisis recollect how initially they used the power of the radio stations rather than a live band to achieve their success. Even before some bands had a live act they were able to record, sign record deals and receive widespread radio play. Eddie Lundon remembers how DJ Janice Long made suggestions on selecting a single from the album which resulted in their first hit. “Janice Long at the time was always saying that Christian has got to be the single. It did us the world of good. The single and then the album went massive.”

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Skillen, Paul. Some Aspects of the Music Industry in Liverpool. Scouse Pop. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 111-149 Oct 2018. ISBN 9781781798935. Date accessed: 08 Dec 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.24086. Oct 2018

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