Tarney Spencer Band - No Time to
Lose, from "Run for your Life'',
released in 1979, the third album
from this very talented US duo.
and Trevor Spencer (drums) have
serious pedigrees, either
collectively or individually.
Tarney has either worked with or
produced albums by Aha, Barbara
Dickson, Cliff Richard, Hank
Marvin, Rogue and others. Spencer
has worked with Hank Marvin, Sally
Oldfield, John Cooper Clarke and
Rogue, just to name a few. As a
duo, they're probably best known
for their hit "Takin' me back",
but that was just one of a number
of excellent tracks penned by
these great musicians. They
released their self-titled debut
album on Bradleys Records in 1976
and then signed to A & M Records,
for whom they recorded their final
two albums. It's not known if any
of their albums are available on
CD at this stage, although it's
very possible that they've been
released on Japanese pressings.
Here is a very good review on
Alan Tarney and Trevor Spencer
Alan played bass guitar with The
Shadows from 1973 to 1977 both in
studio or live, covering 4 major
albums "Rockin with curly leads";
"Specs appeal"; Live at Paris
Olympia"; and "Tasty" with John
Farrar. Alan played bass and piano
for The Shadows during the BBC
Eurovision song contest preliminary
rounds and final round
Alan was born in Cumberland in the
UK. His family emigrated to
Adelaide, Australia where he spent
his teens. He saw the Shadows and
Cliff down under in 1961 and was
mesmerised by those red guitars.
That night was to have been probably
the biggest influence on his life.
He joined a local band lead by Glen
Shorrock who later formed The Little
River Band and at the same time was
improving his musical skills in
guitar, bass and keyboards. He also
played with Terry Broom and The
Handels where he met Trevor Spencer.
Alan and Trevor came to England in
1969 and met up with John Farrar,
Cliff's producer Dave McKay and
Cliff's manager Peter Gormley
(Australian). In England they formed
the band Quartet with Kevin Peek and
Terry Britten, did 2 singles and
then broke up. Meanwhile they were
also doing tons of session work for
Cliff, Marvin Welch and Farrar,
Livvy, The New Seekers, The
Drifters, The Real Thing, Bonnie
Tyler (Alan is on lead guitar on
"Lost in France") in the early
Alan and Trevor gigged regularly
with Cliff throught the 1970's (eg
the "Cliff Live in Japan 1972"
album). Along with John Farrar, they
also backed him live on Eurovision
"Power to all our friends" in 1973.
( A little known fact that Alan T
and John F are the only 2 Shadows to
do 3 consecutive Eurovision song
contests Cliff '73; Livvy '74; Shads
In 1976 Alan and Trevor made the
"Tarney and Spencer" album on
Bradleys records and 3 singles off
it. This album is largely accoustic
based material a lot of which was
recycled to Cliff and Leo. Later
they signed to A&M records with a 10
In 1978 they recorded the "Three's a
crowd" album in California with
producer David Kershenbaum. They
stayed with John and Pat Farrar. The
album included guest vocals From The
Climax Blues Band. This album is
very much more uptempo compared to
the 1st album. Much more AOR on the
more tuneful/poppy side and again
some material was recycled for
others later on.
In 1979 they recorded "Run for your
life" album again with David
Kershenbaum as producer. This last
T/S band album has a much harder AOR
sound with Alan on full throttle on
lead guitar with plenty of
blistering guitar solos.1979 also
saw Alan and Trevor record their
last T/S Band single "Cathys clown"
with Bruce producing. This got loads
of airplay and a minor chart
placing. Subsequently they were
released from their A&M contract by
mutual agreement. Cathys clown
single has many elements found on We
dont talk anymore. Also, on the
album "Where to now" recorded with
Charlie Dore (with co-producer
Bruce) Alan developed the
distinctive "Tarney sound" which was
to lead to greater success with
Cliff, Leo Sayer and Barbara
Dickson. 2 hit singles followed
"Pilot of the airwaves" and "Fear of
flying" on Island Records
A major next big turning point was
the "We dont talk anymore" session
with Bruce producing which became
Cliff's greatest hit of his
rejuvinated career. At this point
Alan replaced Bruce as Cliff's no 1
choice of producer for a while
including 2 more big selling albums
with Cliff "Always Guaranteed" and
"Stronger" and more giant hits inc
"Some people" etc.
Trevor was to dapart from the UK to
return to his native Australia to
Perth to ultimately set up the
Sh-boom studios with Gary Taylor and
Alan, who continues to work
occasionally at RGJones studios in
London, lives with wife Adele and
daughter Mia in Richmond near Ham
Common (not a million miles away
from Bruce, also in Richmond, and
self-proclaimed Shadows no1 pest
(well-meaning), Allister in
Trevor continues to work in Perth
doing radio jingles and Hank
unplugged CDs at the Sh-Boom
Terry Britten continues as a
producer eg Tina Turner
Kevin Peek had a long and successful
career with Sky with John Williams,
Tristram Fry, Herbie Flowers and
Francis Monkman. He is currently
studying for a Maths degree to be a
1.Tarney & Spencer "Tarney &
Spencer" Bradleys UK 1976
LP-Brad1011 & TC-ZCBRA1011
2.Tarney/Spencer Band "Threes a
crowd" A&M UK 1978 LP-AMLH68466 &
3.Tarney/Spencer Band "Run for your
life" A&M UK 1979 LP-AMLH64757 &
4.Tarney/Spencer band "Run for your
life" A&M Germany CD-840002
(Paperback book sleeve)
LP 1 only released in UK. Master
tapes badly decomposed/unusable with
Castle Communications plc, 29
Barwell Business Park, Leatherhead
Road, Chessington, Surrey. Castle
owns rights to Pye/Bradleys: LP1.
LP2/LP3 released in UK, USA, Europe,
Australia. LP2 sleeve in USA shaped
like a menu card in US cafe style
with rounded corners. LP3 sleeve
released in UK had red motor car
with running woman's heel/stilleto
shoe. LP3 USA/Euro sleeve had
paperback books but there were 3/4
different versions - green, red,
yellow, silver logo of
Only LP3 reissued on CD in Germany.
1500 copies pressed/1992/3.
LP1 recorded in London. LP2/LP3
recorded in USA california. Alan and
Trevor stayed at John Farrar's home
for duration of recording sessions.
Climax Blues Band guested vocals on
LP2. LP2/LP3 prod by David
LP1 would have to be dubbed from
disc for CD reissue. LP2/LP3 worth
full 24bit digital remastering for
LP2/LP3 master tapes in USA with
I'm your man Rock n roll/Gunslinger
If you knew/It's really you Bradleys
I can hear love (edit version)/The
real thing Bradleys BRAD7615
Takin me back/Set the minstrel free
Easier for you/magic still runs...
It's really you/Bye bye my sweet
love A&M AMS7386
No time to lose/Live again A&M
Cathys clown/Anthing I can do A&M
AMS7485 (pic sleeve)
Three's a crowd flexi disc 33.3 rpm
LP1: I can hear love (full length
vers)/Need youre lovin' (oh so
bad)/Sea of heartbreak/It's really
you/I'm your man rock n roll/Give me
love your way/Got to breakaway/Me
mine/We'll belive in loving/Rock n
roll hall of fame/Hey Mr Dream
Maker/You'll never know how
beautiful you are. (TC sequence of
tracks different to LP sequence on
LP2: Bye bye my sweet love/Takin me
back/It's really you/We belive in
love/Maybe I'm right/I can hear
love/Set the minstrel free/Magic
still runs through your head/capital
shame/easier for you.
LP3: No time to lose/The race is
almost run/Won'tcha tell me/Live
agin/Run for your life/Don't/Far
better man/Lies/A heart will break
They signed a 10 album contract with
A&M records but this was terminated
suddenly after the Cathys Clown
single.Alan Tarney contactable via
RGJones (studios), Wimbledon,
Trevor Spencer contactable via
SH-Boom (studios), Tiverton Rd,
Northbridge, Perth, West Australia.
One TOTP appearance with "I'm your
man rock n roll". 1976.
Alan Tarney Production credits:
Charlie Dore "Where to now" LP (+B
Welch prod). backing 7 tracks
Barbara Dickson "The Barbara Dickson
album" LP. backing by T/S Band.
Barbara Dickson "You know it's me"
LP. backing by T/S Band.
Leo Sayer "Living in a fanasy" LP.
backing by T/S Band.
David Cassidy "Romance" LP. backing
by T/S Band.
Leo Sayer "Cool Touch" LP.
Cliff Richard "I'm no hero" LP.
backing by T/S Band.
Cliff Richard "Wired for sound" LP.
backing by T/S Band.
Cliff Richard "Always guaranteed" LP
Cliff Richard "Stronger" LP.
Aha "Hunting high and low" LP
Aha "Stay on these roads" LP
Aha "Scoundrell days" LP
Many big hit singles for Aha, Cliff,
B.Dickson eg "Take on me", "We don't
talk anymore", "January February".
Also, prod. non-LP singles for
Squeeze "Annie get your gun",
Bowwowwow, Leo Sayer.
Also, plays guitar solo in "Lost in
France" by B.Tyler.
Also, several songwriting credits eg
Living in harmony - cliff, marmaduke
and others - shads/mwf
Also, studio sessions on LP's for
Olivia Newton-John, Cliff Richard,
Bonnie Tyler, The Drifters, New
Alan & Trevor on the Cliff Live in
Japan 72 album with Hank, John,
have any contribution to make to
this band or something to add,
email me - Japie Marais.
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