Picture This – Take That and Dave Lee
Dave Lee, producer, label-owner, artist and DJ, with Take That and Andrew Livingstone at a recording studio in Primrose Hill, North London in 1993.
This photo was taken on the last day of several sessions I did with my ex-partner Andrew Livingstone and Take That at Unit 3 Studio in Primrose Hill, North London, in 1993. The studio is now a gym.
We produced two songs for Take That’s Everything Changes album after a television researcher I knew back then called Damien Mendez had a meeting with the group’s A&R Nick Raymond. From what I recall Nick’s words to Damien were ‘I want Take That to make some disco records’, and my name had been suggested.
I met up with Nick and he gave me a rough demo of a Gary Barlow song called The Meaning of Love, which we ended up producing. I also suggested covering Dan Hartman’s Relight my Fire, which had never been a pop hit in the UK but had become an end-of-the-night anthem in the cooler clubs of the rave era. I thought it would be a great choice for a pop act.
The first version we delivered of the song had Robbie singing the lead vocal, which the label wasn’t happy with. So we had the guys back in and Gary re-sang it. It was also at this point that Lulu’s vocals were added. She had the same management as Take That, but to us seemed like a strange choice for the Loleatta Holloway parts. But I’m happy to say she did a great job and was very fast to boot.
After a few years of making dance music it was interesting to produce a mainstream act with a major label marketing machine behind it. Within a couple of weeks of delivery I was hearing it all over the place, in the news agent, coming out of cars and on TV.
I’ve been pleased to watch Take That mature into a British institution that are still having hits today with quality pop songs.
One of the most successful House music producers in the UK, Dave Lee (far left) is behind some of our favourite dance tracks. Under his main pseudonym Joey Negro, he’s topped dance charts around the globe with his pioneering disco-house productions. Dave has tasted pop success under the moniker Jakatta with the top ten hits American Dream, So Lonely and My Vision. He has worked with everyone from Mariah Carey to Seal. www.joeynegro.com