Jigsaw (British band)

Jigsaw was an English pop music group, fronted by the singer-songwriter duo of Clive Scott and Des Dyer. In Australia, the group was called "British Jigsaw" due to the existence of a local band of the same name.

Jigsaw
Jigsaw in Japan during their 1976 tour
Jigsaw in Japan during their 1976 tour
Background information
OriginCoventry and Rugby, England[1]
GenresPop, pop rock, soft rock, disco
Years active1966–1981
Past membersTony Campbell
Clive Scott
Des Dyer
Barrie Bernard
Kevin Mahon

Early daysEdit

Formed as a six-piece in Coventry and Rugby in 1966,[1] Jigsaw's original line-up consisted of Dave "Biffo" Beech (vocals and drums), Clive Scott (keyboards and vocals), Barrie Bernard (bass guitar), Tony Campbell (guitar), Tony Britnell (saxophone) and Kevin "Beppy" Mahon (tenor saxophone). In 1967, Beech was replaced by Des Dyer on drums, who also took over lead vocals.[2]

Campbell named the band after a Manchester nightclub called "The Jigsaw Club",[3] but the way that he 'pieced together' the band from other members of existing groups also gave added aptness to the name. Previously, Scott had been in a band named Scott and The Antarctics;[3] Dyer had played in Rugby's Surf Siders and Clockwork Shoppe; Campbell, Mahon and Beech had worked together in The Mighty Avengers; Bernard had been a member of Pinkerton's Assorted Colours, whilst Britnell had worked with The Fortunes.[2][4]

In 1970, the group were given the opportunity of turning fully professional by being the backing band for Arthur Conley, on his European tour. Most of the band took the opportunity, but Kevin Mahon declined, and soon left the band.[1] In 1974, Tony Britnell became seriously ill and left the band.[citation needed] Soon enough, the band had been reduced to a four-piece act.[3]

On stage, Jigsaw were a wild rock band who had a high energy live show; drum kits were set on fire, explosions were set off as an effect, Tony Britnell performed fire-eating and Clive Scott would make his Marshall stack explode and disintegrate.[citation needed]

Jigsaw's arrangement of the Johann Sebastian Bach tune, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring was featured on their 1970 debut album Letherslade Farm.[1]

The group gave credit to their producer and manager, Chas Peate, for inspiration to get songs completed. As Jigsaw toured a lot, Scott and Dyer would write snippets of songs separately in their spare time, but, as Dyer said in an interview in the 1990s, "it was Chas who would say we're recording an album soon, you'll need 10 songs by then". The two would then combine their work together for the planned recording sessions.[citation needed]

Change in musical direction and commercial successEdit

During the early 1970s, Scott and Dyer, the main songwriters for Jigsaw, had a hit song with "Who Do You Think You Are", recorded by the UK band Candlewick Green in 1974. The song was later covered in the U.S. by Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods, this version making the U.S. charts, and again in 1993 by Saint Etienne. Later the same year, the song appeared on Jigsaw's own 1974 album I’ve Seen The Film, I’ve Read The Book. However, the band's own single from the album "You’re Not The Only Girl" was not a chart success. Early in 1975, the single "Baby Don't Do It" received heavy airplay on the UK service of Radio Luxembourg, but the record was not a hit and the band were soon dropped by their recording label, BASF.[citation needed]

 
Jigsaw on the Dutch TV programme TopPop on 20 January 1975.

Wanting to carry on, the group continued to make music and signed a new deal with independent UK label Splash, which was founded by Chas Peate himself. Their first single for their new label, titled "Sky High", was recorded for the film The Man from Hong Kong, a 1975 martial-arts action movie starring George Lazenby. Splash pressed a couple of hundred promotional copies and reaction to the song was good, especially from Radio Luxembourg which began playing the song with high rotation during its nightly English pop music broadcasts to the UK. "Sky High" subsequently made the UK Top 10 in November 1975. The recording was licensed to Chelsea Records in the United States where it reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and to No. 2 Adult Contemporary. The song was also No. 1 in Japan. A famous Mexican wrestler, Mil Máscaras, used "Sky High" as his theme tune. He would walk to the ring with the song playing in the background, and his popularity in Japan helped "Sky High" to become a hit twice over in that country in consecutive years.[citation needed]

The Sky High album also sold well too, especially in Japan. The next single "Love Fire" was another hit, although not in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, "Love Fire" was followed by two new albums, one for the British market called Pieces of Magic and a self-titled record for the American market.[citation needed]

In 1977, the band recorded an album Journey into Space in Los Angeles. Years later, Clive Scott revealed in an interview that the record label 20th Century Records paid for the band to fly out to make the album, paid for their accommodation, and gave them cash advances (or, as Scott called it, "pocket money") to live off for three months while making the record. The album was produced by Rick Jarrard who was the producer of Jose Feliciano and the person responsible for putting together Elvis Presley's Las Vegas band. However, the album was never released outside of Japan, much to the frustration of the group.[citation needed]

Jigsaw returned to Britain and scored another hit with the single "If I Have To Go Away", after which they recorded ten original songs for the film Home Before Midnight, which all later released on a soundtrack album of the same name.[citation needed]

Bernard left the band in 1978 and was replaced by Jon Fox. Campbell also left the band in 1979 and was replaced by Rod Godwin. The band ceased touring in 1981 but Scott and Dyer continued to record using Tim Stone on guitar and Pete Dennis on bass. This new group lineup recorded one album for Elektra. The album, a disco influenced set (that was never released in the United Kingdom) was issued in the United States the following year. A final single under the Jigsaw name was released by Splash in early 1983 called "Love Isn't at Home".[citation needed]

Post-breakupEdit

Following Jigsaw's dissolution, Scott and Dyer continued to be successful songwriters, having their work recorded by Nicki French, Bad Boys Inc, Boyzone, Jon Otis, Bobby Rydell, and many others. After leaving his music career behind when he quit Jigsaw in 1979, Tony Campbell went back to his first occupation, ophthalmic engineering. He had a family. One of his daughters created and manages the Royal Academy of Dance dance school in Rugby, Warwickshire. Barrie Bernard continued to work in the entertainment business, running night clubs and being an active magician. Though no new studio albums have been issued, eight newly recorded songs were included on a 1995 compilation CD, entitled The Best of Jigsaw, just one of the collections of their music released.[citation needed]

Des Dyer has twice attempted to represent the UK at Eurovision, taking part in the 1983 and 1985 A Song For Europe competitions. In 1983, he placed third as lead singer of the group Casablanca with the song "With Love". Two years later, as a soloist, he took "Energy" to fourth place. The song from 1985, "Energy", was reworked to become the album track "Voice of America" and sung by Nicki French for her first studio album "Secrets". In 1988, Dyer provided backing vocals at the Eurovision final alongside Julie Forsyth and Dominic Grant, both formerly of Guys 'n' Dolls, for the UK entry performed by Scott Fitzgerald, "Go". This song placed second in the contest held in Dublin on 30 April. The UK lost by one point to Celine Dion, representing Switzerland with "Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi" (Don't Leave Without Me).[citation needed]

Despite their lack of success on UK charts, the group lasted a long time and were big stars in Japan, as well as having four Billboard Hot 100 hit singles in the U.S.[citation needed] The sleeve notes to their 1998 Greatest Hits collection, The Very Best of Jigsaw stated "A look at Jigsaw's songs reveals the innovative work of its creators: the advanced song structure, the clever use of classical techniques like counterpoint and a novel approach to using sound effects – leaving the listener with a sadly-overlooked-but-very-impressive catalogue of melodic pop songs".

Founding member Clive Scott died on 10 May 2009.[5] He had an accident at home two weeks earlier and never recovered, despite having brain surgery. He was 64 years old and is survived by his widow and son.[6]

Selected discographyEdit

AlbumsEdit

  • Letherslade Farm (1970) Philips
  • Aurora Borealis (1972) Philips
  • Broken Hearted (1973) BASF
  • I've Seen the Film, I've Read the Book (1974) BASF
  • Sky High (1975) Splash/Chelsea – AUS No. 93[7] U.S. No. 55 (track listing differed from country to country)
  • Pieces of Magic (1977) Splash/EMI [UK release]
  • Jigsaw (1977) 20th Century [US release]
  • Journey into Space (1978) Splash/EMI [first release on vinyl in 2006 in Japan only]
  • Jigsaw (1981) Elektra [US release] (completely different track listing than 1977 LP of the same name)
  • The Best of Jigsaw (1978) Splash [Sweden release] LP only
  • The Best of Jigsaw (1995) (included new recordings) CD (different track listing than 1978 LP of the same name)

SinglesEdit

  • "Let Me Go Home c/w Tumblin" (1968)
  • "One Way Street" (1968)
  • "Mister Job" (1970)
  • "Keeping My Head Above Water" (1971)
  • "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" (1971)
  • "That's What It's All About" (1973)
  • "Lollipop and Goody Man" (1974)
  • "I've Seen the Film, I've Read the Book" (1974)
  • "You're Not the Only Girl" (1974)
  • "Sky High" (1975) – UK No. 9, U.S. No. 3, AUS No. 3[7]
  • "Brand New Love Affair (1976) (originally the B-side to "Sky High") – U.S. No. 66
  • "Baby Don't Do It" (1975)
  • "Love Fire" (1976) – U.S. No. 30, AUS No. 96[7]
  • "Cry 'Til the Tears Run Dry" (1976)
  • "If I Have to Go Away" (1977) – UK No. 36, U.S. No. 93
  • "Only When I'm Lonely" (1977)
  • "Everytime" (1978)
  • "Looking for Me" (1979)
  • "You Bring Out the Best in Me" (1980)
  • "Prizefighter" (1980)
  • "I" (1980)
  • "No Love Songs" (1981)
  • "Love Isn't at Home" (1983)
  • "Let's Not Say Goodbye" (1988)
  • "Skyhigh" (remake) (1989)
  • "Strategy" (1989)
  • "Angels and Heroes" (2020)

[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Rodger, James. "Flashback: Remembering Coventry band Jigsaw".
  2. ^ a b Chambers, Pete (7 July 2020). "Jigsaw". The Coventry Music Museum. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Perrone, Pierre (23 October 2011). "Clive Scott: Keyboard-player, singer and songwriter with the Seventies pop group Jigsaw". Archived from the original on 6 September 2017.
  4. ^ "'JIG' TO THE TOP". Broadgate Gnome. 1968. Archived from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2021. Local fans may already know Tony Campbell and Kevin Mahon as ex-members of the Mighty Avengers. Not forgetting Barry [sic] Bernard, who once played with Pinkertons [sic] Assorted Colours, and Tony Britnel [sic], who was with the Fortunes.
  5. ^ Deadrockstarsclub.com – accessed May 2009
  6. ^ Davedubrow.com – accessed May 2009 Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 46. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 283. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External linksEdit