Perhaps his recent outing as Robbie Williams’s bassist reignited Trevor Horn’s desire to get back to the front-of-house role mega-million-selling producer previously enjoyed with Yes and Buggles.
The Producers – also featuring Horn’s old studio associate and fellow knob twiddler Stephen Lipson, ex-10cc/Art Of Noise man Lol Creme and star session drummer Ash Soan – have actually been nurtured over five years, first as an occasional live act, before entering the studio.
The unhurried gestation and formidable sonic background of all participants has resulted in some plush, sumptuously layered soundscapes. Given the rewards that success has brought their way, it’s unsurprising that the songs on the album brim with visions of the good life – the immaculate lullaby Garden Of Flowers, showcasing soaring guitar and high-flown harmonies, is a prime example. Man On The Moon is a dream idyll to stand beside 10cc’s I’m Mandy Fly Me, and the prog-engendered Barking Up The Right Tree negotiates tricky time signatures with flair and panache.
Forestalling ‘the cabaret has taken over’ refrain on Watching You Out There, Made In Basing Street is polished-to-perfection elegance. And although it lacks the central character that a lead singer might lend, the show of excellence is undeniable.