1 January 2017

Peter Franc - I'll Move Along/ Song For Every Season

Label: Dawn
Year of Release: 1972

Here's a quick burst of sunshine to cut through that nasty New Year's Day hangover.  "I'll Move Along" is a piece of acoustically driven upbeat folk rock which heavily resembles the more bouyant work of cult psychedelic figure Nick Garrie. Peppy and sugary, but knowing just where to draw the line so it doesn't become too overbearing, it's a lovely and incredibly well produced piece of work which will have many of you reaching for the Alka Seltzer with a bit more of a spring in your steps.

But who was the mysterious Peter Franc? It would seem that he was none other than Peter Pye, the Walthamstow-born rhythm guitarist who replaced Martin Murray in The Honeycombs when that man left the group at the end of 1964. Regrettably, Peter joined the band long after "Have I The Right?" topped the charts and therefore didn't create as much of an impression in the public's mind as his predecessor. 

It's not altogether clear why he chose to rename himself Peter Franc to launch his solo career in the seventies - it might have been to distance himself from his sixties career, or even to draw a distinction between himself and the label he was coincidentally signed to. Unlike his work with The Honeycombs, this was much more adult orientated fare, and by signing him to their progressive Dawn imprint, Pye Records were clearly hoping he could shift some serious hippy units. While many previous sixties stars tried to move into bubblegum pop or glam rock, Franc's aspirations clearly lay in being a serious singer-songwriter. 

The label seemed to have some considerable faith in him. Two singles followed this one ("Ballad of the Superstar" and "Flag of Convenience") and two LPs, "Profile" and "En Route". Neither really broke through in any big way, and by 1975 he had been dropped and seems to have disappeared from the music scene not long afterwards. 


Arthur Nibble said...

Interesting. The 45Cat website states this Dawn single was released in March 1973, the B-side having been released or slated for release as an A-side on Island's Blue Mountain imprint in May 1972 with songwriting credits under Peter Pye's real name. A bit of contractual red tape in the background, perchance?

23 Daves said...

Mmm - could well be! Thanks for pointing that out, Arthur.

Blue Mountain was a funny old label as well, an imprint of Island which ultimately didn't seem wildly different from the main label in the end.