After six months of winning over audiences King had become a powerful live musical force.

CBS records newest A&R recruit, Gordon Charlton, was a keen supporter and regular attendee of the group’s shows. Convinced of the bands pop potential Charlton persuaded Columbia to sign King and the late summer of 1983 found the band demo-ing their stage set and looking for a producer to help translate their live appeal onto vinyl.


On stage King were confident that they could get a crowd moving but making records for the dance floor was something different.Groundbreaking tracks such as New Orders 'Blue Monday' and Trevor Horns Frankie Goes to Hollywood productions had marked an evolution in the sound palate of groups. As guitar bands mixed with drum machines and samplers King were looking for a technology savvy producer who understood how to make vibrant pop records aimed at the clubs. In Richard James Burgess they believed they'd found their man.


Richard Burgess was a native New Zealander and drummer who'd enjoyed chart success with the electronica leaning band Landscape. A regular on the New Romantic club scene, Richard’s programming skills with the fledgling drum and synth technologies had attracted Spandau Ballet to seek his talents for their earliest club oriented hits.


January 1984 found King and Richard Burgess in Soho's Trident Studios the location of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust sessions and the majority of Queens classic 70's recordings.

Over three days the group taped and mixed 'Love & Pride' along with two b-side tracks but the recording session didn’t run smoothly.

01 R Burgess - jp
02 R Burgess - jp
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In 1984 the industry was infatuated with the concept of ‘rock solid time’. Dance music over the decades has always depended on solid rhythm but the arrival of the drum machine had exposed how many drummers were actually prone to slowing down or speeding up across a performance.

In today's pro-tools age this issue for any live recording drummer is less problematic but following the previous summers demo session CBS had expressed concerns about 'Stonkies' musical time keeping.

The January session had seen one full day out of their allocated two day recording time spent just on the drums with the singles producer determined to get 'Love & Pride' into a rock solid rhythm.

In the end a lot of tape editing achieved Burgess's vision however CBS were now vindicated in their concerns.

The label saw Kings drummer as a problem and they wanted this addressed before any further investment in costly recording time.


In Spring 84 King's first single 'Love & Pride' was released and barely scraped the UK's top 80. Sessions for the their debut album commenced at the Manor Studios in Oxfordshire with Richard Burgess producing and also playing drums whilst the group recruited the former Members sticks man Adrian Lillywhite to join them on tour for their support slot with Fashion.

05 love and Pride LP

Now three drummers into their history Adrian, an experienced session player and brother of U2 producer Steve Lillywhite, was to remain a permanent part of the King performing set up. Over the next 2 years he would tour and record with the group but would never feature as a member of King in any promotional photo or videos.


In the charts that summer the bands 2nd single 'Soul on My Boots' faired no better than its predecessor and 'Won't You Hold My Hand Now' was being lined up as the groups 3rd single to follow the planned August release of their 'Steps In Time' Album.


Radio stations had so far failed to fall for Kings charm so despite good reviews, growing audiences and larger venues, CBS were struggling to get the band heard by a wider audience.


Columbia records were never very convincing on how best to work their multi-tone investment. Ironically confusion over what kind of band they had signed and how best to develop them was to become an even bigger issue once King's records actually started to sell.


However come November the hard work was beginning to pay off. The band was invited to appear live on the UK's premier music television program The Tube. With nearly two years of performance experience under their belts King delivered a blistering set and immediately established their credentials as a band on the rise. Their second piece of good fortune was an invitation to join Culture Club as support act for their UK arena tour in December.

08 Boy George & King

For Columbia this support tour was a last act of commitment to its King investment and to tie in with this activity CBS also bowed to the bands pressure and agreed to reissue 'Love & Pride' as a single.

Guaranteed to get the house moving 'Love & Pride' had become a stand out track in their live set and King believed the time was now right for it to reach its full potential.


The Culture Club dates were a great success and that Christmas The Tube transmitted two more songs from Kings live session by viewer request. For the first time radio was now taking notice and as the New Year began with 'Love & Pride' picking up healthy airplay the signs were looking good for a top 40 hit.

07 NK LP
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