Thursday, April 24, 2008

No I'm Not That Guy From Eurythmics!

David Lloyd Stewart, known to his mates as Dave, honed his music craft during the 70s as a keyboardist with various prog-rock bands in the U.K. working with the likes of Steve Hillage and Bill Bruford. In 1981 he took his first step toward a solo career when he recruited the vocal talents of Colin Blunstone (ex of 60s group The Zombies) and released a very contemporary synth version of Jimmy Ruffins classic 'What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted'. I first discovered the song via its inclusion on the compilation '1981 Over The Top' and I worked my cassette copy to breaking point playing, rewinding and playing the track over and over. The song reached #34 in Australia and a more impressive #13 in Britain.

Stewart followed up this initial success by combining his arranging talents with Barbara Gaskin on a severely reworked, but ultimately inspired, version of 'It's My Party', the old Lesley Gore hit from 1963. The song rocketed to #1 in the U.K. late in 1981, spending 4 weeks on top of the hit heap. The song climbed to #4 in Australia and even snuck a peak inside the U.S. Billboard chart reaching #72. Stewart scored two more minor hits in the U.K. but couldn't match his initial success.

Dave Stewart has continued to work in the music biz, lending his playing talents to several touring outfits and even writing a number of books and articles on music theory. I'm not sure if Dave Stewart knew or worked with his namesake David A. Stewart, he of Eurythmics fame, but it's a fair bet he was on the wrong end of a case of mistaken identity more than once.
You can have a listen to Stewart's very atmospheric version of 'What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted' here:Check out the promo clip for his version of 'It's My Party', featuring vocalist Barbara Gaskin and a surprise cameo from none other than fellow synth-guru Thomas Dolby (see earlier post) as Judy's heartthrob Johnny:

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