AFTER THE M.S. BAND
Lee Oliphant returned home to Canada to pick up on session and live work. Dave Morris went on to do session and live work in the UK. Dave Waite joined a theatre-company band in London. Marian initially concentrated on writing and started demoing songs with Julian Mendelsohn at Milner Sound Studio in Fulham.
At this point, Jeff Wayne (of War of The Worlds fame) adopted Marian into his production company with the intention of relaunching her career. Seeing the potential of Marian’s talent, he employed top session musicians and even British chart-topping soul outfit ‘The Real Thing’ to record a series of demos in 1976. Marian also worked with two studio bands for rehearsals and recording from 1976 to 1979 under the guidance of record producer Julian Mendelsohn (later, Pet Shop Boys). In 1979 Marian recorded 3 x master tracks for Jonathan Rowlands at Sarm East studios. These tracks were produced by Neil Harrison with Julian Mendelsohn engineering and Dave Mattocks on drums. Sadly, neither Jeff Wayne nor Julian Mendelsohn’s efforts managed to ignite interest and recordings made during this period were unreleased. The best of them can now be found on disc 3 of this set.
Marian carried on sporadically performing, recording demos and doing session work through the remainder of the 1980s and 1990s. She worked with several artists including Graeme Taylor (Gryphon/Albion Band/Home Service), Root Cartwright (Principal Edwards Magic Theatre), Julie Felix, with whom she played a few of her old folk club haunts.( They also played Glastonbury.) The Aldbrickham Band approached Marian to sing in the musical ‘Vincent’ (Vincent Van Gogh) written by John Whittaker and Alf Williams – this ran at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon. The Watermill Theatre in Newbury was frequented by Marian with the Albrickham Band, alongside other bookings through the 80s and 90s.
In 1980, Marian released a single under the name Marianne Chase on Double D Records with Dave Dee. In 1998 she was asked to write the music for an independent film release. This film track was recorded at ‘Cat Music Studio’, with Ian Catt, (Saint Etienne) and with whom Marian had recorded demos on quite a few occasions through the 80s and 90s. Then in 2002, a reissue label, Lightning Tree, tracked Marian down to her flat in Worthing by the Sea, and the subsequent reissue of the Jade album resulted in a one-off reunion of the entire band including Dave, Rod, Jimmy Litherland and John Wetton at the Tapestry Club in London in 2004.
Marian also collaborated with UK neo-Folk-Rock outfit Circulus, with whom she recorded her unreleased song ‘Swallow’ on their 2005 album The Lick of The Tip Of An Envelope Yet to Be Sent. Circulus, along with Root Cartwright and Bill Steer (of Napalm Death!), also backed Marian on her excellent 2007 solo album The Gathering (released as Marianne Segal), which was released on Marian’s own label Snow Beach. Managing to capture and update the same artistic spirit that enriched Jade’s debut, The Gathering was confirmation, if anyone needed it, of Marian’s special place in the pantheon of 1970s female vocalists and songwriters.
Her last published recording, the poignant interpretation of ‘The Water is Wide’ recorded with the Albrickham Band in 2013, is renewed evidence of the power of Marian’s voice. It also demonstrates that given the chance Marian remains capable of creating music as good as anything else in her career.
Jeff Wayne, who kindly assisted with this collection, sums up her music’s enduring appeal:
“I met Marian Segal in the mid-1970s and was immediately struck by her voice and songs. In my opinion, she was standing shoulder to shoulder with the best of the female singer-songwriters of that (or any) era. As a result, we worked together, me producing and arranging a number of her songs. While great success eluded Marian, the quality of her performances (live and on record) and her songs weren’t the reason – it was just the luck of the draw as can happen to artists from any musical genre. This 3CD set is an ideal collection of Marian’s output over what remains a long career, and perhaps will gain the attention across the mainstream of audiences she has always deserved. I’m so pleased to have worked with Marian Segal albeit for too short a period of time.”
Excerpts from: ‘No Sense of Time’ by Richard Allen June 2017
SLEEVE NOTES FOR ‘GYPSY GIRL’ - Archives 70s, 80s & 90s Volume 1
I was introduced to Marian in 1968 by Sandy Glennon, who was booking her gigs in folk clubs as a duo with Dave Waite. I was immediately struck by the beauty of her voice, the clear, unadulterated yet expressive tone. Although her roots were in folk music, Marian’s aspirations were broader. In 1970 I recorded the album Fly on Strangewings with her and Dave and Rod Edwards under the name of Jade. The album featured some of the top rock musicians and was essentially in the ‘folk rock’ genre. That recording displayed the breadth of her talent, not only as a singer but also as a burgeoning songwriter of melodic and deeply moving songs from her personal experience. Her talent was immediately appreciated, Melody Maker calling her songs ‘strange and beautiful’ and the album was seen as a ‘magical fusion of folk rock and pastoral arrangements’. She was stunning on stage and the camera loved her, as a series of appearances on the Rod McKuen show confirmed. Engagements at the bitter end in New York and The Troubadour in Los Angeles should have launched her career but it was not to be and by the end of 1972 Jade had disbanded and Marian and I went our separate ways. Almost 30 years later, Fly on Strange wings had achieved cult status and Mojo magazine had identified it as one of the top ten ‘folk rock’ albums. Although she was out of the public eye and unable to secure a recording contract, Marian had continued writing and recording, when she could. This collection of songs represents the first release of some of the songs Marian had written in the intermediate period and when we realise at once what a loss, she has been to the music industry. What is astonishing is that her voice has lost none of its power and appeal and it is impossible to say, from the vocal quality, which songs were recorded in the early ‘70s or the late ‘80s. On these recordings, Marian has had the benefit of talented musicians, engineers and producers but it is her talent that shines through. I can’t wait for volume two 2!”
Jon Miller 2010