Love and Money are a rock/soul/funk band formed in 1985 in Glasgow, Scotland. The band was formed by three former members of Friends Again (singer-songwriter and guitarist James Grant, drummer Stuart Kerr and keyboardist Paul McGeechan) along with bassist Bobby Paterson, who replaced Friends Again’s Neil Cunningham and who had been a member of Set The Tone, a band previously signed to Island Records in 1983.
In their initial nine years together they recorded four moderately successful albums, three of which were released in the United States, and had six chart hits in the United Kingdom.
Now given that I’ve long professed a huge amount of affection for the work of Friends Again, it really should follow that I’m a huge fan of Love and Money, but it never worked out that way.
I did try. I went along to loads of the early gigs which were enjoyable enough but in a scary reprise of what had happened with Friends Again when they signed with a major label, the production on many of the records left me cold. It was almost as if the label bosses had a pre-conceived ideas in their collective heads that Love and Money could obtain the same sort of pop audience that had been attracted to Wet Wet Wet. Some very fine songs were butchered in the studio, at great expense and with big-name producers in the chairs, and all to no avail as single after single failed to dent the higher echelons of the charts.
The strange this is that having turned my back on the band after 2 LPs that were just too clinically conceived for my liking, the band then delivered Dogs In The Traffic in 1991 which was very stripped-down and almost rootsy compared to previous efforts…..but I didn’t know that for about another 10 years when I picked up a very cheaply priced second-hand copy and gave it a listen. Since then….and again back to wiki:-
Love and Money’s fourth album, Littledeath (1993) was released independently on Iona Gold records and featured the single, Last Ship on the River. Due primarily to lack of promotion, Littledeath sold 25,000, around one tenth of the sales for Strange Kind of Love and the group were subsequently released from Mercury. Bassist Bobby Paterson had split from the band to form a career in bar management and did not feature on this album, Grant himself taking on bass duties. The remainder of the band went their separate ways in 1994, although they did regroup for one, seemingly final, gig at Glasgow Barrowland on 23 December 1994.
James Grant released his first solo album Sawdust in My Veins in 1998 and has released four further albums, My Thrawn Glory, I Shot The Albatross (a collection of poetry set to music), Holy Love, and Strange Flowers. The latter was released in February 2009 and Grant premiered the tracks at the Glasgow ABC venue as part of the 2009 Celtic Connections festival. He also scored the film, The Near Room and has collaborated with Capercaillie’s Karen Matheson, performing live and writing songs for her solo records.
Love and Money reformed ‘for one night only’ for a successful sell out show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of Celtic Connections 2011. They played the albums Strange Kind of Love and Dogs in the Traffic in their entireties and dedicated the song Walk The Last Mile to bassist Bobby Paterson, who had died in 2006. It was announced in March 2011 that the band would continue their reunion with a show at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow on 4 December 2011.
The band previewed its fifth studio album ‘The Devil’s Debt’ to a sold out show at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow on 5 May 2012. The album was released on Vertical Records in October 2012 to positive reviews.
Maybe one day I will get around to getting my hands on the later material, but I just cant really listen to the band without thinking about what could have and probably should have been. James Grant was a bit of a guitar hero of mine back in the day and I really wish the harder rock-orientated versions of the songs from those early live gigs had seen the light of day. In the meantime, here’s the debut single in all of its 12″ finery:-
mp3 : Love and Money – Candybar Express (extended mix)
mp3 : Love and Money – Candybar Express (LP version)
mp3 : Love and Money – Love & Money (dub)
As produced by Andy Taylor of Duran Duran and The Power Station. It has, I’m sorry to say, dated appallingly.