Richard Burgess, producer: "The great records are usually the ones that are quite original, and I think Love and Pride was unique really".
Paul King, singer / songwriter: "It changed my life and had a major effect on who I am and what I am to this day".
Mike Roberts, keyboards: "World domination. Nothing less. Definitely. Yeah, Paul was very single-minded in that respect, he had a very clear idea of what he wanted. And to a large extent the rest of us were kind of carried along behind that, really."
Paul King: "The idea of Love and Pride for King was really to try and capture, you know, a song which summarised what King were about, you know, an anthem for that band, which pretty much musically had all the foreign ingredients we described ourselves as... Because we were from Coventry, which previously had The Specials and Selector and the whole Two Tone black and white ska thing. That we were multi-tone to their two tone, that we drew from all the musical colours. We liked reggae, so we played some reggae, we liked funk, we played funk, we liked rock..."
Perry Haines, manager: "I went into the eighties as a St. Martins School of Art Fashion student. I found myself co-creating ID Magazine, doing the image and styling for various groups, that included Spandau Ballet, I added some ideas as a friend. And then employed by EMI to do the image for Duran Duran. I myself had so many influences from my teenage years in the seventies. I liked Bowie, Bryan Ferry and those glam pop stars, and I wanted to create like a hybrid mix of different fashion images from the seventies, and he was the guy to work with. He had a great voice and I liked his songs. We formulated an idea that maybe the set, the songs, the story, should be about coming from the Midlands, from Coventry, from one of these urban places. And going like Dick Wittington, the children's story, to London in search of gold and a future. This was in the Thatcher years, with miners' strikes and much unemployment. Paul himself was working in a car factory, Rolls Royce in Coventry. So it's about those dreams and Love and Pride embodied all of those ideas."
Paul King: "And if memory serves right, I think we've got that together very quickly, like in an afternoon, you know, 'cause the chorus and the song were all there for me lyrically, and I was just trying to find a musical arrangement to capture the song and capture King".
Mike Roberts: "All the King stuff was dead simple, you know what I mean. That was a big part of its appeal, I think. It was good. There was none of these... You had majors and minors and the odd seventh and that was about it. [PLAYS PART OF SONG ON HIS KEYBOARD]
Paul King: "And, I guess, really, Mike was trying to find something to do, actually, as he was waiting there at the keyboards for his bit, and he came up with this [HUMS TUNE] over the rhythms that the guys were trying to lay down for the chorus and my ears picked up on that and I started singing the melody and it was just very very strong, I mean, I felt... In some cases I know, acts and artists, you know, the principle writer would say "Well that's my song, you just added a little bit there, thank you, but I still take the credit". I just felt it was such a major part of Love and Pride's melody. People sing the chorus, I know, but essentially that is an also very integral part of what makes the song work, that it was deserving of a writing credit which he quite rightly got".
Mike Roberts: "By the standards that I've come to know since, I think that was probably generous, the cut that I received was probably generous, I'd say, 'cause you know, the words and the tune of the song were definitely Paul's."
Paul King: "The really great fun about recording Love and Pride, for me anyway, and I think for a few other guys in the band: we went to a studio in Soho in London, it's no longer there any more, but it was Trident Studios. And this was the studios in the seventies where essentially David Bowie had recorded most of his early albums, and Queen also did a lot of their material out there, the classic "We will rock you". There's a little stage in there, they all stomped on it. There is a lot of history in the studio, a lot of great records have been made there."
Mike Roberts: "And I remember being dead thrilled that the studio piano was in here was the one that has been used on a lot of the early David Bowie albums, so all the piano stuff on things like.. oh, "Life on Mars" in particular, by David Bowie. That was the same piano. So the piano sound on Love and Pride was apparently played on the same piano that, you know, whoever played the piano on "Life on Mars" played, so that was great. That was a nice feeling. I spent quite a while fondling the keys as I remember [LAUGHS] before we actually recorded anything. I was a strange place, that, because it's a single kind of doorway off a little alleyway. You could walk straight past it and not know it's there."
Richard Burgess, producer: "Actually I remember taking the demos, it must have been quite late in the year (= 1984) when he played it for me, 'cause I went to Florida for Christmas and I remember lying on a beach in Florida listening to the tape, and just knowing that Love and Pride would be a huge hit if we did it right. And I remember thinking that I knew exactly how I wanted the drums to sound. It struck me at the time - I was a drummer originally - and I wanted... there was a certain way I wanted to mike the drums up, and I just knew exactly how it should sound, and it always seemed like a smash hit to me, right from the beginning. It was pretty rough on the demos but I just felt we could... It was just an anthem, really."
Gordon Charlton, record company: "I picked up this demo tape, I called up the manager, Perry Haines, and it was very much an easy deal to make, I think. It was something like 30.000 pounds to sign them to make an album. Obviously we had to pay the recording costs of that. They went in the studio, the first two tracks they cut, one of which was Love and Pride. And they went out and did what very few bands do now in the music circuit. They went out and gigged and build up a following."
Paul King: "To all our live performances at that stage, it was the one song you just knew the people liked, whenever we played it live, it got the best reactions, so logically to us that means: "Well, it's probably our best song then: let's record that first."
Mike Roberts: "Very little happened the first time it was released. I don't even remember if it even charted. It probably did, but very very low, you know, down in the eighties or nineties or something. And we were all obviously deeply disappointed. We all thought we were going to be stars overnight then. But that didn't happen."
Perry Haines, manager: "The record was released two or three times before it was a hit, a radio commercial hit. But that in retrospect, with that horror show which is hindsight, doesn't surprise me. Because that broader vast public out there and the media before them have to come familiar with your music and the song, and nowadays and with projects that I've managed since, you'll first release club tracks that begin the story, but aren't aimed at the commercial singles chart, to get it going. In our case we went straight out in those days with the radio single. And if it didn't get the radio play, it didn't happen."
Richard Burgess, producer: "Sometimes it's just the time, you know, you go to the radio and they just don't gather that moment, and then six months later you take it back and they love it."
Gordon Charlton, record company: "I think everybody believed it was a very good record and we wouldn't take no for an answer. Because the first time we put it out, we didn't get air play, second time we put it out, we got a lot more air play and by then the band had progressed. And it was almost as if we said to the media "We believe in this project and we're not going to let you not go with this and look, we took you to see them a year ago and you didn't like them, come and see them now when they've got a bit of a following", and then the media kind of got: "Oh, eight hundred people have paid to come and see this group, maybe we put them on the play list." And it was good then. You could influence things."
Perry Haines, manager: "All the different elements that you lay over the weeks of release to keep putting it up the charts, after all that, after all our inputs, after my marketing and management manipulation, player input, after Paul has belted his heart out and sung like a bird night after night, after the band have pumped away, gigging and gigging, giving it their all, you still need luck. And it's important to realise that, I believe, and realise with humility "Thank you", 'cause you need luck still, everybody does. And we had a lucky day. I picked up the phone and the head of marketing said: "You stole 30." And I said "Thirty?" . And I'm supposed to be, you know, my role is to keep them working, I said "Thirty doesn't sound good enough." And he said "Thirty thousand records!" And I couldn't believe it. I was used to tens, twens, thirties on previous releases. Bang! Thirty thousand, fifty thousand. It happened."
Perry Haines: "I think its quality is the song, its anthemic melody and those power chords on the chorus. And it's that cavalry charging over the hills: Tateratera, "that's what my heart...". It has the same qualities as D:Ream's Things will only get better. It's anthemic."
Mike Roberts: "There seemed to be a big growing awareness around that time of racial issues particularly. That was something that we were very aware of and very influenced by, I would dare to say. So I think it captured something of that time, you know. It also had some of the nicer... the way we looked, certainly, and the very kind of prancy, pouty style of delivery that Paul had, which was right for the time. It also reflected back to some of the good old glam times in the seventies, you know."
Gary Davies, disk jockey: "The whole design of, the whole packaging, the whole look of the band was quite outrageous. And, I always remember the big shoes that they used to wear, the big Doc Martens, and the colourful suits, and the hairstyles, I remember the hair styles, "Wow, what the hell is this?". And the song Love and Pride was really good. You know, sometimes when you used to receive products from acts that were really heavily marketed, you would probably think that there's no substance to the music here. It's all just clever marketing. But in actual fact, with Love and Pride, is was actually a great song."
Paul King: "Its arrangement was right, it was instantly in, it told you what it wanted to do, it hit a chorus, it did, you know, it was just right. It was three and a half minutes of the right way of putting a song over. Unfortunately, if you do that every time as for a whole set, it becomes quite boring, but for the one song, it was perfectly right to do."
Mike Roberts: "In this bag, which came out of my mother's loft this morning, are a couple of pairs of Doc Marten boots. There you go. There's one of them, and there's the other one. Good old sprayed Docs. God, I haven't seen them for years. You can do a garden in them. Here's the old - look at the state of this - look, here's the old King jacket. I used to wear that all the time. It's got the boots on the back again and even got real shoe laces. I must have looked so chiff with that at the time. You can see all the spraying on the shoulders and stuff as well. God, it smells so nasty. I just can't believe it. And I can't believe that I ever got into that."
Perry Haines: "I was always concerned that the image and style story could become stronger than the music, would overwhelm it. I think that the record companies have been afraid of that: style over content. When they were meant to be selling music first. And that's why the band went out live and prove that they were a real working band."
Paul King: "What happened to us, was that... We did have a very strong image, we knew that. And it was something we worked hard at, but unfortunately, it overtook the song and it overtook the band to the extent of that, for many people, that's all you were perceived as being, was an image, you know: Doctor Marten's boots, long hair."
Mike Roberts: "I think something happened to the band after Love and Pride. It suddenly, it was, the kind of, the strength of the band when Love and Pride came out, was the kind of, you know, four, five lads together-against-the-worldness, that you develop, through touring grotty venues for years and years and years, you know. It definitely bonds you together. But as soon as you get a record company involved and serious management involved, that priorities, I would say, seem to change, seem to shift, somehow. Suddenly it becomes big business. And it becomes very serious. And you tend to lose something. You lose more than you gain as far as the kind of feeling the band is concerned."
Paul King: "I mean, we had accepted that King, in choosing name itself, was going to be my band. You know, it was Paul King and King the band, but I was the front person and that I would get, as lead singers do, a lot of the attention. I think we've lost the balance on that and I probably got too much. I began to resent the band resenting me. They got jealous of the amount of attention I had, I wasn't even enjoying the attention I had. And then I would think "What's your problem? You know, if I wasn't doing that, you wouldn't have it anyway." And it's very childish, but all of those things get out of perspective, when it's such a heightened state of profile. And also, 'cause you're not in a real world any more, you know. You are in a constant circus, of travelling from town to town, country to country, hotel to hotel. You're not grounded, you don't really have roots around you, or even people to talk to, that have perspective. My only person to share it with was Perry, and I don't think we did ourselves much good [LAUGHS] actually, 'cause we were both wrapped up in that world. And so the overall thing for me, I came to conclusion: I don't actually like, and didn't like being a pop star."
Mike Roberts: "Well, it kind of fell apart, basically. The thing that finished it off finally was Paul wanting to go solo, which is understandable given where the band had got to, I would guess. And for me, in hindsight, I remember that as being a relief, more than anything else, 'cause we've been living in each other's pockets for a, I don't know, six, seven years by that time. We weren't storming the charts every couple of months."
Gordon Charlton, record company: "Songs weren't good enough, people didn't have a big enough place in their hearts for the band, and... when Perry saw that was going wrong, he split the band up. I don't think it was any choice of the band's."
Perry Haines: "As in the lyrics of the song Love and Pride, you know, there's the rainbow and at the end, there's the pot of gold, one hopes. Now, in truth, for King, they got, I feel, to the top of division two, in international terms. We didn't break America, we didn't sell a volume of units to go and make third, fourth, fifth albums, and convince the record company. Which is a tragedy. But better to be a has-been than a never-been, I'd say. And it was a wonderful trip, and we travelled the whole planet and King got to see the world and have rich experiences and give a lot of joy."
Gary Davies, DJ: "As is the case with most bands, you know, I mean, King were not alone: in the case of most bands, you have your fifteen minutes of fame and then it's bye bye."
Perry Haines: "For me I recognise, in sheer commercial terms and record company speak, it's a one hit wonder. In reality it's a million odd singles sold, the third biggest record of that year, a couple of albums. In 1985 alone a hundred live shows out of 365 days. One hundred on stage! Plus all the TV shows, releasing four singles and recording and releasing a second album. It was more than one hit. It was one hell of a rollercoaster while it lasted."
Paul King: "I never saw King as being a one hit wonder, because we... I know I've worked for two years on other hit records. As time has gone on, of course, it ends up being that one record is constantly played and I myself come round to realising that people probably think that I'm a one hit wonder, but, maybe I am, then. It's a great song. I don't have a problem [with that]. I'd rather have the one great song than no song at all, I guess."
Paul King: "Post my recording career I moved into television, as a television presenter for MTV, Music Television station, and I moved over as a full-time producer there. It's all music-related. I think I've found a nice world for myself where I still am involved in the thing I always loved, and still do love, which is music. It's an exciting and creative area to be in."
Gordon Charlton, record company: I'm working more in the alternative and dance area. Our publishing company, we publish Apollo 440, we publish a band called Lionrock."
Richard Burgess: I manage bands now, and I have three bands signed by major labels. I have been in the music biz since I was fourteen, and I guess it's my destiny"
Mike Roberts: "My partner, Jan, and I, we've got our own company now. We produce teaching resources for primary schools. Trying to get music a higher profile in primary schools, is what I'm doing."
Perry Haines: "Since then been a traveller, adventurer, nature lover. I take people bird watching and guide, I deck hand on fishing boats and go for the marlin and tuna. I live and spend my time much on the road in Mexico. And that's equally rewarding for me."