This amazing 25th Anniversary limited edition CD
single is re-mastered and digitally enhanced from the very rare
original 7" flexidisc released in 1979 on Wake Up Records
by it's founder and co-producer/writer Adrian Wagner for MediaQuest.
An account of the 25th Anniversary of 'Cricket Star' by
co-producer Adrian Wagner:-
"Robert came over to my house outside Oxford for one of
his many visits in 1979. This time it was to write some lyrics
and sing on a crazy spoof sci-fi disco album I was producing
called 'Disco Dream and the Androids' (tracks: 'Connection Disconnection'
and 'Cafe Des Illusions') and he played the part of a broken
down and neurotic android who fell in love with a female android
but that's another story. I had just completed the design of
my synthesizer, the Wasp, and was really excited to give him
one of the first batch. While we were drinking tea in the kitchen
(a very regular occurrence with Robert!), I placed it on the
table and told him that this one was his own. He looked at me
in astonishment and with a tear in his eye told me that this
was HIS synthesizer - "my machine". From then onwards,
as you probably know, Robert and the Wasp were seldom parted!
A few years before, Robert and myself had worked with Steve
Took (Tyrannosaurus Rex) on a couple of singles about Cricket
which was another of Robert's passions. They were 'Howzat' and
'Cricket Star'. We decided to call ourselves 'The 1st Eleven'.
However, Robert's then record company, United Artist Records,
in their wisdom had turned the idea down flat and he was pretty
miffed about it. As we moved onto the third or fourth cup of
tea, he told me about the upcoming cricket tour with the West
Indies and it would be a shame to miss the opportunity. I told
him that I still had the original master tapes but they were
in a pretty poor condition. We then decided to re-record some
of the individual tracks again but we would keep the original
backing with the addition of a few additional Wasp tracks. That
night we completed the recording in my Electronic Dream Plant
studios (actually the living room and connected garage to the
house) and mixed it down the next day.
I had just put a new record label together called 'Wake
Up Records' and we decided to launch 'Cricket Star' ourselves
on a new and strange flexidisc. Robert went missing in Oxford
for a few hours and came back with a complete cricket outfit,
including pads, stumps, and perfectly fitting cricket clothes.
We went out to the nearby village green and I shot a few rolls
of film for the green disc cover. I arranged for the first pressing
run of 10,000 copies to be produced which cost me an arm and
a leg and Robert had organised for the single to be sold outside
the cricket grounds (Lords I think) and we sat back and waited
for the 'hit' to happen. Well, it didn't exactly go according
to plan and as usual in Robert's astounding career the twist
in the tail happened. For some reason that I have forgotten they
decided to cancel the West Indies cricket tour that year!
The net result was that we ended up selling a few thousand
flexidiscs and I committed 8,000 flexidiscs to the Oxford rubbish
tip before I moved to Wales a few years later. However, the single
became a much played hit on radio across the World and over the
25 years since it's release many people have contacted me about
re-releasing this single. Unfortunately, the original tape master
is lost, along with 'Howzat' and it has taken a while to re-master
from the original, clean, flexidisc I have. The results after
a lot of digital cleaning I think are quite remarkable and I
know Robert would be well pleased with the results.
Finally, Robert Calvert was remarkable, a unique talent
and an extraordinary comedic poet/rock star and a close and great
friend. This single is a small tribute to him and I hope will
contribute to his well deserved and long destiny."
Adrian Wagner - July 2004.