In a radio interview in 1984, Michael Walker and Glen Muirhead from the band Solid Citizens were told their single ‘Singing in the shower’ had entered as number one, in its first week in the Bathurst charts displacing Michael Jackson’s current hit.
This success was the culmination of hard work and perseverance which had led them to record with producers, Mike Shipley and Mark Goldenberg, at the famed Manor Studios in Oxfordshire, UK. Shipley had just finished recording and mixing ‘Heartbeat City’ for the Cars, and Goldenberg had recently co-written ‘Automatic’ for the Pointer Sisters.
Michael and Glen were the founding members of Solid Citizens and, in 1982, released an independent single ‘You’re not alone’ which received airplay on 4ZZZ, FM104, was 2JJ DJ Tom Zelenka’s “song of the year” and resulted in deals with MCA Music and RCA Records.
“Recording at the Manor was interesting,” reflects Walker. “Apart from working in one of the world’s best studios with two of the hottest producers/songwriters in the world, we spent two weeks sharing the residential studios with studio owner, Richard Branson, who was an engaging eccentric”.
The release of ‘Singing in the shower’ led to an appearance on ABC’s Countdown, and the song charting in the national top 40.
Solid Citizens record company RCA Records released another single 'Care at all' in 1985, but the company was in disarray at the time with the US parent company shutting down the local A&R department, and releasing only international content.
In the late 1980s, Michael Walker moved to the UK as a songwriter, where he worked with UK writers, musicians, acclaimed producers Richard Manwaring and Mike Shipley, and recorded songs for MCA Music and Rondor Music.
Touching the hem of international success, time and money ran out, and in the 1990s Michael returned to Australia, where he worked and mentored emerging bands and musicians.
In 2008, Michael was a judge in a local band competition in Rockhampton. Perturbed at the lack of knowledge local musicians had about the music business, Michael initiated the first major music summit in regional Queensland in 2009 with 23 nationally and internationally recognised guest speakers conducting workshops over the three day event. www.rockon.org.au
Inspired through catching up with many of his colleagues, Michael returned to the studio to write and record new songs with ‘Your luvin hurts me’ the first cab off the rank. It’s been said this song is about that “insatiable mistress - the music industry”.
In 2011, when a master recording of ‘Singing in the shower’ was requested for inclusion in a new Sony compilation album, a version was dubbed from vinyl as the original record company’s master had been lost. Subsequently, an original analogue master has been obtained and the song has now been remastered and re-released in 2015.
In 2014, Michael contacted friends, David Bentley (Python Lee Jackson, The David Bentley band, Rod Stewart, A$AP Rocky, Miguel and Mark Ronson), Laurie Ernst (Broderick Smith, Kate Cebreno), Annette Henery, Brad Hooper, Grahame Howells and Zac Holmes, and recorded ‘Dreams - could take you somewhere’, which has been mixed by renowned UK producer Dave Pemberton and released as the first single.
It’s a reflective song about hope, inspiration and ...
“Looking over my shoulder at where I’ve been”!