Thursday, 5 July 2012

A long factoid about The Cola Boy single “7 ways to Love” a Euro house classic

The Cola Boy single “7 ways to Love” is a Euro house classic from the UK with an interesting background so here is my own elongated “factoid” about the group and this release. This CD  came along after we had closed our London shops so I didn’t witness the mass demand first hand but it continues to be in demand to this day. I am featuring a CD release here rather than the vinyl 12 inch single. The CD has the track-listing:

1   7 Ways To Love (3:33)
2   7 Ways To Love (Straight To The Cola Boy Head) (5:08)
3   7 Ways To Love (I Pour The Cola) (5:32)

You can see pictures here

Released in  1991 on Arista UK with the catalogue number 664526 It soon became a house/club classic.    Electronic: House, Euro House with artwork By - Pointblanc, London. On the reording the engineer was Ian Catt and the producer/mix by Saint Etienne
Vocals [Uncredited] - Janey Lee Grace  Written by  “Jesse Chin” a name made up by the team behind the release   It  was "An Angel Town production"

Cola Boy consisted of Sarah Cracknell, Bob Stanley. Pete Wiggs, Janey Lee Grace and Andrew Midgley
7 Ways To Love was written by Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs of St Etienne, who hoped the track would be their first step in building a Stock Aitken & Waterman/Brill Building/Hit Factory style songwriting empire.
Cola Boy was a duo, consisting of Janey Lee Grace and the late Andrew Midgley. Andrew had worked with Bob and Pete on studio material in their pre-St Etienne days in the late 1980s. Janey had been a backing singer for numerous pop acts, including Wham and Pasty Kensit’s Eighth Wonder, and was a radio broadcaster on LBC.
Sarah Cracknell sang the vocals on the original white label version of 7 Ways. After that initial batch sold out, it was re-recorded with vocals by Sarah’s friend Janey Lee Grace, as Sarah was under contract to another label and was not permitted to sing on non-St Etienne releases.
Janey’s version of 7 Ways is the one that was subsequently picked up and released by Arista Records, but in the meantime the original Sarah version was heavily bootlegged, costing Arista many thousands of sales. A further Cola Boy connection with Sarah was that the duo were managed by Sarah’s mother, who had previously worked with and managed a number of acts, including Wee Papa Girl Rappers.
There was a second Cola Boy single, He Is Cola, which was spectacularly unsuccessful. That fulfilled the two-single deal with Arista, and the contract was not renewed.
With other labels interested in picking them up, Janey was keen to continue working on new Cola Boy material, but Andrew had by then started work on a new project, Blinder, and was writing darker, non-pop dance material.
Cola Boy fell apart late 1991/early1992, and Andrew moved to north. Blinder enjoyed some limited cult success on the northern England and Scottish rave circuit, before dissolving towards the end of 1993. Andrew subsequently moved into journalism and composing music for television before his premature sudden death in 2010.

Janey continues to perform and record, and released her last album in 2006. She has also continued with her broadcasting career, and has long been a key member of Steve Wright’s Radio 2 team. She can be heard on air most days, taking part in the programme and reading out ‘factoids’.

Cola Boy was a name used by the Peterborough, England artist Andrew Naughtie. Cola Boy’s “7 Ways To Love” was mailed out as a white label with a press release saying the record had been financed by a Hong Kong teenager who had sold his collection of rare Coke bottles to subsidise the project - one Jesse Chin, who was acknowledged on the sleeve of the stock release. Some people continue to give credence to the story to this day. Naughtie had previously worked with Bob Stanley and Peter Wiggs in the early days of , who remixed the track. “7 Ways To Love” reached number 8 in the UK chart in 1991, after being widely bootlegged, with its subtle vocal contribution from Janey Lee Grace. The follow-up was “He Is Cola”, which featured Burundi drumming.   Janey had her own top ten hit with Cola Boy’s Seven Ways To Love

Janey Lee Grace began her career as a backing singer for George Michael and Wham!, Kim Wilde and Boy George, and went on to have her own top ten hit as Cola Boy with Seven Ways To Love. She has presented shows for Virgin Radio, BBC London and Radio 1. 

She wrote the best-selling book ‘Imperfectly Natural Woman – getting life right the natural way and has a thriving forum on her website at She also appears regularly on The Wright Stuff on Five. 

Janey is a graduate in Performing Arts, and still writes songs and plays the occasional acoustic live gig.

Sarah Cracknell (born 12 April 1967, Chelmsford, Essex) is an English pop singer who fronts the band Saint Etienne and is known for her light, smooth singing voice. She is the daughter of Stanley Kubrick’s first assistant director Derek Cracknell.

Saint Etienne was originally to be an indie/dance act featuring various vocalists. After Moira Lambert sang on their initial 1990 single “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” and Donna Savage was heard on the follow-up single “Kiss and Make Up,” Cracknell lent her vocals to “Nothing Can Stop Us” and ended up doing the rest of the singing on their debut album Foxbase Alpha. Cracknell has been Saint Etienne’s permanent vocalist since then.
Preceded by the single “Anymore” in 1996, Cracknell released a solo album, Lipslide, in May 1997. Originally released in the UK only by Gut Records, the album featured dance, indie and pop tunes and received good reviews from critics, although it was not a big seller (Cracknell has in interviews placed some of the blame for this on lack of proper promotion by Gut). The UK version of the album is now out of print.
Lipslide finally surfaced in the U.S. three years later, when Instinct Records released it in February 2000. With completely different cover art, the original album’s tracklisting was also modified: five tracks were removed and four new songs plus a remix were added. Months later, Instinct released the Kelly’s Locker EP, which contained the five tracks originally removed from the UK version of Lipslide, along with two previously unreleased songs and a new remix.
Cracknell was Spiller’s first choice for the vocals of his number-one hit “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)” in 2000, but never got to record the song. She has recorded tracks with various artists such as David Holmes (”Anymore”, “Gone”), Xploding Plastix (”Sunset Spirals”), Cheapglue (”You’ve Just Won Me Over”) and Paul Van Dyk.
Sarah has recorded a duet “I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten” (formerly by Dusty Springfield) with Marc Almond for his album Stardom Road, released June 2007.
In December 2007, BBC radio began playing “The Journey Continues” by Mark Brown featuring Sarah Cracknell. The song consists of extensive samples from a composition by Elena Kats-Chernin entitled Eliza’s Aria, well known to UK TV viewers as the music from the computer-animated ‘For the Journey’ commercials for Lloyds TSB bank. The single was released on February 2008 on Positiva. The song peaked at #11 in the UK after being released.

Cracknell married Martin Kelly (joint MD of Heavenly Recordings) in Kensington and Chelsea, London on 5 December 2004. They have two children, both born in Westminster, London: Spencer Michael (born 2001) and Sam Dion (born 2004). AND as I like to name drop...................... Martin was a Crucial Music customer a few years back to add to his Beatles collection! Thanks Martin

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