PUBLISHED IN THE HAMILTON SPECTATORTHURSDAY, April 6, 1996

 

BY NICK KREWEN

"We Built This City", "These Dreams", and "King Of Wishful Thinking" were three #1 chart-toppers for MARTIN PAGE a decade ago, but if his name doesn't exactly jog your memory in association with those hits, don't despair: he didn't perform them.

As a songwriter, Page not only co-wrote The STARSHIP, HEART and GO WEST hits, but also contributed songs to album projects by ROBBIE ROBERTSON, EARTH, WIND & FIRE, THE COMMODORES and KIM CARNES.

However, Martin Page is hoping his recently released album In The House Of Stone And Light  will be his ticket to familiarity as a hit artist.

"It was nice to do something I really believe," says Page, 35, in Toronto to promote the album while the title song from the album is a top 5 hit in Canada.

"I'm getting the biggest buzz from `In The House Of Stone And Light' because it's turning out to be a big hit, and it's a true song. It's almost like a rebirth song."

Based in Los Angeles, Page was originally over from London England on a two-week promotion trip to promote a song from his old band Q-FEEL called "Dancing In Heaven", a favorite of CFNY listeners.

"We were a two-city hit wonder: Los Angeles and Minneapolis," recalls Page. "`Dancing In Heaven' was the first song that brought me to America 15 years ago. `Dancing In Heaven' was our mixture of doing ULTRAVOX' `All Stood Still' and THE TUBES' The Complete Backwards Principle."

"We had our English ties on, and our suits, and our briefcases. We were clean-shaven, and doors were opening everywhere. People were saying, `Well, they're British. They have a chance'. Earth, Wind And Fire wanted to work with us. BERNIE TAUPIN wanted to write with THOMAS DOLBY, but he wasn't available. So he asked me. We pretended we knew Dolby. That led me to working with The Commodores and Kim Carnes, and I never left.

"People know me for songwriting and producing, but I really came to L.A. as an artist. So it's been one big full circle for me."

Page credits Robbie Robertson with encouraging him to record a solo album back when he and DANIEL LANOIS were working on the former BAND leader's solo album in 1987.

"In the past I felt like a hired writer, but with Robbie, it was a journey about being honest," said Page, who co-wrote four songs, including "Fallen Angel", for the project.

"The songs had to make us cry or laugh. He took me to one side during the sessions and said, `I want Daniel to make a solo record, and I think you should. 'I enjoy your demos, and you have no idea of how deep you are.' But he warned me that I had to remain incredibly focused."

Page slowly built a recording studio in his garage, and took two years to record In The House Of Stone And Light  at his own leisure.

He said one of the toughest decisions in making In The House Of Stone And Light  was refusing Robertson's offer to write lyrics.

"He wanted to write some of the lyrics with me, but it was very important to me to say no," says Page. "I needed to get my own stories out."

Robertson did play guitar on the title track of the album, and gave his blessing to the project.

"He heard the rough demos. After the album was finished, Robbie personally gave me a call and said, `You really hit some great, meaningful moments on the record.' He was almost like a grandfather to me. It was like sitting down with the Rock Of Ages."

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DISCOGRAPHY

1986 -- Q-Feel  (with Q-Feel)

1996 -- In The House Of Stone And Light

 

SONGWRITER

1986 -- Heart, "These Dreams" (#1)

1987 -- Robbie Robertson, "Hell's Half Acre"

        -- Robbie Robertson, "Fallen Angel"

1987 -- Bernie Taupin, Tribe

1990 -- The Commodores, "Animal Instincts"

        -- The Commodores, "Lay Back"

1990 -- Starship, "We Built This City" (#1)

1991 -- Earth, Wind And Fire, "Magnetic"

1991 -- Go West, "King Of Wishful Thinking"

1991 -- Robbie Robertson, "Sign Of The Rainbow"

1991 -- Paul Young, "Only Game In Town"

1992 -- Go West, "Faithful"

1992 -- Kim Carnes, Cafe Racers

       -- "Invisible Hands"

        -- "I Pretend"

        -- "You Make My Heart Beat Forever"

1993 -- Jason Donovan, "The Good Heart"

1993 -- Starship, "The Burn"

        -- Starship, "Healing Waters"

        -- Starship, "It's Not Enough"

1993 -- John Waite, "Deal For Life"

1994 -- Bad English, "Ghost In Your Heart"

1994 -- The Triplets, "Sunrise"

1995 -- Starship, "Good Heart"

1995 -- Earth, Wind And Fire, "Turn On (The Beat Box)"

1995 -- Earth, Wind And Fire, "Spirit Of A New World"

1996 -- Bryan Ferry, "Dance With Life (The Brilliant Light)"

1996 -- The Monkees, "Secret Heart"

1997 -- Tina Arena, "Flashback"

 

CONTRIBUTOR

1995 -- Paul Young, Crossing

THANKS: DONNA LIDSTER, WADE HEMSWORTH

©1996, 1999 Nick Krewen, Octopus Media Ink

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