Peter Noone

By the end of the 1960’s, Herman’s Hermits had more or less split up, but they released a single as ‘Peter Noone and Hermans Hermits‘ in 1970 called “Lady Barbara” which reached No. 13 on the U.K. charts.

Some months later, Mickie Most suggested Peter Noone record an unreleased new David Bowie composition, “Oh! You Pretty Things“:

The single featured David Bowie* on piano and gave Peter Noone a U.K. No. 12 hit in June 1971 providing David Bowie’s second appearance on Top of the Pops whose producers at the time were required by the Musicians Union to feature only the original players from the recording on the TV footage.  So, on 27 May ’71, Peter Noone appeared on Top of the Pops to promote his new single, with David Bowie* guesting on piano prettily fitted out in a dress and a hat with decorative flowers – here.

Follow up singles “Walnut Whirl” and “Should I” failed to chart.

Lynsey de Paul / Barry Green co-wrote “Sugar Me” as Peter Noone’s next single.**  Dudley Moore, who was Lynsey’s boyfriend at the time, suggested instead that she take the demo to manager Gordon Mills to launch her own career.   With no follow-up Peter’s career stalled.

Of course Solomon King had just scored a hit in Australia with her song “When You’ve Gotta Go” although credited on the record to ‘L.  Rubin’.

Meanwhile, by 1974, Lynsey de Paul had become the first woman to win an Ivor Novello Award for songwriting – both 10cc and Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice also won awards at that year’s prizegiving.

* In Dec ’71, David Bowie released his take of “Oh You Pretty Things” for the Hunky Dory album, one of Time Magazines top 100 albums.

** Lyn[d]sey [Rubin] explained to Spencer Leigh how she came to record this song: “We wrote ‘Sugar Me’ for Peter Noone but [manager] Gordon Mills heard my demo and thought it would be a good single for me. There had been the massacre at Munich Olympics and I was told it would be better not to have a Jewish name. I took De from my mother’s maiden name, De Groot, and my father’s middle name was Paul.”

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