In late 1964, Graham Gouldman met Kevin Godley in Crumpsall, Manchester, U.K. at the Jewish Lads’ Brigade where bands rehearsed. They formed The Mockingbirds with Stephen Jacobson on guitar and Bernard Basso on bass becoming the warm-up band for a new show called Top of the Pops which was filmed at the BBC in Manchester.
For Graham Gouldman, the band was a vehicle to perform his own songs and he wrote “For Your Love” for The Mockingbirds, but their record label, Columbia, rejected the song which is how and why it ended up as The Yardbirds smash hit selling over 2 million copies.
Columbia instead released another Graham Gouldman composition “That’s How It’s Gonna Stay” which bombed. The 2nd single was called “I Can Feel We’re Parting” and it also flopped as did the 3rd single “You Stole My Love” released on Andrew Loog Oldham‘s Immediate Records.
Of course Giorgio Gomelsky had realised that Gouldman was a great songwriter and got The Yardbirds with Paul Samwell-Smith, who later produced Cat Stevens, to try it out: “You Stole My Love (unfinished)“. The recording session takes can be found here: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
Would The Yardbirds’ version have been a hit if they had finished it?
The Mockingbirds moved to the Decca label and released two further singles, “One by One” and “How To Find A Lover” but still no success. By 1966 Gouldman decided to wrap it up and called time on the band.
“The ones I gave away were hits, the ones we kept were misses. I’d always wanted to play guitar in a band, but I was resigned to the idea of being a writer . . . and then we started 10cc and that satisfied every aspect for me, everything I’d ever wanted to do.”
Graham Gouldman . . . in interview with Bob Stanley of St. Etienne
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