Arista Records

Signed 1990 to 1994.

(Release of ‘Club Classics’ – album 1996) (Re-release of Where Love Lives – single 2003) (Re-release  – single Where Love Lives re-edit 2017)

Having already recorded with a number of artists as a featured singer Alison Limerick finally signed her own deal in 1990. The original contract was a two singles deal with an album option, the first single being Where Love Lives. At the end of the 80s British house music was not always seen as album material and those who sang it were often discarded or forgotten as soon as their current single ceased to fill the dance floor. Fortunately the early 90s saw a change in attitude for the major labels and Limeick found that not only did Where Love Lives hang around in dance halls and on DJ playlists, it got a respectable amount of air play and her label, Arista Records, were encouraged to take up the album option.

It should be said that their hand was somewhat forced in this matter due to their own hastiness. After the club success of the first single other tracks were rushed into production. Limerick first worked with producer John Wadell on a song written by McFarlane & Ford (Limerick would later write with George McFarlane while working on her second album). The song produced was Let’s Make A Memory but it did not satisfy Chris Cook, head of A&R at Arista so another was sought. Having been thrown into the studio again, this time with a fellow called Dave Barrett the resulting song, called Tell Me What You Mean, had already been mastered and performed in a few clubs before the powers that be changed their minds (or had their minds changed) by an idea presented to them by Lati Kronlund, the author and producer of Where Loves Lives.

Lati had taken his ample talents to the US and teaming up with Arthur Baker, returned to the UK with a track that he thought would be an excellent follow-up to Where Love Lives. Hoping to emulate the success of the first track the label jumped at the offer and pulling Tell Me What You Mean out of production, hustled Ms Limerick into the studio to record the vocal on the new song. Helped (and rather overawed) by having to sing backing vocals with none other than Jocelyn Brown the track was finished quickly but unlike the first single – which only had a promo video made for it after its initial release – Come Back For Real Love had a good deal more thought and cash thrown at it. Unfortunately, despite all the bases being covered, on paper at least (the same voice and writer as the first single, a seasoned dance producer at the helm, a marketing team who actually knew the name of the artist and the single they were promoting and a degree more time spent performing the song in clubs and venues up and down the country AND a well made promo video), the single failed to gain notice by anyone other than serious house music fans. It did reasonably well on the underground club scene and garnered a few stonking re-mixes, nevertheless on its commercial release it peaked at 53 in the national chart.

The label regrouped and cutting their losses might have turned Ms Limerick loose had her lawyer not pointed out the fact that, by insisting on recording two other tracks (four songs in all), they had already ‘exercised’ the Album option. Only at this point was an album concept even discussed but eventually it was agreed that a little focused writing should be done before any more release decisions would be made. Ms Limerick teamed up with Steve Anderson, then a young remixer/producer; a fellow who more recently has worked as musical Director for Kylie Minogue. Hunkered down in a small studio in Slough, Limerick and Anderson (joined occasionally by other writers) penned several songs, six of which made it onto the first album. One of those six was Make It On My Own which became the third single and got the full Tony Humphries treatment on a couple of the remixes.

The next single (3rd) was somewhat lightweight in comparison to the previous ones but big-gun mixers (Masters At Work and Frankie Fonsett) worked their magic and produced some floor-filling versions. The final single from the first album crept out with no fanfare and less notice, nevertheless with Driza Bone mixes and a passionately voiced melody, Hear My call found a few loyal fans. Not enough unfortunately, to do more than tickle the feet of the commercial chart upon its release.

Arista agreed to make a second album but the label and those in charge of the Limerick project were already in flux so perhaps it was destined never to make a great impact, even before it was begun: Chris Cook had left Arista before its release.

Of the two Arista albums Ms limerick has been heard to say that With A Twist was her favorite, not least due to the fact that she was able to work closely on several song with the Godfather of house, Frankie Knuckles. An album of two halves – instigated by Chris Cook in hopes of pleasing music lovers on both sides of the Atlantic – With A Twist failed to secure the singer’s tenure at the label and shortly after its release all ties were severed, well, as far as the artist and label were concerned. Arista continued to release, remix and otherwise promote singles from the first album, often without Ms Limericks foreknowledge; the latest occurring in 2017. Nevertheless she still recalls her time at the label with affection.

Posted on: 10th May 2015