SMILEY, BRETT- Breathlessly Brett LP
Recording commenced on `Breathlessly Brett' in Nashville and then New York in 1973. Although the album was Brett's debut, it also marked a critical point in Andrew Loog Oldham's trajectory, whose personality is writ large over the project. Partially inspired by Phil Spector's grandiose productions, Oldham sought to create a luscious soundtrack around Brett Smiley that invoked Hollywood and Broadway, as well as rock and roll. A top team of session players were enlisted, including pianist Ken Ascher, guitarist David Spinozza and drummer Jim Keltner, who had all worked with John Lennon, plus Frank Sinatra's musical director Don Costa, whilst Steve Marriott contributed lead guitar on the single track `Va Va Va Voom'. To coincide with the launch of `Va Va Va Voom' b/w `Space Ace' Brett and Andrew swanned into London in the autumn of 1974. Anchor's publicity machine began revving up with a massive poster campaign. Radio Luxembourg championed the single, Disc magazine proclaimed Brett to be `The Most Beautiful Boy In The World', and an incredible performance on the Russell Harty TV show followed. Alas, the distribution of the 45 was fudged and Brett Smiley slipped through the cracks of an uncaring record industry. `Breathlessly Brett' was never released, and Andrew Loog Oldham exited, leaving an anguished Brett to rock and roll exile. Smiley returned to America, where he appeared in several films, including the soft porn musical `The Other Cinderella' `American Gigolo' and a TV movie `Suzanne, The Hunted Woman.'