Cutting Crew - From Hits to Writs

From Music Express (#137 - June 1989)
Written by Keith Sharp

"Well, we hear a second single, we hear a third single and we hear a fourth single. But we don't hear a first single," remarked the British record company rep on hearing demos for Cutting Crew's latest album The Scattering.

"Right, you bastard. We'll show you," shouted the band in unison as they stormed back into the studio to bash out one more track.

"We didn't perform the song, we spat it out," said guitarist Kevin MacMichael of the debut single, Between A Rock And A Hard Place. "There was no demo or rehearsal. It was 'here's the three chords, let's go!' Our attitude was vicious. Frosty (drummer Frosty Beedle) was so aggressive that by the time he'd finished, his bass drum had slipped halfway across the room."

Cutting Crew had finally blown their stack. After more than two years of litigation and legal wrangling to get out of their previous management contract, the British quartet of vocalist Nick Van Eede, MacMichael (actually a Canadian), Beedle and bassist Colin Farley, had collectively come to the end of their tether. All the anger and frustration of that period was blasted into a four minute song.

"There's a line in the song that says, 'I got a brick but I can't find a window,' which just about sums up our attitude on things," explained MacMichael.

"Instead of spending time writing songs and rehearsing, Nick and I wasted two years running between solicitors. But we were determined that under no circumstances were we going to turn over a new album to our old management."

The cause of the problem was a monster hit I Just Died In Your Arms off their debut album, Broadcast. The track reached number 1 on the charts and was nominated for a Grammy award. However, the album itself sold poorly and the band went mainly unrecognized.

"It's almost like I have to apologize to people for writing it," Van Eede noted. "It's like that song took on a life of its own. We've spent two years living it down."

If the album's lead-off track, A Year In The Wilderness, puts their problems in their proper perspective, the current feeling is one of renewed confidence.

"We've gone from 'where there's a hit, there's a writ,'" says MacMichael, "to recording an album that we're all satisfied with."

"Yeah, we played a surprise show at Christmas and found the new material worked great live," agreed Van Eede, "which surprised even me."

Posted: Sept. 4/2000