Fact And Fiction
Line up: Andy Revell, Brian Devoil, Geoff Mann,
Recorded Summer 1982, Revolution Studios, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire.
Produced by Twelfth Night.
First released December 1982.TN005 (Cassette) & TN006 (LP).
Fact and Fiction took nearly a year to record, being finally released in December 1982. During this time it had gone through numerous changes. We had originally been offered the opportunity to record by the owner of Revolution Studios in Cheshire who had ‘fallen in love with’ our version of The Beatles’ classic Eleanor Rigby and wanted to release it as a single. Our simplified arrangement of the original song, one of Geoff’s favourites, had seemed to offer a good opportunity for us to make a successful cover version. In return we were allowed to record some other songs during studio ‘down-time’.
When we first went into the studios we were planning an album showcasing the two sides of the band – the ability to write shorter more commercial songs as well as the more traditional progressive rock tracks. We originally planned to include Eleanor Rigby, Three Dancers, and East of Eden on the album, and run several of the tracks together.
Recording at ‘Revo’ involved staying at Geoff’s house in Salford (trying not to upset his wife Jane, who provided backing vocals on the album) and using the studio in the late evening and early hours of the morning. By day we would rehearse in his tiny cellar where we had previously written This City and Creepshow.
It was while we were in the studio that we realised ‘progressive rock’ was gaining more media coverage and commercial success. Heartened by this we decided to shift the emphasis of the album; out went Eleanor Rigby and East of Eden, Human Being was rewritten (the tempo was slowed down and a more ‘progressive’ feel applied, and in came World Without End and most significantly Creepshow. Furthermore the album now opened with We Are Sane setting a much heavier progressive tone.
With this in mind we asked Geoff if he could write something with more positive lyrics in order to provide a more uplifting close to the album, especially after the lyrical intensity of Creepshow. So as Clive played him a simple chord sequence Love Song (the track that subsequently became our anthem) was born.
By the time Fact & Fiction was finally released, Rick had rejoined the band and we were firmly set on a course that would see us progress in a few short months from Marquee support band to headline act in our own right. Within a year we had played the Reading Festival for a second time, toured all over the country and recorded a live album chronicling Geoff’s memorable last concerts with the band at a packed Marquee Club. It was arguably the most successful period in the band’s history; it was certainly one of the most enjoyable.
Extracts from Brian Devoil’s sleevenotes to the Cyclops CD release in 2002.