Allee Willis dies

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domino
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Re: Allee Willis dies

#16 Post by domino »

y3potential wrote:
Sat 28 Dec 2019, 2:11 pm
Dog wrote:
Thu 26 Dec 2019, 10:15 am
Hard to post direct links as it's a flash heavy site, but worth having a browse around https://www.alleewillis.com.

Interesting that she initially met Neil and Chris to draw them - remember this from the early fanclub? I seem to remember it appearing on a T shirt as well. https://alleewillis.com/art/logos/index.htm

Also her interesting take on the What have I done to deserve this? sessions, including Chris "storming out": https://alleewillis.com/music/What have I done to deserve this?/index.htm

I'm unable to access certain parts of her site.. [...]
The problem is the use of Flash behind everything on her website.

Better use a non-mobile-device and follow the right link:
https://alleewillis.com/music/What have I done to deserve this?/index.htm

In case it doesn't work again: It's the site /music/whid tdt/index.htm
Without space between whid and tdt.
A blues would be in B flat, pain defining wisdom,
but the soul is in the high hat, programmed in the system.

domino
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Re: Allee Willis dies

#17 Post by domino »

y3potential wrote:
Sat 28 Dec 2019, 2:11 pm
Dog wrote:
Thu 26 Dec 2019, 10:15 am
Hard to post direct links as it's a flash heavy site, but worth having a browse around https://www.alleewillis.com.

Interesting that she initially met Neil and Chris to draw them - remember this from the early fanclub? I seem to remember it appearing on a T shirt as well. https://alleewillis.com/art/logos/index.htm

Also her interesting take on the What have I done to deserve this? sessions, including Chris "storming out": https://alleewillis.com/music/What have I done to deserve this?/index.htm

I'm unable to access certain parts of her site.. What's the story regarding Chris storming out..?
That's the story you can find on her website (with an original demo snippet):
In 1983, my publisher, Kathleen Carey at Unicity, a division of MCA, introduced me to Biritsh music manager Tom Watkins. He had seen a piece of my art in her office and asked if I would come to London to do a portrait of his new group, Pet Shop Boys, for their fan club stationary. "West End Girls" was a hit in Europe but wasn't out in the states yet. I Flew to London in December 1984 and while they were posing for me, Neil Tennant asked me why they had never heard of me before. I told him it was because I had just started painting a few months before and I really was a songwriter who wrote primarly Black pop songs. After a second he turned to me and said "You're not the A. Willis on those Earth, Wind & Fire records, are you?". I said yes and ended up staying in London an extra week to write and demo "What have I done to deserve this?". My recollection of writing the song varies a little from theirs. They had never collaborated with anyone before. I remember Chris being very uptight and stomping out of the room and Neil having to calm him down. Also, I was a horrible keyboard player, which I remain to this day. I was very frustrated because we weren't getting anywhere and I just started playing, as best I could, a couple of things I had been tinkering around with before I came to London - the tinkling piano figure that plays troughout the verse as well as most of the chorus chords and melody. Chris came up with the music under the B section ("I brought you drinks, I brought you flowers...") and Neil came in with the title and basic concept of the song. We didn't finish the lyrics, which Neil took the lead on, until we were actually in the studio recording the demo. I had also brought all my chips for my Linn Drum machine with me, a very big deal at the time, and those sounds helped define the feel of the song. I sang the parts that Dusty Springfield eventually sang and Neil sang the same parts he did on the record. Chris played just about everything I think. I loved writing songs with incongruent parts, of which "What have I done to deserve this?" is my favorite, but there was a lot of worry on both Neil and Chris part for two years before they finally recorded it that they didn't know which section was the chorus.

I remember both Chris and Neil saying at the demo session that they'd love Dusty to sing it with them. I knew her manager, Vicky Wickham, very well and had also written a song with Dvid Lasley that Dusty had cut in 1981, "I wish that love would last". She cut another song of mine written with Lauren Wood, "Send it to me", after I wrote What have I done to deserve this?. It took a couple of years of phone calls from Neil and Chris as well as from me trying to convince Dusty to record the song as she hated the music business and was reluctant to get involved again. "What have I done to deserve this?" became the second largest selling song of her after "Son of a preacher man".
Last edited by domino on Sat 28 Dec 2019, 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A blues would be in B flat, pain defining wisdom,
but the soul is in the high hat, programmed in the system.

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y3potential
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Re: Allee Willis dies

#18 Post by y3potential »

domino wrote:
Sat 28 Dec 2019, 3:23 pm
y3potential wrote:
Sat 28 Dec 2019, 2:11 pm
Dog wrote:
Thu 26 Dec 2019, 10:15 am
Hard to post direct links as it's a flash heavy site, but worth having a browse around https://www.alleewillis.com.

Interesting that she initially met Neil and Chris to draw them - remember this from the early fanclub? I seem to remember it appearing on a T shirt as well. https://alleewillis.com/art/logos/index.htm

Also her interesting take on the What have I done to deserve this? sessions, including Chris "storming out": https://alleewillis.com/music/What have I done to deserve this?/index.htm

I'm unable to access certain parts of her site.. What's the story regarding Chris storming out..?
That's the story you can find on her website (with a original demo snippet):
In 1983, my publisher, Kathleen Carey at Unicity, a division of MCA, introduced me to Biritsh music manager Tom Watkins. He had seen a piece of my art in her office and asked if I would come to London to do a portrait of his new group, Pet Shop Boys, for their fan club stationary. "West End Girls" was a hit in Europe but wasn't out in the states yet. I Flew to London in December 1984 and while they were posing for me, Neil Tennant asked me why they had never heard of me before. I told him it was because I had just started painting a few months before and I really was a songwriter who wrote primarly Black pop songs. After a second he turned to me and said "You're not the A. Willis on those Earth, Wind & Fire records, are you?". I said yes and ended up staying in London an extra week to write and demo "What have I done to deserve this?". My recollection of writing the song varies a little from theirs. They had never collaborated with anyone before. I remember Chris being very uptight and stomping out of the room and Neil having to calm him down. Also, I was a horrible keyboard player, which I remain to this day. I was very frustrated because we weren't getting anywhere and I just started playing, as best I could, a couple of things I had been tinkering around with before I came to London - the tinkling piano figure that plays troughout the verse as well as most of the chorus chords and melody. Chris came up with the music under the B section ("I brought you drinks, I brought you flowers...") and Neil came in with the title and basic concept of the song. We didn't finish the lyrics, which Neil took the lead on, until we were actually in the studio recording the demo. I had also brought all my chips for my Linn Drum machine with me, a very big deal at the time, and those sounds helped define the feel of the song. I sang the parts that Dusty Springfield eventually sang and Neil sang the same parts he did on the record. Chris played just about everything I think. I loved writing songs with incongruent parts, of which "What have I done to deserve this?" is my favorite, but there was a lot of worry on both Neil and Chris part for two years before they finally recorded it that they didn't know which section was the chorus.

I remember both Chris and Neil saying at the demo session that they'd love Dusty to sing it with them. I knew her manager, Vicky Wickham, very well and had also written a song with Dvid Lasley that Dusty had cut in 1981, "I wish that love would last". She cut another song of mine written with Lauren Wood, "Send it to me", after I wrote What have I done to deserve this?. It took a couple of years of phone calls from Neil and Chris as well as from me trying to convince Dusty to record the song as she hated the music business and was reluctant to get involved again. "What have I done to deserve this?" became the second largest selling song of her after "Son of a preacher man".


Thank you, Domino. Much appreciated. She was indeed a very talented woman.😢
There is beauty in ugliness and ugliness in beauty.

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oakey
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Re: Allee Willis dies

#19 Post by oakey »

Never realised she co-wrote What have I done to deserve this?

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Sage
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Re: Allee Willis dies

#20 Post by Sage »

y3potential wrote:
Sat 28 Dec 2019, 4:30 pm
domino wrote:
Sat 28 Dec 2019, 3:23 pm
y3potential wrote:
Sat 28 Dec 2019, 2:11 pm



I'm unable to access certain parts of her site.. What's the story regarding Chris storming out..?
That's the story you can find on her website (with a original demo snippet):
In 1983, my publisher, Kathleen Carey at Unicity, a division of MCA, introduced me to Biritsh music manager Tom Watkins. He had seen a piece of my art in her office and asked if I would come to London to do a portrait of his new group, Pet Shop Boys, for their fan club stationary. "West End Girls" was a hit in Europe but wasn't out in the states yet. I Flew to London in December 1984 and while they were posing for me, Neil Tennant asked me why they had never heard of me before. I told him it was because I had just started painting a few months before and I really was a songwriter who wrote primarly Black pop songs. After a second he turned to me and said "You're not the A. Willis on those Earth, Wind & Fire records, are you?". I said yes and ended up staying in London an extra week to write and demo "What have I done to deserve this?". My recollection of writing the song varies a little from theirs. They had never collaborated with anyone before. I remember Chris being very uptight and stomping out of the room and Neil having to calm him down. Also, I was a horrible keyboard player, which I remain to this day. I was very frustrated because we weren't getting anywhere and I just started playing, as best I could, a couple of things I had been tinkering around with before I came to London - the tinkling piano figure that plays troughout the verse as well as most of the chorus chords and melody. Chris came up with the music under the B section ("I brought you drinks, I brought you flowers...") and Neil came in with the title and basic concept of the song. We didn't finish the lyrics, which Neil took the lead on, until we were actually in the studio recording the demo. I had also brought all my chips for my Linn Drum machine with me, a very big deal at the time, and those sounds helped define the feel of the song. I sang the parts that Dusty Springfield eventually sang and Neil sang the same parts he did on the record. Chris played just about everything I think. I loved writing songs with incongruent parts, of which "What have I done to deserve this?" is my favorite, but there was a lot of worry on both Neil and Chris part for two years before they finally recorded it that they didn't know which section was the chorus.

I remember both Chris and Neil saying at the demo session that they'd love Dusty to sing it with them. I knew her manager, Vicky Wickham, very well and had also written a song with Dvid Lasley that Dusty had cut in 1981, "I wish that love would last". She cut another song of mine written with Lauren Wood, "Send it to me", after I wrote What have I done to deserve this?. It took a couple of years of phone calls from Neil and Chris as well as from me trying to convince Dusty to record the song as she hated the music business and was reluctant to get involved again. "What have I done to deserve this?" became the second largest selling song of her after "Son of a preacher man".


Thank you, Domino. Much appreciated. She was indeed a very talented woman.😢
Ooo the demo snippet. We discussed in the Definitively Dusty thread that the demo snippet was previously unheard, but it's right there in the flash site. (32 second link here if you want to hear https://bit.ly/2F0GlLh) I'd still like the full thing in high quality though.

I find it interesting to read the demo lyrics too. You can see at least 3 lines were changed slightly.

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Sandy Shaw
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Re: Allee Willis dies

#21 Post by Sandy Shaw »

I also messaged Allee asking if she could post the full demo, but she chose not to do that - just pointing me to the link with the segment already in the public domain!
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