Week of August 17th, 1997

Gallagher And Lyle

Benny Gallagher (vocals/guitar) and Graham Lyle (vocals/guitar) were both born in Largs, Ayrshire, Scotland. Having sung with several nascent beat groups, they began a songwriting career with 'Mr. Heartbreak's Here Instead', a 1964 single for Dean Ford And The Gaylords. The duo later moved to London where they joined the Apple label as in-house composers. One of their songs, 'International', was recorded by Mary Hopkin.

In 1969 the pair joined McGuinness Flint for whom they wrote two successful singles, 'When I'm Dead And Gone' (1970) and 'Malt And Barley Blues' (1971), before leaving the group for an independent career.

In September 1971 they left McGuinness Flint to strike out on their own. They proceeded to record a string of admittedly melodic soft rock songs. After recording a debut album for Capitol they signed to A&M in March 1973, who then proceeded to reissue their first album. Their first album proper for A&M was produced by Glyn Johns. After this they joined Slim Chance, who were "Small Face" Ronnie Lane's touring group from the Spring of 1973 until May 1974, although during this time they recorded their ‘Seeds’ album and contributed five songs to Dennis Coulson's Elektra album. After leaving Slim Chance they recorded ‘The Last Cowboy’ album but this proved another flop in commercial terms.

Several well-crafted, if low-key, albums followed, which showcased the duo's flair for folk-styled melody, but it was not until 1976 that they enjoyed a commercial breakthrough. ‘Breakaway’ spawned two major hits in 'I Wanna Stay With You' and 'Heart On My Sleeve', both of which reached number 6 in the UK. Further recognition of their compositional talents was endorsed by Art Garfunkel taking a cover version of the album's title track into the US Top 40, but the act was curiously unable to sustain its newfound profile. Gallagher and Lyle parted following the release of ‘Lonesome No More’ in order to pursue different projects. Graham Lyle later found a new partner, Terry Britten, with whom he composed 'What's Love Got To Do With It' and 'Just Good Friends' which were recorded, respectively, by Tina Turner and Michael Jackson.


Gallagher And Lyle (1972)

Willie And The Lap Dog (1973)
CD: River Records, RIVERCD014, 2004

Seeds (1973)
CD: River Records, RIVERCD012, 2004

The Last Cowboy (1974)
CD: River Records, RIVERCD011, 2004

River Sessions (Radio Clyde, 1974)
CD: River Records, RIVERCD001, 2004

Breakaway (1976)
CD: River Records, RIVERCD035, 2004

Love On The Airwaves (1977)
CD: River Records, RIVERCD010, 2004

Showdown (1978)
CD: River Records, RIVERCD009, 2004

Lonesome No More (1979)
CD: River Records, RIVERCD008, 2004

BBC Live In Concert 1973-78
CD: Strange Fruit, SFRSCD059, 1999

Heart On My Sleeve - The Very Best Of
CD: A&M CDMID172, 1991

Lyle McGuinness Band
Elise Elise (1983)
CD: Diamond GEMCD015, 1997

For McGuinness Flint album discography, please click here

(from "The Guinness Who's Who of Seventies Music", Guinness Publishing, UK, ISBN: 0-85112-727-4)

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