Francis: There were always loads of records lying around our house because my brother was a musician and he always brought home the most diverse records that I have ever seen. I remember standing looking at the cover of Captain Beefhearts ‘Lick My Decals Off Baby’ and thinking “who are these people and where do they come from?” The artwork on vinyl was always a great thing because it could definitely be classed as art and not just a marketing tool which it is in the present day. I remember a compilation called ‘Fill Your Head With Rock’ I remember a ‘Chicago’ album, ‘The Yes Album,’ ‘Birds of Fire’ by The Mahavishnu Orchestra; I remember an album called ‘Bundles’ by Soft Machine and an album by a band called Isotope. My brother actually bought me my first ever record called ‘Moving Waves’ by Focus. This was my first record and it was amazing.
When you owned vinyl you felt like you owned something that was permanent. It couldn’t be discarded. It was important. You would hear stories of a guy who owned the Relayer record by Yes and you would go around to his house to hear. it, even get on a bus. Music was so f@#king important back then, it wasn’t really fun, it was your entire identity. Being into Black Sabbath said something about who you were. It wasn’t who you were listening to, it was who you were!
Of course I went on to be mesmerized by the Genesis boys, they really blew me wide open. My imagination was absolutely zooming when I listened to those early Genesis records. It never really got any better for me than those early Genesis records, but I guess that says more about me than them.
Of course there were singles, Paul McCartney, ‘Pillow Talk’ by Sylvia, ‘Black Night’ by Deep Purple, ‘Frankenstein’ by Edgar Winter, ‘Blockbuster’ by Sweet. They were incredibly important. ‘Get it On’ by T Rex, ‘No Matter How I Try’ by Gilbert O’Sullivan. And then eventually I would be fortunate enough to be in the music industry when it was still important. It Bites were released on vinyl and it was important. We felt like we were important because being on a record back then meant that you were not just another band, it meant you had risen to the holy grail. To have a record was a pretty big thing. It meant you were somebody. I know differently today of course but back then we swaggered in our arrogance. We loved it. We were on vinyl and we would be alive forever.