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The Hit Fac-Tory

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Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley...David Morris?

A Lancashire MP today reveals how he wrote pop songs for some of pop’s biggest stars – and even narrowly missed out on joining 1980s super group Duran Duran.

David Morris, the Tory MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, has spoken about his extraordinary career as a songwriter for producers Stock Aitken Waterman.

Mr Morris said he contributed to four hit number ones during his 18-month song writing career between 1988 and 1990 – although he refuses to identify which songs for “copyright” reasons.

He even recorded his own album, but said that by the time it was finished there was a public “backlash” against production-line pop and it was never released.

He told the Evening Post: “I saved some of the best songs for myself. It would have made it, but the timing was all off.”

Mr Morris grew up in the Bahamas, where his father, Captain Alan Morris, was the director of maritime affairs.

He was first taught to play the guitar by Peter Frampton, after the legendary rock musician crashed his Ferrari into a tree in the front garden of the Morris family home.

The family later returned to the UK and settled in the village of Lowton, near Wigan.

Morris joined a band and played alongside a young drummer from Newton-le-Willows - Rick Astley.

Astley later left to join a soul band called FBI and was eventually discovered by pop Svenagali Pete Waterman.

Morris, meanwhile, later began writing songs for Stock Aitken Waterman.

He said: “I wrote a lot of songs for Stock Aitken Waterman.

“It was very easy. Even now if I hear something on the radio, I can predict if it’s going to a number one.

“It’s just how it’s put together – there is a formula to writing a hit record.

“It was a huge team who worked on these records.”

The 45-year-old said he wrote songs for all of the Stock Aitken Waterman artists, including Kylie Minogue, although the pop princess never released any of the songs he worked on.

“I wrote for them all.

“Whether they were considered or not was up to the powers that be. Some were, some were not.”

He said he contributed to a handful of number one singles – but is coy about naming them.

He said did not contribute to Astley’s hit Never Gonna to Give You Up, but he claims that one of the hits that he helped to write “has stood the test of time”.

Meanwhile, he recalls just missing out on becoming a member of Duran Duran, when, in 1986, he was short-listed as a replacement for guitarist Andy Taylor, who had left the band.

Mr Morris says he was considered along with three others, but the band eventually hired Warren Cuccurullo, formerly of Missing Persons and Frank Zappa’s touring band.

He described his brush with international pop fame as “close but no cigar”.

“It didn’t happen, that’s life,” he said.

The MP, who was elected in May, said he enjoyed his time in the music industry but has no regrets at quitting.

He went on to open a chain of hairdressing salons before embarking on a career in politics.

“A lot of people look back and ask ‘what could have been’. For me it was something that happened at the right age and I have fond memories of it.

“I am a politician now.”

 

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