Remember Dancin’ on a Saturday Night in 1973? Interview with Barry Blue

Barry Blue performing Dancin’ on a Saturday Night in 1973

Barry Blue performing Dancin’ on a Saturday Night in 1973 © to the owners

Known by the public for a fortunate string of glam rock and synthpop successes in the 1970s including Do You Wanna Dance?, School Love and the 1973 super smash hit Dancin’ (on a Saturday Night), as well as for composing more than 45 hits for artists such as Michael Jackson, Andrea Bocelli, Céline Dion and Diana Ross, Barry Blue is a man of many hats and endless inspiration.

His studio work totalled 40 million records sold worldwide, his music was chosen for the likes of the TV series Breaking Bad and Sex and the City, and his tunes soundtracked movies such as The Long Good Friday and The Sweeney.

Barry Blue is in today for a quick interview about his many music and life achievements.

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Barry, what achievements are you most proud of?

Barry Blue album cover 1973

Barry Blue in the 1970s – © to the owners

Getting through the last 50 years in the music business in one piece and being married for 47 of them… intact! Seriously speaking, though, I think my best achievements have been writing my first song for late American celebrity Gene Pitney when I was just fifteen, winning a Carl Allan Award, which is like the ballroom dancing world’s Oscar, in 1974 for Best Record of the Year, with previous winners including Abba, The Beatles and Queen. Then I’m proud of having produced Escaping for Dina Carroll, Heatwave’s Boogie Nights and Always & Forever in 1976 and having three top three records in three different categories as an artist. And then, of course, composing Dancin’ on a Saturday Night as a songwriter!

Which one of your songs are you most attached to?

There are three of them: Boy in the Moon, which I wrote when my son was born, Lost For Words, which I sang at my daughter’s wedding, and also Call My Name, which is my wife’s favourite song of mine.

Why did you pick Barry Blue as a stage name when your real name is Barry Green

Prior to that, I had released three singles as Barry Green by Decca label, and all of them had been quite unsuccessful, so, after chatting with the record company, one of the chaps around the table said: “How about a name change?” He went on to suddenly explain that green is considered an unlucky colour by circus performers. As the music business is something akin to a circus, I eventually decided to change my colour!

What was your dream job as a child? Did you have a plan B?

I’ve always been fascinated by ancient history, especially Egyptology, so I would have probably “explored” this as a career!

You are a singer, a producer and a songwriter. What is your favourite role? 

Barry Blue British singer

Barry Blue today © to the owners

I definitely feel more like a songwriter and, more specifically, a lyricist; I can write both music and lyrics but writing a good story in three minutes with a beginning, a middle and an end is what gives me the greatest satisfaction.

Are there any memories from your time working with artists like Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Andrea Bocelli and Céline Dion you would like to share?

Michael Jackson would never stop dancing for all the two weeks I spent rehearsing with him! Regarding Diana Ross, I only spoke to her through her manager, so it was all quite business-like. I was then bowled over when one of the greatest singers in the world, Andrea Bocelli, covered one of my songs – I actually fell off my chair in the studio when I heard that! And at some point in my career, I was asked to write a song for a sixteen-year-old Céline Dion: the song was called Too Young at Seventeen, and I knew since the beginning that she was going to be a massive star!

Barry Blue British singer on stage

Barry Blue today © to the owners

Pictures provided from Barry Blue’s private collection © belongs to their respective owners

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