When Friends Again called it a day citing the usual musical differences , although listening to the direction Chris Thomson and James Grant went next in this case it was probably genuine, James Grant took the 3 other band members and formed Love and Money. He took the Friends Again sound and moved it west upping the soul and the rock ( move signalled by the fact that an early single Candybar Express was produced by Andy Taylor of Duran Duran)
The debut lp All You Need is Love and Money was released in 1986 and I remember the Record Mirror especially writing glowing review after glowing review.
The lp is a bit disjointed with the rocker numbers clashing a bit with a smoother more soulful sound.
My favourite track from the lp was definitely in the second camp and showed off what a great voice James Grant had hidden away in backing vocals for Friends Again
Dear John - Love and Money
The record company felt they were on to a good thing and spent a small fortune on the follow up Strange Kind of Love whose cover is still one of my favourites.
Produced by Gary Katz who produces Steely Dan the rough edges were smoothed off. Despite constant touring including high profile support slots the 3 singles all failed to break the top 40, which must have been a killer for the band as blued eyed soul of Hue and Cry , Deacon Blue even Wet Wet Wet all went on chart success.
For me the best track is this gorgeous world weary song of doomed love which shows slick and smooth in pop music doesn't have to be soulless
Strange Kind of Love - Love and Money
Having failed to provide a return on investment the record company pressure was now on the band and the next lp Mother Boy was rejected by the label. Some of the songs from this lp have popped up as b sides of singles or rerecorded for some of James Grant's solo lp but along with It's Immaterial's lost 3rd lp I'm still hoping it sees the light of day at some point.
It must of spurred the band on as they came back with their best lp Dogs in Traffic preceded by slightly odd jazzy sounding My Love Lives in a Dead House (not really top 40 material!). By now the harder guitar sound had disappeared completely, but what was left could have you swooning
Winter - Love and Money
The final lp Little Death was released in 1993 on an independent label and has a rootsier sound, closer to what would appear on James Grant's subsequent solo lps.
This track always takes my back to living in Glasgow
I remember are you turned and walked away
I saw the last ship on the river today
The Last Ship on the River - Love and Money
The band broke up after the lps release although they are currently back together touring (playing the whole of Strange Kind of Love and Dogs in Traffic) . I never saw them live first time around so have my ticket for Shepherd Bush Empire and cant wait.
Sadly bass player Bobby Patterson wont be there as he died in 2006
Strange Kind of Love has recently been re released with some added demos and new sleeve notes. You can by it here and wonder at world where Wet Wet Wet can sit at number one for what felt like months but this band never made the top 40 once