MALONE AGAIN, NATURALLY

A 40-year-old album which sells for over £1500 is the latest in RC’s series of classic vinyl reissues (see offer opposite). Ian Shirley meets the man behind it

MALONE AGAIN, NATURALLY

I have not worked with Madonna,” master arranger Wil Malone muses,” although I did send her some of my arrangement to see what she thought. But I sent it on a cassette in the post. Her management phoned me up and said ‘You sent it in the mail?’ . . . They thought I was going to send it Fed-Ex!”

Despite not wrapping violins and cellos around the material girl, Wil Malone has arranged for everyone else in the musical constellation in the last forty years, with a roll call as diverse as Massive Attack, UNKLE, Oasis, The Verve and DJ Shadow. Of course, for many record collectors Malone is known for his mega-rare solo album, released in 1970. Today, copies change hands for £1500 or more, but as he recalls today: “It was not greeted lovingly at the time.”

Born in North London in 1952, Wilson Malone wanted to be an arranger from the age of 12, when he first heard Barber’s Adagio For Strings. He found his way into the business in the 1960s through the Rob Storm Group, which became Rob Storm and the Whispers and then ended up as Orange Bicycle (pictured right, with Wil at the back, second from left). “Actually, first of all I played drums and did some vocals, and then later on I switched to keyboards when another drummer came in.”

Malone’s …

by Ian Shirley
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