Andy Hill was the mastermind behind Bucks Fizz, both in terms of songwriting and producing as well as putting the group together (with wife Nichola Martin).
He was born Andrew Gerrard Hill in 1957 at Bracknell. He attended Sandy Lane Primary School in Bracknell and then Windsor Grammer School for boys. His first job was as an apprentice at Ferranti in 1974-76. His parents owned a pub:
"I must be one of the few people in the world who likes the smell of beer-soaked carpets and wine drenched floors. It's very evocative for me".
He went on to appear in groups Volcanic Rock (nice name!) and Gem.
Originally well known for his advertising jingles, he decided with John Danter to write a song for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest. That song, needless to say, was 'Making your mind up'! The members, Bobby G, Mike Nolan, Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston (later replaced by Shelley Preston, later replaced by the world and his wife) went on to have three number one hits (the Eurovision winner, 'Land of make believe' and 'My camera never lies') as well as other Andy Hill compositions like 'If you can't stand the heat', 'Run for you life', 'Now those days are gone' etc.
He didn't just twiddle the knobs and press the buttons for Bucks Fizz however, and on this website you can see his other work with the likes of Cliff Richard, Peter Cetera, Celine Dion and anybody else who'd have him! Arguably the most famous of his writings has been Celine's number one seller 'Think twice'.
Ironically, Andy failed his O level in music! It hasn't stopped him winning ASCAP and BMI awards or even those all important Ivor Novello Awards for "Songwriter of the year", "Best song Musically and Lyrically" and other nominations.
All the instruments Andy plays were self taught and his very first written song 'Give a little bit more' was recorded by none other than Cliff Richard on his 'I'm no hero' album. Not a bad first attempt. In fact, Andy claims that 'Making your mind up was only the FOURTH song he'd ever written! Nowadays he says he only writes maybe eight or nine songs a year because he claims he is lazy!
Andy is a member for the Society Of Distinguished Songwriters, otherwise known as SODS. This is a very prestigious org where you have to be voted in unanimously! It includes the likes of Sir Tim Rice, Mike Batt, Benny or Bjorn of ABBA, and many others. (www.sods.org).
Comfort's Place, Andys original studio was brought in 1983. At the time it was the most technologically advanced studio in the UK. Andy didn't use it exclusively, but hired it out as a residential studio. It was used by the Cure, Paul Weller, Status Quo, Paul Carrack, PiL, Happy Mondays to name but a few.
He will joke that he isn't "currently working on" but that he is "currently ruining the careers of..." but I have a feeling a lot of people are very grateful for his attempts at ruining their careers - it worked out a very successful involvement!