These pages are presented as a tribute to the late, great Peter Doyle, a member of the New Seekers from 1970-73 and once described by Lyn Paul as: "the best musician in the group and probably the most creative."
The release of Peter Doyle's album Rarities in 2004 prompted fans to re-evaluate his contribution to pop music and to draw comparisons with other musicians. Of course, the harder you try to identify the similarities, the more conscious you become of the differences. And whatever the chords in common, Peter's voice remains the instrument that made his recordings unique.
Nonetheless, if you're a fan of Peter Doyle, you may also like some of the recording artists listed below. Conversely, if you like any of these artists and you haven't yet discovered Peter Doyle, it's never too late to start listening.
J.J. Cale wrote the songs After Midnight and Cocaine, both of which were hits for Eric Clapton. Cale had a few minor hits of his own in the USA: at the beginning of 1972 Crazy Mama made it to number 22; in the Summer of the same year Cale's version of After Midnight followed it to number 42, as did Lies a few months later.
Cale's laid-back approach ("strummin' on the porch ... a beer in reach") provided a blueprint for Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits. Spot the similarity in style: the gravelly voice, the hypnotic beat and the hint of blues about the guitar. When Peter Doyle rocked, he typically did so with more energy, but if you like the single Skin Deep, then there's a chance you'll also enjoy songs by J.J. Cale such as Cocaine.
Like this? New Seekers (lead vocal: Peter Doyle), I Can Say You're Beautiful (from the New Seekers' UK album We'd Like To Teach The World To Sing) Like that? Jim Croce, I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (single taken from the album I Got A Name) and Time In A Bottle (single taken from the album You Don't Mess Around With Jim)
Crowded House / Split Enz
Emerging from the ashes of Split Enz in 1986, Crowded House started off as a trio: Neil Finn, Paul Hester and Nick Seymour. Neil's brother, Tim Finn (also of Split Enz), joined in 1991. In the USA the band's biggest hit was Don't Dream It's Over (1987): in the UK it was Weather With You, a number 7 hit in 1992.
Like this? Peter Doyle, Don't Mess With Me (from the CD Rarities) Like that? Crowded House, Locked Out (from the album Together Alone)
Like this? Peter Doyle, Will We Find Heaven? (from the CD Rarities) Like that? Crowded House, Into Temptation (from the album Temple Of Low Men)
Like this? Peter Doyle, Wake Up With Me (B-side of the single Do You Wanna Make Love) Like that? Split Enz, I See Red (from the album Frenzy)
Like this? Peter Doyle, It's All Over (B-side of the single This and That) Like that? Split Enz, What's The Matter With You (from the album True Colours)
In 1968 Dave Edmunds had a UK hit with Sabre Dance as the lead guitarist with Love Sculpture. Two years later he topped the UK charts as a solo artist with a cover of the Smiley Lewis song I Hear You Knocking. In the USA the single peaked at number 4.
Dave Edmunds' love of rock 'n' roll comes through loud and clear on all his recordings. His UK hits of 1973 - cover versions of the Ronettes' Baby I Love You and the Chordettes' Born To Be With You - both paid homage to Phil Spector.
Neither of these were hits in the USA, where Edmunds became better-known (if he were known at all) for his work with Emmylou Harris and Carl Perkins. In September 1979 he returned to the Hot 100 with the Elvis Costello song Girls Talk. Taken from his album Repeat When Necessary, the single was more successful in the UK, where it reached number 4. Queen Of Hearts, from the same album, also made the Top 20 in the UK.
Coincidentally, Dave Edmunds and Peter Doyle both recorded the Holland / Dozier / Holland song Something About You.
Like this? Peter Doyle, Mona Lisa (from the CD Rarities) Like that? Dave Edmunds, Queen Of Hearts (single taken from the album Repeat When Necessary)
David Gray's first album A Century Ends was released in 1993, but it wasn't until the release of his fourth, White Ladder, in 1999, that Gray made his big breakthrough. Featuring songs written for the film This Year's Love, the album gave Gray his first (and only) Top 5 single in the UK, Babylon.
Sensitive, angry, poetic - Gray's lyrics have been described by Joan Baez as the best since the young Bob Dylan.
Like this? Peter Doyle / New Seekers, And So In Life (first released as the B-side of Peter Doyle's solo single Rusty Hands Of Time, also featured on the New Seekers' compilation album The New Seekers) Like that? David Gray, Only The Lonely (from the CD Sell Sell Sell)
Like this? Peter Doyle, Don't Mess With Me (from the CD Rarities) Like that? David Gray, Faster, Sooner, Now (from the CD Sell Sell Sell)
Ian Hunter Ian Hunter
Chris Isaak San Francisco Days
Joe Jackson I'm The Man
Joe Jackson Beat Crazy
Joe Jackson Night And Day
Nils Lofgren Nils Lofgren
Crazy Horse Crazy Horse
Nick Lowe Jesus Of Cool
Nick Lowe Dig My Mood
Ian Hunter (Mott the Hoople)
Ian Hunter, better-known as the lead singer of Mott the Hoople, had a solo hit in the UK in 1975 with Once Bitten Twice Shy. Four years later he also had a minor hit in the USA with Just Another Night.
Mott the Hoople's hits included: All The Young Dudes, All The Way From Memphis and Roll Away The Stone.
Like this? Peter Doyle, Jenny Do You Like? (from the CD Rarities) Like that? Ian Hunter, Once Bitten Twice Shy (UK single: CBS 3194, taken from the album Ian Hunter)
Chris Isaak's début album Silvertone was released in 1985. The rockabilly style of his music and the moody photo of him on the album sleeve both harked back to the rock 'n' roll era of the late '50s. But while there may have been a look of Elvis about him, his vocal style owed more of a debt to Roy Orbison (he later paid homage by including a cover of Only The Lonely on his sixth album The Baja Sessions).
While waiting for a hit single, Chris Isaak continued to record: a second album, Chris Isaak, was released in 1987 and a third, Heart Shaped World, came out in 1989. In 1988 one of Isaak's songs from Silvertone, Western Stars, was covered by k.d. lang on her album Shadowland.
The hit single came at last in 1990. Wicked Game, which was featured in the David Lynch film Wild At Heart, reached number 6 in the USA and number 10 in the UK. Having provided a song for a film soundtrack, Isaak then went on to appear in films himself: he played a leading role in the film Little Buddah and made cameo appearances in Married To The Mob and Silence Of The Lambs.
Like this? Peter Doyle, Rocky Lady (from the album Skin Deep) Like that? Chris Isaak, Except The New Girl (from the album San Francisco Days)
Like this? Peter Doyle, Mona Lisa (from the CD Rarities) Like that? Chris Isaak, Diddley Daddy (from the album Heart Shaped World)
Joe Jackson is the master of many styles: jazz, jive, classical and punk-era pop. His début album Look Sharp! was released in 1978. It included the single Is She Really Going Out With Him?, which became a US hit in June 1979 and a UK hit two months later.
Joe Jackson's second album I'm The Man included the single It's Different For Girls. The song became a Top 5 hit in the UK but did not make any impact in America, where Jackson was absent from the singles chart for three years.
In 1982 he moved to New York. Adopting a more sophisticated style, he soon found himself with a hit album, Night And Day, and a hit single, Steppin' Out, Both of these remain the most accomplished of all his achievements.
Like this? Peter Doyle, Wake Up With Me (B-side of the single Do You Wanna Make Love) Like that? Joe Jackson, Tonight and Forever (from the album Big World) and Friday (from the album I'm The Man)
Like this? Peter Doyle, This and That (UK single) Like that? Joe Jackson, It's Different For Girls (single taken from the album I'm The Man)
Like this? Peter Doyle, It's All Over (B-side of the single This and That) Like that? Joe Jackson, Mad At You (from the album Beat Crazy)
Nils Lofgren began his recording career in the late '60s as Paul Dowell and the Dolphin. During the early '70s he recorded several albums with the group Grin. Before signing to A&M Records as a solo artist, he also worked with Neil Young and Crazy Horse, appearing on Young's album After The Goldrush and on Crazy Horse's eponymous début album.
Lofgren's first solo album, Nils Lofgren, came out in 1975. It was the first of six for the A&M label and included a tribute to Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Keith Don't Go, and a cover of the Goffin / King classic Goin' Back.Peter Doyle recorded Goin' Back while he was with the New Seekers. Had he recorded it after he left the group, it's tempting to imagine it sounding more like the Nils Lofgren version.
Although he continued to record as a solo artist in the 1980s and '90s, Nils Lofgren returned to his role as a "right hand man" to other artists, working once again with Neil Young and then joining Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.
Like this? Peter Doyle, It's All Over (B-side of the single This and That) Like that? Nils Lofgren, Steal Away (from the album Nils)
Like this? New Seekers, Dance, Dance, Dance (from the New Seekers' UK album We'd Like To Teach The World To Sing) Like that? Crazy Horse, Dance, Dance, Dance (from the album Crazy Horse)
Although a successful recording artist in his own right, Nick Lowe has often been the man behind the success of others, writing or producing records for Carlene Carter, Elvis Costello, the Damned, Dr. Feelgood, Dave Edmunds, the Kursaal Flyers and the Pretenders. Notable amongst these are Dave Edmunds' 1977 hit I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock 'n' Roll) and Elvis Costello'sWhat's So Funny 'Bout (Peace Love and Understanding). Lowe also produced the Pretenders' début hit Stop Your Sobbing.
Following the failure of his critically-acclaimed single So It Goes,Nick Lowe made his UK chart début in 1978 when I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass entered the singles chart and climbed to number 7. He made his US chart début the following year when Cruel To Be Kind made it to number 12. In the UK the single also peaked at number 12.
Like this? Peter Doyle, Wake Up With Me (B-side of the single Do You Wanna Make Love) Like that? Nick Lowe, Heart Of The City (B-side of the single So It Goes, featured on the album Basher: The Best Of Nick Lowe).
Like this? Peter Doyle, Don't Mess With Me (from the CD Rarities) Like that? Nick Lowe, Stick It Where The Sun Don't Shine (from the album Nick The Knife)
Don McLean Tapestry
Don McLean American Pie
Mike and the
Mechanics Word Of Mouth
Michael Nesmith Magnetic South
Eddie Rabbitt Greatest Hits
For The People
Singer-songwriter Don McLean first made his mark on the charts with American Pie, an eight minute song inspired by the death of Buddy Holly. The single made it to number 1 in the USA in January 1972 (while the New Seekers were topping the UK charts with I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing). The song made it to number 2 in the UK but eventually became a chart-topper for Madonna in 2000.
Don McLean followed his first success with another huge hit, Vincent (a tribute to the artist Vincent Van Gogh). This made it to number 1 in the UK and to number 12 in the States.
A cover of the Buddy Holly song Everyday gave him a minor UK hit in 1973, while in the USA he made the lower reaches of the charts with If We Try. The year was more remarkable, however, for the success of And I Love You So, a Don McLean song covered by Perry Como. Como's version was a Top 30 hit in the USA and a Top 3 hit in the UK, where it spent an incredible 35 weeks in the singles chart. McLean's version of the song appeared on his album Tapestry.
Like this? New Seekers (lead vocal: Peter Doyle), I Can Say You're Beautiful (from the New Seekers' UK album We'd Like To Teach The World To Sing) Like that? Don McLean, And I Love You So (from the album Tapestry)
Like this? Peter Doyle / New Seekers, And So In Life (first released as the B-side of Peter Doyle's solo single Rusty Hands Of Time, also featured on the New Seekers' compilation album The New Seekers) Like that? Don McLean, Empty Chairs (from the album American Pie)
Mike and the Mechanics
Led by Mike Rutherford (Genesis), Mike and the Mechanics had their biggest hit in 1989 when The Living Years topped the singles chart in the USA. In the UK the song stuck at number 2 (the number 1 at the time was Marc Almond and Gene Pitney, Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart).
Like this? Peter Doyle, State Of The Heart (from the CD Rarities) Like that? Mike and the Mechanics, A Time And Place (from the album Word Of Mouth)
Although Peter Doyle collaborated with former-Monkee Davy Jones (the two wrote a song together, It's Now, which was released as a single in Japan in 1981), some of Peter's music has more in common with another former-Monkee, Michael Nesmith. Nesmith's brand of easy-going country, typified by singles such as Joanne, Silver Moon and Rio, is similar to the style that Peter defined as "countrified in blue jeans."
Like this? Peter Doyle, Rocky Lady (from the album Skin Deep) Like that? Michael Nesmith, Joanne (single taken from the album Magnetic South)
Although he had been in the music business since 1964, Eddie Rabbitt had to wait until 1970 for his first lucky break, when his song Kentucky Rain became a hit Elvis Presley (US number 16 / UK number 21).
In 1974 Ronnie Milsap had a number 1 on the US country chart with Rabbitt's Pure Love. Rabbitt made his own début on the country chart the same year with the single You Get To Me.
1976 brought him the first of seventeen country number 1s with Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind) and also saw him break into the mainstream chart with Rocky Mountain Music.
In 1979 he scored an international hit with Every Which Way But Loose, from the film of the same name starring Clint Eastwood. Drivin' My Life Away, from the film Roadie starring Meat Loaf, gave him an even bigger hit in the USA in 1980 and was followed by his biggest hit of all (a US number 1), I Love A Rainy Night.
Like this? Peter Doyle, Six Days On The Road (from the CD Rarities) Like that? Eddie Rabbitt, B-B-B-Burnin' Up With Love (US single: Warner 29279, featured on the CD Greatest Hits - 10 Best Series)
Acclaimed by Rolling Stone as "America's best rock band", R.E.M. formed in 1980. The band became popular on the US college circuit and made it into the US singles chart for the first time in 1983 with Radio Free Europe. Fronted by lead vocalist Michael Stipe and featuring Bill Berry on drums, Peter Buck on guitar and Mike Mills on bass, R.E.M. worked as a four-piece band until October 1997, when Bill Berry announced he was quitting.
During this time R.E.M. became a top-selling album act, with Out Of Time, Automatic For The People, Monster and New Adventures In Hi-fi all making it to number 1 in the UK. Out Of Time and Monster also topped the US album chart.
The band also had success with its singles, four of which made it into the US Top 10 - The One I Love (number 9 in 1987), Stand (number 6 in 1989), Losing My Religion (number 4 in 1991) and Shiny Happy People (a number 10 hit later the same year). The first of these, The One I Love, also gave the band its first UK hit, albeit a lowly chart placing of number 51. Subsequent Top 10 entries in the UK include: Everybody Hurts (1993), What's The Frequency, Kenneth (1994) and Daysleeper (1998).
Like this? Peter Doyle, Reel Back (from the album Skin Deep) Like that? R.E.M., Everybody Hurts (from the album Automatic For The People)
Like this? Peter Doyle, It's All Over (B-side of the single This and That) Like that? R.E.M., What's The Frequency, Kenneth? (from the album Monster)
Silver Bullet Band Stranger In Town
Bruce Springsteen Born To Run
Joe Walsh But Seriously Folks
Bob Seger, recording at the time as the Bob Seger System, had his first US hit in 1968: Ramblin' Gamblin' Man spent 14 weeks in the Hot 100 and reached number 17. His first UK hit, Hollywood Nights, came a decade later. The single, which was recorded with the Silver Bullet Band, spent six weeks in the UK chart and peaked at number 42.
Seger's chart placings in the UK never matched his success back home. Even his best-known song We've Got Tonight (originally We've Got Tonite) only ever made it as high as number 22. The song was subsequently a bigger hit for Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton (in 1983) and for Ronan Keating and Lulu (in 2002). Other artists who have recorded the song include: Shirley Bassey, Elkie Brooks and Barry Manilow. Former New Seeker Eve Graham also recorded it for her 1980 album Woman Of The World.
Like this? Peter Doyle, Lady You've Got Me (from the CD Rarities) Like that? Bruce Springsteen, Human Touch (from the album Human Touch)
Like this? Peter Doyle, One More River (from the album Skin Deep) Like that? Bruce Springsteen, Valentine's Day (from the album Tunnel Of Love)
Billy Swan is best-known for his 1974 hit I Can Help. The single topped the charts in the USA and reached number 6 in the UK. Subsequent releases failed to sell on the same scale: I'm Her Fool and Everything's The Same (Ain't Nothing Changed) were only minor hits in the USA, while a cover of Elvis Presley'sDon't Be Cruel didn't make it any further than number 42 in the UK.
Like this? Peter Doyle, China Doll (from the CD Rarities) Like that? Billy Swan, I Can Help (single from the album I Can Help)
Joe Walsh was a member of the James Gang from 1969 to 1971. He joined the Eagles in 1975 but also found time for a solo career. His biggest hit as a solo artist was the 1978 single Life's Been Good, a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of his 'rock star' lifestyle. Compare it with Sailor Man,Peter Doyle's more cynical take on the same subject.