Over the last decade I have released five studio albums of completely new material: Vozero, 6pm, 50 mins later, Firebird V11 and Corroncho. During this same period I also released a retrospective compilation of two cds and a DVD called ‘ Phil Manzanera,1972-2007, The music’. In the last few years, in between touring and producing, I have enjoyed revisiting my solo albums and re-releasing them as series of Collector’s editions, raiding the archive for lost tracks and memorabilia. The latest Collectors’ editions are my first solo album Diamond Head and Quiet Sun’s Mainstream , albums from 1975. I think of them as fraternal twins, recorded at the same time, gestated in the same studio and over the same time period: 12pm-6pm Diamond Head sessions and Mainstream, the Quiet Sun album from 6pm-12am. Quiet Sun was the band I was in before Roxy Music, with Bill MacCormick , Charles Hayward and Dave Jarrett. Because of Roxy’s success I had the opportunity to record a solo album but unbeknownst to my management company I recorded two albums in the studio time allocated for one album. When they were finished I presented both to a stupefied management and Island Records. These two new Collectors Editions bring together all the recordings from the sessions, with demos and versions as well as new photos and is intended not only for the collector but also as an introduction to the variety of music that has interested me over the last 40 years.
Quiet Sun originally formed around Dulwich College in 1970 as a four-piece progressive rock band featuring Phil Manzanera (guitar), Bill MacCormick (bass),Charles Hayward (drums), and Dave Jarrett (keyboards). The band name came from an article on sunspots and solar flares that MacCormick's brother Ian had been reading, called "The Year of the Quiet Sun." The group managed to score a rehearsal space from Warner Bros. and toured around the south of England gaining a small following, but were never signed. In 1971, Manzanera left to join Roxy Music, MacCormick joined Matching Mole, Jarrett went into teaching, and Hayward joined Gong. Three years later, Manzanera was riding high on Roxy Music and decided to reform Quiet Sun while spending the latter part of 1974 working on a solo album to be known as Diamond Head. Manzanera booked 12-hour studio days, recording his solo album for eight and Quiet Sun for four, resulting in Mainstream. The group mostly re-recorded the songs they had rehearsed back in 1970, though several songs from that time instead found their way onto Diamond Head, including "Frontera" (later re-recorded by Robert Wyatt as "Team Spirit" on Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard) and "Alma." Both albums formed the basis of much of 801's live shows, which featured Manzanera and MacCormick . Hayward left to form This Heat. For a while, after initial pressings of Mainstream went out of print, the CD of the album was only obtainable through an expensive Japanese import. In 1999 Mainstream was re-released on Manzanera's own label, Now 2011 comes the Collectors edition , in book form complete with a number of the early, pre-Roxy Quiet Sun demos and new pictures and memorabilia . Ted Mills