New life for star’s album

Dean Barton holding solo material made by Alan Barton of Black Lace (photo on wall) , also pictured is Graham Kearns (left) and Andy Whelan (right). (03021001)
Dean Barton holding solo material made by Alan Barton of Black Lace (photo on wall) , also pictured is Graham Kearns (left) and Andy Whelan (right). (03021001)
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THE son of a rock star who died on tour is ready to show the world his late father’s long-lost solo album.

Dean Barton and his band Spirit of Smokie have resurrected Black Lace star Alan Barton’s vocals, which they discovered on old tapes that had been left collecting dust for 13 years.

The release of Room With A View will be a tribute to Alan Barton, of Heckmondwike, who helped Black Lace’s Agadoo reach number two in the UK pop charts. The singer died in a bus crash in Germany while on tour with Smokie in 1995.

Dean, 34, of Mirfield, said he was proud of the new album.

He added: “We thought at first it would just go out to family and friends as a nice tribute for my dad.

“But we’ve really done him proud by getting the album to sound like it does. This is just what he would have wanted.”

The obsolete reel-to-reel recordings were found in Spirit of Smokie guitarist Andy Whelan’s loft. They had to be treated in an incubator before being converted into digital format.

Then Spirit of Smokie musicians, which also include guitarist Graham Kearns and drummer Ron Kelly, lent their talents to the project.

The band is preparing a tour of Europe, where it will perform the new tracks to crowds of thousands in Russia and Ukraine.

Andy, 47, of Wakefield, said the band had inherited a large following from Smokie, which was most famous for its 1976 hit Living Next Door to Alice.

He said: “Smokie was just such a popular band over there for some reason. They made sing-along songs with great harmonies which have lasted the test of time.

“We’ve been playing some of the new songs in our sets already and they’ve gone down really well.”

Al Barton and Spirit of Smokie’s album is released this month on Big Lake Music, and can already be ordered on Amazon.de.