Guitarist Bernie Marsden and Mascot Label Group's Provogue Records have announced a September 30 release date for Shine. Marsden has been a prolific artist since the early 1970s, contributing performances to approximately 100 albums. He has enjoyed a successful long-running solo career, alongside being a key member of ensembles that include Whitesnake, UFO, Wild Turkey, Babe Ruth, Paice Ashton & Lord, Cozy Powell’s Hammer, Alaska, M3 and others.
The light, airy commercial feel of ‘Shine’ is largely attributable to producer Rob Cass, who pieced together its contents in Studio 3 of the legendary Abbey Road facility, though the backing tracks for three of its selections were cut at Riverside Studios in Somerset. During the 1980s, Cass had actually spent six months as the lead singer of Marsden’s group Alaska before carving a career as a successful producer with a wide range of rock, pop and classical artists. It was Cass who sought out Marsden, emailing him to suggest they catch up over a reunion lunch at the home of his production company, located at Abbey Road Studios.
Marsden offers, “Rob wanted to thank me for having sent him an air ticket to come to London from Ireland [to join Alaska] and helping to get his career underway. Coincidentally, I was looking for a producer because I’ve been writing, playing and producing for too long. I really liked the sounds that Rob gets, and that’s how the whole thing came together. If people think I was recording at Abbey Road because Whitesnake’s ‘Here I Go Again’ made 18 gazillion quid then they’re quite wrong… though it did make 17 gazillion quid!”
Marsden believes that the famous facility has an atmosphere that permeates the sounds created within its walls – hence the album’s final instrumental song is titled NW8, after the studio’s postcode. He reflects, “The Beatles recorded Revolver, my favorite album of theirs in Studio 3, so it has that sense of history. I honestly believe Abbey Road to be the best studio in the world.”
Although Marsden was wary of flooding the credits with too many special guests, Shine does feature some extremely well-known names, from Joe Bonamassa to Whitesnake singer David Coverdale, and the Deep Purple duo of Ian Paice (drums) and Don Airey (keyboards). Jimmy Copley of Jeff Beck fame behind the kit and Mark Feltham of Nine Below Zero also supplies some breathtaking harmonica playing.
“I can’t help it, I’ve got a lot of mates – and quite a few of them are guitar players," Marsden says.