When the moody Forever and Ever topped the UK charts for Slik on Valentine’s Day 1976 it completed a remarkable ten years at the top for its writers Bill Martin and Phil Coulter.
By 1974, the duo were aiming their wares firmly at the teenybopper market. They transformed the obscure Bay City Rollers into a cultural phenomenon with a string of hits including Shang-A-Lang and Saturday Night (the latter a chart-topper in America).
Though undeniably skilled craftsmen, their approach now took cynicism to new depths, with the artists for whom they wrote almost interchangeable.
When an Irish male vocalist (with whom they’d had hits under the name Kenny) decided to retire they simply gave their songs to a group and released them under the Kenny sobriquet.
Slik singer Midge Ure (later of Ultravox and Band Aid fame) had been amazed to find he merely had to sing over a pre-recorded backing track. Of its chart-topping triumph, he later said; “I was kind of smiling but distant at the same time because it wasn’t mine. It was nothing to do with me at all”.