In the beginning:

Martin Gordon began his career in the Seventies as bass player with the American band Sparks, who found success in the UK with hits ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us’ and ‘Amateur Hour’ from their 1974 album ‘Kimono My House’. Following his dismissal for reading the newspaper while rehearsing, he moved swiftly on and formed Jet, described by All Music Guide as ‘the first supergroup of glam’. Jet were also described as ‘clambering aboard the glam-rock bandwagon just before the sparkly wheels fell off and deposited the occupants in the cosmic ditch’.


Jet featured Gordon, singer Andy Ellison and drummer Chris Townson from legendary proto-punks John’s Children. They released a solitary, eponymous album (working with Queen- and Foreigner-producer Roy Thomas Baker) and dissolved in a welter of ill-feeling and lack of interest. In recent years, the re-released album has established Jet as the ‘missing link between glam and punk rock’. The release of a collection of material recorded for their projected second album (‘More Light Than Shade’) was stymied by idiots.

Radio Stars

And then:

After the demise of Jet, the band reconvened as Radio Stars and achieved a modicum of success with two well-received albums (‘Songs for Swinging Lovers’ and ‘Holiday Album’). Ousted in a savage dental coup, Gordon moved to Paris to work as house producer for Barclay Records and, during this period, played bass for the Rolling Stones, also recording in Paris at the time.

He returned to the UK in the early 80s and, after forming the short-lived Blue Meanies, began working as keyboard player and studio hand with such sensitive artists/blithering idiots as George Michael, Boy George, Blur, Primal Scream, Kylie Minogue, S’Express, the Tiger Lillies and many other whose names are lost in time and space.


At the beginning of the nineties, ‘world music’ beckoned – Gordon’s ensemble Mira recorded an album, created an extravagant dance theatre show, performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival and expired. He worked in Bombay with the legendary Hindi film singer Asha Bhosle, in Istanbul with epoch-defining Turkish diva Sezen Aksu and became a sought-after location recordist, working in such cosmically-well-starred locations as Bali, Egypt, the Gambia, Ghana, India, Morocco and Pakistan. Simultaneously, and also at the same time, he helped out some old pals in a 20th century revisitation of John’s Children.

The Baboon in the Basement


Following his return to pop territory in 2003 with the release of his first solo CD ‘The Baboon in the Basement’, he has never looked back, although he will not say why. Gordon, oddly but presciently described in 2009 by Classic Rock magazine as being “like Brian Eno fronting 10cc at a cleverness convention”, released the sixth and final part of the Mammal Trilogy ‘Include Me Out’ in 2013. A selection of Gilbert & Sullivan faves was released in 2016. In 2017, Gordon focused unsuccessfully on Dumping the Trump and continued the theme in 2018 with the album ‘Thanks For All the Fish‘. Continuing the theme still further was ‘OMG‘ in 2020. Following Gordon’s dalliance with the Ensemble Modern in west Africa in 2019, he presented his mini-opera ‘Another Words‘ in summer 2021, with an expanded version to follow.

Quick reference:

15 thoughts on “Biography

  1. Hey Boss, hope you’re all good. Was listening to Jet today and it suddenly occurred to me that the Rolling Stones would certainly have been a different beast if you had joined them permanently. I know the songs are as rare as hens teeth but Jagger/Richards did collaborate so I’m sure you’d have had a go. Imagine Mick trying to get his copious lips around Whangdepootenawah? Imagine the Stones having a hit with it?? 😂. Actually how about composing a song in the style of the Stones but with some of the Gordon genius sprinkled over it?

  2. Hi Martin
    As a long time Sparks fan (yeah, I know, it’s so 1970’s, but that’s where I satrted buying pop/rock music)
    I wanted to ask, are you playing bass in the video for Thank God It’s Not Christmas.
    I’m conviced it’s Ian Hampton, mainly because his bass looks like a Fender Jazz, and you usually use Rickenbacker’s, don’t you?

    1. Ah, the 70s. You are right, it’s not me but a miming Brexiteer. Rickenbackers were too good for just any old Tom, Dick or Harry, know what I mean? I’m sure the upcoming Sparks film will have much more on this topic (fnar fnar).

  3. “… sensitive artists/blithering idiots as George Michael, Boy George, Blur, Primal Scream, Kylie Minogue, S’Express, the Tiger Lillies …”

    So true, so true. I too have worked with similar big names in studios. If people only knew what some of these “artists” were/are really like.

      1. Some of the “artists” you mention may have actually been intelligent enough, or bemused, to see their “art” gaining recognition (as well as amassing shed loads of cash). Their enthusiastic fans, however, might not want to believe the truth if even if it jumped up and knocked them over.

          1. “ …. your point is rather opaque. Care to clarify?”

            Well, it’s unreal that people with no discernible talent can get a record deal (those days have gone I know) then get exposed/exploited to the extent that they believe the hype, and their own publicity. Unbelievably this dross can sell and some of these inadequates become elevated to star status.

            Conversely there are artists who have talent, skill and ability but go unrecognised.

            A music business lawyer in London once said to me: “There is no justice”, adding that he didn’t in the legal sense.

  4. Hello Mr.Martin,
    you might remember me: a Sparks fan from Italy who still thinks that the best sounding work from Sparks is Kimono My House. Perhaps because of Adrian Fisher and Martin Gordon in the line-up……. perhaps….. If you remember my name you might remember that we swapped messages long before the Daryl Easlea book because I wanted to know how the Mael bros. put together such a great line-up and in a few months they completely detroyed it.
    I would like to ask you another question so, if you feel like writing back to me, please do it. I’ll wait for your e-mail. All the best from

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