Ben Vaughn is many things: a singer, a songwriter, a producer, a radio host and a creator of music for television. His recent album, ‘The World of Ben Vaughn’, has arrived thirty six years after his 1986 debut. That first record was only released on vinyl and, in a manner, Vaughn’s musical career has come full-circle as the twelve original songs on the new album were written to celebrate Record Store Day 2022. He was inspired by the invitation to produce a new vinyl LP: “I could picture the packaging, the label art, the coloured vinyl, the whole bit. I even heard the Side One and Side Two break as I was creating. Amazing how inspiring a manufacturing format can be!”
During the writing process, Vaughn felt a sense of freedom and chose to play and record all the musical parts himself “When I was a teenager, I was blown away by the first Emitt Rhodes and Paul McCartney albums and my earliest recordings were one-man-band experiments. I started out as a drummer, so it felt natural to build a track from the ground up. It wasn’t easy in the days of reel-to-reel tape. I eventually went on to record in a more conventional manner with backing musicians but returned to this method from time to time, depending on the material. ” It seems fitting, then, that this live recording is unplugged, entirely stripped back and solo. Vaughn shows what one singer and a guitar can do – he manages to be rhythmic thanks to a forceful strum and tuneful with a particularly melodic solo.
This single was inspired by one of Vaughn’s favourite songs of yesteryear – Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders’ upbeat classic ‘The Game of Love’. Much as he loves the 1960s hit, Vaughn reflects: “Wayne had it all wrong. Love is definitely not a game,” and ‘Wayne Fontana was Wrong’ was written in answer to ‘The Game of Love’. Love may actually be a serious business but Vaughn still approaches the subject and his performance with his trademark humour and charismatic warmth.
The CD, download and streaming versions of ‘The World of Ben Vaughn’ have also now been released. Check it out.