For further information about Design, including a personal history, photographs, television appearances, album tracks, CDs, reviews and videos, please visit www.designvocalgroup.com
Tony Smith formed the vocal group DESIGN with Gabrielle Field, Kathy Manuell, John Mulcahy-Morgan and Geoff Ramseyer while he was working at the BBC in London in December 1968. Barry Alexander (Johnston) joined them in February 1969. The group then signed a recording contract with Adrian Kerridge of Lansdowne Studios and Sydney Dale of Amphonic Music and recorded their first album Design during the rest of 1969. This led to a two-album deal with Epic Records in the USA.
In November 1970, shortly before the first album was released, Tony Smith left the group and he was replaced by guitarist Jeff Matthews, who had been with John and Geoff in the group Free Expression.
This was Design’s most successful line-up and after their appearances on ‘The Morecambe and Wise Show’ in 1971 they became one of the most televised groups in the UK, guesting on programmes with The Two Ronnies, Benny Hill and Tommy Cooper, among many others. They toured with Gilbert O’Sullivan, starred in cabaret and at the London Palladium, and recorded the albums Tomorrow Is So Far Away, Day of the Fox and In Flight before Gabrielle Field and Geoff Ramseyer left the group in October 1974.
Kathy, Barry, John and Jeff carried on for another two years as a four-piece group and recorded one more album By Design before finally splitting up in October 1976.
In June 2011, Design's first four albums were re-issued for the first time on CD and download by RPM Records. The albums Design and Tomorrow Is So Far Away are available on the CD RPM Records Retro 897 and the albums Day of the Fox and In Flight are available on the CD RPM Records Retro 898.
Due to popular demand, in October 2012 RPM released a third Design CD of A and B sides, rare demos and unreleased tracks. It is called One Sunny Day: Singles and Rarities 1968 - 1978 and is available on the CD RPM Records Retro 919.
The following Design singles and albums were released in the UK unless otherwise stated:
Barry’s songs are highlighted in bold
May 1970: Willow Stream / Coloured Mile (Epic) (USA)
July 1970: Willow Stream / Coloured Mile (Epic)
March 1971: Coloured Mile / The Minstrel’s Theme (Epic) (USA)
April 1971: Jet Song / The Minstrel’s Theme (Epic)
October 1971: Love Is / Take a Boat (Epic)
January 1972: Colour All the World / Lazy Song (Regal Zonophone)
June 1972: Color All the World / Lazy Song (Capitol) (USA)
July 1972: Mayday / Yellow Bird (Regal Zonophone)
July 1973: One Sunny Day / End of the Party (Regal Zonophone)
August 1973: Jennifer / Träume (Polydor) (Germany)
February 1974: Second Love / Once Upon a Time (EMI)
April 1974: Losing You / I Am the Greene Manne (EMI)
August 1974: Sing the World a Song / So Be It Baby (EMI)
July 1975: Pullin’ Away / You Take My Breath Away (EMI)
October 1975: Bangin’ On the Old Piano / Won’t You Say You Love Me (EMI)
March 1976: Michaelangelo / Never Need Another Love (EMI)
September 1976: You’re So Good to Me / Never Been a Love Like This (EMI)
BARRY ALEXANDER: SINGLES
June 1976: England, England / Lullaby For Joanna (EMI)
April 1978: Flown Away / You Take My Breath Away (M7) (Australia)
January 1971: Design (Epic) (USA)
March 1971: Design (Epic)
October 1971: Tomorrow Is So Far Away (Epic)
February 1973: Day Of The Fox (Regal Zonophone)
May 1974: In Flight (EMI)
February 1976: By Design (EMI)
For further information about Design, please visit www.designvocalgroup.com