Blanket of Secrecy

Blanket of Secrecy

Infobox musical artist
Name = Blanket of Secrecy

Img_capt =
Landscape = yes
Background = group_or_band
Origin = England, flagicon|England England
Genre = rock
Years_active = 1982
Label = Warner Bros. Records
Current_members = Pete Marsh
Roger Bechirian
Andy Howell
Past_members =
Associated_acts =

Blanket of Secrecy was a popular British New Wave rock music trio. The band is notable for the fact that the band members, true to their band name, were never identified, using only pseudonyms (Tinker, Tailor and Soldier), leading to much speculation in the music press regarding their true identity. The band members could be seen in silhouette on the back cover of their one and only LP, 1982's "Walls Have Ears" in the U.K. (mysteriously renamed "Ears Have Walls" for its U.S. release). A single from the album, "Say You Will," received considerable airplay on both sides of the Atlantic.

Their music was synthpop similar to their contemporaries Flock of Seagulls or A-ha.


There were many theories about the identity of the musicians. Some thought the album was by the Attractions (Elvis Costello's band) whom they superficially resembled. Others noted the "direction" credit to well-known producer (and Costello associate) Roger Bechirian and assumed all songs and instruments must be by Bechirian. Some reviews at the time mentioned the name Pete Marsh as the possible main-man of the band – Marsh was originally a member of Easy Street, a mellow acoustic act of the '70s whose ranks also included Richard James Burgess, who went on to produce plenty of synthpop in the '80s. Marsh later appeared on Nick Lowe's "The Abominable Showman" album.

Extensive research by Blanket of Secrecy fan Gary L. Maher eventually identified the participants definitively as:
* Pete Marsh ("Tinker") - vocals and guitar
* Roger Bechirian ("Soldier") - keyboards and backing vocals
* Andy Howell ("Tailor") - bass and backing vocalsAdditionally, the single "Say You Will" writing credit says Tinker/Spy, and ASCAP has identified "Spy" as Phil McWalter. The song "Yo Yo" was credited to Tinker/Sailor, and Maher has identified "Sailor" as artist Ron Chadwick. The song "Lovers" was co-written by Jack Hues of Wang Chung.

Peter Marsh's musical career goes back at least to 1974, when he released a record with brother-in-law Ken Nicol under the name Nicol and Marsh (a/k/a Nicol & Marsh's Easy Street). They then changed their name to Easy Street and put out two records in 1976 and 1977. Their last record together was a 1978 release called simply "Nicol & Marsh". Marsh's next project was Twist, which put out one record called "This is Your Life" (1979). Between then and BoS, he also worked with Vangelis and Manfred Mann's Earth Band, and released a solo single.

Roger Bechirian is a noted producer, having worked with Elvis Costello, Squeeze, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Carlene Carter, and Trash Can Sinatras.

Andrew Howell is best known for having co-written The Monkees' reunion single "Heart and Soul", from "Pool It!" He co-wrote and played a lot of the instruments on Simon Byrne's album "Dream Crazy". He also played bass on Robert Ellis Orrall's "Contain Yourself". Pre BoS Andrew was also the bass player in South London punk band The Red Lights. All three BoS members had a hand in Carlene Carter's "C'est C Bon" record. They made most of the music and co-wrote two of the songs.

At the time "Ears Have Walls" was recorded, BoS also reportedly recorded an entire second album, which has yet to see the light of day. Unfortunately, the band broke up before the record could be released. One of the unreleased songs is "Cool Reaction," which has been covered by Nick Lowe and Carlene Carter. "Ears Have Walls" is also still waiting for a CD re-issue.


* "Ears Have Walls" (U.S., Warner Bros. Records 23722-1, 1982)
* "Walls Have Ears" (U.K., F-Beat Records 16-1, 1982)
* "Say You Will" (extended mix) / "In The Garden" / "Feather In My Hand" (Warner Bros. 12" single)
* "Say You Will" / "Close To Me" (Warner Bros. 45-rpm single)

Album credits

Side One:
# Say You Will (4:03) (Tinker/Spy) Intersong Music ASCAP
# Young Heart (3:42)
# Love Me Too (2:46)
# Remember Me and You (3:24)
# Long Cool Glass (3:35)
# Photograph (4:46)Side Two:
# Yo Yo (3:19) (Tinker/Sailor) Intersong Music ASCAP
# Close To Me (4:16) (Tinker) Intersong Music ASCAP
# Something I Don't Need (3:02)
# Tell Me Baby (3:29)
# Lovers (4:52) (Hues/De Stig) WB Music Corp. ASCAP
# B.O.S. Theme (3:24) (Tinker/Tailor/Soldier)

All songs written by Tinker/Tailor except as indicated
All songs published by Intersong Music/Plangent Visions Music, Inc. ASCAP except as indicated
Copyright 1982 Warner Bros. Records, Inc.

Produced by Blanket of Secrecy
Directed by Roger Bechirian
Recorded at Ampro Studios and Rockfield Studios
Mixed at Rockfield
Engineered by Rob Keyloch at Ampro and Paul Cobbold at Rockfield
Additional musicians:
Hogg - saxophone
Jack Hues - arrangements on "Lovers"
Originally mastered by Aaron Chakraverty at The Master Room
Front cover Heeps Willard
Back cover Brian Griffin

External links

* [ Gary L. Maher's BoS website]
* [ Yahoo Discussion Group]

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