Mike Batt

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Mike Batt was born at the 6th of February 1949 in Southampton. Before he left school, he played in several school-bands on vocals, piano and organ cover-versions from 'The 'Beatles', 'Rolling Stones' or 'Kinks', for example 'Phase 4', an unknown Southampton group (1965), they did a few weddings at empty youth clubs but never recorded anything - in contrast to 'Phase 4' from Newcastle, round about the vocalist & guitarist Norman Nossiter. With his first earned money - as a singer by the duo 'That Lady's Twins', as an organ-player in a strip-club and with several advertising jingles for the likes of Guinness and Smarties - he financed his first trips from Southampton to London, where he tried to offer his first composed songs to music- and record-companies. Accidentally he found a newspaper advertisement from 'Liberty Records', searching for a literary hack - and he got the job. One year later, at the age of 19, he was the Artist & Repertoire Manager at Liberty-Records and published his first singles.

1968 he was the A&R Manager from the album "Hand Me Down My Old Walking Stick" from the American Blues-veteran Big Joe Williams and produced the debut-album "Scratching the surface" from the Groundhogs and wrote the the string-arrangements for the Family LP "Music in a Doll's House"

1969 he became keyboards player in the avant-garde band 'Hapshash & The Coloured Coat'.

1970 - after 18 month at 'Liberty' - he left his job and founded his own music-company (Batt Songs Ltd.) and the 'Mike Batt Orchestra' (short-called 'MBO'). With "Batt Tracks", a mix of cover-versions from some well known hits and for the first time attracted attention as an arranger, conductor and producer. Production of The Troggs single: "Easy Loving".

1971 Then followed two cover-version-albums with songs from the Rolling Stones and from (Sir) Elton John,

1972 Four cover-version-albums from Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and George Harrison. These productions were an opportunity to try the theoretical knowledge about arrangements, which he had learned in the previous 2 years from books, to put it into practice and gain experience of conducting.

1973 he stormed the charts with the "Wombles". The "Wombles"- a children's animated film - are part of an environment campaign from the Britain government. Mike wrote, sang and produced the signature track "The Wombling Song". And what began with a short signature track, grew within 18 months to 8 Top-30-Singles (e.g. "Remember you're a Womble", "Banana Rock", "Minuetto Allegretto", "Super Womble") and 4 golden LP's. Children in the whole world became Wombles' Fans. (e.g. = lat. exempli gratia = for instance)

1974 on the 6th of April the 19th Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Brighton. The break till the decision of the jury fills Mike with his Wombles. Winner of this Song Contest were Abba with "Waterloo".

1975 with "Summertime City" -from the BBC-Show Seaside Special- he reached the 4th place in the UK-Charts. He produces for Steeleye Span " All Around My Hat" and in

1976 "Rocket Cottage". For the Pub-Rock-Band 'Kursaal Flyers' he produced the LP "Golden Mile" with their hit-singles "Little does she know" and "Radio Romance" and also for Elkie Brooks the Top-Twenty-Single "Lilac wine".

1977 with "Schizophonia" he has his breakthrough as a 'serious' solo-interpreter. He had worked since 1975 on this album, but progress was slow so he had laid this project on one side. In 1976 he continued the work and one year later released the album. "Schizophonia". It contains a fascinating combination of classical music, rock-sound and Arabic elements. The songs on the first side (CD 1-5) are inspired from Morocco, and the "Ride to Agadir" the fight for freedom of Moroccan rebels under Mohammed V.
Beside the London Symphony Orchestra are many friends from his learning-years. From The Wombles: Chris Spedding, Ray Cooper, Clem Cattini and Les Hurdle. From Steeleye Span: Rick Kemp and Peter Knight, and also Herbie Flowers, Brian (B.J.) Cole, and many others.

1978 Film-producer, Elmo Williams, searching for Arabic folklore, for his film: Caravans, accidentally he heard "Ride to Agadir" from 'Schizophonia' and he was so impressed that he ordered Mike to write the complete soundtrack for "Caravans". Mike made this album with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and an Arabic instrumental ensemble. The "Caravan Song", sung by Barbara Dickson, became a success in Europe. The soundtrack (now on CD) is still available in music-stores, but the film (although with Anthony Quinn, Jennifer O'Neill and Michael Sarrazin in the main parts) never came in German spoken cinemas. With this soundtrack Mike wins at the first time the desirable Ivor Novello Award (Britain's "Oscar" for soundtracks), and

1979 he again wins, with his song "Bright eyes" -sung by Art Garfunkel- this film music award and he is still the only composer, to win this award in consecutive years. With more than 11 million singles sold worldwide this song became one of the most successful songs ever. Six weeks at Number One in the British Charts and also high places in many other country's charts - Mike wanted to write the complete score to "Watership Down", but ended up commissioned only to write and produce 3 songs: 'Bright eyes' (voc. Art Garfunkel), 'Run like the wind' (voc. Barbara Dickson) and '(When you're) Losing your way in the rain' (voc. Art Garfunkel). Only 'Bright eyes' remained when the film was released . In the same year he released, under 'Mike Batt and Friends', the album "Tarot Suite". His friends: The London Symphony Orchestra, Roger Chapman, Rory Gallagher, Colin Blunstone, Tony (T.S.) McPhee (from "Groundhogs" and also "Hapshash & The Coloured Coat"), and so on.... The trivia buffs, a piece of music from 'Tarot Suite' became the original theme music for Australian radio station Triple M when it launched in 1980. At the end of the year Mike went to Holland (Netherlands) where he recorded with the Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra and some well-known rock-musicians (like... Trevor Morais, Frank McDonald, Jim Cregan, Ray Russell, Mel Collins, Brian (B.J.) Cole, and many other) for the

1980 released album "Waves". Like the name of the album, all songs are influenced by the fascination with the sea. This love of the sea caused him to buy the 1931 built 40-Meter-Yacht Braemer, to restore it, and go on a two and a half-year adventure together with his (first) wife Wendy and his daughters Samantha and Robin. He started 1980 from Holland (Netherlands) on his sailing journey around the world. On November 12th he takes part on "Rock Meets Classic 1980" presented by Eberhard Schoener at Munich's Circus Krone Building.

1981 In January he crossed the Atlantic, stayed for some months at the isles of the West Indies and then sailed to the south to Caracas and Venezuela. Then through the Panama Canal, and up the west coast from Guatemala northwards, along El Salvador and Mexico to Los Angeles, where he stayed with his family for a while, interrupted for a flight back to the Netherlands to produce Barbara Dickson's album "All for a Song" (in Germany released as "I Believe in You") and to record the double-album "Rapid Eye Movements" with the Dutch formation Autopilot. In Berlin (Germany) he records with The Berlin Opera Orchestra the LP "Six days in Berlin", an album written and arranged whilst sailing between Tenerife and Antigua. Again he was assisted by renowned music friends as Kurt Cress, Brian (B.J.) Cole, Mel Collins, Frank McDonald and others...
From Los Angeles they crossed the Pacific via Hawaii and Fiji right to Australia. Reaching Tahiti, Mike gets an order from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to write a musical program to the 50th anniversary for the corporation.

1982 this order develops to the Video-Musical "Zero, Zero", that Mike has finished on his keyboard on the Braemer, just before they reached the harbour of Sydney. During the film-recording sessions of his musical Mike became acquainted with Julianne White (to become his second wife), whom he married in 1984 (the songs 'Please Don't Fall in Love', 'A Winter's Tale' and 'I Feel Like Buddy Holly' are dedicated to her). She played alongside Mike (as Number 17) the second leading role (as Number 36). At the end of the year Mike returns back to England. Together with Tim Rice he writes for David Essex (David Cook, since Dec. 1964 David Essex) 'A Winter's Tale', which reached the second place in the English Charts at Christmas time.
Together with Bill Wyman he co-produced the soundtrack for “Digital dreams“ and "The Chagall Suite" for Wyman's book " Wyman Shoots Chagall ", released 1998.

1983 'Please Don't Fall in Love' sung by Cliff Richard reached number 7 in the charts. For the Hollies he wrote 'If the Lights Go Out'. For David Essex he produced; 'You're in My Heart' and 'Tahiti' (from the musical 'Mutiny on the Bounty'). He produced both released singles from the musical Abbacadabra. The music-cassette "Stories for a Prince" contains the best 14 stories from 7.500 "Good-Night-Stories"; written in a competition for the English Prince William the proceeds from which supported the British relief organization for the blind. The background-music to these stories, played by The London Symphony Orchestra, was composed and conducted by Mike Batt.
Together with Bill Wyman he wrote and arranged the soundtrack „Digital dreams“ and „The Chagall Suite” for Wyman's book „Wyman Shoots Chagall”, published 1998.

1984 with 'I feel like Buddy Holly', sung by Alvin Stardust (born as Bernard William Jewry, September 27th 1942, London - in the early '60s known as Shane Fenton), he again reached the charts. For Art Garfunkel he composed the song 'Sometimes When I'm Dreaming' and, together with Andy Hill, for Bucks Fizz the single 'Invisible'.

1985 for the accompaniment of the British figure skating pair: Barber & Slaton on the 'World Championship for Figure Skating' Mike composed 'Dragon dance', recorded with The London Philharmonic Orchestra. He produced and conducted 'Pieces', an album from Julian Lloyd Webber, and produced the Andrew Lloyd Webber Top-Ten-Single 'The Phantom of the Opera' from the musical with the same name.

1986 he wrote two new songs for Nick Berry ('Too Close to Heaven' and 'The Smile') and produced and arranged his LP 'Nick Berry'. He produced the LP "Sleight of Hand" for the Dutch Folk-Rock-Band Flairck and the David Essex Single "Back in England for Christmas".

1987 appeared with "The Hunting of the Snark" a magnificent spectacle with an all-star cast. This musical was based on the book from the Victorian poet Lewis Carroll (who also wrote 'Alice in Wonderland'). The cast seemed like a "Who's Who" of the music scene: The London Symphony Orchestra, Roger Daltrey (from The Who), Art Garfunkel, Julian Lennon, Cliff Richard, Captain Sensible and Deniece Williams. As "Special Guests" were Stephane Grappelli, George Harrison and Maggie Reilly. The musical was performed twice with the LSO: 1983 at Mike's concert-début at the London Barbican and April 1987 in the Royal Albert Hall, a charity-concert for the British Deaf Association. At the televised live performance Justin Hayward plays The Butcher, and sings lead on 'As long as the moon can shine'. In the beginning of

1988 appeared the album from the Dutch pan-flute-player Peter Weekers 'Behind the Bamboo Fence', composed and produced by Mike Batt. In May, at the London Battersea Park, was formed Great Britain's biggest band. Anyone who could play an instrument or was able to sing was invited. At the six hour long show, transmitted from TV and radio, all these 'Musicians' played and sang together with Steve Harley and Jon Anderson (from the band Yes), Mike's song "Whatever you believe", which was also released as a single - the proceeds supported cancer research. In October he released his solo-album "Songs of Love and War", an album not based on any concept. "Love and war" explained Mike, "are so similar, they both reflect the highest grade of ecstasy and despair." The songs are timeless, mostly collected over years and some first interpreted by himself.
For the Christmas-Double-CD "Christmas Carols and Festive Songs", for the benefit of "Save The Children", Mike wrote, produced and arranged some contributions and conducted various orchestras. His introduction to this album, "The Christmas Overture", is a very delicate mixture from "Silent Night, Holy Night" and the "Bolero" from Ravel, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The London Symphony Orchestra. 'I Watch You Sleeping' (written for his youngest son 'Luke'), sung by Frances Ruffelle and accompanied by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, is a still unreleased song on this album.

1989 the album "Stage Heroes" appeared from the British musical-tenor Colm Wilkinson - recorded in December 1988 - based on a concept of Mike's. A mixture of 16 songs from 8 English and American musicals: Man of La Mancha, Chess, West Side Story, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, South Pacific, Camelot and Porgy & Bess. Mike produced and conducted most of these songs and some are newly arranged by him. Musicians are The London Philharmonic Orchestra with Maggie Reilly as background vocalist.
In the middle of the year he recorded with the former Moody Blues vocalist Justin Hayward the album "Classic Blue". Together with The London Philharmonic Orchestra Justin Hayward sings pop-music classics like 'A Whiter Shade of Pale', 'Bright Eyes', 'Vincent', and 'Scarborough Fair'.

1990 Mike spent some time in Australia. He performed some concerts at the Melbourne Music Festival. with 'The Hunting of the Snark' and many other compositions in January. He received an invitation to present his Snark-Show also in Sydney so he developed the story to a two-hour musical. This touched up "Snark-Version" was presented in October for two weeks with The Elizabethan Symphony Orchestra at the completely sold out Sydney State Theatre.
In the middle of the year he wrote the soundtrack for the animated film "The Dreamstone" which first came on to Britain TV screens in the Autumn of that year. This soundtrack, recorded with The London Philharmonic Orchestra and performers such as: Bonnie Tyler, Gary Glitter and Metal-Rocker Ozzy Osbourne is also available on CD.

1991 The Peter Weekers' album "Rhapsodies"(produced in February 1990) was released in the Netherlands. Beside some well known Mike-Batt-compositions like "Lady of the Dawn", "The Dead of the Night" and "Dragon Dance" Peter Weekers on his pan-flute also plays rhapsodies like Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody', George Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' and Franz Liszt's 'Hungarian Rhapsody Number Five' and with 'Yet Another Paganini Rhapsody' a new Mike Batt composition.
For the Chesney Hawkes LP "Buddy's Song" (soundtrack to the same named film with Roger Daltrey) Mike writes the string-arrangements for 'Torn in half' and 'Secrets of the heart'.
On the 4th of June the chemical concern BASF sponsors for the benefit of the 'Save The Children Fund' a "Starry, Starry Night" at the London Barbican Centre . On the program are pop-classics like "Forever Autumn", Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Bohemian Rhapsody", performed by Justin Hayward, Bonnie Tyler, Peter Weekers and Michael Ball. Mike Batt conducts The Royal Philharmonic Pops Orchestra, led by Henri Mancini, and played, on the keyboard, his songs 'Bright Eyes' and 'Railway Hotel'.
On the 24th of October Mike made his London premiere with his stage musical "The Hunting of the Snark" at the Prince Edward Theatre. Because of a general recession and some negative or unfair newspaper critiques this show ended after a few weeks in December.

1992 In Dublin Mike produced the album "Whatever you believe" for the Irish tenor Finbar Wright. Mike Batt conducted the R.T.E. Orchestra and added new arrangements to many of the songs; classical songs like 'The Green Leaves of Summer', 'Valencia', 'Santa Lucia', the powerful and opera-like 'Catari, Catari' or the brokenhearted Irish traditional 'Danny boy'. This album also contained two songs from Mike: 'I dine alone' (from his unfinished musical 'War Baby' 1996 → Men Who March Away) and 'Whatever You Believe' (from the stage version of "The hunting of the Snark" and the Anderson, Harley & Batt event in the year 1988). This CD was released in Ireland where Finbar Wright presented his songs in the TV-Show "Music of the night". At Christmas time this album became number one in the Irish charts. A second CD from Mike Batt and Finbar Wright also entered the charts...

1993, on the 17th of March (St. Patrick's Day), the concert "A Tribute to John McCormack" was performed at the Dublin's National Concert Hall. Finbar Wright mainly sang Irish traditional songs, with which the Irish tenor John McCormack (14.6.1884 - 16.9.1945) had worldwide success. Mike opened the concert with the (only for this event written) composition 'The Dublin Overture' (Overture - Tribute to John McCormack, Overture [#J1391] ) with the themes of three John McCormack classics. After the break the program continues with the 'Fantasia on Bantry Bay' from Mike Batt, which contains five theme-variations of the traditional 'Bantry Bay'.
Between November 1992 and March 1993, with David Essex, Mike produced the album "Cover Shot". As the title infers there are cover-versions of well known songs such as 'Paint it Black' from the Rolling Stones, 'New York Mining Disaster 1941' from The Bee Gees or 'The First Cut is the Deepest' from Cat Stevens.
At the end of the year Mike is involved in a new London production of the musical Hair. He conducted The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for a recording of Gustav Holst's 'The Planets' and produced his first Jazz album with Johnny van Derrick and Phil Bond "Gershwinning". In the spring of

1994 in Germany the album "Written in the Stars" with the young soprano Sandra Schwarzhaupt (born 1978 !) and The London Philharmonic Orchestra was released. Mike Batt produced the album and wrote most of the songs.
For the inauguration of the Channel-Tunnel between England and France in Dover (September 16th) Mike composed the official anthem "When flags fly together", vocalist Robert Meadmore, conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the composer himself, Mike Batt.

1995 the album "The Violin Player" with the young violinist Vanessa-Mae, with Mike Batt writing a most of the instrumental tracks was released in Great Britain. The single from the album, 'Toccata & Fugue in D minor' - a composition written by Johann Sebastian Bach, new arranged by Mike Batt, gets into the international charts like the album.
In April, after a long time a new 'Mike Batt Album': "Arabesque" was released (sorry, but only in German speaking countries!). This CD contained some instrumental compositions with Celtic and Arabic influences and as well as tracks with the fusion of these two musical styles.
As a musical supervisor Mike supervised the soundtrack recordings for "Richard III" (starring Sir Ian McKellern) and consequently he appeared in the "Thanks-to-list" of the film.
For the British TV-series "Soldier, Soldier" he recorded (as producer, arranger and conductor), with Denise Welch and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra a Maxi-CD, and the song 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me' reached the British charts.
In autumn Gary Wilmot's CD "The Album" with The London Symphony Orchestra was released. This album contained - like the 1989 released album with Colm Wilkinson "Stage heroes" - sixteen newly-arranged songs from the musicals "Guys & Dolls", "The Wizard of Oz", "South Pacific", "Gigi", "Oliver!", "Carmen Jones" and "Sunset Boulevard". Guest vocalists are Barbara Dickson, Carol Kenyon and Lionel Bart. The recordings were produced, arranged and conducted by Mike Batt.

1996 he worked on two projects: Men Who March Away (1992 → War Baby)- a love-story that begins at the outbreak of World War One and ends at the conclusion of the Spanish Civil War (poems by Thomas Hardy, September 1914) - and also on the "SLUGS" - a funny, surrealistic story of the "Don't Be So Ridiculous Valley".

1997 the album "A Night at the Movies" with David Essex and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was released. It's a mixture of some well-known soundtrack-songs - produced, arranged and conducted by Mike Batt.
In Britain Reader's Digest released the 2-CD-Box "Underground, Overground - The Ultimate Wombles Collection".
Mike composed a special celebration piece, "Royal Gold" commissioned by the military for the Queen's 50th Wedding anniversary. This was recently performed for Her Majesty at the Royal Tournament, by the massed bands of the Scots, Welsh, Irish, Coldstream and Grenadier Guards, together with 100 pipers.
That year, he also composed the score for the two hour American TV documentary, "The Eye Of The Storm", about Richard Nixon, - recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, including the title song co-written with Don Black.

1998 Sony-Music released "The Best Wombles Album So Far - Vol. one" for the 25th anniversary of The Wombles - the first part of a worldwide available 'Ultimate Wombles Collection'.
Mike wrote the 'Song cycle' "Blame it on the moon" for the German (operetta and musical) vocalist Anna Maria Kaufmann, recorded with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The single 'Running With a Dream' (firstly presented at "Wetten dass...?" - a German, Austrian and Swiss TV-co-production) becomes the official theme for Germany's national football team at the World Cup in June 1998.
In the middle of the year Mike's soundtrack "Keep the Aspidistra Flying" (in USA released as "A Merry War") to the film with the same name - based on a 1936 written novel by George Orwell - was released. On CD, additional to the original film soundtrack, played by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, there is also the three-parted "Aspidistra Suite" and Colin Blunstone singing the song 'Tiger in the Night'.
Mike produced the background music for an additional 52 parts of a Wombles-series. With both singles "Remember You’re a Womble" and "The Wombling Song" he reached 13th and 22nd place respectively in the British charts.
Mike composed also the signature track for "Wetten das...?" (played since the 10th of October) - but it's a great pity that they play only few minutes from the 40 minutes composition.
On the 7th of November Mike presented - again on "Wetten dass...?" "Philharmania - Vol. 1" his newest opus, an album with a very liberal musical concept. Artists like Roger Daltrey, Paul Carrack and Lemmy sing their favourite hit songs from other performers whilst others, such as Midge Ure, Justin Hayward and Huey Lewis take this chance to interpret their own Mega-Hits with new rich arrangements from Mike. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is augmented by an additional band of Chris Spedding, Mitch Dalton, Henri Spinetti, Ray Cooper and Tim Harries, musician friends of Mike for a long time.

1999 Mike worked on two great projects. The first being his new solo-album "Bright Eyes at the Railway Hotel". It could be a 'Greatest Hits' album with 18 of his best songs, some of them never before interpreted by himself, e.g. "I Feel Like Buddy Holly" or "A Winter´s Tale". Other tracks are remakes of earlier songs, now recorded in 24-bit digital quality technology and accompanied by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The second was "Watership Down": Together with a Canadian company the Britain Independent Television Channel 3 produced an animated-film-series with 52 parts, with each part lasting 30 minutes. Mike worked on the soundtrack, which contained symphonic-compositions as well as five songs, among them "Bright Eyes", now sung by Stephen Gately (from the band "Boyzone").
Asked, what else he had to do, Mike answered: "At the same time (being both a masochist and a workaholic) I have taken on the daunting task of writing a musical for my children's school play. This time, just for a change, it is based on a nonsense poem about a journey at sea! It is called "The Dong With the Luminous Nose" based on a poem by Edward Lear, and also another poem by him called "The Jumblies". I shall be making a recording of this using a string quintet and a woodwind quartet plus the kids´ voices.
In May the evening event Dancepower for the benefit of the Red Cross at the London Palladium took place. For this Mike composed the song "Don't tell me you can't dance", which he recorded with Paul Carrack and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mike wrote the orchestral arrangements for the songs "Greenman" and "I can't own her" for the XTC Album "Apple Venus Volume 1" (originally released on February 22nd 1999 in the U.K. - U.K.: IDEA Records/Cooking Vinyl COOK CD 172; Germany: Indigo-marketing; Japan: Canyon International PCCY-01341).
On the 11th of August, the evening before the solar eclipse, Mike organized for Classic Radio a live open-air concert at Powderham Castle with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He conducted "Also Sprach Zarathustra"* (1896 by Richard Strauss), "An der schönen blauen Donau"** (1867 by Johann Strauß II), "Jupiter" and "Uranus" (1917, from 'The Planets' by Gustav Holst ) and also two compositions from the "Symphonie Fantastique" (1830 by Hector Berlioz). ... [in English * Thus spake Zarathustra ** The blue Danube]

2000 Mike presented his own Mike Batt Homepage on the Internet. His newsletters inform about actual events, productions and projects.
The "Tails from Don't Be So Ridiculous Valley", about the love life of 'Ergo, the slug', are finished and at first released in the Internet. Both, a version for the radio and a concept-album are planned.
Also the recordings of his new solo-album "Bright Eyes at the Railway Hotel" are finished. The CD can be bought as 'White-Label-Album' at Mike's internet-CD-store before its official release.
To be independent from any great music concerns Mike founded his own sales and production company DRAMATICO.
For the young-girl string quartet "Bond" (Manager Mel Bush, who has also worked for David Essex and Vanessa-Mae) Mike arranged and produced their debut-single "Victory" (Track 13 on 'Bond' CD).
In the second half of the year Robert "Stintfang" Madsen presented the "Official German Batt Homepage" (well known by Wombles-friends for his German Womble-Site).

Because of this actual information (from Mike "himself" and the "German translation"),
I will retire and bring news only in a short form as detailed in the discography ...
May my spade-work forever and ever raise Mike's popularity! I thank you all!

2000  
July 19 13 Wombles took part in the London parade for the 100th birthday of Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth I).
September 25 publication of the [Decca] mCD "Victory" from Bond - prod. & arr. Mike Batt
October 2 publication of the [Decca] CD "Born" from Bond / track 13 - Victory - prod. & Arr. Mike Batt
November 20 1st publication of the DRAMATICO Entertainment Company "The Wombles Collection" (34 Track / Double CD)
November 27 Polydor-England released the new soundtrack to "Watership Down"
   
2001  
March 4 Batt Newsletter - for Britains Conservative Party Mike composed 'Heartlands, recorded with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
May 2 Batt Newsletter - the project to form a young classic group and to write the music for their CD became concrete. Projected release date: Autumn 2001
Batt Newsletter - "Bright Eyes At The Railway Hotel" should be released in September (2001)
 August 17 Batt Newsletter - the project with the young classic group has a name - The Planets - and presented itself in the internet
under www.theplanets.org.uk (in English) and www.theplanets.de (in German).
 September 13 Debut-concert of the 'Planets' in The London Royal Festival Hall
   
2002  
January 18 Planets Newsletter - 'The Planets' 1st U.K.-Tour with Deep Purple from February 4 till March 4
February 18 the 1st 'Planets'-CD "Classical Graffiti" released in the U.K.
February - May 'The Planets' are number "1" in the U.K. classical charts
May - June 'The Planets' tour through the U.K., appearance on the 'classical concert' for the 50th throne-anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II.
July 21 'The Planets' first appearance in a German TV-show (ZDF / Fernsehgarten)
July Salima Williams has left 'The Planets' and Beth Akers became a new member in the group
July / August 'The Planets' Asia-tour (July 28 - August 4 ... Tokyo; August 4 - 7 ... Seoul; August 7 - 9 ... Hong Kong; August 9 - 12 ... Singapur & August 12 - 16 ... Taiwan)
August 5 the 1st Planets-CD "Classical Graffiti" released in Germany & Austria
August 24 'The Planets' have an appearance in Monte Carlo
August / September the too early ended tour of 'Deep Purple' & 'The Planets' in March will be continued in the U.K. and in Germany
September 19 Batt Newsletter - Mike Batt plans to found a new "psychedelic" Rock Band with a French Horn
November 'The Planets' "Headlining Tour" in the U.K.
December 8 Batt Newsletter ... Mike wants to concentrate his working on soundtracks;
  Katie Melua (an 18-year young girl from Georgia, near Russia, * 16.September 1984, Kutaissi) signed for DRAMATICO,
Mike plans to record a bluesy, classy and cool album
Two new recordings for "The Planets" (released only in the Far-East):
"Also sprach Zarathustra" (1896 by Richard Strauss) & "Theme from 'The Magnificent Seven' " (1960 by Elmer Bernstein)
December  Beth Akers has left "The Planets", and Anna Pennington (Texas) became a new member in the band
   
2003  
January 10 -12 The Planets & Mike Batt in Bernhard Paul's circus "Roncalli" in Dortmund (Germany)
March 19 "Classical Graffiti" released in North-America
April Beverley Jones has left "The Planets" and Lucy Shaw (USA) takes over her part
April 20 - 30 "The Planets" tour through the USA & Canada
April 22 "Classical Graffiti" released in Canada
June 9 Batt Newsletter - 3 new recordings with "The Planets": "Sabre dance" (1942 by Aram Iljitsch Khatchaturian (Chatschaturjan)), "Scheherezade" (1888 by Nikolai Andrejewitsch Rimski-Korsakow) and "New piece for the Planets" (2003 by Mike Batt)
October 31 BBC / Friday Night is Music Night: Mike Batt conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra to classical and own compositions, Katie Melua sings "The closest thing to crazy", "Far away voice", My aphrodisiac is you" and Call off the search" & Mike sings "A winter's tale" and "Bright eyes"
November 3 Katie Melua's 1st CD "Call off the search" released in England
November 10 Katie Melua concert in Shepherd's Bush Empire
   
2004  
January 25 - February 14 Katie's "Call off the search" on the top of the UK album-charts!
Februarv 15 - 28 Katie's "Call off the search" UK album-charts position 2!
February 29 - March20 Katie's "Call off the search" again on the top of the UK album-charts!
February 17 Brit Awards 2004" - London, Earls Court 2: Katie Melua sings a duet with Jamie Cullum "Love cats" (by Robert James Smith / The Cure)
February / March Katie Melua UK-Tour
Musicians: Henry Spinetti (drums), Lisa Featherstone (bass), Jim Cregan (guitars), Dominic Glover (trompet), Matt Condon (keyboards) und Mike Batt (piano);
Stations:
29.2. Belfast, Waterfront Hall / 1.3. Dublin, Olympia Theatre / 3.3. Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall / 5.3. York, Barbican / 6.3. Liverpool, Royal Court / 7.3. Manchester, Lowry Theatre / 9.3. Bristol, Colston Hall / 10.3. Bournemouth, Pavilion / 12.3. Birmingham, Symphony Hall / 14.3. Cambridge, Corn Exchange / 16.3. London, Shepherds Bush Empire / 17.3. Ipswich, Regent Theatre & Extra date: 18.3. Croydon, Fairfield Halls (recorded and released on DVD October 18th, 2004
April 5 Katie Melua's 1st CD "Call off the search" released in Austria & Germany
May 1 BBC Music Live - "The Beautiful Night" concert in Belfast: Katie Melua sings with Brian Kennedy "Brown eyed girl"
June Katie Melua in Russia (Moscow, Kreml) & U.S.A. (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta)
June 8 Katie Melua's 1st CD "Call off the search" released in the U.S.A.
September 17 Katie Melua at the SWR 3 New Pop Festival in Rastatt (Germany)
September 19 - October 24 Katie's "Call off the search - Tour"
Musicians:
Henry Spinetti (drums), Lisa Featherstone (bass), Jim Cregan (guitars), Dominic Glover (trompet),
Matt Condon (keyboards) und Mike Batt (piano);
5 new songs in her repertoire: Spider's web (Katie Melua) / Love cats (Robert James Smith, The Cure, 1983) / Joan of Ark & Jack The Lad (Katie Melua) / I put a spell on you (Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Herbert Slotkin, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, 1958) / Chemo Tsitsi Natela (Georgian trad.)
Stations:
Germany: 19.9. Cologne / 20.9. Offenbach / 21.9. Munich / 23.9. Berlin / 24.9. Hamburg; Denmark: 25.9. Copenhagen;
Norway: 27.9 Bergen / 28.9. Oslo; Sweden: 29.9. Stockholm; Netherlands: 3.10. Utrecht; France: 5.10. Paris;
United Kingdom: 11.10. / 12.10. Belfast / 14.10. Bradford / 15.10. Cardiff / 16.10. Blackpool / 18.10. Birmingham / 19.10. Plymouth / 20.10. Brighton /
22.10. London (Royal Albert Hall) / 23.10. Bournemouth / 24.10. Ipswitch

Katies „Call off the search - Tour”
Musiker:
Henry Spinetti (Schlagzeug), Lisa Featherstone (Bass), Jim Cregan (Gitarren), Dominic Glover (Trompete), Matt Condon (Keyboards) und Mike Batt (Klavier);
Neu im Repertoire:
 (Katie Melua) /  (Robert James Smith, The Cure, 1983) /  (Katie Melua) /  (Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Herbert Slotkin, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, 1958) / Chemo Tsitsi Natela (Georgian trad.);
Deutschland: 19.9. Köln / 20.9. Offenbach / 21.9. München / 23.9. Berlin / 24.9. Hamburg; Dänemark: 25.9. Kopenhagen; Norwegen: 27.9 Bergen / 28.9. Oslo; Schweden: 29.9. Stockholm; Niederlanden: 3.10. Utrecht; Frankreich: 5.10. Paris; United Kingdom: 11.10. / 12.10. Belfast / 14.10. Bradford / 15.10. Cardiff / 16.10. Blackpool / 18.10. Birmingham / 19.10. Plymouth / 20.10. Brighton / 22.10. London (Royal Albert Hall) / 23.10. Bournemouth / 24.10. Ipswitch
November 29 Batt-Newsletter - Robert Meadmore (he also sang the "Bellman" in the musical "The Hunting of the Snark") will release with the Dramatico-Label on February 28th 2005 a classical-CD, produced by Mike Batt. Details and internet-sites are under construction.
  Robert Madsen, my German Batt-friend, becomes the official Web-Master for Mike Batt & Dramatico.
December 11 at the ITV1 TV-Show "Christmas Mania" Katie sings "Have Yourself a merry little Christmas"
December 13 three Katie Melua songs are for download in the net ... more about in the discography
December 25 Katie Melua in "The Gospel According To Christmas": "Have Yourself a merry little Christmas" and "Do you hear what I hear"
December 31 A&R Chart 2004: No. 21 worldwide / No. 3 Europe / No. 9 Genre Pop ... Mike Batt with Katie Melua
   
2005  
February 13 Batt Newsletter - a "Mike Batt Archive Series" is planned. The first part of these double-CD's with "Schizophonia" / "Tarot suite", "Waves" / "6 days in Berlin" and a CD/DVD combination "Zero, zero" (CD) / TV-Special of "Zero, zero" (DVD) should be released in April or May 2005;
Katie Melua's second album will be released in September 2005;
February 28 a new artist, Robert Meadmore (a classical singer), releases his first CD "After a dream" at Dramatico;
March 19 Katie Melua takes part on the concert for Nelson Mandela's 46664 Charity, together with "Queen" she sings "Too much love will kill you"
March 27 Echo 2005 (Germany), Katie Melua - female newcomer of the year 2004, CD: Call off the search / Label: Dramatico
May 8 60th anniversary VE-day* concert at Trafalgar Square, London: Katie Melua sings "White cliffs of dover" and "Stardust"
* VE-Day stands for "Victory in Europe Day", the end of world war II in Europe, May 8, 1945
September 19 Katie Melua's Maxi-CD "Nine million bicycles" will be released
September 25 No. 5 in the charts of the United Kingdom
September 26 Katie Melua's 2nd album "Piece by piece" will be released
October 2 "Piece by piece" is No. 1 in the UK- and Norway-charts, No. 2 in the Netherland-charts, No. 4 in the charts of Ireland and Denmark, No. 5 in the Germany-charts !!!
October 15 BBC Radio 4, Katie Melua sings the scientific correct version of "9 million bicycles" written by Simon Singh
October 31 Katie Melua "Piece by piece"-promotionconcert in Vienna, Austria (Reigen, 1140 Vienna, Hadikgasse 62)
November 26 Katie Melua sings "Moon river" in the British Show "Movie Music Mania 2005" on ITV1 accompanied only with Bongos played by Michael Kruk.
December 5 Katie Melua's Maxi-CD "I cried for you" will be released
December 12 "Taratata, No. 179" (a French TV-show) Katie Melua sings Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the wind"
December 31 A&R Chart 2005: No. 50 worldwide / No. 25 Europe ... Mike Batt with Katie Melua
   
2006  
Aberdeen Jan. 20 - Reykjavic March 31 Katie Melua on her great tour through Europe
Musicians:
Henry Spinetti (drums), Lucy Shaw (bass and guitar), Justin Sandercoe (guitars), Frank Gallagher (viola, Keyboard and whistle), Jim Watson (piano);
4 new songs in her repertoire:
Fancy (Bobbie Gentry, 1970) / 19th nervous breakdown (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones, 1966 / Spaceman (Jas Mann) Babylon Zoo, 1996 / Lucy in the sky with diamonds (John Lennon/Paul McCartney, The Beatles, 1974;
Stations:
Jan. 20 - March 31 ... 20.1. - 9.2. U.K., 10.2. - 14.2. Ireland, 19.2. - 31.3. Netherlands, Swiss, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark & Iceland
February 27 Katie Melua in Vienna ! Monday, Februar 27th, 1030 Vienna, Gasometer !!!
I've got from Mike Batt the permission to talk a little with Katie after her concert and she signed for me and my webpartner Johannes Felber 2 concert-posters
March 13 "TV-Total" Pro7 (German TV): Katie Melua presents an excerpt from "Spider's Web" and together with Max Mutzke " On The Road Again"
March 15 Katie Melua wins the Netherland's "Edison Award" as "best female singer international" for her album "Piece by piece"
April 10 Katie Melua's Maxi-CD "Spider's web" will be released Song 3 is a new interpretation of the Beatles song "Cry baby cry".
April 29 The dutch tulip breeder Agrass decides to name her latest tulip (with frayed white borders) after "Katie Melua". Prospective 2008 available
June / July KKatie Melua tours through the U.S.A. and Canada
October 2 Katie Melua and her band perform for workers 303 metres (994 ft) below sea level on the Statoil Troll A gas rig in the North Sea the world's deepest underwater concert
October 30 Katie Melua at the "Walk Of Stars" ceremony in Vienna, Gasometer
December 31 A&R Chart 2006: No. 21 worldwide / No. 3 Europe / No. 5 Genre Pop / No. 10 Label "Dramatico" worldwide ... Mike Batt with Katie Melua
Dramatico has recorded a rare achievement for an independently owned and distributed label, album sales in excess of 3.5 million throughout Europe in 2006. This coincides with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) confirming Katie Melua as the highest selling European female artist in Europe in 2006.
   
2007  
January 8 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Miss Potter [Dramatico] / "When you taught me how to dance" performed by Katie Melua
February Dramatico Entertainment is planning the re-release of Mike's solo albums - "The Mike Batt Archive Series"
* The Abbey Road Sessions aka "Bright eyes at the Railway hotel"... previously unreleased recordings of Mike's best known songs including 'Bright Eyes', 'A Winter's Tale', 'The Closest Thing To Crazy' and 'I Feel Like Buddy Holly', recorded at London's legendary Abbey Road Studios.
* Schizophonia + Tarot Suite / CD + CD Double Edition
* Caravans - Original Soundtrack / Deluxe expanded CD edition of the motion picture soundtrack, now featuring full length 'Caravan Song' and a Mike Batt commentary.
* Waves + Six Days In Berlin / CD + CD Double Edition
* Zero Zero / CD + DVD of the previously unreleased full length 1982 television broadcast, starring Mike Batt and Julianne White.
* The Hunting Of The Snark / CD + DVD of the previously unreleased full length Royal Albert Hall live performance, starring Billy Connolly, Roger Daltrey, John Hurt, Midge Ure and more.
* Songs Of Love And War + Arabesque / CD + CD Double Edition
March 25 Echo 2007 (Germany), Katie Melua - best female artist international 2006, CD: Piece by piece / Label: Dramatico
October 1 Katie Melua's 3rd album "Pictures" will be released
December the Eva Cassidy & Katie Melua duet "What a wonderful world" goes straight to Number 1 in Britain's Christmas-Charts
   
2008  
January 12 "An evening with Mike Batt", special guests: Chris Spedding & Florence Rawlings, Freiheizhalle Munich (Tickets at Südpolshop)
Musicians: Frank Gallagher - keys and violins; Florence Rawlings - vocals and background vocals; Luis Jardim - percussion;
Tim Harries - bass; Chris Spedding - guitar; Henry Spinetti - drums;
January 14 - 18 Radioconcerts: NDR1, Rolf Liebermann Halle, Hamburg / RBB, Kleine Konzerthalle, Berlin / WDR2, Kleine Konzerthalle, Köln /
SWR1, TV Studio, Mannheim / HR 1, Big Band Halle, Frankfurt
January 25 Mike Batt's album "A Songwriter's Tale" (aka "Bright Eyes At The Railway Hotel" & "The Abbey Road Sessions") will be released!
February on Dramtico's website starts "Dramatico-TV" with music-videos from Mike Batt, Katie Melua, Carla Bruni, Planets, Robert Meadmore and Wombles.
May 8 Premiere "Voices In The Dark" at the Planetarium Hamburg, Germany. A production made by Mike Batt, Terry Rudat und Mindgames Productions. A new magic audiovisual 360° video dimension, the „Stardome“ as a research laboratory for filmic possibilities.
Tracklist: Battlefield Theme (von "Arabesque") - Introduction (The birth of number 17) (von "Zero Zero") - System 605 (von "Zero Zero") - Tarota (von "Tarot suite") - Irish Peace (von "Arabesque") - Soldier's Song ( von "Songs of Love and War") - Theme (von "Caravans") - Inside Sardar Khan's Palace (von "Caravans") - Fishing for the moon (von "Waves") - Voices In The Dark (von "Schizophonia") - A Kind Of Dream (Choral fantasy) (von "Watership down" TV) - On watership down (Folk Theme) (von "Watership down" TV)
July Mike Batt with the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker at the „Jazzopen Stuttgart“
??? „An evening with Mike Batt”
Germany: 11.10.08 München, Muffathalle / 12.10.08 Nürnberg, Löwensaal / 13.10.08 Hamburg, St.Pauli / 15.10.08 Köln, E-Werk / 16.10.08 Berlin, Passionskirche
United Kingdom: 27.10.08 London, 15 Gordon Street, WC1H 0AH, The Bloomsbury Theatre
24. September In case of problems with Mike's voice, the tour Germany/United Kingdom must be cancelled. We wish a very quick recovery!
   
2009  
February 9 Soundtrack to the British comedy "Faintheart" (a "MySpace" film by Vito Rocco), recorded with The Irish Film Orchestra at the Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin; Various artists;
"Toy Collection" ... lyrics & vocals by Katie Melua / "Run To The Funeral" and "Maggie In The Comic Shop" by Mike Batt;
The song "A Day Like This" ... lyrics & vocals by Mike Batt is not included to the soundtrack list;
May 4 / May 22 Unbelievable - but it has happened: the "Mike Batt Archive Series", announced in February 2005, is for sale in the stores.
The first 3 double-CD's are "Schizophonia" / "Tarot suite", "Waves" / "6 days in Berlin" and "Songs of love and war" / "Arabesque".
The CD/DVD combinations "Zero, zero" (Soundtrack CD + TV-Special DVD), "The hunting of the Snark" (CD + Live at the Royal Albert Hall DVD) and
Caravans (expanded deLuxe Edition with Soundtrack and some bouns features) will follow soon.
May 15 / May 18 Katie Meluas CD "Live at the O2 Arena" will be released
July Katie Melua with the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker at the „Jazzopen Stuttgart“
December 7 / Dec. 11 The Mike Batt Music Cube will be released.
This box, filled with 14 CDs and 2 DVDs represents Mike Batt's great work (till today). A great part will be known by members of the Mike-Batt-Famiy.

Album list:
1. Schizophonia / Tarot Suite - 2. Waves / Six Days In Berlin - 3. Zero Zero / Zero Zero (DVD)
4. Songs Of Love & War / Arabesque - 5. The Hunting Of The Snark / Snark: The TV Concert (DVD)
6. Caravans / Watership Down Suite - 7. Dreamstone / Rapid Eye Movement - 8. A Songwriter’s Tale / The Orinoco Kid

New and still unreleased...
Zero Zero - TV-Musical DVD
The hunting of the Snark - The TV Concert (DVD), Royal Albert Hall Concert (1987)
The Dreamstone Overtures No.1 - 4

and first time on CD...
Autopilot // Rapid eye movements (1981)
1975 ... Mike Batt with The New Edition - Summertime City (Seaside Special)
1975 ... Mike Batt - Madhouse rag
1975 ... Mike Batt with The Mad Hatters: The house of the clown - Hang on sloopy (Bert Russell / Wes Farrell)
? ........ Mike Batt - Memphis, Tennesee (Chuck Berry), recorded at Wessex Studios between 1973 and 1977
1969 ... Mike Batt - Your mother should know (John Lennon / Paul McCartney)
1977 ... Mike Batt - Sinking like a stone
   
2010  
May 21 Katie Melua's 4th album 'The House' will be released;
May 24 Mike Batt concert „An evening with Mike Batt - A songwriter's tale“ at Cadogan Hall, London;
May 25 Katie Melua's CD-Single "The flood" will be released;
July 16 - 25 17th „Jazzopen Stuttgart“ - Mike Batt presents on July 18 „Mike Batt's Starry, starry night“ at Porsche-Arena.
In companion with Curtis Stigers (vocal and sax), Till Brönner (jazz-trumpet), Katie Melua (vocal and guitar) and Anna Maria Kaufmann (vocal, in place of deseased Jessye Norman) Mike Batt conducts the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker.
→ This concert was shown in the night Sunday August 29 to Monday 30 at 1:30 a.m. on TV SWR!!!
   
2011  
June the complete LP's from 'The Wombles', incl. the soundtrack to "Wombling free", are at the first time available on CD, released by DRAMATICO;
   
2012  
March 2 Katie Melua's 5th album "Secret Symphony" with 'The Secret Symphony Orchestra', produced and arranged by Mike Batt, will be released;
1. September Kathie Melua merries the former motorcycle racer James Toseland (born 5. October 1980);
   
2013  
 June 15 Michael Philip Batt honoured with a Lieutenant of "The Royal Victorian Order" for services to the royal household in the Queen’s Birthday Honours;
June 16 Elaine Batt, Mike's mother and creator of the Wombles' costumes, dies on cancer in the age of 87 years in a hospital in Somerset. She leaves four children, 13 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren;
 July 5 Mike's latest composition "I will be there", dedicated to his "Magic" Mum, was played at her funeral;
 July 11 Katie Melua with The National Youth Orchestra directed by Mike Batt presents "I will be there" at The Queen's Coronation Festival Gala;
September 20 Katie Melua releases her 6. album "Ketevan", produed by father Mike and son Luke Batt;
   
2015  
July 24 (GB) / 31 "A classical tale" - classical compositions by Mike Batt - will be released by DRAMATICO.
   
   
2016  
October 14 Katie Melua's 7th and first by herself co-produced album "In Winter" with the „Gori Women's Choir“ will be released by the music publisher BMG.
   
2017  
January 16 Gareth Bramley (GB) informed me by mail about the musical premiere "Men who march away":
On March 17 Mike Batt conducts the world premiere of his musical at the London Westend with the Docklands Sinfonie at St Anne’s, Limehouse.
This project - first called „War Baby“ - arose from his work with Finbar Wright in 1992, 1996 renamed to "Men Who March Away" is based on poems by Thomas Hardy.
   
   
Batt - Links  
Germany - German The Wombles by Robert „Stintfang“ Madsen

Mike Batts German Homepage by Robert Madsen

The Planets by Robert Madsen
   
Austria - Australia / German Mike Batt Biographie by Dieter Friedl

German translation of the musical "The Hunting of the Snark"

for what I'm still searching for ... missing lyrics, informations and so on
   
Austria / German - English The Wombles - Elisabeth Beresford and Mike Batt - history, film, songs, lyrics (Dezember 24, 2015)
   
United Kingdom / English Mike Batt's Homepage / Dramatico / Julianne White

Katie Melua - Robert Meadmore

many informations in connection with Chris Spedding
   
Germany / English Lyrics and some more by Michael Bussmann
   
Österreich - Australien / Englisch Mike Batt Biography by Dieter Friedl & Toned-F ... here you are
   
Austria / English Mike Batt Discography & Mike Batt Short Discography von Dieter Friedl, Johannes Felber & Gareth Bramley
   
  Musicians & Orchestras since 1970 by Dieter Friedl
   
Österreich - Deutschland - Australien Mike Batt Lyrics collected by Dieter Friedl, Johannes Felber, Robert Madsen & Toned-F
   
France Katie Melua
   
Japan Mike Batt Japan ... welcome to the Batt-family!
   
Russland Mike Batt Майка Батта ... welcome to the Batt-family!
   
United Kingdom Womble Lovers

Tidy Bag - The Online Wombles Museum
   
Many thanks ...  
   
to Mike Batt, for Your formerly link to my „comprehensive“ Mike Batt Discography , it was a great honour!

to Gareth Bramley, for Your actually news

to Robert Madsen, for Your actually news before Gareth

to Toned-F, for Your patience and trouble to correct my translation and for so many (unknown) songs and lyrics

to Manfred Schneider, for Your first informations and Your help

to Gareth Bramley and Johannes Felber, for so many rarities

and to my lovely wife Claudia, that she still let's me to the computer and isn't jealous of Mike...

Thankful for every corrections and additions, if lyrics or biography.

© Dieter Friedl, January 28, 2017 / Contact & Impressum