Experimenting in the studio one
night Leander did one of those rare things: he synthesised a whole new pop sound from some unlikely sources. Every day he would be in the studio producing session after session. On this particular evening one of his charges David Essex, who he was producing at the time, phoned in sick and in the downtime Leander invented the Glitter band sound.
Rossall adds: "The whole Glitter sound started on a Mike Leander instrumental. He was working on a David Essex session and when David had rung in sick with a cold Mike started work on this instrumental. He was trying to do a Johnny Congas type of thing and it developed from there. He was also influenced by Osibisa’s rhythms. He then put this amazing droning guitar sound on it. He found an old guitar with a really bad action on it and put it through some really heavy fender tube amps till it was jumping off the floor and that was how that sound came about."
Rossall shakes his head with sadness at the way Leander has nearly been forgotten.
"Mike played all instruments apart from the brass which me and Gerry did. Mike used to get in the studio on his own with the engineer and play the drums for 20 minutes trying out different drum things and then say: 'Right, roll the tape.’ to the engineer and then record a section that he would then he would make a loop out of and copy it onto the 24 track. He would then go and overdub the bass, floor and small toms on one track; then the bass and the guitar. If he could have played brass then he would have done that as well."
Not content with applying looped rhythm tracks to teenage dance music (something you are more likely to associate with house music some twenty years later) Leander wrote these yob anthems and played all the instruments himself; quite some feat.