FLASH IN THE NIGHT – SECRET SERVICE
In Park Studio, there was a 280 cm long Steinway grand piano. I loved to play some Grieg and Mozart and run through Rachmaninov’s piano concert no.2. At the time, I felt a bit extra pressured to write something big. Uffe had never written anything to the band before, but now he had presented a strange song for Ola, “Fire into Ice”.
Ola told me that maybe it should be the next Secret Service single! Now long afterwards,
I understand Ola’s smartness, he wanted to make me compete with Uffe and he really succeeded!
I was going to write the band’s new hit at all costs!
In 1981, Synth bands like Visage with “Fade to Grey” and Ultravox with “Vienna” had great success. They had synthesizer sounds and dark chords never heard before. Even their texts were strange, dark and poetic.
I was a little tired of trying to write normal pop songs, so I let my fingers slide into a new darker melody band at the studio grand. A piano solo with a sense of Rachmaninov followed automatically. Everything just came to me!
Ola was delighted and we recorded the song, which was not yet called anything, with the legendary Leif Allansson as engineer in Europa Studios 3. We had the first Linn drum-machine that had just arrived in Sweden and two synths: a monophonic Prophet 1 that could be synchronized with the drum machine and a Prophet 10 that was a monster synth and looked like two Prophet 5 with two keyboards. I had thought of bass notes like in “Gimme Some Loving”. 4 times eight notes followed by 2 quarter notes: F-F-F-F F-C and so on.
We recorded a drum pattern and the Prophet 1 bass, but when we listened, the bass had an eight-note error in sync. We recorded it again and now it became right. Finally, it was time for Prophet 10. When we struck down the first chord, it sang as if the sky opened.
Leif Allansson had brilliantly saved the misguided synth bass, and when he played the background with both bass tracks, panning it left and right and with a lot of delay, we had a sound that was never heard before!
When we got to the studio the following day, there was a rumour that Ola had been injured in an accident! Someone had heard that he collided with his motorcycle and someone else had even heard that he was dead!
We were all shocked and just walked around, waiting to hear more about what happened. Then the studio phone rang. It was Ola who wheezed faintly:
– Tim, it’s me. I’ve crashed with the bike but still alive! Continue recording! Tim, listen up, keep on recording!