Kit Hain – Biography   2 comments

Kit Hain was born in Surrey, UK in 1952 and first met Julian Marshall at Dartington Hall, which is a prestigious music school in South West England. After this Kit attended Durham University studying psychology, dabbling in songwriting of the folksy type. After graduating in 1974 she performed part time in a jazz-rock group, and met up with Julian (who had just graduated from the Royal College of Music) in 1976 when she re-located to London and was needing some help on a song demo. The two started gigging as a duo and DitC began when Julian sketched out the piano chords, although it was Kit who contributed the melody and lyrics. Originally the song had, according to Kit, a very macho vocal with a reggae melody and the lyrics “Dancing in the City – Running down the alley – Pictures at the Pally  – Fun tonight” ! Kit re-worked this into the lyric and melody we know and love today. Trying to get some record companies interested, they only got a sniff with folk label Transatlantic and EMI, whose Harvest label (better known perhaps for Prog Rock) they eventually signed with. DitC was (along with it’s accompanying album Free Ride) produced by Christopher Neil who also produced Sheena Easton’s debut work, and featured Peter van Hooke, who featured heavily on Tanita Tikaram’s debut Ancient Heart. Dancing in the City was released in May 1978 and by July had reached its highest position of No.3. The album followed, but failed to chart and the follow up single, the lush, beautifully orchestrated Coming Home stalled at No. 39. The duo then went on a 15 date tour, but shortly after were no more. Kit released a solo single on Harvest – The Jokes on You, then two wonderful and under-rated solo albums Spirits Walking Out in 1981 and School for Spies in 1983. Not long after she relocated to the US, marrying renowned producer Mike Thorne (who also produced Carmel as well as Kit’s second album). Kit felt uncomfortable with being the centre of attention that a lead or solo singer brought and after fate took a hand decided she would be happier concentrating on songwriting. There is a very extensive and interesting interview with Kit  which goes into great detail and it would be pointless for me to reproduce that here. Her compositons have been recorded by Roger Daltrey, Cher, Peter Cetera, Chaka Khan, Cyndi Lauper, Barbara Dickson and many, many others. She also has a love for French pop, and has worked with many Belgian and French writers. A compilation of her solo albums called Looking for You was released on CD by Renaissance Records in 2011 – not quite sure why they did not do the two albums separately – they are both worthy of it. On Kit’s myspace page there are 7 new songs which are wonderful, and it says that she released an album in 1995 in Belgium called Cry Freedom; I would love to get hold of this, and I’m not sure if these 7 songs are taken from there. Becoming something of a polymath, Kit will have a children’s novel called The Flame in the Mist published in early 2013.

Julian on the other hand spent a short while in The Flying Lizards who had a sort of novelty (?) hit with Money (“That’s what I want”) in 1979, then also went to the US and formed Eye to Eye with Deborah Berg releasing two LP’s produced by acclaimed Steely Dan producer Gary Katz, and a third which was unreleased. After that he returned to teaching and composing classical works (you can feel the classical foundation even in Marshall Hain’s work). In 2009 he composed the acclaimed cantata Out of the Darkness. In 2012 he founded The London Song Company (see links for website address) along with Katie Whitehouse and Paul Hussell.



2 responses to “Kit Hain – Biography

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  1. Kit Hain, thank you for all your music…the song Love is was well ahead of its time, and …just beautful….correct me if I’m wrong with the lyrics: “the pain, the praise, the fall from grace, I want everything love is. The silence swallows me, but I’m still here.”?

  2. Thanks for your comment Mark. I believe those lyrics are correct, this song was on the soundtrack to Eye See You, around 2002. Kit Hain’s music needs a re-appraisal, her 2nd album has still not seen the light of day on CD.

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