One of Britain’s leading rock producers, Lawrence worked briefly with Joe Meek and Ronan O’Rahilly (of Radio Caroline) from 1964-65 before becoming a freelance producer. Often creating tracks for US release, Lawrence worked in the late 60s with artists such as Jethro Tull, Kim Fowley, Garnet Mimms, the V.I.Ps (later Spooky Tooth) and Tony Wilson (later of Hot Chocolate). His first chart success came in 1968 when he supervised the first recordings of Deep Purple, including the US hits ‘Hush’ and Shades Of Deep Purple. He went on to work with Wishbone Ash, recording four albums with the group from 1970-74. During the early 70s he also produced Flash and Green Bullfrog, the short-lived studio group led by Ritchie Blackmore. Among Lawrence’s regular studio group were Big Jim Sullivan (guitar), Chas Hodges (piano) and Dave Peacock (guitar). When the producer set up his own label, Retreat, in 1973, among the first acts to be recorded was Sullivan’s band Tiger and Chas And Dave, the Hodges-Peacock partnership singing rock standards and ‘cockney’ originals. The Retreat roster also included female singer Theo Scherman and rock bands Dragonfly and Strange Days. After the label folded in 1976, Lawrence moved to Los Angeles where he produced heavy metal bands Angel and Fist. Returning to England in 1979, Lawrence was less active in the 80s, recording occasionally with Carl Wayne, Tony Wilson and others.
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