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David Werner

Glam Rock Whizz Kid who wrote Billy Idols's Cradle of Love

Song writer, recording artist, and record producer David Werner became known for his two RCA glam rock releases “Whizz Kid” and “Imagination Quota” along with his critically acclaimed Epic Records release “David Werner” that reached the Billboard Top 100 albums in 1979.  Critics consider his song “What’s Right” from the 1979 release a glam rock classic.  His biggest achievement came in 1990 when he wrote the platinum selling hit song “Cradle of  Love” that was recorded by Billy Idol for the movie Ford Farelane.  In 1993 Werner produced and wrote 3 songs on Soulsister’s 1993 European platinum selling EMI release “Simple Rule”.  Tom Jones recorded the song “Changes” in 1995 that was co-written by Werner and Soulsister.  In 2003 Wroter co-write 11 songs with Marc Copley’ for Copley’s 2003 release “Limited Lifetime Guarantee”.  He co-wrote the title track for Tarkan’s 2006 European hit album “Come Closer”.  Warner has produced recordings of Kim Ryder, Dub Squad, Marc Copely and Tarkan.

David Warner, a native of Whitehall, Pa, began his professional career at age 19 with his self-produced 1974 RCA album release “Whizz Kid”.  On this glam rock classic Werner’s vocals and music were compared to his RCA label mate David Bowie.  Playing guitar on Whizz Kid was Pittsburgher Mark Doyle, who later recorded with Andy Pratt and toured with Dokken and Steppenwolf.  The reviewer for the the Popnarcotic Blog wrote of Whizz Kid:  “It is a stunning slab of glam rock goodness, filled with Werner’s fey-Bowie-ish vocals, gospel backing vocals, Visconti-like strings, and plenty of skronking guitar when needed.”

Werner released his second self-produced glam rock album “Imagination Quota” on RCA in 1975.  It received heavy airplay on WYDD in Pittsburgh.  The tract “Cold Shivers” is a favorite of many Werner fans.  While working on a new record deal David made occasional cameo appearances jamming on keyboards and singing with his friends the newly formed Granati Brothers in 1978 at the Evergreen Hotel and Morry’s Speakeasy. 

Working with independent record promoter Tom Cossie Werner signed with EPIC records in 1979.  Cossie, another Pittsburgher, had been the national head of promotions for RCA before he went independent in 1977 to promote the multi-million selling band Chic.  Cossie brought producer/engineer Bob Clearmountain to the project to record the “David Werner” album at the Power Station in New York.   Clearmountain had engineered Chic and also worked with the Silencers and a guy from New Jersey named Bruce on his album “The River”.  Appearing on the album was Mark Doyle on vocals, guitar and bass and Ex NAZZ man Thom Mooney on drums.  Ex Mott the Hopple member Ian Hunter sang vocals on the track 'High Class Blues'.  Epic and Tom Cossie gave the album a big push.  The tract “What’s Right” became a favorite of Pete Fornatale of WNEW in New York City.  The album received airplay across the country landing the album at number 65 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1979.  Backed by Mark Doyle on guitar, Albritton Mcclain on bass, and drummer Thom Mooney Werner went on a headlining national concert tour highlighted by appearance at Pittsburgh’s Stanely Theatre and Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

James A. Gardner of Allmusic.com wrote:  -“In 1979, David Werner's third album offered some of the greatest glam sounds of the decade. On the brilliant single "What's Right" and the icy "Every New Romance," Werner does resemble Bowie vocally, with a more muscular rhythm section and even chunkier guitars, and both tracks stand up to the best of Bowie's early-'70s releases. Throughout the album, though, Werner's versatility as a vocalist, songwriter, and arranger demonstrate that he is much more than an American derivative of that other David. "Can't Imagine" delivers bristling power pop with supercharged, breakneck guitar hooks. He shows his emotional range with the mournful "She Sent Me Away." The melancholy "Melanie Cries" is a glistening pop confection with elegant harpsichord and cascading, Association-like vocals. Crisp production and a rock-solid rhythm section give David Werner more depth and punch than many of the often brittle-sounding classic glam records.”

Following his recording career David Warner became a songwriter and record producer.   He became one of EMI Publishing’s top writer/collaborators placing his songs on albums released in the US and Europe.  Working with Jan Layers, and Paul Michiels Werner co-write the Soulsister songs “Broken" and " "Changes” and wrote the song "Ain’t That Simple” for their 1993 EMI release “Simple Rule”.  He also has collaborated with writer/producers Junior Vasquez and Guru on “Acid Rain” recorded by Lisa Lisa.  His song writing credits also include the Bakers Pink: recording "Untouched" co-written with Michael Franano in 1993, and “Come Closer” recorded by Tarkan in 2006.  Werner’s production credits include Kim Ryder’s "Angle Arrive" on Profile Records in 1986, Dub Squad’s "Big Town" 1990 independent release, the Tom Jones 1995 Interscope single "Changes", Bone Fiction’s "Drug of Choice" in 1995, Marc Copely’s  "Limited Lifetime Warranty" 2003 RCA release and Tarkan’s "Come Closer" 2006 Universal release.  The Dub Squad “Big Town” CD was selected as one of the top ten American reggae releases for 1990 by Reggae Report.    Werner co-produced Mary Fahl’s “From the Dark Side of the Moon”, with Bob Clearmountain and Mark Doyle in 2006.  It was released in May of 2011.

All Music Guide

Whizz Kid
Mary Fahl, Mark Doyle, Brandon Duncan, David Werner, and 
Bob Clearmountain at MixThis!