R.I.P. Robert Marlow, singer/musician is no more
(Photo by Reset Records) The English musician and singer Robert Marlow (real name Robert Allen) is no more. Marlow passed away on Thursday 22nd September after a short and unexpected illness. The news was communicated by a close friend of Marlow on Facebook. He would have turned 61 on October 21st.
Robert Marlow was an English synth-pop singer, songwriter and musician and grew up in Basildon together with future Depeche Mode members Vince Clarke, Martin Gore and the late Andy Fletcher. But there’s more, he was also tied to Alison Moyet, with whom he played in a band, the Vandals. He ended up playing in a band, with Vince Clarke, called the Plan, and later French Look, with Martin Gore and Paul Redmond.
In 1983 Marlow formed The Peter Pan Effect. The project initially was born when Marlow was in a band called Film Noir, with future keyboardist and guitarist for the Cure, Perry Bamonte. After Clarke left Depeche Mode, Marlow approached Clarke and secured some studio time at Blackwing Studios with him and Eric Radcliffe. He was offered only one day, and decided to record “The Face of Dorian Gray”. This led to extra studio time. The single was released on Reset Records, a label founded in 1983 by Vince Clarke and Eric Radcliffe. The B-side was the track “The Tale of Dorian Gray”.
After that, he released three more singles: “I Just Want to Dance”, “Claudette” and “Calling All Destroyers”. Due to little airplay and low sales the album was shelved until 1999 when the Swedish label Energy Rekords released it.
In early 2002 Robert Marlow founded Marlow, which was a duo with Gary Durant. The duo released the single “My Teenage Dream” in 2002. An album followed in 2009, “Inside Outside”, on Electro-Shock-Records which would release all of Robert Marlow’s later side-project albums. The title track was arranged and produced by Vince Clarke, who had also remixed a track on the album called “Home”. The follow-up album “The Future” was never released and the duo split up in 2012. However in 2013 he would release a reworked version of “The Future” as “The Future Remixes”.
After the split of Marlow, Robert Marlow once again performed as a solo artist and released a new 7 track EP, “The Blackwing Sessions”, again on the German label Electro Shock Records. The release held tracks with other vocals and instrumentals from the “1982–1984 recordings in the Blackwing Studios”.
Cleopatra Records would later on release standard US releases of “The Peter Pan Effect” and Family Fantastic’s “Nice!” in a limited edition box double pack with additional info about Vince Clarke’s involvements in the two projects on the back. Family Fantastic was a project formed in 2000 by Clarke and Phil Creswick (ex-Big Fun), featuring various high-profile singers from the UK.
I have had the pleasure to interview Robert Marlow a couple of times, and although he never became a big superstar, he was ok with what he had achieved despite having to wait decades to see his dreams come partially true. A sweet person, maybe too kind for this world.
Our most since condolences to Robert’s friends and family.
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