Welcome to the official website for the 1970s British vocal group DESIGN

 

Design Shindig adDESIGN was a British six-piece vocal harmony group in the early 1970s and its members were Barry Alexander, Gabrielle Field, Kathy Manuell, Jeff Matthews, John Mulcahy-Morgan and Geoff Ramseyer.

 

Their music has been described as ‘sunshine harmony pop with a light hippy vibe’ and ‘melodic folk-pop with a shimmering, almost psychedelic, West Coast feel’. Design released five albums and thirteen singles in the UK and appeared on more than fifty television shows before they split up in 1976.

 

Singer and songwriter Tony Smith formed Design while he was working at the BBC in London in December 1968. The group then signed a recording contract with Adrian Kerridge of Lansdowne Studios and recorded their first album Design during the summer of 1969. This led to a two-album deal with Epic Records in the USA.

 

In November 1970, shortly before the first album was released, Tony Smith left the group and he was replaced by guitarist Jeff Matthews, who had been with John and Geoff in the group Free Expression.

 

This was Design’s most successful line-up and after their appearances on The Morecambe and Wise Show in 1971 they became one of the most televised groups in the UK, guesting on dozens of programmes with The Two Ronnies, Val Doonican, Benny Hill, Tommy Cooper, and many others.

 

They toured with Gilbert O’Sullivan, starred in cabaret and at the London Palladium, and recorded the albums Tomorrow Is So Far Away, Day of the Fox and In Flight before Gabrielle Field and Geoff Ramseyer left the group in October 1974.

 

Barry, John, Kathy and Jeff carried on as a four-piece group and recorded one more album By Design before finally splitting up in October 1976. Since then, Design’s albums have become much sought after by record collectors and they have been highly praised by music critics in magazines and books such as Shindig! and Galactic Ramble.

 


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In June 2011 Design's first four albums were reissued for the first time on CD and download by RPM Records. The albums Design and Tomorrow Is So Far Away are available on RPM Records Retro 897 and the albums Day of the Fox and In Flight on RPM Records Retro 898. Due to popular demand, a third collection of A and B sides and unreleased tracks by Design was released on CD and download in October 2012. It is called One Sunny Day: Singles and Rarities 1968–1978 and is available on RPM Records Retro 919.

 

Design - vocal group magazine photo

 

Now once again you can enjoy the glorious sunshine harmonies of the six-piece group described by Noel Edmonds on BBC Radio One as ‘one of the best vocal groups in the world’.

 

CD 1

CD 1

Design

Tomorrow Is So Far Away

CD 2

CD2

Day of the Fox

In Flight

CD3

CD3

One Sunny Day: Singles and Rarities 1968-1978