Though first emerging as a staple of the British progressive rock community of the 1970s, Bob Sargeant
enjoyed his greatest success a decade later as one of the most notable producers of the new wave era. He first surfaced as a keyboardist with Mick Abrahams'
backing band, on Abrahams'
1971 self-titled solo debut. Freelance work with Andy Roberts
, Junco Partners
and Patrick Campbell-Lyons
followed, and in 1975 Sargeant
issued his lone solo album, First Starring Role
. After briefly joining Curved Air
in time to play on their 1976 LP Airborne
, he resurfaced three years later in the producer's seat, helming the Ruts' Crack, the Monochrome Set's Strange Boutique
a year later, and subsequent work with the English Beat
(the classic I Just Can't Stop It
) and Any Trouble
(Where Are All the Nice Girls?
) solidified Sargeant's
status as a rising talent. In addition to producing both of the English Beat's other studio albums, he also helmed Haircut 100's
1982 debut Pelican West
; concurrently, he also continued producing any number of sessions for John Peel's
BBC radio program, with dates from the Buzzcocks
, the Undertones
, Gang of Four
and Gary Numan
later seeing official release. In 1985 Sargeant
worked on the Damned's Phantasmagoria
, followed a year later by the Woodentops' acclaimed debut Giant
. From the late 1980s onward, however, he was largely inactive.