Between 1973 and 1976, Robertson released a couple of solo albums,"then I realised that if I didn't have a hit record, I wouldn't be able to continue," he recalls. "Despite the fact that people thought I was talented, I had run out of options."
"Bang Bang", 1979, was his first hit, but the turning point was 1988's "The Living Years", written about the death of his father. "It was my calling card to collaborate with Burt Bacharach and John Barry. If I hadn't written that song I would never have found myself in the same room as them." Today, Robertson can look back on 20-plus hits, including "Wired fior Sound" for Cliff Richard and "The Living Years" for Mike and The Mechanics.
Robertson stepped back into the spotlight at last year's Edinburgh festival when he performed a handful on songs for his show I Didn't Mean To, I Just Did. This year's more evolved show, My Living Years, is a journal of his life from his childhood in Glasgow to becoming a Hollywood producer and moving to Ireland. It will be peppered with his celebrity anecdotes and hits, and draw on a writing career that has earnt Robertson many Grammy nominations and more than 70 silver, gold and platinum records.
What is the secret of a good song? "It must be catchy at the end of the day," says Robertson. "You must engage an audience emotionally and write about what you know. Writing by its very nature is a dull affair. You don't always recognise a special moment."
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