The 100% Pure Frankie Miller album fermented in Spike’s mind for several years before he was able to put in the time he needed to commit to it. There were roughly 300 songs to sift through between the demanding tour dates of The Quireboys schedule. But, the project was a labour of love to him. Spike reflects and makes a point of noting that it is not intended to be interpreted as a tribute album to Frankie Miller. “Frankie doesn’t want sympathy. He just wants his music heard. These songs have never been heard before, and they’ve been recorded with Frankie’s blessing. They are songs that would have been lost if it wasn’t for the desire of a group of his closest friends and biggest fans to do them justice. Frankie Miller was, and still is, a massive influence on so many musicians, myself included. He has a special talent as a songwriter and that talent deserves to be celebrated”.
Tragically, the Scottish musician sustained a brain aneurism that left him unable to continue on with his passion for music or to continue a prolific career as a songwriter and performer. If not for Millers’ wife Annette, who approached Spike about whether he had an interest in looking through this archive, these songs would have been lost and forgotten. But, Spike has been a longtime fan of Frankie Miller’s and considered it an honour to sift through the massive collection of unpublished songs. It was important to find songs that he felt worked with his voice and that would also shine light on the songs themselves. He points out that Frankie took part in the recording process of 100% Pure Frankie Miller as well. Spike kept him informed and asked his thoughts on things along the way. He wanted to be sure that Frankie approved of what was being put out there.
When the word got out that the album was being put together, Spike says that many people rang him up asking to be part of the project, but Spike wanted to keep it personal. Performers on the album were selected only from musician friends of Frankie’s and Spike’s. “The rhythm section is Simon Kirke and Andy Fraser from Free playing together for the first time in years. Ronnie Wood is playing guitar, Ian Hunter on the piano, Luke Morley from Thunder is playing on it and I have done a wonderful duet with Bonnie Tyler.” (Also on this album are, Guy Griffin, Keith Weir, Paul Guerin, Tyla, Chris Corney, Mark Stanway, Mick Roobotham, Matt Goom, Pat McManus, Lorraine Crosby, Stuart Emerson, Cherry Lee Mewis, Simon Hanson and Jimi The Piper.)
Spike picked 12 songs out of the 300 he sifted through that went onto the CD, although he did record a few more than appear on the album. It is his hope that the album does well and that he can continue on selecting songs from this massive Frankie catalog. He is such a big fan of Frankie Miller’s writing that he wants that celebrated and appreciated; more like a fine wine, than simply a tributary.