The Wildest Wish to Fly is a solo album by Rupert Hine. The album took another step toward more conventional pop songs. The lush production, intelligent lyrics, and precise songcrafting qualities of Hine still make it an enjoyable record, but the weird sounds, bleak atmospheres, and daring artistic choices found on the 1981 Immunity are now history. The best moments are found in "No Yellow Heart," "Victim of Wanderlust," and the title track. The album peaked at #31 on the Swedish album chart.
Rupert Hine, famous for his work as a producer (Tina Turner, Camel, Rush, Saga…), made a few records in the 70's and the 80's that were very innovative. A similar approach was used on his highly enjoyable solo album The Deep End, the first release under his own name since 1983. This album came out in the mid-90's but still holds some good lyrical content and interesting musical treatments. Unfortunately, that was also his last album.
Waving Not Drowning, released in 1982, was Rupert Hine's fourth solo album and followed the 1981 masterpiece Immunity. This time around, Hine settled for less daring studio work and a more direct approach. The piano takes center stage, relegating synthesizers to background atmospheres. It makes this set of songs closer to Peter Hammill's solo material from that period (although better produced and with an enhanced pop attitude). Waving Not Drowning marks a transition between its more disturbing predecessor and the rather colorless The Wildest Wish to Fly (1983).
Immunity marked a return to solo work for Rupert Hine after a few years with Quantum Jump. Early-'80s synth-pop did not age very well as a genre, but this album (like maybe Jon Anderson's Animation) is a stellar exception. Originally released in 1981, re-released and digitally remastered in 1989. The album was dedicated to Liam Byrne. A superstar producer with a unique sound on his own recordings. This CD features Marianne Faithfull & Phil Collins.
Thinkman wasn't a typical band. Founded 1984 by producer Rupert Hine, he remained the only real member all along. The band first appeared on the soundtrack Better Off Dead. They were conceived as another vehicle for Hines musical ideas. This is the first of three albums recorded by Rupert Hine under the name Thinkman.
Three years after his solo album The Wildest Wish to Fly, pop producer and songwriter Rupert Hine came back under the disguise of the pseudo-group Thinkman. The three musicians who accompanied him in interviews and lip-sync performances were actors, the whole project becoming a concept revolving around media manipulation. The Formula, Thinkman's first album, sticks close to this idea (the title track begins with the lines "It's an interview/But it's a second take"). During the early '80s, Hine followed an evolution that led him from disturbing art pop to intelligent but more commercial songs. The Formula is pretty much middle-of-the-road but has a harder edge than the singer's previous LP. Songs like the title track "The Ecstasy of Free Thought" and "The Days of a Champion" are fueled by newly found energy and feature the hook-filled melodies that made Hine an important part of England's '80s pop music. More importantly, there are no weaker tracks, no jumping off the bandwagon for a quick one. As far as concept pop albums go, this one is particularly successful. The Fixx's James West-Oram provided guitar tracks and Stewart Copeland (ex-The Police) plays some real drums whenever the producer felt the machine was not enough – they are both featured on the closer "There Shines Our Promised Land." This album is more than a marketing curiosity, it can be considered as an essential part of Hine's discography. AMG
If anything, the Bluetones' debut album, Expecting to Fly, is too accomplished. Like their idols, the Stone Roses, the band has made a first album that is assured, low-key, and subtly charming…
The third and last album by Rupert Hine under the disguise of the ghost group Thinkman, Hard Hat Zone walks away from the subjects of media manipulation and information games. Hard Hat Zone was originally released in 1990 and featured a brilliant line up of musicians including Geoffrey Richardson (Caravan, Bob Geldof), on guitars, Phil Palmer (Penguin Cafe Orchestra) on electric guitars and Jay Aston providing backing vocals and lead vocals on 'Unite It, Don't Divide It'.