Ph.D. were a short-lived band which comprised of Scottish soul vocalist Jim Diamond, Jeff Beck Band’s Tony Hymas and a rotated cast on drums, with either Simon Phillips or Mark Craney beating the sticks, depending on the track. Ph.D stands for Phillips, Hymas, Diamond, by the way, although Phillips left the band half way through. 

You might have heard of their one hit, the genuinely excellent ‘I Won’t Let You Down’, and you might have even seen the rather outstanding slapstick video on Youtube, where Diamond appears to grovel to a tall girl with a tiny dog, showering her with gifts while she looks disinterested. Meanwhile, Tony Hymas trying, and mostly failing to stop Mr Diamond, using a range of tricks, including but not limited to a knife, a cartoon-esque bomb and the classic bucket from a ladder trick common in silent movies. He gets his way in the end. 

It’s not that easy to find this album these days, Dad used to have the tape as a kid, although some kindly soul has kept the memory of the band alive by uploading what was presumably the vinyl version to Youtube in its entirety. 

To describe the album briefly, it’s a veritable smorgasbord of tempos and tunes, all set to a backdrop of more synths and moogs than you would see at an 80’s convention and complimented by the vocals of someone, who in my opinion is a hideously underrated vocalist. Diamond would of course be best known for his later, 1984 hit, I Should Have Known Better and for recording the vocals to Hi Ho Silver, which despite being written about his own relationship with his father, was best known as the theme to Boon, starring Michael Elphick as the eponymous private investigator, alongside David Daker and Neil Morrissey. Give it a listen.