The Best Of Clover ... - Martin Scott who compiled the album remembers:
The Clover Best Of came about because I was the Product Manager at Phonogram responsible for our mid-price reissue series. Usually these were exactly what you'd expect - reissues of old albums that weren't selling too well at full price, and had either been deleted or simply stopped selling, so we felt we could increase sales/make more money by putting them out at a lower price.
I'd been a fan of Clover's when Unavailable and Love on the Wire came out; but there was no way the bosses would let me reissue either, because they'd sold so little to start with. However, by the mid-80s, Huey Lewis and the News were huge: so I persuaded them that if we put out one album of the best stuff (obviously a subjective choice), with plenty of Huey vocals, and a sticker on the front explaining that the album featured Huey, we might be able to sell a few thousand to people who'd never heard of Clover until then.
We had a very tight budget: so I got my mate Ted Koehorst (with whom I've played in a band for the last 27 years) to design and art-direct the sleeve. The 'Clover' guitar which is on the LP sleeve, and forms the whole of the cassette inlay, belongs to him - it was made by another friend and guitar player, Pete Towers, and the fact that it already had the work 'Clover' inlaid on the headstock is entirely coincidental and fortuitous. The other props (including the Gretsch and the old albums and copies of Zigzag magazine) were provided by Ted, who's another fan.
Track selection was left entirely up to me: I was basing it on which tracks I liked, while beariing in mind the need to get a substantial Huey vocal presence. If I could have, I'd have included Santa Fe too - but this was at a time when CDs were just starting, and definitely not for mid-price, so we had to stick to LP length. So if your favourites are missing, it's me who's to blame! We didn't have time to contact the other band members, although I did have a meeting with Huey's manager (Bob Brown, I think his name was) at a hotel in London to confirm they were OK for the album to be stickered as 'featuring Huey Lewis'. He wouldn't let us, so we had to list all the band members on the sticker, in order to get Huey (the only one the public had heard of) on there.
Chicken Funk was included as it (a) featured Huey and (b) wasn't on either of the existing albums; and Route 66 was in there for rarity value, 'cos I remembered the TV ad. We didn't have a tape, and I got hold of a quarter inch reel from the Levi's ad agency.
As far as live Clover recordings go, I don't remember there being any in Phonogram's library: although to be fair, I didn't go looking for them at the time, as the idea was to sell to Huey fans firstly, and then (via the unreleased stuff) existing Clover fans (of whom, sadly, there weren't many) second. Having said that, Show Me Your Love on Unavailable is listed on the label as live, and having been recorded by Nick Lowe (as opposed to Mutt Lange). So there must have been a session done sometime, and I'd assume there are other songs. You've got me thinking now... I'll see what I can find out.
(September 20, 2006)
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