Tony McGuinness Announces Release Of Long-Lost Personal Album ‘Salt’

Deep down, we always knew T was of the kind to pull such a card trick with his brilliant composition skills.

Before Tony McGuinness was Tony McGuinness of Above & Beyond, he was another artist, another music industry professional, another man entirely. But that was a long, long time ago — nearly 30 years ago, for that matter. And you’d better believe the Tony who preceded ‘Blue Monday‘, ‘Sun & Moon‘, ‘Alone Tonight‘, a cute ’04 BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, and even a Marketing Director for Warner Music Group, was already too far down the rabbit hole of music to even consider leaving that sensitive side of him behind.

In fact, our beloved Tony has been actively making music since the late ’80s, as a guitarist for the iconic British Indie-Rock band, Sad Lovers And Giants. And you’re going to tell me there wasn’t any solo project of him lying around? Well, there was, but it was living leap year after leap year in the dungeons of the unreleased stuff. And there it was, private and personal.


Back in the mid-90s, Tony met a special someone, who goes by the name Shelley. The two had a rather short-lived story in terms of time, but, according to McGuinness himself, it was a very intense, very fulfilling journey. By chance — as all good things seem to occur — a weekend in a luxury hotel put him in the same place as her, an American, member of a band’s entourage.

I walked in and there was this skinny, grumpy-looking girl smoking a fag”, he recalls, “wearing a thin cotton dress, cardigan, black tights, Dr Martens. I said: “Do you want a game of snooker?” She was like: “Yeah, alright.” So we started playing snooker – and started a relationship over the three days that I was there. I really fell for her. When she smiled, she looked incredibly beautiful. When she didn’t, she looked like she might kill you! She had one of those faces and I was utterly smitten”.

Instead of returning to America, Shelley’s flight took her to London, alongside Tony.

Keeping it short-attention-span friendly — to my heart’s most utter discontent, for I love backstories —, the result of this gunpowder-like romance was Salt, a nine-track LP born in a six-month period, back in those times when not even Google was around. Shelley was Tony’s muse, and these creations simply poured from him. Once she inevitably left England to return to the U.S., this piece sat there, rather unfinished, in an old sampler.

The 2000s came, with it came Above & Beyond, and life would never be the same again for T. A busy lifestyle turned the potential album into a lost memory of some sort. Until a few years ago, when he decided to unearth a piece of his very history and, potentially, his very first chapter as a heartfelt composer.

And the complete album will see the light of day in just about a week.

‘Biker Babe’ / ‘Babydoll White’

Two of the nine singles have been lifted ahead of the release, ‘Biker Babe‘ and ‘Babydoll White‘. The latter, mind you, you might remember from those Lockdown times of Tony Stan-Lee-ing over to Anjunadeep for a few Fingerprint tunes, some Deep sets, and some curated compilations under his belt.

And regarding the former, I’ll leave you with its creator: “[One morning, Shelley recited] the immortal words, which I will never forget: “Go and get your guitar and sing to me”. And as a creative person, for whom the spark of creativity is always elusive, to have that excuse to play, and to have that willingness to hear – well, I think that’s what a muse is, isn’t it? So I went and got my guitar. She had a Triumph motorcycle T shirt on. And I just went twang on my guitar and sang: “biker babe, biker babe…”. And that’s how that song came”.

A highly personal chapter of his career, Tony is finally unveiling Salt next Friday, July 12th. In the meantime, head below to listen to the first two singles, by hitting the ‘Play‘ button on the Spotify player we’ve attached. Also, be sure to pre-save the album right here, and even, if you’re in that mood today, click here to watch the official video for ‘Biker Babe’.

Congrats, T.