Following National Service he turned professional, and became resident pianist at the Lido Nightclub in the West End of London. In 1959 Reed joined the The John Barry Seven as pianist. He appeared with them on BBC's Drumbeat (TV series), played on many of their hits including "James Bond Theme", "Hit And Miss" and "Walk, Don’t Run". He also played piano on hits for the likes of Adam Faith ("Poor Me" and "What Do You Want?"); Eden Kane's ("Forget Me Not") and Lance Fortune's ("Be Mine"). In the mid-1960s he began a successful songwriting partnership with Geoff Stephens which yielded such hits as "Tell Me When", a hit for The Applejacks; "Here It Comes Again" for The Fortunes; "Leave A Little Love" for Lulu; and "There's a Kind of Hush", a 1967 success for Herman's Hermits. During 1964 Reed penned "It's Not Unusual" with ex-Viscounts member and Tom Jones' manager Gordon Mills, which gave Jones a UK number one.
Reed also arranged and played piano on the song. Around this time Reed struck up another songwriting partnership with Barry Mason from Wigan, Lancashire. Among their successes was "Delilah", again a Top Ten hit for Tom Jones. "Delilah" was originally written for P. J.
Proby and later covered by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band in 1975. Reed and Mason also wrote "The Last Waltz", which became a million selling UK number one for Engelbert Humperdinck in September 1967. Mason and Reed wrote "Who's Doctor Who", a novelty song recorded by Doctor Who star Frazer Hines in 1967, but it failed to chart. In 1968 the duo scored another UK #1 hit with Des O'Connor's recording of "I Pretend".
That same year, "I've Got My Eyes on You", written by Reed and Jackie Rae, was recorded by Petula Clark, Ray Conniff, P. J. Proby and The Vogues. In 1970 Reed's orchestra recorded "Man of Action" which was used as the theme tune for Radio North Sea International until 1974. Reed composed the score for the 2004 musical Beautiful and Damned, based on the lives of Zelda and F.
Scott Fitzgerald. Reed is also responsible for co-composing "Marching on Together" (aka "Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!"), the anthem of Leeds United A.F.C.. In 1971, fellow pensmith Mitch Murray conceived and founded the Society Of Distinguished Songwriters (SODS). Current members include Reed, Sir Tim Rice, Guy Chambers, Gary Barlow, David Arnold, Mike Batt, Justin Hayward, Don Black, and more than thirty others. April 1998 Philosophical Paper [published by Hazel Speed] which featured reference to Les Reed's theme for the film 'The Lady Vanishes' [film starred Angela Lansbury]. Reed wrote Letter of Introduction within philosophical text and the Paper was subsequently lodged with the Cultural Department of the European Commission. In 2006 Reed wrote two theme songs for short animation pilot entitled 'B-Mail'.
He is project Composer in Residence. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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