Terry Britten
Britten as a member of the Twilights circa 1968.
Britten as a member of the Twilights circa 1968.
Background information
Birth nameTerence Ernest Britten
Born (1947-07-17) 17 July 1947 (age 76)
Manchester, England
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • record producer
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar
Years active1960s–present
Formerly ofthe Twilights

Terence Ernest Britten (born 17 July 1947)[1][2] is an English-Australian singer-songwriter and record producer, who has written songs for Tina Turner, Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton-John, Status Quo and Michael Jackson amongst many others.[3] Britten (along with co-writer Graham Lyle) won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1985 for "What's Love Got to Do with It".


Born on the 17 July 1947, a native of Manchester, Britten began writing for the Adelaide, Australia band The Twilights, a popular 1960s band for which he played lead guitar.[4] At times he co-wrote with Glenn Shorrock and Peter Brideoake.[5] He also recorded a single under his own name, "2000 Weeks" / "Bargain Day" (1969).[6]

Britten was a band member of Quartet with Kevin Peek, Alan Tarney and Trevor Spencer who recorded one album with Decca Records in the UK, which remains unreleased.[citation needed] One single was issued in 1969 on Decca in the UK and Australia and London in the US: "Now" / "Will My Lady Come" (Decca UK-F12974,[7] Aust Y-8977) and a second single in the UK only in 1970 "Joseph" / "Mama Where Did You Fail" (Decca F13072, US London LON-1031).

After the Twilights broke up, he returned to England and moved to London, where he did session work. Britten's multi-layered guitars featured on Alvin Stardust's 1973 hit "My Coo Ca Choo".[citation needed] In 1973 he was part of Cliff Richard's Eurovision Song Contest 1973 entry and, along with John Farrar, Alan Tarney and Trevor Spencer, submitted six songs; of which "Power to All Our Friends" was chosen and came third. After a lean charting period for Cliff Richard, Britten gave him "Devil Woman" and, in 1976, it became Richard's first top 10 in the UK for three years (and his first top 10 hit in the US).[8][9][10] He was a guitarist in Richard's band for many years and was the co-producer and main songwriter for Richard's 1979 album Rock 'n' Roll Juvenile, which reached No. 3 in the UK Album Chart. He wrote and co-wrote with B. A. Robertson 10 of the 12 songs, of which "Carrie" reached No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart.[11]

In the early 1980s, Britten's psychedelic rock song, "9.50", originally a hit for The Twilights, was revived by Australia's Divinyls as a b-side to their 1984 single, "Good Die Young".[12]

With Graham Lyle, Britten also wrote "What's Love Got to Do with It", which became Tina Turner's million-selling hit. "What's Love Got to Do with It" (1984), reached No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart[13] and No. 1 in the US Billboard Hot 100, and won Britten and Lyle the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1985. It also won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year which went to Tina Turner.[14] Later that year, they co-wrote "We Don't Need Another Hero" for the film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Also sung by Tina Turner, the song reached No. 2 in the US and No. 3 in the UK.[13] Britten and Lyle received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Song in 1986. It also earned Turner a 1986 Grammy nomination for best female pop vocal performance.[15] He also acted as a record producer for Turner.[16]

Britten co-wrote "Just Good Friends" for Michael Jackson's Bad album.[17] Britten has also penned songs for Olivia Newton-John, including "Love Make Me Strong" (1981)[18] and "Toughen Up" with Graham Lyle (1985).[19] He has also written for Meat Loaf, Melissa Manchester, Bonnie Raitt, and Hank Marvin.[20] Britten continues to compose from his home base in rural England, but has returned to Australia on occasion, including the Twilights' reunion for the Long Way to the Top concert tour.[5]

In 2002, the song "Rain, Tax (It's Inevitable)", co-written by Britten and Charlie Dore, appeared on Celine Dion's album A New Day Has Come.[21]

Britten currently has a home in Richmond, Greater London, and a home recording studio called "State of the Ark".[22]

Songwriting credits



Britten's work has appeared in the soundtracks to the following films:[24]

Award and nominations

TV Week / Countdown Awards

Countdown was an Australian pop music TV series on national broadcaster ABC-TV from 1974 to 1987, it presented music awards from 1979 to 1987, initially in conjunction with magazine TV Week. The TV Week / Countdown Awards were a combination of popular-voted and peer-voted awards.[25]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1979 Terry Britten for "He's My Number One" by Christie Allen Best Recorded Songwriter Won


  1. ^ "Mr Terence Ernest Britten, Director Profile at State of The Ark Music Limited". Duedil.com. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Terence Ernest Britten - Petersham - Songwriter & Record Producer". Checkcompany.co.uk. 29 July 2003. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Terry Britten – Songs". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Twilights, The (3) Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b [1] Archived 14 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Terry Britten – 2000 Weeks / Bargain Day (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 1969. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Quartet (3) – Now (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 1968. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  8. ^ Turner, Steve (2008). Cliff Richard: The Biography – Steve Turner – Google Boeken. Lion Books. ISBN 9780745952796. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  9. ^ "William's Cliff Chart Site – Cliff Richard World Singles". Cliffchartsite.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 461. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. ^ "Cliff Richard's UK positions". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Divinyls – Good Die Young (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 1984. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  13. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 569. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  14. ^ "Terry Britten – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Grammy Awards: Best Pop Solo Performance". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Simply the Best – Tina Turner : Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  17. ^ Thomas, Stephen. "Bad – Michael Jackson : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Love Make Me Strong – Olivia Newton-John : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  19. ^ "Toughen Up – Olivia Newton-John : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  20. ^ "Terry Britten – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Rain, Tax (It's Inevitable) – Celine Dion : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  22. ^ "State of the Ark Studios". State of the Ark Studios. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  23. ^ "Zoot (2) – 4 Shades of Pink (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 1970. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  24. ^ "Terry Britten - Filmography - Movies & TV - NYTimes.com". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2011. Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  25. ^ "Countdown to the Awards" (Portable document format (PDF)). Countdown Magazine. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). March 1987. Retrieved 16 December 2010.