Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Record of the Month - Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 10 years old.

For 2011, I thought I'd focus on debut disks - just to make it more challenging for me. I don't think you'll care one way or the other.

Most of you know Paul Young as the guy who does the opening line in "Do They Know it's Christmas". Then maybe the crooner of a lesser known Hall & Oates song, "Every Time You Go Away".

For me, at least Young was all about his first solo album, No Parlez. Young covering Hall & Oates isn't too far off, as both would be considered white soul. It's all very nice but non-threatening.

Case in point, Young covers Joy Divisions "Love Will Tear Us Apart".  The once morose song becomes a lighter-hearted potential pop hit - though it never did.

For the most part the album has held up, and you might remember the earlier MTV "hit", "Come Back and Stay".  And whether it was in the UK or U.S., he had minor hits - a cover of "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)", and "Love of the Common People".  His white soul comes into play with those two songs and also with "Oh Woman" and "Broken Man".

If Young takes any risks it is with three song - the title track, "Iron Out the Rough Spots" and "Ku-Ku Kumara (though that last one wears out its welcome soon enough).

Risks or not, I still like the No Parlez. Yeah, there are a few throw-away tracks, but most albums have those.

He couldn't sustain his U.S. success after his second album The Secret of Association (that included his biggest U.S. hit), though another hit would creep in here and there over the next few years - and then he just disappeared.

...except for every Thanksgiving to New Year's, where you'll hear him on "Do They Know it's Christmas".  There he'll live in infamy, even if everyone probably says, "who is that guy?".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of my favorites from that time. I always thought he should have been more successful.