Mike + The Mechanics (1985 album)

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Mike + The Mechanics
Studio album by Mike + The Mechanics
Released 5 October 1985
Recorded AIR Studios, Montserrat 1985
Genre Pop rock
Length 39:57
Label Atlantic (US/Canada)
WEA (Rest of World)
Virgin (1997 Europe re-issue)
Producer Christopher Neil
Mike + The Mechanics chronology
Acting Very Strange (by Mike Rutherford)
(1982)
Mike + The Mechanics
(1985)
Living Years
(1988)

Mike + The Mechanics is the debut album by Genesis bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford's band Mike + The Mechanics in 1985. The album reached number 26 on the Billboard 200 album charts and had three hit singles. "Silent Running", featuring lead vocals by Paul Carrack, and the up-tempo "All I Need Is a Miracle", featuring lead vocals by Paul Young, both reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts, peaking at numbers 6 and 5 respectively, with the former also peaking at number 1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The third single off the album, "Taken In", was a lesser hit, reaching No.32 on the Hot 100 and No.7 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Singles chart.[1] "Silent Running" and "All I Need is a Miracle" were also hits in the UK, reaching numbers 21 and 53 in the UK Singles Chart respectively.[2]

Background and recording[edit]

Mike Rutherford began constructing the album's set of tracks by playing demo tapes containing musical pieces in various stages of development (in some cases no more than isolated riffs and fragments but a few seconds long) to producer Christopher Neil. Neil then told him which bits he thought were worth developing, and Rutherford began building these pieces into full-fledged songs. With the exception of "Silent Running", which Rutherford co-wrote with B. A. Robertson, the final versions of the songs were drafted by Neil; in Rutherford's words, "He's much better at finishing, and I'm much better at starting, so it was a good combination."[3]

In most cases, the lyrics were written by Rutherford. However, he credits Neil for writing the lyrics to the verses of "You Are the One".[3]

Rutherford originally conceived "Par Avion" as a heavy song "with powerful drums", but Neil adapted it into a soft ballad, which Rutherford agreed was a better approach to the composition.[3] The song was featured in the Miami Vice episode "Yankee Dollar".

"A Call to Arms" began as an unfinished "bit" from the Genesis album sessions which none of the members liked, aside from Rutherford. Rutherford received permission from Genesis bandmates Phil Collins and Tony Banks to use it for the Mechanics, then developed it into a full song with help from Christopher Neil and B.A. Robertson.[3]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]

In their retrospective review, Allmusic lauded the strong performances of all the band members, while noting that the creative and powerful songwriting is the most important element of the album. They concluded that though Mike + the Mechanics' second album was a bigger commercial success, "their debut reflects a more compliant sound in every aspect."[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground) (Rutherford, B. A. Robertson) – 6:10
  2. All I Need Is a Miracle (Rutherford, Christopher Neil) – 4:10
  3. Par Avion (Rutherford, Neil) – 3:36
  4. Hanging By a Thread (Rutherford, Neil, Robertson) – 4:40
  5. I Get the Feeling (Rutherford, Neil) – 4:27
  6. Take the Reins (Rutherford, Neil, Robertson) – 4:18
  7. You Are the One (Rutherford, Neil) – 3:41
  8. A Call to Arms (Rutherford, Neil, Robertson, Tony Banks, Phil Collins) – 4:38
  9. Taken In (Rutherford, Neil) – 4:17

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel
  • John Kirby – vocals (lead: 3, 7)
  • Gene Stashuck – additional vocals on "A Call to Arms" (sings "Sweet Avalon, the heat is on")
  • Dereck Austin – keyboards
  • Ray Beavis – saxophone
  • John Earle – saxophone
  • Luís Jardim – percussion
  • Alan Murphy – guitar
  • Ian Wherry – keyboards
  • Alan Carvel – background vocals
  • Christopher Neil – background vocals
  • Linda Taylor – background vocals

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mike + the Mechanics Billboard charts history, Allmusic. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  2. ^ Mike + the Mechanics UK charts history, The Official Charts. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d Neer, Dan (1985). Mike on Mike [interview LP], Atlantic Recording Corporation.
  4. ^ a b DeGagne, M. (2011). "Mike + the Mechanics – Mike + the Mechanics | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 25 July 2011.