Paul Young (Sad Café and Mike + The Mechanics singer)

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Paul Young
Also known as Youngy
Born (1947-06-17)17 June 1947
Benchill, Wythenshawe, Manchester, England
Died 15 July 2000(2000-07-15) (aged 53)
Hale, Altrincham, Manchester, England
Genres Pop rock, soft rock
Occupations Musician
Instruments Vocals, percussion, keyboard, guitar, bass guitar
Years active 1976–2000
Associated acts Mike + The Mechanics, Sad Café
Website http://www.paul-young.org

Paul Young (17 June 1947 – 15 July 2000) was an English singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Young initially came to prominence as the frontman of 1970s rock band Sad Café, with whom he achieved multiple UK Top 40 and US Billboard Hot 100 hits. He later enjoyed greater chart success sharing lead vocal duties with Paul Carrack in Mike + The Mechanics, the pop-rock band formed in 1985 by Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford. In that band, Young would play various instruments as required, and serve as de facto frontman during live performances.[1] During his career, he provided lead vocals on several chart hits, including Sad Café's "Every Day Hurts" and "My Oh My", and Mike + The Mechanics' "All I Need Is a Miracle", "Word of Mouth", "Taken In" and "Nobody's Perfect".

Young possessed a wide vocal range, often utilising fifth octave head voice notes,[1] and a voice characterised as "rich".[2] His early style has been likened to that of Mick Jagger;[3] in the early 1980s, he began to explore a more emotive,[4] often-breathy style.[1] Rutherford said of Young, "He had a fantastic voice, one of the best rock voices of his generation...a complete natural."[5] Former Marillion vocalist and 1980s chart peer, Fish, described him as "one of the finest frontmen and singers from the history of the British music scene", who exhibited "immense personality, glowing charisma and outrageous positivism."[6]

Young died from the last in a series of heart attacks at his home in Hale, Altrincham on 15 July 2000.[6][5]

Career[edit]

Young was born in Benchill, Wythenshawe, Manchester, England. He formed Sad Café in 1976, and recorded with that band until 1989. He was brought into Mike + the Mechanics under the recommendation of producer/songwriter Christopher Neil and Neil's manager.[7] Young's power and range lent themselves to the band's heavier songs.[1]

Death[edit]

On 15 July 2000, Young had been complaining of chest pains after returning from a shopping trip. He died of a heart attack at around 6.30pm at his home on Hale Road, Hale, Altrincham, before the ambulance arrived. An autopsy revealed that this was not the first heart attack Young had suffered; several of his acquaintances had been aware of his zealous party lifestyle and the warnings that he had been issued by doctors.[6] His remains were cremated on 22 July 2000.

Mike Rutherford paid tribute to Young, stating: "We are all shocked and devastated by Paul's death...He had a fantastic voice, one of the best rock voices of his generation, and aside from his musical talent, he had such an infectious enthusiasm for the business. Paul loved performing. He was a complete natural. We all thought he'd still be singing in 50 years' time. This is a terrible loss."[5]

Former Marillion singer and 1980s chart peer Fish also paid tribute to Young on his own website, writing, "This was one of the finest frontmen and singers from the history of the British music scene and his immense personality, glowing charisma and outrageous positivism in the face of a world of grief and bad luck always gave myself and others so much energy...The man is and will always be irreplaceable and like many others who have experienced the whirlwind that was Paul Young we will sorely miss him."[6]

Posthumous release[edit]

In 2011, a new album was released, Chronicles, compiled from unfinished material recovered from his home studio, and containing a new single, "Your Shoes", written by Paul Young and Mike Rutherford.

Discography[edit]

Paul Young

  • 2011 Chronicles (2011 album)
  • 2011 "Your Shoes" (2011 single)

Mike + The Mechanics

Sad Café

Albums

Year Album UK Albums Chart[8] U.S. Albums[9]
1977 Fanx Ta Ra
#56
-
1977 Hungry Eyes
-
-
1978 Misplaced Ideals
#50
-
1979 Misplaced Ideals
-
#94
1979 Façades
#8
#146
1980 Sad Café
#46
#160
1981 Live
#37
-
1981 Olé
#72
-
1985 Politics of Existing
-
-
1989 Whatever it Takes
-
-

† U.S. version of the first two albums

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Mike + The Mechanics: The Videos". Episode 1/1. 1998. 15 minutes in. Channel 4. (Rutherford)
  2. ^ Orens, Geoff. The Living Years review. AllMusic. Retrieved 17 May, 2013.
  3. ^ Boldman, Gina. Misplaced Ideals review. AllMusic. Retrieved 17 May, 2013.
  4. ^ DeGagne, Mike. Mike + The Mechanics review. AllMusic. Retrieved 17 May, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Mike + the Mechanics' Paul Young Dies". MTV. 18 July 2000. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d ""Everyday Hurts" Paul Young 1947 - 2000". The official Fish website. 19 July 2000. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Neer, Dan (1985). Mike on Mike [interview LP], Atlantic Recording Corporation.
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 478. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  9. ^ "Allmusic ((( Sad Café > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". 

External links[edit]