Oh World

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Oh World
Paul Rutherford - Oh World album art.jpg
Studio album by Paul Rutherford
Released 1989
Genre Pop, Funk, Soul, House
Label Island Records, 4th & Broadway

Oh World, released in 1989, is the sole solo album by Paul Rutherford, the former backing singer of Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Background[edit]

Following the split of Frankie Goes to Hollywood in 1987, Rutherford teamed up with two production teams, Dave Clayton and Joe Dworniak and ABC's Martin Fry and Mark White, for his debut solo album. Released in 1989, the album spawned three singles. The leading single "Get Real" was banned by the BBC, and peaked at #47 in the UK.[1] A cover of Chic's 1979 hit single "I Want Your Love" was the second single and peaked at #82.[2] A third and final single was the title track "Oh World" which peaked at #61.[3] However, due to the BBC ban of "Get Real" and the disappointing chart performances of the three singles, the album was never released in the UK, in favor of a European and American issue only. It was to be Rutherford's only solo album as he faded from the public eye shortly afterwards.[4]

On 24 March 2013, Penny Black Music published an interview with Rutherford.

Paul Waller, interviewer: So, in 1989, after the demise of Frankie you released your solo album, "Oh World". You must have had a lot more artistic control with that project, but it wasn't the greatest of times for you. Do you look fondly on that time of your life at all?

Rutherford: No, no I don't. I was going through such a big personal downer at that time. My partner died during my planned solo career so I disappeared for a while because I thought it was more important for him. He died due to AIDS complications. It was really quite hard to deal with and took five years out of my life. I made the "Oh World" album during the middle of all this, so when you listen to it now you can hear where a lot of the music comes from in a way. I wasn't turning up for stuff and the record company was getting really cheesed with me. I spent a lot of time in hospitals, and it just got all too much for me. There were bigger things going on as well that I can't really tell you about but they knew. I thought I was wasting their time, my time and worst of all his time which was more precious than anything. But some people can deal with that sort of situation. I now see it as sort of a gift in a way; I stepped up. At the time I stood up for gay rights so much. So I can see it now as a good thing for me. It turned me into a better person, I think.[5]

When asked if he had been writing material recently, Rutherford stated:

"There were the tracks left off the solo thing so I decided to redo them. One of them has a choir and an orchestra on it. Yeah, I would say they are more soulful songs, the most soulful stuff that I have ever written, ballads. It makes sense with my age. It is my opus. I absolutely know it. The people I have played it to have literally wept.[5]

Waller asked if there was a time frame for the project, to which Rutherford said,

Hmm, it's all about money. I haven't got a record deal, not that anyone one has record deals now. I was supposed to sign back with Trevor Horn for it. He picked it up and I thought if Trevor does that I could have a worldwide fucking hit. He said it was the best thing he'd heard in ages, but then it got down to the business side of everything, and I just thought I can't go down that road again. They tried to boss me around thinking I'm still sixteen or whatever. I can't go backwards instead of forwards. But I've gone through so much, and this is the most revolutionary thing I have ever written. I know it is outstanding. I've lived with it so long. It fucking is... I know it is.[5]

Release[edit]

The album was released on vinyl, cassette and CD via Island Records and 4th & Broadway in Europe, Canada and America.[6] In 2011, the album was expanded and remastered by Cherry Pop, and this release marked the first time the album was available in the UK. Featuring two discs, it included A-Side mixes, B-Sides, 12" remixes and promo-only tracks, as well as much sought-after early remixes by the likes of Arthur Baker and David Morales.[7][8]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Oh World" David Clayton, Paul Rutherford 6:53
2. "Deep at the Centre" Clayton, Joe Dworniak, Rutherford 4:58
3. "Who Said It Was Easy" Clayton, Dworniak, Rutherford 5:10
4. "The Gospel Truth" Clayton, Rutherford 5:54
5. "Light" Clayton, Rutherford 1:13
6. "Get Real" Clayton, Mark White, Martin Fry, Rutherford 3:35
7. "Cracked Wide Open" Clayton, White, Fry, Rutherford 6:30
8. "I Want Your Love" Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers 4:18
9. "Catch a Falling Star" Clayton, Rutherford 6:28
10. "Half the Picture" Clayton, Rutherford 4:55
2011 Cherry Pop remaster bonus tracks (disc one)
No. Title Length
11. "I Want Your Love (Radio Mix)" 3:49
12. "Oh World (Original 7" Mix)" 3:55
13. "Happy Face" 6:50
14. "Pushed Away" 5:16
15. "Seduction (Edit)" 4:22
2011 Cherry Pop remaster bonus tracks (disc two)
No. Title Length
1. "Get Real (Happy House Remix)" 6:17
2. "I Want Your Love (Extended Mix)" 6:20
3. "I Want Your L.U.R.V.E." 5:00
4. "Oh World (Extended Mix)" 4:51
5. "Oh World (Instrumental)" 5:45
6. "Get Real (Hardcore)" 5:45
7. "Get Real (Sinister)" 5:45
8. "Get Real (Don't Let 'Em Dub You Down - Early Fade)" 5:45
9. "I Want Your Love (Arthur Baker Remix)" 5:45
10. "Oh World (Universal Mix)" 5:45
11. "Oh World (Delirium Dub - Early Fade)" 5:45

Singles[edit]

  1. "Get Real" (#47 UK)
  2. "I Want Your Love" (#82 UK)
  3. "Oh World" (#61 UK)

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[4]

Ned Raggett of Allmusic labelled the album as an AMG Album Pick, and stated

"Paul Rutherford's full-length solo debut was a victim of bad timing when it came to its original release, thanks to a BBC ban of the acid-friendly (in more ways than one) "Get Real." That resulted in the full album never seeing a U.K. release in favor of a European issue only; heard many years later, the album's easygoing dance-mutating-into-house feel comes across as something that seems both perfectly commercial and engaging in its own right to have warranted that hometown attention. Given his secondary vocal role in Frankie Goes to Hollywood, it's little surprise that Oh World almost feels like Rutherford aiming to liberate his voice in a variety of contexts shaped by two production teams, Dave Clayton and Joe Dworniak and ABC's Martin Fry and Mark White. The latter had just done a bit of house reinvention themselves with the Up album, so it's little surprise that "Get Real" in particular slips sleekly along, "I Feel Love" updated for a new decade's end. Clayton and Dworniak's work otherwise predominates, able to tackle a variety of genres from late-'80s dance formalism to reasonably lush, lower-key soul/pop. No matter the producer, Rutherford's performances are enjoyable if not always sit-up-straight remarkable; more than once George Michael feels like the clear role model on songs like "Who Said It Was Easy." Still, there's a looseness in the overall feeling of the album that compares favorably to Billy Mackenzie's near contemporary stumble with Wild and Lonely; Rutherford sounded more tuned in to the times on the one hand while able to take a gentler, smokies turn on songs like "The Gospel Truth."[4]

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Get Real by Paul Rutherford Search". The Official Charts Company. 14 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Official Charts Company - I Want Your Love by Paul Rutherford Search". The Official Charts Company. 14 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Oh World by Paul Rutherford Search". The Official Charts Company. 14 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Ned Raggett. "Oh World - Paul Rutherford | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  5. ^ a b c "Frankie Goes to Hollywood : Interview with Paul Rutherford". Pennyblackmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  6. ^ "Paul Rutherford - Oh World at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  7. ^ "Oh World: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  8. ^ "Paul Rutherford - Oh World (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 

External links[edit]