This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (March 2018)
|Birth name||Paul Reginald Nelson|
|Born||Yorkshire, England, UK|
|Genres||Punk, new wave, folk, rock|
|Instruments||Guitar, vocals, keyboards|
|Labels||A&M, Capitol/EMI, Broken Records, Bongo Beat|
Paul Reginald Nelson (born 21 May 1955), known by the stage name Paul Hyde, is a British-born Canadian musician and record producer (a notable client being Spirit of the West). Born in Yorkshire, Hyde came to Canada as a teenager.
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Hyde in the Payola$, Phase One (1978-1988)
Hyde was a founding member, with Bob Rock, of the Payola$. Hyde and Rock formed the band in 1978, cheekily naming it after the U.S. radio scandal of the '50s. Rock would also start engineering and producing at Little Mountain Sound in Vancouver, where Payola$ relocated from Langford, British Columbia.
The band's major label EP, Introducing Payola$, was released on A&M in 1980. The band had made a few DIY recordings in 1979 before signing to A&M. Their other A&M releases were 1981's In a Place Like This, 1982's No Stranger to Danger and 1983's Hammer on a Drum.
In 1985, Hyde was a credited co-writer of the No. 1 Canadian charity single "Tears Are Not Enough" by Northern Lights. He also sang in the song's chorus. For Here's the World for Ya (1985), the band changed its name to Paul Hyde and the Payolas, but disappointing sales resulted in their being dropped by the label. The team resigned with Capitol/EMI and put out one album, Under the Volcano (1987), as Rock And Hyde.
These attempts to increase radio play in the U.S. by changing their band name met with limited success, although they gave Hyde his only two US Hot 100 entries. Still, Rock and Hyde went their separate ways in 1988: Hyde became a solo artist, and Rock an extremely successful hard rock/metal producer (his clients included Metallica), and part of the short-lived band Rockhead.
Hyde out of the Payola$ (1989 - 2002)
In 1988, with Murray McLauchlan and Tom Cochrane, Hyde recorded a benefit single and video for UNICEF called "Let the Good Guys Win". In 1989, Hyde's solo single "America is Sexy" reached No. 28 on the RPM 100 Singles chart of 23-28 October.
In December 1988, the song was ranked as No. 23 of the top 25 Cancon songs of the year. The single was from Hyde's debut solo album, Turtle Island. Some of the album's other songs were co-written with his first wife, Myriam Nelson.
Despite the respectable chart success of the song, there was to be an eleven-year gap between Turtle Island and Hyde's next major label album. During this interval, he completed an album for the small Broken Records label: Love and the Great Depression was released in 1996. The album escaped the notice of anyone not specifically looking for it. A prominent figure in Canadian pop in the 1980s, Hyde had become obscure.
Always remaining good friends with Hyde, Rock generously gave of his time to produce Hyde's 2000 EMI Music Canada album, Living off the Radar, which included some songs that the two co-wrote for the project. The response to the album proved the truth of its name, although singles "I Loved You Before I Met You" (co-written with Craig Northey) and "The Snake" (co-written with Rock) received some airplay. Again without a major label contract, in 2002 Hyde released The Big Book of Sad Songs, Volume 1 on the small Bongo Beat label. A stripped-down production that clocked in at barely over 30 minutes, the album nevertheless demonstrated the enduring craftsmanship of its songwriter.
Hyde in the Payola$, Phase Two (2003 - 2008)
Best known for such hits as "China Boys," "Eyes Of A Stranger" and "Where is This Love?", Payola$ played a special performance at EMI's post-Juno Award party April 1, 2007, in Saskatoon after Rock—who now lives in Hawaii, where he has a recording studio—was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the telecast. The line-up included the final 1980s configuration of band personnel, drummer Chris Taylor (joined 1982) and bassist Alexander "A-train" Boynton (joined circa 1985).
The Payola$ became active again as recording artists when the long-time musical partners released a seven-track CD EP, Langford (Part One), on July 17, 2007, through EMI Music Canada. Named for the Victoria, British Columbia suburb where Hyde and Rock met, the EP has a cover featuring Belmont Secondary School in Langford, which they attended together.
The Payola$ ceased operation in 2008. Rock and Hyde have not announced whether they will be working together again or whether they will complete the full album that was supposed to follow their 2007 CD EP Langford (Part One).
Hyde's solo career resumes (2009-present)
Hyde released a second album for Bongo Beat on October 20, 2009, called Peace Sign. In January 2018, Hyde released a third album for Bongo Beat called No Gods, Just Men, which is currently a digital-only release.
- Turtle Island (1989)
- Love and the Great Depression (1996)
- Living off the Radar (2000)
- The Big Book of Sad Songs, Volume 1 (2002)
- Peace Sign (2009)
- No Gods, Just Men (2018)
Paul has three children with ex-wife Myriam Nelson. His son, David Nelson, is a Vancouver-based rapper and lyricist. His twin daughters Elizabeth and Danielle are the Vancouver-based singing duo "Dani and Lizzy".