Paul King (musician, VJ)
Paul King in San Francisco – 1986
|Birth name||Paul King|
20 November 1960 |
Galway, County Galway, Ireland
|Genres||New wave, pop rock, soul|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, musician, VJ, television presenter|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, synthesizer|
(as King's lead singer)
(as VJ and TV presenter)
Richard James Burgess
The Reluctant Stereotypes
The Raw Screens
Paul King was born in Galway, County Galway, Ireland, but moved to Coventry, England, with his parents at a young age. After graduating from Coventry Drama School, King considered joining the West Midlands Police, but joined rock-ska band, the Reluctant Stereotypes. The band – which also contained record producer Paul Sampson – released an album and three singles in the early 1980s on the back of Coventry's vibrant 2 Tone ska scene.
After the demise of the Reluctant Stereotypes, King formed the Raw Screens who perfected their act and style to what King and his manager Perry Haines called 'multi-tone', and then in 1983 relaunched the group as self-named 1980s band King. As lead singer, King was famed for his cockatoo haircut and spray painted Doc Marten's Boots – a look described "like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But, hell, the girls loved him," while Richard James Burgess produced and drummed on most of the band's songs.
The band & King lasted just a couple of years, though both of their albums, Steps in Time and Bitter Sweet, went Gold, and they had two Top 10 singles with "Love & Pride" and "Alone Without You". Paul King then went solo with a 1987 album entitled Joy, produced by American musician Dan Hartman. It produced the UK Singles Chart minor hit single, "I Know".
After an unsuccessful solo career, King became a VJ on MTV in 1989, before moving over to VH1 in 1994, and then became known for his infomercials on 1980s collection albums. He is mostly remembered for the programmes MTV's Greatest Hits, 120 Minutes and XPO, later renamed First Look. First Look, programmed by Richard Godfrey, Peter Good, Peter Ruppert, showed new singles and album releases and it was presented by VJ Paul King until 30 July 1994. In 1998, a joint King & Paul King 18-track collection, entitled The Best of King – Love & Pride, was eventually released, with hit singles, stand-out tracks, B-sides and remixes. Paul King still works for MTV Networks Europe where he has produced shows for VH1 and MTV.
- 1984 – "Love & Pride" (UK No. 84)
- 8 October 1984 – "Won't You Hold My Hand Now"
- Jan 1985 – "Love & Pride" (re-release – UK No. 2, US No. 55)
- Mar 1985 – "Won't You Hold My Hand Now" (re-release – UK No. 24)
- Aug 1985 – "Alone Without You" (UK No. 8)
- Oct 1985 – "The Taste of Your Tears" (UK No. 11)
- Jan 1986 – "Torture" (UK No. 23)
- May 1987 – "I Know" (Paul King solo – UK No. 59)
- 1987 – "Follow My Heart" (Paul King solo – N.C.)
- Feb 1985 – Steps in Time (King's debut album – UK No. 6)
- Nov 1985 – Bitter Sweet (King's second album – UK No. 16)
- 1987 – Joy (Paul King's solo album)
- 1998 – The Best of King – Love & Pride (King and Paul King's joint collection)