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, Manchester, England
Died 15 July 2000(2000-07-15) (aged 53)
Hale, Altrincham, England
Genres Pop rock, soft rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1976–2000
Associated acts Mike + The Mechanics, Sad Café

Paul Young (17 June 1947 – 15 July 2000) was an English singer and songwriter. He achieved success in the bands Sad Café and Mike + The Mechanics.

Life and career[edit]

Young was born in Benchill, Wythenshawe, Manchester, England. 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 formed Sad Café in 1976, and recorded with them until 1989. 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". He was brought into Mike + the Mechanics under the recommendation of producer/songwriter Christopher Neil and Neil's manager.[2] Young's power and range lent themselves to the band's heavier songs.[1]

Vocal style[edit]

Young possessed a wide vocal range, often utilising fifth octave head voice notes,[1] and a voice characterised as "rich".[3] His early style has been likened to that of Mick Jagger;[4] in the early 1980s, he began to explore a more emotive,[5] often-breathy style.[1]


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 body was cremated on 22 July 2000. 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.

Paying tribute, Rutherford said of Young, "He had a fantastic voice, one of the best rock voices of his generation...a complete natural."[7] 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]


Paul Young

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

Mike + The Mechanics

Sad Café


Year Album UK Albums Chart[8] US Albums[9]
1977 Fanx Ta Ra
1977 Hungry Eyes
1978 Misplaced Ideals
1979 Misplaced Ideals
1979 Façades
1980 Sad Café
1981 Live
1981 Olé
1985 Politics of Existing
1989 Whatever it Takes

† US version of the first two albums

The Young Brothers

Young & Renshaw


  1. ^ a b c d "Mike + The Mechanics: The Videos". Episode 1/1. 1998. 15 minutes in. Channel 4.  Missing or empty |series= (help) (Rutherford)
  2. ^ Neer, Dan (1985). Mike on Mike [interview LP], Atlantic Recording Corporation.
  3. ^ Orens, Geoff. The Living Years review. AllMusic. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  4. ^ Boldman, Gina. Misplaced Ideals review. AllMusic. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  5. ^ DeGagne, Mike. Mike + The Mechanics review. AllMusic. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b ""Everyday Hurts" Paul Young 1947 – 2000". The official Fish website. 19 July 2000. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Mike + the Mechanics' Paul Young Dies". MTV. 18 July 2000. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  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]