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Paul Young

PAUL YOUNG (1947 - 2000)

Paul Young, the singer with Mike and the Mechanics, died suddenly at his home in Altrincham, Cheshire at 6.15 pm on Saturday evening. He was 53. From his early teenage years, music was the consuming passion of Paul's life. He paid his dues on the club circuit in Germany in the 1960s before achieving recognition in the 1970s with his band Sad Cafe. Along with Mike Rutherford and Paul Carrack he helped to set up Mike and the Mechanics in 1985 and was looking forward to touring Europe with them later this month. Mike Rutherford: "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 year's time. This is a terrible loss." Paul Young is survived by his widow, Pat, their three grown up children Lee, Jason and Ursula, and one grand child, Tegan.
(press statement from Paul Young's record company released on 17/07/2000)

Paul YoungApart from a couple of side notes in some newspapers that were based on the above statement German media did not take much notice of the sudden death (a heart attack) of Paul Young. Considering that the Mechanics had several big hits in Germany this lack of reaction is sad. All I Need Is A Miracle, probably the best-known song Paul has sung, is certainly still in everybody’s ears. One explanation for the lack of interest in Paul Young may be that there is another pop musician of the same name who is better known (because he is a solo artist and not in a band). “Our” Paul was therefore always called “the other one” which did not help his popularity. However, fans of the Mechanics and Sad Café (particularly in England) knew and loved “their” Paul Young. His death leaves a big wound.

Paul founded his first band, Johnny Dark & The Midnights in 1962. Later he joined The Toggery Five, who would become Paul Young’s Toggery. In the late 60s and early 70s he drummed  for Wayne Fontana & The Opposition and was a founding member of Music Force and Gyro. In the mid-70s he got to know the Mandala band, and members of that group soon became Sad Café with Paul Young on the microphone and percussions. Between 1977 and 1981 Sad Café released five relatively successful studio albums and a live recording. Their single Every Day Hurts even became a hit in the UK. In 1985 Mike Rutherford asked Paul to become one of the singers of Mike & The Mechanics, and it was with this band that Paul enjoyed fifteen years of chart hits and live success.

Paul also worked on many different session projects and played on other artists’ and bands’ records. He had also been working on a solo album of his own probably as long as he had been making music. Unfortunately fate did not give him the opportunity to complete and release it in his lifetime. Some of Paul’s musical companions, amongst them Mike Rutherford with the rest of the Mechanics, will honour the memory of their friend and colleague with a tribute concert at the Apollo Theatre in Manchester on December 15, 2000.

The future of Mike & The Mechanics is still in the stars. As a fan it is equally hard to imagine that Mike and Paul Carrack continue as a duo or that they bring in a new singer to replace Paul. Whatever the future may bring, Paul Young will remain with us on many albums, singles and on video. Falling under the spell of this charismatic singer’s stage presence, however, has sadly become impossible on July 15, 2000.

Godspeed, Paul.

By Helmut Janisch, Summer 2000
English by Martin Klinkhardt