Paul Young

Biography

Paul Young was nearly inescapable on American pop radio and MTV in the summer of 1985. The soulful Brit had turned to like-minded Yanks Daryl Hall and John Oates for "Everytime You Go Away," a song from the duo's Voices album that ended up a No. 1 single for Young. Surrounded by up-to-date production, his rough-edged yet honeyed approach to the ballad made it an irresistible hit.

By the time of his U.S. triumph, the Bedfordshire, England-born singer was already a superstar in his homeland. After brief tenure in Streetband ("Touch") and the retro-soul unit Q-Tips, Young appeared as a backing vocalist on Squeeze's "Black Coffee in Bed." A year later, in 1983, his debut solo disc, No Parlez, was released. Sonically somewhere between high-gloss New Wave pop and classic Memphis soul, the album also claimed a similarly eclectic track listing: the Waylon Jennings hit "Love of the Common People," Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," Marvin Gaye's "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" and former Nerves ("Hanging on the Telephone") member Jack Lee's "Come Back and Stay" were among its finest moments. It produced three Top 5 U.K. singles, including a No. 1 in the Gaye song, and sold more than a million copies in Great Britain alone. Young also appeared on Band Aid's 1984 benefit song, "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

The Secret of Association featured "Everytime You Go Away" and a follow-up single, the Hi Records-born standard "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down." While Young never quite matched that chart performance again, he had established himself as a U.S. radio presence. Soon he was a go-to guy for both programmers and movie music supervisors. Another cover, this time the Chi-Lites' "Oh Girl," helped sustain his profile, and the Kathy Bates film Fried Green Tomatoes drew on a Young version of the Motown favorite "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted." While voice problems led to a curtailment of his work later in the 1990s, Young is fondly recalled on both sides of the water. His side project Los Pacaminos issued an album in 2002.
You're just minutes away from millions of songs.
Sign up now.
30-day free trial. Credit card required. Cancel anytime.