Title - 'Other Voices: Expanded' (Cherry Red Records)
Artist - Paul Young
Paul Young is an English rock and pop musician. Formerly the frontman of the short-lived bands Kat Kool & The Kool Cats, Streetband (who had that one great hit single 'Bread!) and Q-Tips, his following solo success turned him into a 1980s teenage pop idol.
Indeed, he was famous for hit singles such as 'Love of the Common People,' 'Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home),' 'Come Back and Stay,' 'Everytime You Go Away' and 'Oh Girl.' His debut album, No Parlez turned him into a household name.
Since the mid-1980s he has had international success, along with his backing band Los Pacaminos. In truth, Young has released very little new material in the latter years, but has continued to tour in different parts of the world. These past few years he has found great recognition, once again for his part in performing at UK '80s concerts such as Rewind.
I have the great privilege of saying that Paul Young is actually a friend of mine, and the Magazine's, and so there is no way (even if I wanted to) that I could trash this album! But, thankfully for all concerned, Other Voices was Paul's fourth solo album and a belter. Now digitally remastered and expanded into two (2) CDs, his infamous 1990 album is bigger and better than ever.
Certified Gold in the UK, peaking at #4 with sales of over 100,000 while also making headway in the charts in Germany, Sweden and New Zealand, the album went on to provide many hit singles: 'Softly Whispering I Love You' (UK #21), 'Heaven Can Wait' (UK #71), 'Calling You' (UK #57) and 'Oh Girl' (UK #25, U.S. #8).
In my mind, Other Voices is his best song material, with the best production, and the best guest players to date. It's as easy as that. It's just a pity that he is first and foremost renowned for his cover versions, because some of the strongest songs here are actually the ones he has co-written. 'Together' and especially 'Right About Now' are dynamic, touching songs on which French super drummer Manu Katché does some of the best playing I've heard.
The album, as a whole has a great and varied sound, and with the selection of top drawer musicians helping him out, it's no wonder that it is still such a pleasure to listen to. Other highlights are 'Calling You', which is so much better than the original (with its ethereal atmosphere and stunning harmonica solo from Stevie Wonder), the breathtaking 'Softly Whispering I Love You', and 'Heaven Can Wait' with Neil Conti (ex-Prefab Sprout) on drums and Chaka Khan on backing vocals.
This remastered deluxe edition (drawn from the original tapes) adds a bonus disc of non-album tracks which appeared on various singles:
1. Heaven Can Wait
2. A Little Bit Of Love
3. Softly Whispering I Love You
5. Stop On By
6. Our Time Has Come
7. Oh Girl
8. Right About Now
9. It's What She Didn't Say
10. Calling You
11. Dolcemente Mormoro Ti Amo (Softly Whispering I Love You)
12. Softly Whispering I Love You (Extended Version)
13. Leaving Home
14. Lovers Cross
15. You're The One
16. 'Til I Gain Control Again
17. Trying To Guess The Rest
18. Back Where I Started
19. Heaven Can Wait (12" Remix)
20. That's How It Is (Remix)
21. Everything Must Change (Live)
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