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Sad Café

Sad Café - Sad Café - 1980 - RCA

Sad Café was created when some members of two popular Manchester bands - Mandala (John Stimpson, Vic Emerson and Ashley Mulford) and Gyro (Paul Young and Ian Wilson) decided to form a new band. The band adopted it's name from the book by Carson McCullers, "The Ballad Of The Sad Café". This is really good adult sophisticated, melodic pop rock with a touch of Hall & Oates. Sad Café's songs were carefully written, and well played by great musicians. This 1980 album was produced by 10 cc's Eric Stewart, and his influences can be heard throughout the album. Listen to the band's "The Politics of Existence", with guests, Paul Carrack, and Mike Rutherford. Also, SC's "Misplaced Ideals" is a classy album, with plenty of jazzy blues rock of the "softer" variety. For music in a similar genre, check out 10 cc's "Sheet Music", and Pilot's "Morin Heights".


La Di Da - Stimpson, Young
Digital Daydream Blues - Young, Mulford, Emerson
What Am I Gonna Do - Wilson
Keeping It From The Troops - Young, Sad Cafe
Love Today - Wilson, Young, Sad Cafe
Losin' You - Mulford
Dreaming - Young, Mulford, Emerson,Stimpson
No Favours No Way - Stimpson, Young
I'm In Love Again - Wilson, Young,Emerson


Ian Wilson - vocals, guitar, electric guitar, percussion
Ashley Mulford - vocals, guitar, slide guitar
John Stimpson - vocals, bass guitar
Vic Emerson - piano, synthesizer
Dave Irving - vocals, drums, percussion
Paul Young - vocals, congas, percussion
Lenny Zakatek - saxophone
Lenni Zaksen - vocals, saxophone


Sad Café was a British soft rock outfit, that enjoyed a recording somewhat successful career from the mid-'70s through the early '80s. The group's leader, singer Paul Young (not the same Paul Young that scored the '80s hit "Every Time You Go Away"), got his start with music in the mid-'60s, when he fronted a forgotten Manchester group called the Toggery Five, which included a few members that would later go on to join prog rockers Jethro Tull — guitarist Mick Abrahams and drummer Clive Bunker. By the early '70s, Young was fronting another forgotten outfit, Gyro, and by 1976, opted to leave the band — taking Gyro guitarist Ian Wilson with him. Young then formed Sad Café, along with members of another Manchester band, Mandalaband (Ashley Mumford [guitar], Vic Emerson [keyboards], John Stimpson [bass], Tony Creswell [drums]), who had issued an obscure self-titled release in 1975. The fledgling group signed a deal with the Chrysalis label, but for reasons unknown, the record company shelved a debut album finished in 1976. Switching to RCA, some of the songs from their proposed 1976 debut were included on Fanx Ta-Ra, issued a year later, which was followed by such further releases as 1977's Hungry Eyes, 1978's Misplaced Ideals, and 1979's Facades (the latter of which spawned the group their biggest hit single, the U.K. Top Five "Every Day Hurts"). It was also around this time that Mandalaband briefly re-formed for an album (which Young supplied vocals to), The Eye of Wendor. Sad Café was never able to follow up their single with another substantial hit, and decided to call it a day in 1981, after a few more underappreciated albums saw the light of day (1980's self-titled release, plus 1981's Live and Olé). Young would later re-submerge as one of the singers of Mike + the Mechanics, a side project of Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford (sharing the vocal duties with Paul Carrack), that scored a big hit with their self-titled debut in 1985. The late '80s saw Young join up once more with Ian Wilson under the Sad Café moniker, issuing 1986's The Politics of Existence (with guest spots by both Rutherford and Carrack). From here on out, Young split his time between Sad Café (1994's Whatever It Takes) and Mike + the Mechanics (1988's The Living Years, 1991's Word of Mouth, 1995's Beggar on a Beach of Gold, and 1999's self-titled release), and in 1993, took part in a benefit concert for a British hospital, that featured an unusual line-up that was a combination of both Mike + the Mechanics and Pink Floyd — David Gilmour (guitar, vocals), Rick Wright (keyboards, vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Tim Renwick (guitar, vocals), Mike Rutherford (bass, vocals), Gary Wallis (drums), and Young. On July 15, 2000, Young passed away in Cheshire, England, at the age of 53, effectively ending any hope of further Sad Café offerings. © Greg Prato, allmusic.com, http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:hpfqxq95ldke~T1


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Mieke said...

Thank you so much, I've been searching for this album for a long time! :))

A.O.O.F.C said...

How are you, Mieke? Thanks for your comment. I wish the sound quality was better, but it's not too bad. TTU soon

Mike said...

This album has an interesting sound, even though nothing on it says "radio play" to me. Thanks.

Do you also have Misplaced Ideals?

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Mike. Thanks. I'll post Misplaced Ideals in 2-3 sdays

Bizzee Blog said...

Saw Sad Cafe' live in Bristol UK way back when.

Any idea where Ashley Mulford is now ?
(Never quite sure whether his name was Mulford or Mumford )


A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,John. Last I heard he was working in Denmark. Cheers!