Get this crazy baby off my head!


Paul Carrack feat. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - A Different Hat - 2010 - Absolute UK / Carrack

Paul Carrack is a singer/songwriter that I imagine many people will have heard over the years, perhaps without even realising. The former Mike + The Mechanics vocalist breathed life into such hits as How Long by Ace andTempted by Squeeze, and has written for artists such as The Eagles, Tom Jones and Jools Holland. A Different Hat is Carrack’s latest solo effort, an album that allows him to reinterpret his own back catalogue, as well as the classic hits of numerous other musicians he admires, whilst being accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. I have been in awe of Paul Carrack’s voice since my childhood. Tempted by Squeeze is one of my favourite songs of all time. Without fail, Over My Shoulder and The Living Years by Mike + The Mechanics always get turned up high whenever they start to play on the car radio. There is a beautiful everyman quality to his voice that is undeniable. The first track of A Different Hat sets the tone for the entire album. Randy Newman’s I Think It’s Going To Rain Today has been covered many times, yet with Carrack’s voice we finally get to experience it engulfed in a smokey, velvety quality that completely transforms the entire song. It is such a strong opening that I listened to it several times before continuing onward with the album. I may even prefer it to Newman’s original recording…The success of inclusions such as Moon River and I Can’t Make You Love Me are forgone conclusions; Carrack’s voice is capable of being both gentle and powerful at the same time. He can take well known, well covered songs and still manage to completely make them his own. If the entire album had consisted of such tracks, it would have provided a pleasant, yet safe listen. Thankfully, he pushes things further. The original I Live On A Battlefield, recorded by Carrack in 1989, had an upbeat, electronic sound to it that made it infectiously catchy. Perhaps too catchy: the lyrics were always more downbeat beneath it all, trying to rise up to the surface. The track’s new incarnation here is exquisite, much slower in tempo, allowing the haunting lyrics to finally come to the fore. Peggy Lee’s I Don’t Know Enough About You is wisely not tinkered with, having stood the test of time amazingly well. Elsewhere, Nat King Cole’s For All We Know is slightly sped up and given extra layers with terrific results. Carrack’s own It Ain’t Over ends things on a high, the cherry on top of an album that manages to take a wide range of aging material and successfully bring it bang up to date. Conductor and arranger on the album David Cullen admits during the CD notes that he initially didn’t have a clue who Paul Carrack was prior to agreeing to the project. Yet, just like I am sure many listeners of this album will agree, once he heard Carrack’s voice he was instantly taken aback by his “rich, warm voice.” It seems such a shame that Paul Carrack is still a relatively undiscovered gem. Then again, perhaps that is the key to his success: the music always comes first. My only complaint is that I wish there had been some faster tunes included: his reserved singing style remains enchanting, but I occasionally wished he would just let rip. 9 OUT OF 10 By & © Marty Mulrooney

The great British soul singer takes a bunch of tunes you've heard a million times, and brings something new to them all. Check this blog for more info about one of the best voices in the rock/pop business [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 109 Mb]


1 I Think It's Going to Rain Today - Randy Newman 4:30
2 Moon River - Henry Mancini / Johnny Mercer 3:28
3 Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying - Leo Aguire / Les Chadwick / Fred Marsden / Gerard Marsden 3:53
4 I Can't Make You Love Me - Allen Shamblin 4:16
5 I Live on a Battlefield - Paul Carrack 4:05
6 Eyes of Blue - Paul Carrack 4:17
7 I Don't Know Enough About You - Dave Barbour / Peggy Lee 3:18
8 All the Way - Sammy Cahn / James Van Heusen 4:27
9 If You Love Me - Marguerite Monnot / Geoff Parsons 3:34
10 Love Will Keep Us Alive - Jim Capaldi / Paul Carrack 4:03
11 For All We Know - J. Fred Coots / Sam Lewis 3:12
12 It Ain't Over - Paul Carrack 4:19


Paul Carrack - Piano, Vocals
Andrew Vinter, Roderick Elms - Keyboards
Don Richardson - Bass
Benajmin Cunningham, Kylie Davies, Cathy Colwell, David Broughton, Roy Benson, David Gordon, John Holt, Clare Tyack - Double Bass
Neil Wilkinson - Drums
Paul Clarvis, Stephen Quigley, Martin Owens - Percussion
Christopher Parkes, Laurence Davies, Andrew Fletcher, Philip Woods, Kathryn Saunders - Horn
Adam Wright, Craig Wild, Brian Thomson, Joseph Atkins, Mike Allen - Trumpet
Becky Smith, Philip White, Richard Watkins, Matthew Gee, Christopher Dean - Trombone
Patrick Jackman, Paul Frost, Roger Argente - Trombone (Bass)
Duncan Gould, Tom Lessels, Katie Lockhart, Douglas Mitchel, Anthony Pike, Michael Whight, Andrew Webster, Catherine Spencer - Clarinet
John McDougall, David Hubbard - Bassoon
John Anderson - Oboe
Leila Ward - Oboe, Cor Anglais
Kevin Morgan - Tuba
Julian Coward, Helen Keen, Sophie Johnson, Francis Nolan, Kenneth Smith, Joanna Marsh, Emer McDonough - Flute
Claire Roff, Elen Richards, Anthony Protheroe, Jessica O'Leary, Charles Nolan, Naoko Miyamoto, Sian McInally, Gemma McCrisken, Victoria Lyon, Jonathan Lee, Sheila Law, Andrew Klee, Stephen Kear, Andrew Haveron, Patrick Savage, Rebecca Shorrock, Gareth Griffiths, Gerald Gregory, Helena Smart, Andrew Storey, Ikuko Sunamura, Andreas Tamas, Judith Templeman, Rosemary Wainwright, Lynette Wynn, Kaoru Yamada, Lena Zeliszewska, Simon Baggs, Clio Gould, Russell Gilbert, Michael Dolan, Harriet Davies, Peter Dale, Jennifer Christie, Kay Chappell, Erik Chapman, Alex Afia, Tamas Andras, Charlotte Ansbergs, Colin Callow, Emer Calthorpe - Violin
Elisabeth Varlow,Andrew Sippings, Alistair Scahill, Rachel Robson, Emilie Hornlund, Laura Holt, David Hirschman, Esther Harling, Jonathan Hallett, Miranda Davis, Philip D'Arcy, Elizabeth Butler, Kathy Balmain, Emma Sheppard - Viola
William Heggart, Shinko Hanaoka, Daniel Hammersley, David Lale, Julia Dale,Tim Gill, Jonathan Few, Jessica Burroughs, Emma Black, Rosemary Banks-Francis, Zoe Martlew, Dominic O'Dell, Roberto Sorrentino, Rachel Van Der Tang, Chantal Webster, Anne Waddington - Cello
Helen Kamminga - Viola, Violin
Matthew Perry - Timpani
Suzanne Willison-Kawalec - Harp
Davy Spillane - Low Whistle
David Cullen - Arranger, Conductor (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)


Paul Carrack was pop music's ultimate journeyman. A vocalist and keyboardist who enjoyed considerable success over the course of his lengthy career while in the service of bands ranging fromAce to Squeeze to Mike + the Mechanics, his finest work often came at the expense of his own identity as a performer; indeed, of the many big hits on which the unassuming singer was prominently featured, only one, 1987's "Don't Shed a Tear," bore his own name. Carrack was born April 22, 1951, in Sheffield, England; he joined the pub rock group Ace in 1972, eventually writing and singing their debut single, "How Long." After reaching the Top 20 in the group's native Britain, the record hit the number-three position in the U.S.; however, after subsequent material failed to match the success of "How Long," Ace disbanded in 1977, and Carrack signed on with Frankie Miller. He soon resurfaced in Roxy Music, appearing on the LPs Manifestoand Flesh and Blood before releasing his solo debut, Nightbird, in 1980. Carrack next joined Squeeze, replacing keyboardist Jools Holland; in addition to contributing to the group's 1981 creative pinnacle East Side Story, he also assumed lead vocal duties on the single "Tempted," their best-remembered hit. However, Carrack's stay in Squeeze was brief, and after working with Nick Lowe he again attempted to forge a solo career with the 1982 LP Suburban Voodoo, cracking the U.S. Top 40 with the single "I Need You." A tenure as a sideman with Eric Clapton followed, and in 1985 he joined Genesis'Mike Rutherford in his side project Mike + the Mechanics. Their hits include "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)" and "All I Need Is a Miracle." While remaining a rather anonymous figure at home, Carrackachieved a higher level of visibility in America as a result of Mike + the Mechanics' success; subsequently, his third solo album, One Good Reason, proved to be by far his most popular effort to date, with the single "Don't Shed a Tear" reaching the Top Ten. Another tenure withthe Mechanics followed, and with the title track of 1988's The Living Years, the group scored their first number-one hit. After the 1989Carrack solo LP Groove Approved, Mike + the Mechanics issued 1991's Word of Mouth, which failed to repeat the chart performance of its predecessors; by 1993, Carrack was again a member of Squeeze, appearing on the album Some Fantastic Place and also resuming lead chores for a re-recording of "Tempted." However, he was once again back in the Mechanics' fold for 1995's Beggar on a Beach of Gold; the solo Blue Views was issued the next year, followed in 1997 by Beautiful World. Satisfy My Soul was issued in 2000, his first album for Compass Records. Carrack spent the first half the 2000s touring, both as a solo act and as the frontman in Mike + the Mechanics, releasing Groovin' in 2001 and It Ain't Over in 2003. A holiday album appeared in 2005, followed in 2007 by Old, New, Borrowed and Blue. After 2008's knowingly titled I Know That Name, Carrack took a detour on 2010's A Different Hat, an album cut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Two years later Carrack returned with the soulful 2012 album, Good Feeling. © Jason Ankeny © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/paul-carrack-mn0000746915

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

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