Paul Heinz

Original Fiction, Music and Essays

Filtering by Tag: singers

Paul Carrack's Amazing Feat

Here’s one for you music trivia buffs:  can you name a singer who performed lead vocals on hits with four different musical acts?  If you read the title of this post, you can!  Paul Carrack may not be a household name, but he achieved this amazing feat in the span of a decade and a half all while flying somewhat under the radar and gaining the respect of his peers for his outstanding musicianship.

As part of my effort this summer to fill in some of my many musical blind spots, I’ve been listening to songs I’d forgotten about over the years, or songs I knew only by title but not by artist.  Part of this search exhumed the hit “How Long” by Ace, composed and sung by Paul Carrack – a great tune that’s still played from time to time on the radio.  I knew nothing about the band, but after looking them up and digging around a bit, it didn’t take long to find a short interview with Carrack, the introduction of which contained a stunning revelation: that Carrack had not only sung the Ace hit but had also sung lead on Squeeze’s radio mainstay “Tempted,” the Mike + the Mechanics hits “Silent Running” and “The Living Years,” and a solo song I’d forgotten about (and that currently isn’t available on Spotify), “Don’t Shed a Tear.”  That’s five hits with four different musical acts.  Added to this impressive repertoire are stints with Roxy Music (he played keys on my favorite Roxy album, Manifesto), Clapton, Roger Waters, plus over fifteen solo albums, and you wind up with an amazing lifelong musical career that wasn’t consumed by the pitfalls of fame.  If I had to write my own ticket, a life like Carrack’s would have to be in the running.

I’ve searched a bit online and paged through my Billboard book of hits, and as far as I can tell there aren’t any singers who have matched Carrack’s feat.  I thought Steve Winwood, Paul Rodgers or Eric Clapton may have matched the achievement, but unless I’m missing something, none of them did despite reaching a level of fame that far exceeds Carrack’s. 

Hits with four different acts.  Add this little nugget to feed the souls of music nerds everywhere.  All hail, Paul Carrack!

Record Night Returns: the Recently Departed

Music fans everywhere have been ruminating for a while about how difficult these next twenty years are going to be, as our rock and roll heroes leave Planet Earth just in time to avoid the developing catastrophe that will be the latter half of the 21st Century.  But upon further reflection, we really don’t have to wait to feel the pain because the last decade has already been rough.  I hadn’t realized the extent to which we’ve lost our musical brothers and sisters until last week, when Record Night festivities resumed at the Wall of Sound in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.  A dubious crew gathered to honor those artists who died within the last decade.  Songs were celebrated, drinks were consumed, and mistakes were made, as noted below.  But even avoiding the obvious casualties – Michael Jackson, David Bowie, George Michael and Tom Petty (until the very last song) – there were a staggering number to choose from.  True, we reached pretty deep with some of these, but that’s what makes these types of outings fulfilling. 

Without further ado, celebrate with us as we pay homage to the recently departed.  My apologies for any errors.

Southern Nights – a twofer tribute of singer Glen Campbell and songwriter Allen Toussaint.  We also played a bit of God Only Knows, which was unfortunate
Massachusetts – Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees
Glory Days – Clarence Clemons of the E. Street Band (though, sadly, no saxophone on this song!)
Fool for the City – Craig MacGregor of Foghat
Drown in my Own Tears – Pat Dinizio of The Smithereens
It’s the Singer Not the Song – Jimmy Jamison of Survivor
I Was a Teenage Werewolf – a twofer of Lux Interior of the Cramps and producer Alex Chilton
Beyond Belief – producer Geoff Emerick for this Elvis Costello and the Attractions song
Starrider – Ed Gagliardi of Foreigner
Dreams/Zombie – Dolores O’Riordin of The Cranberries

It should be noted that in the midst of these record selections, one could hear Kevin uttering while checking Google, “That sucks!  I thought he was dead!”  Such is the competitiveness of song selections on record night.

Peaceful Easy Feeling – Glenn Frey of The Eagles
Home and Dry – Gerry Rafferty

This has been my favorite song for the past two weeks.  I’ve played it perhaps twenty times and figured out the unusual chord pattern on the piano.

Creep – Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots
Thank You For Being a Friend – Andrew Gold
Say It Isn’t So – John Spinks of The Outfield
The Cover of Rolling Stone – Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show
Touch and Go – a twofer of Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of – in this case – Emerson, Lake and Powell
Knocking at Your Back Door – Jon Lord of Deep Purple
Burning Bright – Roger Ranken of General Public
20th Century – Shawn Smith of Brad
Saturday Night – Alan Longmuir of Bay City Rollers
Looking Around – a twofer of Peter Banks and Chris Squire of Yes
Love at First Feel – Malcom Young of AC/DC
God Only Knows (again!) – this time with Daryl Dragon of Captain & Tennille
Snortin’ Whiskey/Boom, Boom – Pat Travers
Call Me a Dog – Chris Cornell
Flying Cowboys – producer Walter Becker for Rickie Lee Jones
Livin’ Thing – Mike Edwards of ELO
Queen of the Night – Whitney Houston
Be Like That – Matt Roberts of Three Doors Down
People are Strange – Ray Manzarek of The Doors
Think – Aretha Franklin
Might Mighty – Morris White of Earth, Wind & Fire
Ride My Seesaw – Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues
I Go Crazy – Nick Marsh of Flesh for Lulu
In the Dead of Night (Presto, Vivace and Reprise) – a twofer of Allan Holdsworth and John Wetton of UK
I Can Feel Your Heartbeat – David Cassidy

Note: Paul thought it was 10cc!

To Be With You – Pat Torpey of Mr. Big
Getting Closer – producer Phil Ramone for Billy Joel, who was playing not 30 minutes away at Miller Park
Space Station #5 – Ronnie Montrose of Montrose
Jammin’ Me – Tom Petty

That was all we had time for, but there were others we could have chosen, most notably the aforementioned superstars, but I was ready to go with George Martin productions, songs co-written by Jerry Lieber, Chuck Berry, etc. were it not for a two hour drive home awaiting me.

There will be more heroes to fall, as there must be.  Hang on tight, music fans.  It’s going to be a rough ride.

Copyright, 2017, Paul Heinz, All Right Reserved