Thursday, May 5, 2016

"Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" by Paul Young

Song#:  1636
Date:  10/01/1983
Debut:  85
Peak:  70
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Pop, Blue-Eyed Soul

Pop Bits:  British singer Paul Young originally played bass in a few bands before moving over to lead vocals in the 70s. He was part of a few popular bands including the Q-Tips, who were considered one of the best live acts in the UK in the late 70s. The band secured a record deal, but their success on stage did not equate to record sales and after two albums and several singles that failed to click, the band called it quits in 1982. Luckily for Young, his work in the Q-Tips did not go unnoticed and Columbia Records picked him up. His first two singles for the label failed to chart, but this third single took off and went straight to #1 on the UK chart. It remained there for three weeks. Soon after, his debut album No Parlez was issued and it too reached #1. Later in '83, this song was released in the US. It wasn't as successful and stalled before getting out of the basement of the Pop chart. He would have better luck with his next single.

ReduxReview:  This US debut single from Young is a good effort on a lesser Marvin Gaye tune (see below). I'm surprised that AC didn't pick up on this one as it was perfect for the format. For Pop, I don't think it's a song that grabs you right away. It takes a few spins to dig into this one, which the US pop audience doesn't necessarily have the patience to do. I admit, when I first heard it I was kind of "meh." But further listens let me pick up on Young's voice, the nice arrangement, and that fretless bass. He would have some better songs ahead, but this is a nice introduction.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of an original song co-written and performed by Marvin Gaye. The track was included on Gaye's second LP in 1962 titled That Stubborn Kinda Fellow. The album would provide Gaye with his first R&B Top 10, "Stubborn Kinda Fellow," and his first Pop Top 10, "Pride and Joy" (#2 R&B). This particular song was not issued as a single, but it did later become quite popular on the Northern Soul club circuit in the UK, which made the obscure album track popular in England. Young must have been a fan of the song and did his own version for his debut album.


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