Monday, February 19, 2018

"You're the Only Love" by Paul Hyde and the Payolas

Song#:  2321
Date:  05/18/1985
Debut:  95
Peak:  84
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Canadian new wave band The Payolas originally formed in the late 70s. The two main members/songwriters were Paul Hyde and Bob Rock. They signed on with A&M Records and after an initial 1980 EP, the band issued their full-length debut, In a Place Like This, the following year. It didn't do well, but their next two albums each featured a Top 10 Canadian hit including 1982's #4 "Eyes of a Stranger." The song would go on to win two Juno awards - one for Single of the Year and one to Hyde and Rock for Songwriters of the Year. However, despite their homeland success, they were having problems trying to break into the US market. To help that along, the label brought in hit producer David Foster to helm the band's fourth LP, Here's the World for Ya. The new commercial sound didn't sit well with a lot of the band's fans and the album was not the hit that the label expected. Although this first single did finally get them on the US charts (#84 Pop/#37 Rock), the overall results were not good and the album quickly disappeared. As a result, the band was dropped from A&M and that was the end of The Payolas. However, the two main members would have a little success later in the decade as the duo Rock & Hyde.

ReduxReview:  This is some pretty slick pop. I think Foster did to this band what he did with The Tubes, which was push them into corporate rock territory. The Tubes ended up with a couple of chart hits out of the deal, but The Payolas weren't so lucky. I kind of like this tune and I'm surprised it didn't catch on more and cross over to AC. It's not a fantastic song, but it is a lovely, well-done tune. However, it is in sharp contrast to what the band had been producing before getting Foster-ized, so I can understand why their fan base was turned off by it.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The band was initially know as The Payolas or also as Payola$. They got the name from the illegal activity of payola, which is where someone (usually a record company) would quietly pay money to a DJ, station, show, or other entity to play specific songs in their lineup. One of the most famous cases of payola happened in the early 60s when it was discovered that popular DJ/TV personality Alan Freed had accepted money from record companies to play certain records. The scandal ended his career. Payola issues have happened since then and it's a sore subject with DJs and radio stations. Because of that, the band The Payolas though that perhaps their name, which referred to the practice, caused US radio stations to not play their records. Therefore, when trying to break into the States with their new David Foster-produced disc, they decided to alter their name to Paul Hyde and the Payolas. This gave stations a chance to just say "Paul Hyde" if they want to and ignore any reference to payola. Whether it helped or not isn't really clear, but they did finally get a song on the US chart.


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