Blue-eyed soul singer-songwriter Paul Young made his debut 40 years ago with 1983's No Parlez, his first of five albums released on Columbia Records through 1993. Young has marked the anniversary with a flurry of activity including his new studio album Behind the Lens, a U.K. tour running through November, and a memoir appropriately entitled Take a Piece of Me with You after a famous Daryl Hall lyric popularized by Young. On June 16, 7a Records will continue the Young celebration with a remastered 30th anniversary edition of his final Columbia album, 1993's The Crossing, in a deluxe package including an exclusive, in-depth interview with the artist.
No Parlez topped the U.K. chart as well as that of other European countries, eventually going 3x platinum in the U.K. and yielding the hits "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)," "Come Back and Stay," and "Love of the Common People." Young only had to wait a little longer for U.S. success; his sophomore album The Secret of Association reached No. 1 in the U.K., went Top 20 in America, and achieved Double Platinum status in the U.K. and Gold in America. More hit singles ensued: a rendition of Daryl Hall's "Everytime You Go Away" (No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 4 in the U.K.), "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down" (No. 9 U.K., No. 13 U.S.), "Everything Must Change" (No. 9 U.K., No. 56 U.S.), and "Tomb of Memories" (U.K. No. 16).
1986's Between Two Fires continued Young's success streak at home (No. 3 on the British album chart) but found him cooling considerably in the United States (No. 77). His fourth album, 1990's Other Voices, peaked at No. 4 at home and like Two Fires, went Gold there; it yielded four more hit U.K. singles including a cover of The Chi-Lites' "Oh Girl" that also reached the U.S. top 10 and topped the AC chart, his first single to do so since "Everytime You Go Away." The Crossing concluded Young's tenure with Columbia. Though it placed in the U.K. Top 30, it failed to chart in America despite typically strong material.
Now is the time to rediscover The Crossing. Primarily produced by Don Was, the album welcomed a number of familiar session veterans in support of Young including Billy Preston, Toto's Jeff Porcaro, The Who's Pino Palladino, and The Memphis Horns. In 7a's press release, Young comments, "If you were to ask me the albums I most enjoyed making they would be the first and the last for Columbia Records: No Parlez and The Crossing. On The Crossing, it was the caliber of the musicians that I worked with and I was working with my musical heroes, some of which I'd admired since I was a teenager. The sessions were so relaxed and all the people in the studio were such lovely people to work with, I will remember it forever."
"Now I Know What Made Otis Blue," penned by Mick Leeson and producer Peter Vale, became another top twenty success for the artist on the U.K. Singles Chart, while "Hope in a Hopeless World" and "It Will Be You" also charted. The "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" team of George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam contributed "Bring Me Home," produced by Christopher Neil, and the album also featured a cover of Eric Kaz and Libby Titus' "Love Has No Pride" (previously recorded by such remarkable voices as Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, and Rita Coolidge). Bob Thiele and Phil Roy shared two songs, while Young's own compositions were co-written with Doug James, Drew Barfield, Martin Page, and Don Was.
Both formats of The Crossing features the interview with Young, rare photos, and lyrics to all songs. The vinyl version is pressed on 180-gram turquoise vinyl and includes a 12" booklet; the CD version has a 40-page color booklet. Look for this 30th anniversary reissue of Paul Young's lost gem on June 16 from 7a Records.
Paul Young, The Crossing (Columbia 473928 4, 1993 - reissued 7a Records 7A050 (CD) & 7A051 (LP))
- Hope in a Hopeless World
- Now I Know What Made Otis Blue
- Bring Me Home
- The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
- Won't Look Back
- Only Game in Town
- Love Has No Pride
- Down In Chinatown
- Half A Step Away
- Follow On
- It Will Be You