is the debut solo album by English singer Paul Young
, released in 1983
It reached number one on the Albums Chart for 5 weeks and remained in the Top 100 for over two years (119 weeks), certified triple platinum.
The cover of the Marvin Gaye classic "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" reached number 1 in the Singles Chart, the first of Young's fourteen Top 40 singles
. The follow-up single "Come Back and Stay" received radio airplay in the United States (thanks to its soundtrack inclusion in John Hughes's film "Sixteen Candles". Young met his wife, former model Stacey Smith, on his video for "Come Back and Stay" in 1983. Stacey died of brain cancer in 2018
, aged 52.
The third single, "Love of the Common People", made it to number 2 on the charts. The album also contains a cover of Joy Division
's "Love Will Tear Us Apart".
One of the most assured debut albums of the mid-'80s, and one of the finest pop-soul confections of all time, No Parlez was the record that, following from the stellar success of Paul Young's earliest hits, left him poised to dominate the remainder of the decade like no other vocalist could have.Paul
Three singles laid bare all that Young was so eminently capable of. "Wherever I Lay My Hat," a beautifully impassioned take on what was, in all fairness, never one of Marvin Gaye's greatest performances, left mouths hanging open in awe; a meaty revision of Nicky Thomas' "Love of the Common People" proved that the earlier performance was no fluke; and "Come Back and Stay" indicated that the boy wasn't only a great singer, he had access to some great originals as well.
Add the idiosyncratic yowling of the so-evocatively-named Fabulous Wealthy Tarts backing singers, jabbing a wealth of seemingly meaningless refrains, yelps and cackles into the gaps around Young's own vocal and, before it was even on the racks, it was clear that No Parlez was going to be an invigorating ride. And still it was capable of shocks. The title track was borrowed from former Slapp Happy art rocker Anthony Moore's "Industrial Drums" (from his Only Choice album) -- scarcely the kind of role model that Young's apparent drive for pop superstardom normally looked towards, while Moore's erstwhile bandmate Dagmar Krause surfaced elsewhere, to layer mystifyingly Euro-flavored vocals over a deeply soulful version of "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Yes, that "Love Will Tear Us Apart," a song still so draped in the martyrdom of Ian Curtis that to even think of revising it was regarded as sacrilege in some quarters. Young did more than that, though, he reinvented it.
One cannot help, too, but wish that the regular single mixes of the hits had been replaced by the superlative 12" mixes that accompanied their original release -- "Come Back and Stay," in particular, is up there with any Soft Cell or Frankie extension in the annals of classic 12"s. But though it's not flawless, still No Parlez is fearless and, looking back over Young's entire career (so far), one can only wonder how it all went so wrong? He could have ruled the decade like no other Brit of his age. Instead, the back cover photo simply makes him look like the younger brother of one of the guys who beat him to it. And you can bet Robert Smith wasn't expecting that!
(age 63) sang backing vocals on the Squeeze single “Black Coffee in Bed”
with Elvis Costello. He was turned into a 1980s teen idol by his solo success. Released in 1983, his debut album No Parlez
, the first of three UK number-one albums
, made him a household name. His smooth yet soulful voice belonged to a genre known as "blue-eyed soul"
1984 was difficult for Young, as his first heavy promotional and live concert tour of America strained his vocal cords severely, to the extent that he was forced to rest his voice and did not sing for much of the year. He recovered sufficiently to become involved with the Band Aid single "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
, an all-star charity project for Ethiopian famine relief. Young sang the opening lines
of the song as a replacement for David Bowie
Young received the award for Best British Male in 1985. Associated with the Second British Invasion of the US, "Every Time You Go Away" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985 and won Best British Video in 1986.
He sang "Radio Ga Ga" with the surviving members of Queen in 1992, at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert soon after Freddie Mercury died.