Paul Carrack
Paul has had a brilliant career and it was nice to talk with the guy who created some
of my favourite hits including HOW LONG by his band ACE   
28th May 2008
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Career Overview The 1970s: Warm Dust to Ace to Roxy Music Carrack's
recording career began with the progressive rock band Warm Dust, who released
3 albums of original material between 1970 and 1972. Carrack was the keyboard
player for Warm Dust, and occasionally played other instruments as well, but he
was not the band's lead vocalist. The lead vocalist was Les Walker. After Warm
Dust broke up, Carrack and Warm Dust bassist Tex Comer helped to found the
pub rock band Ace. Carrack wrote and sang "How Long", Ace's debut single and
a hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 1975. However, no further Ace recordings
caught on. In 1977 Ace disbanded and Carrack began working as a backing
musician for Frankie Miller. This was followed by a turn as a member of Roxy
Music, playing keyboards on their 1979 reunion album Manifesto. Carrack would
also play on the next two Roxy Music albums, but as a session musician, not a
band member. The 1980s: Squeezing a solo career around other band
commitments The band Squeeze during its East Side Story period. L-R: John
Bentley, Glenn Tilbrook, Paul Carrack, Gilson Lavis, Chris DiffordShortly after
leaving Roxy Music full time, Carrack issued his first solo album, 1980s Nightbird.
It was not a commercial success. 1n 1981, Glenn Tilbrook recruited Carrack to
join Squeeze as a replacement for long-time keyboardist Jools Holland. This new
Squeeze line-up achieved international success with the album East Side Story, on
which Carrack sang their biggest US hit to that time, "Tempted." But by 1982,
Carrack had left the band, and had been replaced in Squeeze by keyboardist Don
Snow. Beginning in late 1981, Carrack had joined up with Nick Lowe in a band
that featured Lowe, Carrack, Martin Belmont on guitar, James Eller on bass and
Bobby Irwin on drums. This band, referred to as Noise To Go, existed to back
both Carrack on his solo recordings, and Lowe on his. (This was similar to the
arrangement Lowe had with Dave Edmunds and Rockpile in the late 1970s.)
"Noise To Go" also backed Lowe's wife Carlene Carter on her 1981 album Blue
Nun. After Carrack's 1982 solo album Suburban Voodoo, Eller left Noise To Go,
and Nick Lowe took over bass duties within the group. The group was
rechristened Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit, and recorded two albums from
1983 to 1985, with Lowe handling all the lead vocals. They also played behind
John Hiatt on side two of Hiatt's 1983 album Riding With The King. During this
era, Carrack also kept himself busy with session work for The Smiths and The
Pretenders. Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit dissolved in 1985, but around the
same time, Carrack was contacted by Mike Rutherford (of Genesis) and asked to
join Rutherford's new side project, Mike + The Mechanics. Initially, Carrack was
one of two alternating lead vocalists for the group. He sang lead on their 1985 hit
"Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)". In 1986, Carrack was a member of
Roger Waters' newly-formed backing band, "The Bleeding Hearts Band",
recording tracks for the soundtrack of the film When the Wind Blows. The
following year, Waters (still accompanied by Carrack and the Bleeding Hearts)
released a solo album, Radio KAOS, and toured the US and Europe. Carrack
often filled in as an unofficial support act on the tour, usually playing "Tempted" to
warm up the crowd. Leveraging the success of Mike + The Mechanics, Carrack
was able to reestablish his solo career in 1987 with the hit album One Good
Reason, and the accompanying hit single "Don't Shed A Tear", which reached No.
9 on the Billboard Hot 100. From this point forward, Carrack usually managed to
maintain both a solo career and a career in Mike + The Mechanics, a band which
recorded and toured irregularly due to Rutherford's commitments to Genesis. In
1989, Mike + The Mechanics had a UK No. 2 and US No. 1 hit with the "The
Living Years", on which Carrack again sang lead. Also in 1989, Carrack recorded
a duet with Terri Nunn from the Los Angeles-based synth-pop band Berlin entitled
"Romance". The song appeared on the soundtrack to the movie Sing, starring Peter
Dobson and Lorraine Bracco. The 1990s: Sessions, solo work, Squeeze (again)
and Spin 1ne 2wo In the 1990s, Carrack's solo career went into abeyance for a
few years, although he maintained a career as a session musician for hire. He also
continued working with Mike + The Mechanics, who continued to record through
the 1990s. During this era, Carrack assumed keyboard duties within the band, and
also began to co-compose some of the band's songs with Rutherford. In 1990,
Carrack was recruited to perform in the groundbreaking live stage show of The
Wall in Berlin by Roger Waters. He performed "Hey You" to the crowd of
250,000. In 1993, Carrack joined with bassist Tony Levin, drummer Steve
Ferrone, guitarist Phil Palmer and keyboardist/producer Rupert Hine to form a
band known as Spin 1ne 2wo. They released one album, a self-titled project,
made up of classic rock covers including songs by Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Led
Zeppelin, Blind Faith, Steely Dan and Bob Dylan. Also in 1993, Squeeze had
Carrack return for their album Some Fantastic Place and a subsequent tour. With
Carrack on vocals, the band re-recorded their hit "Tempted" for the soundtrack to
the movie "Reality Bites" (1994). However, Carrack once again left Squeeze after
about a year with the band. Following his second stint with Squeeze, Carrack
joined forces with Timothy B. Schmit and Don Felder of The Eagles for an
ambitious but ultimately unrealized recording project. Schmit and Felder soon
reunited with the rest of the Eagles and their Hell Freezes Over album, bringing
with them one of the songs Carrack co-wrote, "Love Will Keep Us Alive." It was
recorded by The Eagles, and won an award as being the most-played single in
America in 1995. Finally in 1996, Carrack resumed his solo career with the album
Blue Views. [edit] Into the 21st century Carrack maintains his active solo career,
as well as his career as a session musician and songwriter.Paul toured solo in 2002,
mostly opening for bands such as Supertramp. He also became Mike + The
Mechanics' only lead vocalist after the death of Paul Young in 2000. In 2004, the
band was officially re-named Mike + The Mechanics & Paul Carrack. After a
period of comparative quiet in Carrack's career, in 2007 The Eagles covered
Carrack's "I Don't Want To Hear Anymore" on their long-awaited reunion album
Long Road Out Of Eden. The album went to #1 in the US, UK, Australia, New
Zealand and several other countries around the world. [edit] Session Work
Carrack's distinctive voice and keyboard skills have kept him in demand as a
session musician on many projects. Some of his credits include: Keyboards on The
Smiths' eponymous debut album, The Smiths (1984) Piano on The Pretenders
album Learning To Crawl (1983) Keys and vocals on Roger Waters' "Radio
K.A.O.S." (1987) and subsequent tour Organ on Elton John's Made in England
(1996) and The Big Picture (1997) Organ and vocals on B.B. King's Deuces Wild
(1997) Touring with Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band (2003) In 1997, Carrack played
organ for Elton John on the single "Something About The Way You Look Tonight".
Coupled with "Candle In The Wind '97", this became the best selling single of all
time. [edit] Discography