Monday, April 02, 2007

Mondays With Mike: MR Edition.

Genesis guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford released solo albums in 1980 and 1982. As is often the case with such albums neither album burned up the charts, with the majority of buyers being Genesis fans. But Rutherford would join fellow Genesis member Phil Collins as a chart topper with the formation of Mike and the Mechanics in 1985. Having a band identity worked wonders. The initial release from the group's self titled debut, "Silent Running," reached 21 on the UK singles chart, 6 on the US Hot 100, and 8 in Canada. The highlight of the song is Rutherford's futuristic sounding guitar solo, courtesy of a Steinberger GL2 guitar with Transtrem bridge, which allows for some amazing pitch changes.

The vocalist on "Silent Running" was Paul Carrack, who has had hits with the Mechanics, with Ace, Squeeze, and as a solo artist.

The followup single "All I Need Is a Miracle," the chorus of which is familiar to people in Saskatchewan via its use in ads for the Telemiracle telethon, reached number 5 in the US. But it was "The Living Years," which I've always found rather mawkish, from their second album Living Years that was the high point of their success, reaching number one in Canada and the US, and number 2 in the UK. The group has continued to be active since its chart topping days, which is no doubt a surprise to casual fans, although the death of vocalist Paul Young in 2000 lead to a hiatus.(This is not the same Paul Young who had considerable success in the '80s with Daryl Hall-ish R&B tunes. That Young is still very much alive.)

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