frontquinn1Hey Jim

Hope you’re good – if I’m sending you a note it generally only means one thing. There is more Paul Quinn goodness to be had…

So here’s the story.

Up until about a week ago, the general consensus on the career of Paul Quinn was that after the Vince Clarke single flopped in late 1985, Quinn and Alan Horne set about recording his debut solo album for London Records.

Nothing ever came of these sessions and the relationship was terminated, leaving a gap of 7 long quiet years before he finally reappeared on the reactivated Postcard label in 1992.

Then I came across an ebay listing for a film soundtrack LP from 1987. The film in question was The Fantasist.

Discogs lists it as an instrumental soundtrack by Stanislas Syrewicz, but this ebay listing was adamant that Paul Quinn appeared.

The listing helpfully scanned the back of the sleeve, and guess what – they weren’t lying. There was Mr Quinn’s chiselled face and a cover version of the Goffin/King standard “Up On The Roof”

That voice – on such a classic song? How could it be anything other than fantastic?

Well, having tracked down a copy of the LP, I can present the track in all it’s mono glory (yep the LP appears to be in mono for some strange reason), and what can I say? It’s hardly the highlight of his career. The incessant thud of bass drum and 80s synth bass make for a difficult listen. The voice though. THAT voice is sublime as ever and when he starts to ad-lib lines from “Everybody’s Talkin'” half way through, you know we’re in business.

The film itself is by the same chap who did The Wicker Man and I’ve never seen it, but I have it on good authority that it’s atrocious AND that the Paul Quinn song doesn’t obviously appear anywhere in the film! There is a painful 80s discos scene with Level 42 appearing live – which perversely DOESN’T appear on the soundtrack LP (small mercies etc)

The review here seems to sum it up quite well.

As the sole officially-released document of what Paul Quinn was up to in those lost years between Swamplands and Postcard II, it doesn’t make us feel like we missed anything too special, but it’s a fascinating snapshot of where things might have been going wrong. Plus, with the chances of any further archival material from this period appearing (or any period for that matter) and such a small canon of work, any additional treasure we can find has to be worth it’s weight in gold.

mp3 : Paul Quinn – Up On The Roof




  1. As always, the vocals are exceptional, but this time the music leaves a bit to be desired. I still think he has the most beautiful voice in rock; it is such a shame he hasn’t produced more recordings in his time. It’s good to hear something new from him. Well, not new, but something I haven’t heard before. I often think he should do a Pledge campaign to raise the funds to produce a new album. If anyone knows Mr Quinn personally, please suggest it to him!

  2. Anyone who ever followed the old blog will know that I think Paul Quinn is the greatest ever singer to come out of Scotland and I count myself fortunate to have caught him live a few times. The sad thing is that he seems to have been quite ill for a number of years – the rumour being MS – and even with the best will in the world it would be nigh on impossible for him to get back into a recording studio.

    There’s no greater expert on his life and times than Rob and the site he maintains over at the Punk Rock Hotel is a real treasure trove.

  3. As much as I adore Paul Quinn, I have to correct you JC 😉 – the greatest ever singer out of Scotland (and possibly the world) was Billy MacKenzie, in my not so humble opinion of course!…

  4. Anything I’ve never heard before from Paul Quinn is always gratefully recieved. I can put up with the 80’s production when the voice is as good as this. JC ,can’t you get Rob to share those Dinky Honey tracks he has. I tried a long time ago but he was reluctant!
    Tel Aviv

  5. I saw him at the RAF club in Glasgow at the time of the Phantoms & Archetypes album. seated on a high stool, with an immaculate white shirt and a cigarette, it was a masterclass in crooning. Billy Mackenzie or Paul Quinn? I think we are lucky to have them both!
    I used to occasionally see him walking past Bar Oz ( Coopers) on great western rd, struggling a bit with a walking stick, signs of the MS becoming evident. A great shame. His talent was world class.

  6. I’m genuinely sorry to hear that PQ is unwell and unlikely to record again. I guess all we can can do is give the great man our very best wishes.

  7. Have always loved Paul Quinn & it’s great to hear this despite the appalling arrangement… thanks Rob & JC

    Maybe some techy whizz kid could lift the vocal from this & have it layered over something a little more sympathetic?


  8. This has made my day/ week/ month. What a wonderful find. Thanks Rob! As for Billy or Paul – I agree with Alex… we are very lucky to have them both.

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