A LAZY STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE : 45 45s AT 45 (5)

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON WEDNESDAY 11 JUNE 2008

(and again on 4 November 2013)

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And so to the second appearance for Paul Quinn on this particular chart, which is not bad going for someone who never troubled any chart when he was a recording artist.

I don’t want to bore regular readers with a blow-by-blow account (again) of the Paul Quinn story and repeat my oft-said opinion about him being the greatest pop singer ever to have come out of Scotland. So here’s the short version…

He was initially the lead singer with the first line-up of Jazzateers, but was relegated to backing vocals while his role was taken on by Graeme Skinner (later to find success with Hipsway) when the material was recorded and released. Then in 1984 came Bourgie Bourgie, an act signed to a major label in the shape of MCA Records and of whom great things were anticipated. Sadly, it only amounted to a couple of majestic singles – Breaking Point and Careless, while there are some tapes in circulation of stuff that was recorded in demo form for an unreleased LP

Around the same time, Paul recorded some vocals for Orange Juice, and his efforts can be heard on Tongues Begin To Wag, a b-side to the single I Can’t Help Myself as well as Mud In Your Eye, a track on the LP Rip It Up, as well as backing vocals to said hit single.

1985 was a bit of a prolific year for Paul.

There was a solo deal with Swamplands Records which produced two bits of magic. First there was a duet with Edwyn Collins covering Pale Blue Eyes. Paul sang while Edwyn strummed and plucked his guitar. It’s a song that has been covered by many an artist, but the Quinn/Collins effort is, in my opinion, the definitive version, including that of The Velvet Underground. Then there was a solo single called Ain’t That Always The Way, a song that was also recorded and released as a b-side by Edwyn…

Neither Swamplands single made the charts.

He also recorded One Day, which was a single with Vince Clarke, which was in effect the follow-up to the Top 3 single Never Never by The Assembly (which had featured Fergal Sharkey on vocals). Sadly, it flopped.

Next came the formation of Paul Quinn & The Independent Group on the reincarnated Postcard Records at the beginning of the 1990s. This was a Glasgow super-group of sorts (check out the #37 entry in this chart for more info). Again, there was next to no commercial success…

Aside from an appearance (on backing vocals and with a writing credit) on the 2001 LP You Can Make It If You Boogie by James Kirk, nothing has been heard from Paul in 10 years or so as his life became a battle against a particular severe case of Multiple Sclerosis.

I’m not sure why Bourgie Bourgie imploded after just two great singles – whether it was a case of the record company losing faith in the band, or the band just deciding they couldn’t continue, I really have no idea.

Of all the singles I lost in the infamous Edinburgh incident (see a previous story from this rundown if you’ve no I have no idea what I’m on about), the two by Bourgie Bourgie were missed more than most, and I had to rely on cassette copies for many years. But now, thanks to some burrowing around e-bay, I have both of them in 7” and 12” form. Of the two, Breaking Point remains my firm favourite, and as you can see from its position on this chart, is a song that I think is one of the best of all time – something that should be owned and cherished in millions of households the world over.

It’s not just the stunning vocal performance that makes this such an outstanding record – listen to the fantastic production that sees some great guitar and keyboards work beefed-up by a cello and strings that aren’t a million miles away from the sound that would appear years later on Monkey Gone To Heaven by The Pixies. And wouldn’t you know that Breaking Point was a Kingbird Production…..one of the names used by the soon to be famous Ian Broudie……

mp3 : Bourgie Bourgie – Breaking Point (Extended Version)
mp3 : Bourgie Bourgie – Apres Ski (Extended Version)

Oh and finally (as I could go on all day and night about this song, band and singer) Breaking Point was almost the name of this blog…….and I would have called myself The Ghost Of Trouble Joe when penning the pieces….

3 thoughts on “A LAZY STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE : 45 45s AT 45 (5)

  1. “I stake my claim…..” I heartily agree this is one of the greatest singles ever. The debut LP was being produced by Mike Hedges of Associates/Cure/Banshees fame. I just find that prospect so enticing but have no idea what if anything exists from those sessions. Trouble is, if there is anything, who would release them? You would think Alan Horne would be most likely as he kept on attempting to relaunch Paul’s career and is now Paul’s carer, but then again, he has not been involved in music fir many years. He also dismissed Bourgie Bourgie’s musical accompaniment to Paul as “bombastic”. He is wrong there btw. Who else would do it? Paul’s profile is zero. Unfortunately, the whole thing is a great pity. He really should be treasured the way other people treasure a Nick Drake or a Jeff Buckley. The fact is he is still with us, though, so it would be nice if someone raised his profile now while he can appreciate it and even benefit from it, in his unfortunate condition.

    Finally just want to say on a brighter note I love Paul Quinn’s singing voice. If you have never heard Breaking Point, follow the link that JC has put up. Press Play. You are in for an absolute treat, and one you will surely return to time and time again.

    The B side is pretty good, too. I prefer it to the follow up single, actually.

    Just going to listen again…….downbeat, cello intro, “I stake my claim….”

    Heaven.

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