The failure of the singles and the debut album must have left Paul Haig, and all concerned, a little bit battered and bruised. It certainly led to a bit of a pause as far as Island Records were concerned as the next solo single was issued in June 1985 solely under the steam of Les Disques Du Crepuscule.
I previously wrote about this single on the old blog in July 2009:-
Big Blue World should have been released on Island Records, but the strained relationship between singer and label which I’ve mentioned in past postings, saw it pulled at very short notice, but thankfully, the Belgian connection ensured it was available on import if you were so inclined to track it down.
There’s no denying that it is a sound of its time….but equally there’s no denying that, as a track aimed at the then hugely popular electro/dance market, it is an absolute belter thanks in part to Paul’s effortless croon and thanks in part to the production work of Alan Rankine. When you look back and consider that there were countless tunes, with less than 1% of the magnificence of this song, which went Top 10 and made temporary stars of nonentities…as Calimero might say….it’s an injustice.
The flip side of the 12″ has a couple of real treats with a great, trashy rockabilly cover version of Ghost Rider, featuring David McClymont and Malcolm Ross (both of whom were part of the chart-era Orange Juice), while Endless Song, unsurprisingly given who was involved in its making, is a cross between Josef K and Associates. So if that’s the sort of stuff you like, why not give it a listen…..
This really is one of the great lost singles of all time, with three superb and diverse pieces of music. It’s interesting to ponder whether a push by Island Records would have helped it into the charts or would they have been unhappy with the production and insisted that it be handed over to someone in NYC to ruin. Also worth a mention is that The Tube, on Channel 4 here in the UK, did a 20-odd minute film feature on Scottish music in one of its broadcasts, including clips/interviews with of Bourgie Bourgie, Hey! Elastica, Paul Haig, and Billy Mackenzie. The section with Paul included him miming to his new single :-