THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF PAUL HAIG (Part 12)

After the distracting fun of the 1985 Xmas single, there was a further effort to boost Paul’s profile with the release, in February 1986, of a third single from The Warp of Pure Fun:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Love Eternal (12″ version)

It’s a fine piece of music, with a particularly strong vocal, albeit there’s no mistaking the era it was made in. There were many instances from the mid 80s of inferior offerings making the charts and making pop stars out of far less talents than Paul Haig, and so it must have been a sore one to take.

The two songs made available on the b-side were new cuts:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Trust
mp3 : Paul Haig – Dangerous Life

Both are more than listenable, with the production techiques of Alan Rankine very much in evidence.

JC

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF PAUL HAIG (Part 11)

Really kicking myself that this couldn’t have been held back till next Sunday, which is just 48 hours before Christmas. From wiki:-

“Scottish Christmas” was a one-off Christmas 1985 release from Les Disques Du Crepuscule/Factory Benelux. Its A-side is “Scottish Christmas” by Paul Haig and its B-sides, “Christmas for Pauline” and “Snowflakes” are by The Durutti Column.

It’s quite a rare artefact with the sole copy available via Discogs looking for almost £40….and it’s from a seller in France. And no, I don’t own a copy.  I’ve been able to get hold of two of the tracks, courtesy of their inclusion on the  Crepuscule compilation, Ghosts of Christmas Past.

mp3 : Paul Haig – Scottish Christmas
mp3 : Durutti Column – Snowflakes

Paul’s instrumental track is kind of festive sounding I suppose……

JC

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF PAUL HAIG (Part 10)

Heaven Help You Now was released on 7″ and 12″ on Les Disques Du Crepuscule in September 1985, with once again Alan Rankine involved in the production side as well as contributing keyboards.

It was the precursor to what would prove to be an excellent album, The Warp Of Pure Fun, the contents of which consisted of around half of what had been a proposed album which Island Records decided not to release, together with some newer material. As such, the album ended up being recorded periodically in five different locations and with different contributing musicians.

It’s another excellent, if very 80s sounding single, and its failure to get anywhere near the charts must have been a sore one for Paul to take, given that many inferior tunes and acts were enjoying fame and fortune:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Heaven Help You Now (extended)
mp3 : Paul Haig – World Raw
mp3 : Paul Haig – Heaven Help You Now
mp3 : Paul Haig – Chance

World Raw (which was on both the 7″ and 12″) can be categorised under ‘experimental’ while Chance (only available on the 12″) sounds demo-like for the most part…and the version on offer today is the full near six minute take. Probably only of value to collectors.

JC

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF PAUL HAIG (Part 9)

Recorded in 1982, but not released until 1985, this is arguably the strangest of the Paul Haig solo releases.

It had been laid down in the studio for Crépuscule in Brussels but, as was mentioned in earlier parts of this series, the licensing deal with Island led to a number of planned releases being shelved in favour of work commencing on Rhythm of Life.

A magazine interview given by Paul does throw some light on the thinking behind it all.

“After listening to lots of Sinatra records I became aware of these fantastic old songs. I think the music and the lyrics are absolutely incredible – especially the lyrics. The ‘swing’ side starts with The Song Is You, then All of You and Let’s Face the Music and Dance. The ‘dream’ side is Love Me Tender, The Way You Look Tonight and Send In the Clowns. I think the first side is around 1938, with songs by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, people like that. The second side is slightly more modern.”

“The basic instrumentation on side one is just drums, double bass and piano, with the addition of string synthesiser on side two. We had to try about three sets of musicians before we found these old session musicians that had been playing jazz all their lives. The plano player must have been 70 years old! The drummer was quite young, in his mid twenties, so it was quite a challenge for him to keep pace with these brilliant jazz musicians, as it was for me too. I’m sure they thought it was a joke. I remember I turned up at the studio the morning they arrived. They said, ‘Are you the singer? The producer?’ They looked at each other in disbelief.”

As menationed at the outset, Swing in 82 belatedly emerged in 1985, but with with the original six tracks whittled down to five:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – The Song Is You
mp3 : Paul Haig – All Of You
mp3 : Paul Haig – Let’s Face The Music and Dance
mp3 : Paul Haig – Love Me Tender
mp3 : Paul Haig – The Way You Look Tonight

JC

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF PAUL HAIG (Part 8)

It was as recently as 15 April 2018 when I featured the eighth solo single by Paul Haig:-

Released in Sepember 1984, the production is credited to B-Music/Dojo; in other words Bernard Sumner and Donald Johnson. How many of you wanted to shout out ‘Confusion’ just before Paul’s vocals kicked in?

The b-side is also worth a listen for a number of reasons – it’s a fun and fast-tempo cover of a Suicide classic that was produced by Alan Rankine.

The same b-side as had appeared on Big Blue World (featured in Part 7 of the series) and so it won’t be re-posted.

As for the a-side, the April post featured the 7″ version as released here in the UK. The sleeve at the top of this posting is that of the 12″ Belgian release on Les Disques Du Crépuscule and here’s the two tracks:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – The Only Truth (extended)
mp3 : Paul Haig – The Only Truth (instrumental)

The latter is a particular joy, especially if you’ve any fondness for mid 80s era New Order.

JC

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF PAUL HAIG (Part 7)

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…..

mp3 : Paul Haig – Big Blue World (12″ version)
mp3 : Paul Haig – Ghost Rider
mp3 : Paul Haig – Endless Song

2018 update.

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 :-

JC

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF PAUL HAIG (Part 6)

If Paul Haig was looking for evidence that Island Records were going to squeeze as much out of him as possible, then it could be easily found with the decision to release a third single from the debut album, despite the fact that the two previous 45s had been commercial flops:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Justice

Look in back on things, the Rhythm of Life album suffered from being recorded and released at a time when changes to electronic music with an indie bent was being transformed by New Order, and in particular Blue Monday, and the production techniques brought by Alex Sadkin to the album were light and disposable in comparison.

The fact that Paul was totally disillusioned with things can be seen from the songs he elected to perform when invited onto an evening show on BBC Radio 1 for a session in May 1983. Four tracks were aired, and none of them were on the album he could have and perhaps should have been promoting. Indeed, he went further by going with a session in which guitars featured prominently as evidenced by this being lifted for use on the b-side of the new single:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – On This Night Of Decision

Worth noting that the producer of the BBC session was John Porter, who would, just a couple of years later, work with The Smiths.

The 12″ release of the single had a bonus track, and it was an earlier version of Justice, produced by Paul himself, and one which had been slated as a potential 45 by his Belgian label only for the licensing arrangement (which I referred to in an earlier entry in this series) to put a halt to things:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Justice 82 (12 inch version)

A few years later, the 7″ version of the song was finally made available via a compilation album.

mp3 : Paul Haig – Justice (original 7″ version)

JC