THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF PAUL HAIG (Part 13)

In 1988, Paul Haig took a very bold and brave step by fully financing the recording of his next album himself without the safety net of a guaranteed release. He again worked with Alan Rankine and thankfully for all concerned, it was picked up by Circa Records, an offshoot of Virgin.

Hopes were high, particularly for the release of an oustanding and poptastic lead off single:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Something Good

Released in 7″, 12″ and 12″ remix form and tailor-made for radio play and an appearance on Top of The Pops. But….once again, Paul was denied by the pop gods with him again being in the wrong place at the wrong time with Madchester all the rage and synth-pop well out of fashion. And yet, when you listen to Something Good (especially the remix version), and indeed some of other tracks on parent album Chain, it’s not a million miles away from some of the less clubby tracks on Technique by New Order (e.g. Run).

Here’s the two other versions of the single:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Something Good (12 inch)
mp3 : Paul Haig – Something Good (remix)

Here’s some b-sides:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Over You
mp3 : Paul Haig – Free To Go (Public)
mp3 : Paul Haig – The Last Kiss

It was a really bitter blow for all concerned.

JC

THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF PAUL HAIG (Part 13)

Paul Haig seemed to disappear somewhat after the release of The Warp of Pure Fun but it turned out that he had hoooked up with Billy Mackenzie to work on some ideas. The duo also appeared live together (sadly, I never caught any of the low-key gigs) and then stole the show on a live TV programme on New Year’s Eve 1986:-

In late 1987, having been unsuccesful in finding a new label to sign to, Paul went back to Brussels and to Crépuscule with a 12″ EP, Torchomatic, being recorded and released.

Now, this is where I let you down.  I don’t have a copy of this single, although I do have the lead track courtesy of it being included on a later compilation album:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Torchomatic

I do have an mp3 copy of one of the b-sides, an instrumental which is way better than the lead track.  It brings to mind New Order, Cabaret Voltaire and that Factory club sound of the time.  Be interesting to see what Swiss Adam makes of it…

mp3 : Paul Haig – Beat Programme

The connection with Crépuscule would come to its conclusion the following year with the release of the compilation album European Sun featuring previously rare and unreleased tracks.

It wouldn’t be too long, however, before he was back on a new label with yet more classy pop tunes that were more than worthy.

JC

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