The Golden Voice of Paul Carrack: his Music, his Story


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Who is Paul Carrack?

Paul Carrack, an acclaimed English singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, has carved out a distinguished career spanning over five decades. Born in Sheffield, Carrack first gained prominence as a member of the band Ace, where his soulful vocals drove the success of their 1974 hit “How Long.” This early success marked the beginning of a musical journey that would see Carrack become a pivotal figure in rock, pop, and soul music.

Ace and the Breakthrough with "How Long"

Paul was still a teenager when he made his professional recording debut with the jazz-rock band Warm Dust. The band would release three albums before splitting in 1972; after they broke up, Carrack and Warm Dust bassist Terru “Tex” Corner helped to form the pub rock group Ace the same year. Carrack wrote and sang their debut single, “How Long.” After reaching the Top 20 in the group’s native Britain, the record hit the number three position in the U.S. however, after subsequent material failed to match the success of “How Long,”  Ace disbanded in 1977, and Paul signed on with Frankie Miller’s band.

Paul Carrack with Roxy Music

Paul soon resurfaced in Roxy Music, appearing on the albums, Manifesto and Flesh and Blood,  before releasing his own solo debut, Nightbird in 1980.

Joining Squeeze: The Success of "Tempted"

Paul next joined  Squeeze, replacing keyboardist Jools Holland. He added to the group’s 1981  East Side Story and took up lead vocals on the single “Tempted,” their best-known and most loved hit.

Solo Career: A Journey of Artistic Exploration

Paul’s time in Squeeze however  was brief, and he spent a great deal of time working with singer, songwriter and producer, Nick Lowe. Once again he tried to forge a solo career, this time with his 1982 album Suburban Voodoo which cracked the U.S. Top 40 with the single “I Need You.”

The Man with the Golden Voice: Versatility and Style

A stint as a sideman to guitarist Eric Clapton followed, and in 1985 Paul joined Genesis’ Mike Rutherford in his side project, Mike & The Mechanics. Paul’s contributions to Mike &The Mechanics solidified his reputation as both a gifted vocalist and songwriter. His work on songs like “The Living Years” and “Silent Running” became iconic anthems of the era, earning widespread acclaim and commercial success.

Mike + The Mechanics: Chart-Topping Hits

No-one really knew who Paul Carrack was in the UK but in the US, because of the success that Mike & The Mechanics was enjoying, Paul’s  third solo album, One Good Reason proved to be by far his most popular effort to date, with the single “Don’t Shed a Tear” reaching the Top Ten.

Paul Carrack Live: Touring the World

Meanwhile still with The Mechanics, their hit The Living Years climbed to number one.  By 1993 he was again a member of Squeeze.  And soon after rejoined The Mechanics. Another solo album followed in 2000 and Paul spent a great deal of time touring, both as a solo act and as the frontman in Mike & The Mechanics releasing Groovin in 2001 and It Ain’t Over in 2003. 

Collaborations with Music Legends

Paul joined Eric Clapton again  on the guitarist’s 50th anniversary tour in 2013, also appearing at two of Clapton’s 70th Birthday celebrations in 2015. In 2019, Paul released the first of two albums with Germany’s SWR Big Band. 2020 also saw the release of  Love Songs, a collection of romantic tunes he’d recorded over the years.

Recent Works and Continuing Legacy

Paul Carrack celebrated 50 years in the music business with his 2023 album, Don’t Wait Too Long another set recorded with the SWR Big Band. Paul joins us this week to recount his story.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jim Schumacher

    Loved this entire share of such a great musician and singer. I had no idea just how accomplished Paul Carrack truly is. Thank you!

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