English singer / songwriter / musician Paul Young just celebrated his 60th birthday in January, and there’s a couple of things you prolly don’t know about him. The first tidbit about Paul you may or may not know is, that, back in the 80s, Paul Young was a teen idol (many of my female friends would be quick to confirm that, yes, he indeed was). You could find him on magazine covers like SMASH HITS, MUSIC LIFE, THE RECORD, LOOK IN, TUTTI FRUTTI, HELLO! and NO. 1 magazine.
The second thing about Paul Young you may or may not know is that, over the years, he has had a penchant for cover songs. Between 1983 and 1992, out of his 9 chart hits on the BILLBOARD Hot 100, 7 of them were cover songs, including all 5 of his Top 40 hits, led by his No. 1 song from 1985, “Everytime You Go Away” (written by Daryl Hall and first released by Daryl Hall & John Oates on their 1980 album, VOICES).
The first Top 40 hit in the U.S. for Paul Young was the wonderful “Come Back And Stay,” from his debut album, NO PARLEZ. “Come Back And Stay” was first recorded in 1981 by the founder of the short-lived 80s Los Angeles Power Pop band, The Nerves, Jack Lee. He also composed a longtime Blondie favorite from their 1978 album, PARALLEL LINES, “Hanging On The Telephone.”
Paul Young’s version of “Come Back And Stay” was released in late 1983, and it was an instant global hit, reaching No. 1 in Belgium (1 week), Germany (7 weeks), New Zealand (1 week) and Switzerland (5 weeks). It also reached the Top 10 in Austria, France, Holland, Ireland, Norway, and his homeland of the U.K., where it peaked at No. 4. Here in the U.S., it spent a week at No. 22 on the Hot 100 this week in April 1984.
There was a 12” remix issued for “Come Back And Stay,” and I found my copy on the flip side of the 12” single for follow-up single (and another cover song), “Love Of The Common People.” When 80s 12” singles were really taking off in 1983 and 1984, at first many major labels (Sire Records comes to mind) were releasing 2 hits on the same 12”. Another example of this is Madonna’s “Borderline” and “Lucky Star.” Oddly enough, years later, someone felt the need to add scratching to the remix of “Come Back And Stay,” and it appears on certain 80s compilations, although no scratching was required on a song that was perfect without it.
In 1993, Paul Young formed a Tex-Mex band, Los Pacaminos, which released albums in 2002 and 2014, and still tour the world today. He’s scheduled to release a new solo album this month, a collection of Memphis Soul tunes titled GOOD THING. It’s his first Soul album in 20 years.
If you lost touch with Paul Young over the years, perhaps you should revisit his first international hit, which I’m sure he hopes will make you, well, come back and stay…