“Every Time You Go Away” by Paul Young (1985)

Paul Young’s biggest U.S. hit was a cover. Actually, almost all of Paul’s hits have been covers. Not all of them have been great, though. As someone who listened to a lot of top 40 radio in the early ’90s, I have a deep dislike for his versions of “Oh Girl” and “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted”. Actually, I’m not incredibly fond of the original versions of either song. But I digress…

“Every Time You Go Away” was written by Daryl Hall (last seen chastising your dating decisions in the previous song entry) and recorded by Hall & Oates on 1980’s Voices LP. Although Daryl is truly one of the greatest singers of his generation, H2O’s version of “Every Time You Go Away” doesn’t do it for me. It’s too slow, too bluesy, and Daryl over-sings it.

Young’s version is tres ’80s (gated drums, echoed piano, etc), and thus may sound more dated than the original version, but the production (by Laurie Latham) is so good! I am predisposed to loving those ’80s style markers, I guess. And while Paul shows off his full (and impressive) arsenal of vocal tricks, his singing isn’t the full-on assault that Daryl’s is. There are some Temptations-esque harmonies in the background, too. In retrospect, I almost feel like Paul’s version is a troll job on Hall & Oates, like “I’m gonna do your sound better than you did your sound (on this particular record, anyway).” His cover is the definitive version for a reason.


“Everything’s A Ceiling” by Death Cab For Cutie (2015): I have tremendous respect for Ben Gibbard as a songwriter, and am willing to listen to anything he composes. That said, “Everything’s A Ceiling” elevates from very good to perfect for me because of one thing that has nothing to do with Ben’s lyricism. The song prominently features a Linn drum machine! I dunno if Ben was listening to Prince records or what, but the machine is put to especially good use on this song.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s