mike and the mechanics pretty much had the song of the 80s with “the living years” in 1988. to this day i can play it on 80s night and invariably i get commentary in the chatroom along the “wow” lines. while that song defined how great “greatness” can be, the rest of the i simply don’t remember. my bad.
maybe one day i’ll go back and listen again. that was a long time ago, ya know?
i’ve changed but the music hasn’t. not that music anyway. will i see it differently 30 years later? maybe, but for now i want to cover what he’s done recently. you see, they are most definitely still around. spotify, upon seeing my “chilling tunes” playlist in action, started suggesting songs and through this i found “don’t know what came over me”.
while it’s not “the living years” nothing ever will be, ya know? even that rendition of the band with paul carrick singing is gone. in 2007 mike rutherford (founder and original genesis member) said the band has run it’s course. one of their frontmen, paul young, passed away in 2000 and in 2004 they tried another run with paul carrick that lasted to 2007.
but, it does seem people are meant to do what they do. success and failure can blur over time and redefine the parameters of each term in many ways. in 2010 rutherford got another band together, opting to keep the name.
bring in andrew roachford on vocals and we’re still in the game with their r&b singer songwriter style developed over the decades. roachford doesn’t miss a beat in the transition and does an amazing job across the board.
now, while i will go back and listen to the 80s version one day – that day’s not today. today i am going to focus on the career since reforming with roachford taking the frontman duties.
given i don’t do entire album reviews EVER, i of course won’t go song by song here either. but for 2011 “the road” the songs that stand out to me are “try to save me”, “i don’t do love” (got me from the start), “oh no” and “heaven doesn’t care”. from what i would think, it is about what i would expect from mike and the mechanics, even the 80s rendition.
fast forward to 2017. “let me fly” is out and we dive back into their adult contemporary sound. the title cut is a good call, “wonder” slaps you upside the head with the 80s from the start. add in more great songs like “not out of love” and “save my soul” we got another winner. and of course, “don’t know what came over me” being the song pulling me in.
now we go to 2019 and from the looks of it, we get a mix of new, remixes and acoustic versions of older songs. but right off the bat “one way” kicks this off in a style you’d come to appreciate by now. and wouldn’t you know it, a 2019 version of “the living years” presents itself. honestly, i could have done without this. not because it’s not done well again but because of how i hold this from 1988 in my heart.
there are also updated versions of the 80s hits “all i need is a miracle” and “silent running”. ok, i get it. but the remakes are not what i came here anyway, i already figured i’d go back and re-listen to the “early” living years. this is about now and hey, i get an acoustic version of “what came over me” – score one for the iceberg!
mike and the mechanics is an adult sound that is more introspection in every day things you simply don’t find in pop culture music.
come to think of it, i have changed in 30 years, i suppose. i appreciate subtle differences i don’t believe i ever noticed before and in time you find these are the things that take time to find. for the record, i had to re-read that last sentence 3 times to make sure it was in fact what i meant to say. it was.
now i’m going to take todays sound back with me and re-listen to the rest of mike and the mechanics, pre-2010. i’m betting i’m going to love what i find.