Warning, 2008 re-release NOT the original album version
gnagfloW | Rosa Barks | 07/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The initial CD version of No Parlez included only longer versions of the hit singles alongside a few other songs. The album versions from the album were, however, nowhere to be found. In the liner notes of this re-release Paul Young describes those versions as being wearing; not an understatement. According to Paul, the album version was always the true version and finally one can listen to it on CD a quarter of a century later.
It took me not a whole lot longer than zero seconds to realize that something was wrong. The starting crushing interplay of bass & drums on Come Back and Stay is nowhere to be heard, the songs simply "starts". When I heard that the middle section where Paul sings "Since You've Been Gone...." is truncated did I realize that this is the single version being used, NOT the original album version. Things get worse: Love Will Tear Us Apart is presented here without the intro on the original album, again it simply "starts". Similar story with Love of the Common People, the long intro on the album has been shortened, similar as to the single version although I am not sure whether its identical, it is a bit longer than the version on his Time compilation. I think/hope I have spotted all the faults.
The production at the time was revolutionary; Lauri Latham (later worked with Echo & the Bunnymen, Squeeze and The Stranglers) came with a distinctive glossy and crisp sound. Although it became soon dated, it sounds today very fresh. The re-mastering is good, it is as if the tapes were cleaned with the separation much clearer. The music has also aged well, Paul Young's voice still gives me goose bumps. A bonus CD is included with the boring 12 inch versions but an interesting version of Tears For Fears' Pale Shelter and 2 great live recordings.
In whole, a major disappointment due to shortened versions, and simply baffling since it is stated that this IS the original album. I thus give it only three stars, which may be generous. Any comments, especially from someone responsible for this re-release would be welcomed.
Paul Young's best by far; hope they remaster and re-release
Frederick Baptist | Singapore | 07/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I actually grew up at the time of the release of this album (I was about 17 at the time and the impact on me was tremendous). Not only was Paul's voice great, the remix version of the album (metal oxide tape at the time, cds not yet invented)was just fanstastic.
Being a music hobbyist/collector for more than 30 years now and believe me I've heard too many albums to remember, this one album is still with me while many others that I had started with have since decayed and not been picked up/replaced by me for my collection.
I guess that's how I tell if an album is a classic or not if after all the years, you still miss it if it no longer is in your collection or if you don't put it on the cd player once in a while. For this reason, when my tape eventually wore out, I waited patiently to find a good cd version but I guess I'm still stuck with the Australian release which leaves a lot to be desired given the current level of recording technology that exists out there.
It seems every thing except the kitchen sink has been remastered with bonus tracks added except for this great gem of a classic album (Rupert Holmes' "Partners in Crime" is another one). I hope Sony would reissue this soon fully remastered and in a mini-LP cardboard sleeve. I know, I for one would snap it up at the pre-order stage (same for Rupert Holmes').
Oh, about the album itself? If you are not too concerned about the sound quality being perfect or if you're not too much of an audiophile, then this album is a great addition to your current collection.
The songs are great and the singing is first class. I still enjoy listening to and singing along with "Love of the Common People", "Come Back and Stay", "Wherever I Lay My Hat" (Paul was very heavily influenced by Marvin Gaye and it shows in all the songs here)"Love Will Tear Us Apart" and more. I guess the only filler in this album could be "Sex" (the last song) but overall, all the songs are great if you are into soul and that classic 80s sound. I know I am! By far, Paul Young's greatest album."
Paul Young's First Album Is A Treat For The Ears
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 11/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before George Michael went solo,there was Paul Young.In the early 80's Britain was undergoing a massive infusion of 'white' R&B acts,the most notable of which turned out to be Wham!,Culture Club,Spandau Ballet,ABC,Level 42 and The Style Council.Each band had it's own particular music flavor but there weren't any popular soloists,until Paul Young came along and changed all that.His trademark was great vocal individuality and confidance-his soulful crooning and his raspy falsetto made him second to none and his 1983 debut 'No Parlez' is a true cornerstone of a legend who should've been.Musically he had his niche too:instead of relying on original songs Young prefered hot adaptations from other songwriters and by having his band blend new romantic pop with modern,horn driven R&B he became innovative from a very musical perspective."Come Back And Stay" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart" are both very poppy but introduce the album well wheras young utterly reinvents Marvin Gaye's "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" for the Paul Weller/Style Council generation.Relying heavily on synthesizers and drum pads to accent his voice Young certainly does his but to give up the funk here too such as on the quirky "Ku Ku Kurama",the Minneapolis sounding "Sex" and the deep bass driven groove of the title track of three of the funkiest songs to come out of Young's whol catalog.Some of the songs take on a far more electic R&B approch such as the lyrically intruiging "Love Of The Common People",the almost comic "Iron Out The Rough Spots" (with it's whisle sound effect) and two more Hall & Oates type songs in "Oh Woman" and "Tender Trap" (that American duo would later pen one of Young's biggest hits) and Young's original "Broken Man",the only ballad on the album with a very dramatic presentation.Paul Young never recorded another album like 'No Parlez'.Even as his next couple releases had some similarities they each further polished his sound into something much more commercial and radio friendly.And where 'No Parlez' has tons of radio potential it focuses more on being artful and musical and showcases the singer.George Michael would later begin crafting more individual albums in his own brand of British R&B and that and changing tastes would take some of the wind out of Paul Young's career.But on 'No Parlez' Paul Young,singer and artist is presented at his best and if you enjoy British R&B in the 80's this is a must have CD."