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Farewell Lynsey de Paul...

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  • Farewell Lynsey de Paul...

    While I realise that during the last 24 hours or so the world's attention has perhaps understandably been gripped by more pressing stories of cultural collapse and reason running for the hills, nothing said 'no fun' louder to me today than the sad news of the death of Lynsey De Paul.

    Indeed I find it rather strange that the passing of a woman who blazed a trail for so much of what is now considered fashionable for today's female pop icons (though they forget talent) has occurred with seemingly little comment. Consider for a moment the phoney 'credibility' and 'social conscience' considered de rigueur for singer songwriters in the early 70's - Lynsey ground those 'values' into the dirt with her platform slingbacks and had enough front to be conservative with a large C.

    Lynsey De Paul was unashamedly 'pop' and along with close collaborators Barry Blue and Ron Roker reflected a tradition that owed more to the Brill Building than Woodstock. Her proudly unfashionable outlook created some pop gems; 'Storm In A Teacup' for the otherwise hopeless Fortunes, 'Sugar Me', a massive and widely covered international hit and a personal favourite of mine, 'Getting A Drag', a superbly non-PC slice of pop frippery with a dry witty lyric that wouldn't have been out of place amidst the works of Cole Porter or Noel Coward , perhaps inspired by her sometime boyfriend Buffin of Mott The Hoople. (Mott fans will know she was also credited with reinventing boring old Luther Grosvenor as 'Ariel Bender'...genius...)

    While it would be easy to get distracted by her string of famous beaus, it's worth noting the quality of the musicians that graced her records; Gary Boyle, Johnny Gustafson and Terry Cox to name but a few. Her career was stunted by bad management, but even so, her talent was such that the occasional pearl would shine through. Check her cover of the Beatles' 'Because' on Will Malone's 'All This And World War 2" or 'Love Bomb' with a huge arrangement that isn't a million miles from Marvin Gaye in his pomp....

    Not only have we lost a great beauty and someone who could teach today's 'independent woman' a thing or three, but someone who was at her best uniquely talented. I can do no better than echo Bob Stanley's comment in his excellent obituary in 'The Guardian';

    "I do know I’ve made a point over the years of buying any obscure single I see with a De Paul writing credit, and I’ve never regretted it."
    Last edited by giantchicken; 04-10-2014, 03:13 PM.
    you can hear colours when they rhyme...

  • #2
    Well said Giant chicken- there's nothing I can add to that great summing up except to post a favourite video of Lynsey on The Two Ronnies. Wavering voice, demented bongo player behind a curtain, totally charming in a way that no longer seems possible, "we're gonna have to auto-tune that, it sounds much to natural".
    "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

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    • #3
      Cheers SK...I presume you mean this video...



      A very early TV appearance I presume, with a hurried backing track recorded that morning after one rehearsal with Ronnie Hazelhurst and his Orchestra (with the Ladybirds on BVs) by the sound of it. Certainly not her best performance, but well illustrates your point!
      you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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      • #4
        Yes I did- I wonder where it went. I'm surprised there hasn't been more mention of this. Perhaps it's because your post has said it all.
        "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

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        • #5
          I hope it hasn't SK! I might have said more about her perfect pop voice for example. Further musing has led me to think that perhaps the only artist with a similar talent to Lynsey was Margo Guryan, another perfect pop artiste who was a songwriter first and a reluctant performer second. She has rightfully been lauded with belated tributes and scholarly re-releases. I only hope that Lynsey is afforded the same attention sometime soon. I'm sure there's plenty yet to discover about Lynsey De Paul...
          you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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          • #6
            Very sad news. I'm a big fan of her her 1st lp. RIP to a great songwriter.
            "Don't get involved in the f**kin' chat pages. It's just full of arseholes talkin' sh*te non-stop"

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            • #7
              She was also a pretty decent artist - I know she did the cover for the first (only?) Pipkins LP, and she definitely did a few more album covers as that was how she earnt a living before she became a singer. Anyone know which other ones she may have done?

              Sugar Me = fab.

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              • #8
                Ah good to hear from you your lordship...I was worried you were going to upbraid me about my wild guess at the musicians on 'The Two Ronnies'! Anyway, according to the aforementioned obit by Bob Stanley:

                "she was a Hornsey College of Art alumnus, and designed album covers for Alan Bown and Mike Hurst. It was while delivering a poster of hers to ATV Music in 1970 that she got chatting and was offered a publishing deal."

                She also designed the sleeve and did the gatefold illustrations for her own debut album 'Surprise'. You can see some of her artwork in the background to this video, which I can no longer resist posting. Pretty and Biba-esque to the point of abstraction....glad she took that publishing deal, mind!

                you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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                • #9
                  Whenever I heard her name in the past I always thought of Steve Jones' line about McLaren in The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle, "His flat overlooked the grave of Karl Marx and the bedroom of Lyndsey de Paul. I had to hand it to the cunt. He had taste."

                  Judging from the comments here she was a sadly under-apreciated artist and more than ripe for a reappraisal. Shame she won't get that in her lifetime.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by giantchicken View Post
                    ...belated tributes and scholarly re-releases. I only hope that Lynsey is afforded the same attention sometime soon. I'm sure there's plenty yet to discover about Lynsey De Paul...
                    Originally posted by Plainstone View Post
                    ...more than ripe for a reappraisal. Shame she won't get that in her lifetime.
                    ......2 double CD anthologies overseen by the lady herself? With unreleased material including a couple of early efforts orchestrated by Robert Kirby (of Nick Drake fame)?....Thank the lord for Cherry Red...

                    http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopdispl...ey%20De%20Paul
                    you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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