Paul Young – The Secret Of Association (1985): Review


Produced by Laurie Latham
Label – Columbia

One wonders what Paul Young must have been thinking, considering the anticipation for a successful formula following the success of his solo debut “No Parlez”, which had catapulted him from pub soul and R&B obscurity to Pop mega stardom. More of the same one would have thought, and to a certain extent “The Secret Of Association” is similar in many ways. The singles here are carefully crafted and well performed. To choose an obscure album track from a 1980 Hall & Oates album (“Every Time You Go Away”), shows he has an ear for a good song, and along with “Everything Must Change”, is perfectly good pop/soul. “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down” is also a fine song, if a little over produced.

The problem lies with the ballads (“A Soldier’s Things”, “I Was In Chains”), which would have sounded far superior had they been recorded without the banks of heavily sequenced synthesiser backing, and without Pino Palladino’s fretless funk bass lines. Still, the singles would prove to give enough momentum for the album to just about pull through, but “The Secret Of Association” is no great follow up to “No Parlez”.

Once you’ve heard the album a couple of times, it will give you as much satisfaction as a mouthful of air.


Track Listing
1.”Bite the Hand That Feeds” 4:29
2.”Everytime You Go Away” 5:24
3.”I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down” 5:06
4.”Standing on the Edge” 4:32
5.”Soldier’s Things” 6:20
6.”Everything Must Change” 5:34
7.”Tomb of Memories” 5:42
8.”One Step Forward” 3:15
9.”Hot Fun” 3:52
10.”This Means Anything” 3:41
11.”I Was in Chains” 4:26
12.”Man in the Iron Mask” 3:13


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