The Essential Weekly Playlist Of: Owen Paul


Owen Paul (British Electric Foundation) poses for the cameras at Rewind Scotland Scone Palace on Sunday July 23rd 2017.
Owen Paul (British Electric Foundation) poses for the cameras at Rewind Scotland Scone Palace on Sunday July 23rd 2017. Photo credit Martin Bone

The Essential Weekly Playlist is back, with a difference! Instead of YouTube links, now each artist has their own Spotify playlist of the songs which mean so much to them.

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Our first Essential Playlist for 2018 comes from Owen Paul. Be sure to give all the tracks a listen.


Quite simply to me, the best record EVER made. It’s a harmonious cacophonous racket from start to finish, breaking every rule as it goes along. David Bowie, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp and Tony Visconti at their absolute peak. A giant of a record. If this was sent to every major A and R department in the world today, it would get rejected hands down (with cries of where is the chorus?)……foools!!!


I have always liked the precise exquisite sound of Trevor Horn produced records with ABC, DOLLAR and more, though often I have not liked the songs that much. This however is more of a piece than a song and hits the mark on all fronts for me. Trevor clearly knew this himself and released a whole album of different versions of this one track. Very brave but very very much worth it. A glorious masterful sound with a cracking tune.


This is a track that literally changed my life, and I’m not joking. In the mid 70’s when I first heard this song being blared out in my brother’s room I just couldn’t believe it. A bit like Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ (see above) this an incredible racket with John Lydon at his snarling best ripping it up. Like many in the era, I had considered getting myself in the music industry, joining a band or something but within moments of hearing this there was no question I was DOING IT!!! ps I am now over thirty years involved in some form in the music industry that I love, so thanks John and the boys (and Malcolm Maclaren of course.)


This is one of the songs I so wish i had written and I will persevere till I get even close. The perfect harmony of lyrical subject matter with a bittersweet and beautiful melody. One of the best songs ever written in my view and I am not alone in this. Paul McCartney, one of our greatest songwriters ever, puts this track in his top five songs of all time, so that tells you something. There are many versions available of this track but to me the George Michael version knocks it out of the park. I think George would agree that a younger version of himself would never have pulled this off to such a degree. His vocal control and commitment to the emotional subject matter is a masterclass on “how you do it”.


This is the last song I heard randomly that stopped me in my tracks. I had never heard of the act but this song leapt out to me from the tiny radio speakers I was listening to. A fantastic mixture of old and new sounds combined with a melodic anthemic beauty not far removed from 70’s american legend Todd Rundgren, either on his solo work or when in Utopia. Add a charismatic front man and vocalist as the 1975 are fortunate to have and away you go. A beautiful record.


When my brother Brian formed Simple Minds with his school friends Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill in the late 70’s, they were way more original and experimental than the stadium rock god sound machine they became famous for years later. I have always loved instrumentals and I have heard many but this one of the most dynamic, with a mesmerising and thumping groove provided by Brian (on drums) and bass player Derek Forbes. Jim Kerr has often said publicly that he felt the song was complete without his vocal and how right he is. My brother and the bands finest moment.

About the author

There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.

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