The musical juggernaut that is Genesis, is responsible for a staggering amount of music. Not content with selling over 100 million albums as Genesis, Phil Collins has gone on to sell another 100 million, Peter Gabriel tens of millions more, and every other member (Steve Hackett, Anthony Phillips and Tony Banks) has gone on to secure a loyal solo following.
"Small Creeps' Day"
Adding no small sum (around 12 million at last count), to this already remarkable total, is Genesis founder, bassist, guitarist and song writer, Michael John Cleote Crawford Rutherford.
Mike first ventured into the lucrative world of solo careers in 1978, when Genesis - fueled by Phil Collins' need for time to untangle his private life - was put on hiatus. Mike's first album was the 1980 release, "Smallcreeps Day". Inspired by the Peter Currel Brown novel of the same name, "Smallcreeps Day" was a somber album, which told the story of a factory employee who grew curious to see the end product he was mindlessly helping to produce. The album was sung by Manfred Mann's Earth Band vocalist, Noel McCalla, and received a respectable UK chart position of number 13.1
The album remained musically close to Mike's Genesis roots, but as Mike himself muses, "The first album you do away from the group, will always be the one closest to it".
"Acting Very Strange"
Following a return to Genesis for the 1980 album: "Duke", Mike returned to his solo career in '82, with the release of "Acting Very Strange". For this album, Mike returned to pieces of music he had written in the past, but had never found a suitable project for. Deciding the album should have more of a personal touch, Mike himself stepped up to the role of lead vocalist. Armed with a case of whiskey and Nick Launay co-producing, "Acting Very Strange" was a far more poppy effort than it's predecessor, with it's standout track (and single): "Maxine", sporting a distinctly Rutherford sound. However, as with "Small Creeps Day" before it, "Acting Very Strange" was an album wanting in many areas, and ultimately only sold to the more curious Genesis fan.
Returning to Geneis in '81, the band released their "departure" album, "abacab", which after a successful year of touring was quickly followed up in October '83 with their platinum selling self titled album: "Genesis".
With each Genesis member now having a taste of complete creative control, solo careers soon became a staple part of band life. In 1985 they beckoned again, but this time Mike wanted to try fresh tactics. Unsatisfied with a brief spell writing for other artists, Mike wanted to make his next project group based, firstly to take some of the attention away from himself, but also to allow him to work with artists he had long respected.
With a number of songs already written ("Silent Running" and "All I Need Is A Miracle" among them) Mike began laying the foundations for what would become Mike & The Mechanics.
The name Mike and the Mechanics came as a response to Mike not being the bands lead singer. As Mike puts it; "It's always strange when you write an album under your own name, but you're not the singer. And as I had realised that I don't really have much singing talent, I thought I'd present it as a group".
Putting the group together, Mike had some long admired talent he had been looking for an opportunity to work with. Atop of his wish list was vocalist/keyboard player, Paul Carrack, who had been introduced to him by song writing partner, BA Robertson. Paul Carrack - the man who one music journalist said could sing the Yellow Pages - was continuing to build on his solo career when Mike made the call.
The first ever Mechanics promo photo
Paul Carrack made his mark on the music scene in 1974, with ACE and the hit single, "How Long", (taken from their "Five A-Side" album). From ACE onwards, Paul worked with some great industry talent and forged an excellent - if sparodically succesful - solo careeer.
In 1980, Paul had his second brush with mainstream success, when in 1981 Squeeze released "East Side Story". The album featured the Carrack penned non-hit single, "Tempted". I say non-hit, as upon release it only managed a chart position of #49 in the US and #41 in the UK, but through strong radio play and a '94 remix for the film, "Reality Bites", has since become their - and arguably Paul's - best known song.2
Paul Carrack proved to be an inspired choice for the Mechanics, but to offset his smooth soul singing, Mike needed a strong rock singer - enter ex-Sad Café vocalist, Paul Young. It was whilst Mike was producing Worsley based rock band "Virginnia Wolf", that he asked the bands drummer, Dave Irving, if he knew of any good singers. Having helped to form Sad Café's driving rock sound throughout the 70's, Dave instantly suggested his ex band mate, Paul Young.
Sad Café had scored a string of hit singles during the 70's, most notably "Everyday Hurts", from their 1979 release, "Facades". Sadly, Sad Café had - at least in it's current form - wrapped up, following hideous mis-management which had left Paul in serious financial trouble. As Paul's wife, Pat puts it: "We had been living in poverty for years and then Paul got this phone call from Mike. 'If he was interested to do an audition for this new band he was putting together?' We literally scraped all of our last money together so Paul could buy a train ticket for the audition".3
Incredibly enough, so convinced was Paul that it was Dave Irving just pulling his leg, that it took Mike three phone calls before Paul would believe it was actually Mike Rutherford calling! Needless to say, Mike eventually got through and after a successful audition Paul Young was soon established as the bands harder edge.
The "Scottish Springsteen"
Further members, Peter Van Hook (drums), Adrian Lee (keyboards) and a selection of session players joined the fold, and work began apace on recording what would become the band's first release.
Mike & the Mechanics' self titled debut was released in 1985, and was quickly carried to success with the album's first two singles, "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)" & "All I Need Is a Miracle". Both went top 40 in America, with "Silent Running" charting at number 21, and "All I Need Is A Miracle" reaching 5th place. Strangely the UK releases saw a reversal of fortunes, with "Silent Running" hitting the number 6 slot, and "All I Need Is A Miracle" getting a comparatively poor 53rd1.
The three singles which were released, were accompanied by a trilogy of music videos, which, from "All I Need Is A Miracle" on, charted the bands hapless manager (played by the delightful Roy Kinnear) as he attempts to keep the band out of trouble.
The logo for "The Miracle Tour"
Seizing on the good will that single success had brought the album, a US tour was quickly assembled. Sponsored by Michelob and dubbed "The Miracle Tour", the shows proved to be a great success for the band, taking in many of the large theatres which had helped establish Genesis ten years earlier. The live band was supplemented by Paul Young's old Sad Café pal, Ashley Mulford, who supported Mike on guitar. Having only one album under their belt, the band embellished the set list with material from "Acting Very Strange" and a cover of Spencer Davis Group's classic: "Gimme Some Lovin'", whilst Squeeze track "Tempted" helped flesh the shows out nicely.4
With both album and tour proving a success, the future of the band looked certain to extend further than simply a Mike Rutherford side project, and whilst Genesis duties were quickly monopolising Mike's attention, the next chapter of the Mechanics career was going to exceed all expectations.
Mike Rutherford live
photo: TWR archive
It was in the spring of '88, that the staggering duties of recording, promoting and then extensively touring the Genesis album, "Invisible Touch", finally subsided enough for Mike to reunite the Mechanics. As with the first, the bands second album was written principally by Mike Rutherford, BA Robertson and Chris Neil but this time Paul Young co-wrote a few tracks ("Black & Blue" and "Beautiful Day").
The first single out of the stalls was the rocker, "Nobody's Perfect", and whilst it made only a small splash in the charts (#63 in the US1), it's follow up single was going to touch a nerve with millions.
The Rutherford/Robertson composition, "The Living Years", was written to reflect the regret both Mike and BA had over the recent loss of their respective fathers. The lyric was particularly potent to singer Paul Carrack, as he had lost his own father when he was only eleven. The song raised emotions in people everywhere and on one notable occasion, reduced Australian celebrity Rolf Harris to tears, when the band performed the song as guests on UK chat show, TV AM. The single soared to the top of both the UK and US charts, getting the number one slot in the states, and reaching number two in the UK. The song also became the eighteenth best selling single that year.5
Publicity photo from The Living Years era
With the album proving an even bigger hit than their debut, touring became a necessity. This time however, the band hit the UK and mainland Europe first, and unlike their previous tour, the set was comprised solely of Mechanics material. The US was treated to two separate tours, and if that wasn't enough, they also squeezed in a recording of The Beatles: "Revolution" for the American comedy duo, "Cheech and Chong's" latest movie soundtrack.4
Joining the band on tour was guitar great, Tim Renwick. Tim was already a well established and highly regarded name in the music world, playing live guitar for some of the biggest bands and artists of the decade, such as Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd, Elton John and Eric Clapton. With Tim's addition to the team, the band never sounded better, and he remained with the Mechanics up to and including the eventual "HITS" tour.
"The Living Years" was followed by a video release entitled "A Closer Look", which contained a behind the scenes look at the Mechanics on tour, and all the music videos recorded by the band to date.
Paul Young & Paul Carrack live
With another era of the Mechanics' career wrapping up, and after a hectic few years of stadium tours and a stiff promotional regiment, Mike took some time off to brush up on his polo and spend time with his family.
Paul Carrack - on the other hand - hit the ground running, writing and recording his fourth solo album, "Groove Approved". He also took time out to perform "Hey You" during Roger Water's lavish performance of "The Wall" in Berlin.6
Paul Young, being invigorated by his success with the Mechanics, got back in touch with Sad Café stablemate Ian Wilson, and the pair picked up on Sad Café where "Politics Of Existing" left off. Unfortunately, the 1989 release of "Whatever It Takes" was to be the last record ever put out under the Sad Café name, as despite being every bit as good a release as their late 70's offerings, the lack of any major promotion for the album saw it underperform at retail.
A little known fact about the album, is that backing vocalist Alistair Gordon later took lead vocals on Tony Banks' "Bankstatement" album.7
The writing of the third Mechanics album was a process which began much earlier than excepted. With Phil Collins still touring in support of his mammoth "...But Seriously" album, a return to Genesis was postponed, and so Mike, along with Chris Neil and BA Robertson began work on what was to become "Word of Mouth".
Putting further emphasis on the Mechanics as a band, Mike invited Paul Carrack to join in in the writing process, an idea which was to prove fruitful for the "Word of Mouth" album, and even more so for further down the line.
More changes were afoot, as early in the writing process Mike invited American producer, Russ Titelman (producer of Eric Clapton's: "Journeyman", as well as George Benson's - "22/22" and Steve Winwood's "Back in The Highlife" albums), to work with Chris Neil on the album. Whilst the intention was to inject a fresh sound into the Mechanics third album, it soon became apparent that Russ wasn't the man for the job, and after four months of work, Russ left the project.
Promo shot of the gang
during the "Word of Mouth" era
With the album written, the band took a summer break with the intention of recording in September '90. However upon reconvening, Paul Carrack was struck down by a sinus infection and despite being eager to get the vocals laid down, Mike decided to play it safe and delayed recording until he had fully recovered. Eventually the album was successfully recorded and was released in May '91. For Mike Rutherford however, the timing of "Word Of Mouth's" release created numerous scheduling problems.
Due to the unforeseen set backs recording the album, the promotional duties for it collided with the writing and rehearsing of the next Genesis album. This was a situation Mike had always sought to avoid, and unfortunately resulted in the cancellation of a planned Mechanics tour, much to the disappointment of the band. The guys did however find time to donate a charity performance of "Ain't That Peculiar" to the "Nobody's Child", charity album (aimed at raising money for Romanian orphans), but it is hard to shake the feeling that "Word of Mouth" - purely through circumstance - was cheated out of much of it's potential success.
Cover for "A Time and Place"
"Word Of Mouth" boasted modest success in Europe, but sadly, - possibly due to Americas' tastes shifting to all things grunge - failed to follow up any success in the states. Says Mike of the album: "there are some mistakes on it, but the songs that are good, are very good I think".
"Word of Mouth" was undoubtedly a lighter album in both tone and composition than "The Living Years", but the driving optimism contained in the albums' early tracks, carried with it an infectious charm which few albums of the era could match.
Title track "Word of Mouth", "Get Up", "A Time and Place", "Everybody Gets a Second Chance" and "Stop Baby" were all released as singles, but none of them managed to grab peoples attention in any meaningful way, and so with Mike preparing to ride the wave of Genesis' ever spiraling success with "We Can't Dance", it was to be another four years until the release of it's follow up.
I once was blind...
By 1995, the Mechanics had comfortably settled into the public's conscious as a light AOR band, who wrote that song about their dads dying. If nothing else, the follow up to '91's "Word Of Mouth" was to give their reputation that bit more weight, not to mention renew their commercial fortunes.
One of the first changes to be made for the fourth album was to the core group structure. Up until "Word of Mouth" keyboard duties had principally fallen to Adrian Lee, but the introduction of midi software meant that many of the keyboard parts were played by Mike via a midi, which converted the guitar to keyboard notes. Further keyboard work was now contributed by Paul Carrack and long time co-writer BA Robertson. This left Adrian Lee's services surplus to requirement, and for Adrian himself the stop start nature of the band and the lack of a "Word of Mouth" tour, provided the push he was looking for to find something a little more regular.8
Next to leave the group was Peter van Hooke. Whilst present on the album, his work was now supplemented by Pink Floyd's live sticks man, Gary Wallis, who subsequently toured with the band. "...Peter left because he was producing quite a bit, and I wanted to get someone a bit more constant", recalls Mike. "Also, I wanted real drums, and Peter played a lot of electronic drums".8
The public face of the group was now very much the trio of Mike Rutherford, Paul Carrack and Paul Young, with writing duties for "Beggar On A Beach of Gold" again falling to Mike, Paul.C, B.A Robertson and Chris Neil, with riff and melody contributions from Paul Young.
Mike & The Mischief Makers
The writing on Beggar was as rich and diverse as any album you care to mention, a point validated by the fact that 19 songs were recorded during the Beggar sessions. Tracks varied from the majestic album opener "Beggar on A Beach of Gold", to the acoustic "Another Cup of Coffee" and even the proggy "A House of Many Rooms". BA Robertson's contributions were also becoming increasingly more adventurous, with the aforementioned "House of Many Rooms", "Someone Always Hates Someone" and "Beggar on a Beach of Gold" providing a real depth, which many had cited missing from "Word of Mouth".
"Over My Shoulder" Single
Despite such fertile writings, Tony Smith (the bands manager) pursued Mike to see if the Mechanics sound would remain if they were to record other peoples songs. In response Mike recorded two cover songs; Stevie Wonders', "I Believe (When I Fall In Love, It Will Be Forever)" and Smokey Robinson's, "You Really Got a Hold On Me". On the latter, the band took the oppertunity to have both Paul's duetting, something which had been a long time goal for the Mechanics. The results for both songs were so good that despite the wealth of original material available to them, both songs made the album's final cut.
"Beggar on A Beach of Gold" was released to a relatively subdued response in March '95; fueled by the lead off single of the same name, it looked as though the top ten positions of the "The Living Years" era were gone for good. However, another roll of the dice saw record company, Virgin, release the Paul Carrack/Mike Rutherford composition "Over My Shoulder", and gold was struck. Climbing to the number 5 slot in the UK, the album saw an upturn of fortunes and a supporting tour was quickly put together.
Having just finished the stadium spectacles of the Genesis tour, Mike was keen to strip down the live show, and keep it at a basic lighting rig with the on stage essentials. This created a very intimate atmosphere and the UK tour which followed, proved to be a huge success. A further single, "Another Cup of Coffee", was released to capitalise on the acoustic flavour of "Over My Shoulder", and despite not achieving the same level of success, it was enough to keep the album in the public eye.
Mike on stage
Sadly the American music market had radically changed, radio was now fractured into countless smaller stations with a handful of major vendors to focus attention on. The music industry had essentially been smothered by corporate suits, desperate to not only promote, but now to control the tastes of a generation, and to suitably pigeon hole anything which wasn't projected to sell 10 mill+ into it's own quiet niche. It's fair to say that most potential fans of the album never heard a note from it.
With the UK tour finished, and an American one out of the question, another era of the Mechanics was quickly drawing to a close. However, with the Mechanics now back in the lime light, the time was right for a greatest hits release.
Simply titled, "Mike & The Mechanics - HITS", the album was released across Europe in March '96, backed by a new version of "All I Need Is A Miracle" and a video release which chronicled every music video recorded by the band. The album solidified the bands success in the UK, but due to the low sales of "Beggar on a Beach of Gold", in America, it was never released state side.
The "Hits" promotional campaign was supported by an enormously successful UK tour, where venues such as Sheffield City Hall, Manchester Apollo and London Shepherds Bush Empire were sold out night after night, making the band a "must see" live act of the day.
Time continued to tick, and following the "HITS" inspired high, the Mechanics - again - went their separate ways.
Paul Carrack re-launched his solo career with exceptional gusto, in the form of "Blue Views", an incredibly smooth album which capitalised beautifully on Paul's soulful singing and old school song writing talent. The album made a particular impact in Spain, where it went gold.6
Paul Young found a suitable release for his firey live presence, when he joined Spike Edney's (Queens' keyboardist) live rock showcase group, The S.A.S band.
The Mechanics Trio
Mike returned to the Genesis fold, which was currently facing an uncertain future following the departure of Phil Collins in '93. Deciding to keep alive the magical songwriting both he and Tony Banks shared, the band pulled through in fine style, with new front man Ray Wilson and the '97 release of "Calling All Stations".
It was at this point that the future of Mike & The Mechanics and Genesis regrettably intertwined. It was believed by both Tony Banks and Ray Wilson that in order to build Genesis back up, a follow up to "Calling All Stations" needed to be recorded, released and toured as quickly as possible. However Mike was having second thoughts; faced with the prospect of having to start a fresh with Genesis and putting the Mechanics on permanent hiatus, Mike chose to go straight into another Mechanics album, and leave the future of Genesis to settle for the time being.
"M6" promo shots
And so it was that in the summer of '99, Mike & The Mechanics returned to the studio to record the ominously titled "M6" album - which was officially titled simply, "Mike & The Mechanics". Again the album was written by Mike, Paul C, BA Robertson and Chris Neil, with Paul Young adding guitar and bass riffs to "Ordinary Girl" and "My Little Island".
Keen to keep things fresh, Mike added Genesis producer, Nick Davis, and newcomer Matthew Vaughan to the producing roster. Untypical for Mechanics albums, "M6" featured a real wild card in lead off single, "Now That You've Gone". "It began life as any normal Mechanics song", recalls Mike, "But I gave these guys (Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling of Cher - "I Believe" fame) the original tapes, and they did something different with it, which was good for the band". The result was a modern sounding pop song, which featured the drum machine beats of the day, and vocoda effects a plenty. It raised more than a few eye brows upon release, but as a one off it proved to be a strong track which - rejigged - became an even better live number.
The late great Paul Young
Working against the clock was no stranger to the Mechanics, but during the recording of "M6", tour dates were put in place before a release for the album had been pinned down, leaving the band with a clear and distinct (not to mention tight) deadline to meet. This forced Mike to compromise the writing process slightly, with initial jams beginning in September '98 and involving both Pauls by mid December. Typically the early writing sessions would involve Paul Carrack and Mike jamming with guitar and keyboard, whilst Paul Young would throw in various rhythms and melodies. The lyrics would usually be the last thing added, feeding from the mood of the music. A total of 18 songs were written during the "M6" sessions, but only the final twelve actually made it into the recording studio, principally due to the looming deadline set by the upcoming tour.
The album was released to positive reviews (an uncharacteristic 4/5 from Q) and honed what the Mechanics are arguably best at, great melodic rock, which is as uplifting as it is refined.
Chart success varied, with single "Now That You've Gone" reaching an uninspired thirty five, but thankfully the album faired much better and entered the UK charts at a more than respectable twelve. A second single, "Whenever I Stop", attempted to provide radio with the acoustic rock number they were expecting first time around, but it was pushed onto market so softly, that only the most dedicated fans could even locate a copy.
Singles, albums and charts aside, the Mechanics had received a solid live reputation, and sticking with the "keep it basic" ethic of the "Beggar on A Beach of Gold" and "HITS" tours, the Mechanics took to the road in fine form, packing out theatres across the UK - with one particular night in Cambridge really raising the roof. Jamie Moses (who Paul Young had met whilst performing with the S.A.S band) replaced Tim Renwick on guitar, but Gary Wallis made a welcome return to the drum stool.
Mid-tour the band were also offered the rather unique opportunity of turning on the lights at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a career highlight if ever there was one!
With the tour over, the various members went back to their respective solo outings, but life after "M6" would never be the same again.
Mike and Jamie Live
With "M6" promotional and touring duties firmly behind him, Mike faced a crucial decision over the future of Genesis. Record again with Ray, and sign up for all the hard promotional duties that would entail, or quietly wrap up the Ray Wilson era and call it a day.
Having spent much of his life on the promotional trail, Mike felt he'd done it, and at this stage in his career he wasn't prepared to jump back into the promotional circus, that re-establishing Genesis would require. That being the case, Genesis is now on an indefinite pause, with the possibility of a reunion continuing to taunt their millions of fans across the world (but hey, we love it really).
Paul Carrack swiftly returned to his solo career. Thoroughly disillusioned with the disgraceful management decisions which left his "Beautiful World" album hung out to dry, Paul returned to his roots and put out "Satisfy my Soul", on his own label. It was an album which brought forward all Paul's early influences and tastes, and delighted his many fans. Paul remained busy touring throughout the year.
Paul Young returned home to work on his long hinted at solo album, but took time out to perform with his friends and heroes in the S.A.S. band.
Paul Young - armed with a tambourine
July of 2000 arrived, and with it came early rumblings that Mike was writing material for another Mechanics album, with plans for a tour already underway. However, later in the month, news as unexpected as it was devastating arrived; Paul Young had passed away at his home in Manchester. Despite best attempts to resuscitate him, Paul Young died of a heart attack in the early evening of Saturday the 15th of July.9 Paul leaves behind wife Pat, and three children.
A tribute show (entitled, "Forever Young" and staged at the Manchester Apollo) was scheduled for a few months later, and featured a stellar set from the S.A.S. band, Mike & The Mechanics and most welcome, a semi-reformed Sad Cafe, who really should have been given all the show time they wanted. It was a rousing and emotional performance, and proved to be a fitting celebration for the life of such a wonderfully talented and charming individual, who will be dearly missed for many years to come.
An excellent tribute site to Paul, entitled "Forever Young" has since been created, and is maintained by his son: Jason Young.
The Returning Mechanics
Time passed, with neither Mike or Paul knowing how or even if to proceed with the band. It wasn't until three years later that Mike began to position his current concepts and writings as a new Mike and the Mechanics album. As Paul Carrack puts it: "After Paul died, we didn't sit down as the Mechanics. Mike and I started to write a few tracks and then had another song writing session including BA. It all happened very gradually."10, Mike concurs: "It was a terrible shock to lose him as a friend and for his family to lose him. Work wise, it affected us in that we thought it was the end of the band and we weren't going to work together anymore. Then over the last four years this new project emerged but not at a very fast pace, partly because we felt that we didn't just want to carry on like nothing had happened.".10
The result of four years writing and experimentation, the suitably titled "Rewired" album, was released to a mixed reception in July of 2004 under the name "Mike & The Mechanics and Paul Carrack". It was felt that a name change - however slight - was appropriate to acknowledge Paul Young's absence.
Unfortunately a number of issues plagued the albums' release. Planned singles "One Left Standing", "Perfect Child" and "If I Were You" never made it past the promo stage, and radio all but ignored them anyway. This combined with Paul Young's absence, the lack of a dedicated tour and the change of musical direction, all conspired to hastily bury this fine album. Chart wise, the album - like "HITS" and "M6" before it - was never released State side, and even in the UK it only managed to graze the low seventies of the chart. By all accounts "Rewired" was a commercial flop, which their record company attempted to salvage by re-packaging it with '96's "HITS". It didn't hurt, but it barely helped.
Paul & Mike Live
Photo taken by: Fred Holmsgaard
As depressing as all that reads, it's worth remembering that "Rewired" was a transitional album, and with all the changes which surrounded it, not to mention the amount of time which had passed since the release of "M6", "Rewired" was always going to struggle commercially.
On the bright side, "Rewired" did come with a number of welcome surprises. Firstly was the return of Peter Van Hooke, both on the drum stool and more surprisingly, in the producers chair. Taking the concept of the music video a step further, Peter introduced Mike to the work of the National Film And Television School. With further ground work being laid down by Peter, animation films for every track on "Rewired" were recorded and packaged as a limited edition release of the album.
Rewired Live DVD
In support of "Rewired", the Mechanics snagged a supporting slot on the European dates of Phil Collins' "First...Final Farewell Tour" and they played a fantastic set during a Belgian music festival, with one reviewer going on to note that they all but carried the show until Phil's appearance.
The Mechanics live reputation must have carried over to the ears of the folks at Eagle Records, as the groups only live UK gig (at London's Shepherd Bush Empire) was recorded and released on DVD by Eagle Records. Whilst it's more of a solid than spectacular performance by the band, it's nice to have all this material recorded professionally. The DVD was well produced, with some swish menus and a good behind the scenes feature and interview. My biggest gripe with this release is the editing, which is more akin to a polished bootleg release than something fit for retail.
Release wise, there was good news for the bands American fans, as both "HITS" and "Rewired" received a release on September 13th 2005, courtesy of the Rhino label.
With the bands' "Rewired" chapter now finished, the question is, will it be their last? At present, Mike - as ever - is continuing to work on material, and rumours of a Genesis reunion have increased, but with the persisten non-commital response from most members, it's hard to imagine a day when we'll see all the original members on stage together again.
Paul Carrack has been touring extensively, and regularly fills the UK's best known theatres. He also has a new seasonal release ("Winter Wonderland") out, whilst Mike's long time writing partner, BA Robertson, is currently on his appropriately titled, "My Living Years" tour.
Mike & Paul - men in black
The future then, is really anybody's guess. If a Genesis reunion doesn't go ahead, I imagine Mike will be looking for an alternative musical outlet, which would logically be the Mechanics. Paul Carrack seems to have settled comfortably into his own recording niche and successful live career, but if he were finished with the Mechanics, I imagine he would have called it a day after the death of Paul Young.
"Rewired" was a solid album, but more importantly, had potential in spades. Given a firmer footing and a few more radio friendly tracks, I see no reason why Mike and Paul can't pull another "Over My Shoulder" style success out of their hat, and hopefully give the new direction the Mechanics have taken, another shot at thrilling their fans worldwide.
Biography Written By: David Perkins
This biography was based on the original "House of Many Rooms" biography, which was written and - exhaustively - researched by Chrischa Van de Voorde. Due to this, many of Chrischa's original sources were not documented, and so this list of acknowledgments will doubtlessly miss off many valued sources. This completely rewritten update has been expanded with as much information as I could lay my hands on, with the following sources proving invaluable: