Thursday 2/2/23 8pm ET: Feature LP: Paul Young – No Parlez (1983)

No Parlez is the debut solo studio album by English singer Paul Young. Released July 22, 1983, it reached number one on the UK Albums Chart (for a non-consecutive total of 5 weeks) and remained in the UK Top 100 for 119 weeks. The album has been certified quadruple platinum by the BPI for UK sales in excess of 1.2 million copies.

Initially, the first two singles, “Iron Out the Rough Spots” and a remake of “Love of the Common People”, had no success, but the third, a cover of the Marvin Gaye classic “Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)”, was No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in July and August 1983, and the first of Young’s 14 British Top 40 singles. Similar success followed in continental Europe. In the UK, the follow-up single “Come Back and Stay” reached No. 4, and the re-release of “Love of the Common People” made it to No. 2 in late 1983.

The album was released the year after the introduction of CDs with their potential for a longer playing time. The CD edition of “No Parlez” featured one extra track (Behind Your Smile) not on the vinyl release. Additionally, five of the other 11 tracks were extended versions compared to the vinyl edition.

The album featured eight cover versions alongside two tracks written by Young and keyboard player Ian Kewley and one written by the guitarist in Young’s band at the time, Steve Bolton. Three of the cover versions were written by Jack Lee who also wrote “Hanging on the Telephone” which was a big hit for Blondie.

The album was released with a different cover in North America, and a new video for the single “Come Back and Stay” was made.

In 2008, a promotional CD of the album was distributed by the Daily Mail newspaper.

“Come Back and Stay” 4:57
“Love Will Tear Us Apart” 5:00
“Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)” 5:18
“Ku Ku Kurama” 4:19
“No Parlez” 4:57
“Love of the Common People” 4:56
“Oh Women” 3:35
“Iron Out the Rough Spots” 4:47
“Broken Man” 3:54
“Tender Trap 4:32
“Sex” 4:49
“Come Back and Stay” 7:56 (scratch mix)

Paul Young – lead vocals, backing vocals, guitars (1, 10), arrangements
Ian Kewley – acoustic piano, Oberheim OB-X, E-mu Emulator, vocoder, atmospheric sounds, strings, marimbas, bells, backing vocals, arrangements
Matt Irving – ARP synthesizer, Roland MC-4 Microcomposer, guitars, bass guitar (2, 7), backing vocals
Steve Bolton – acoustic piano doodlings, guitars, lap steel guitar
Pino Palladino – bass guitar (1, 3–6, 8, 10, 11, 12), Chapman Stick (1, 10)
Mark Pinder – drums, Simmons drums, Roland TR-808, percussion, cowbells
Rico Rodriguez – trombone (7, 11)
Laurie Latham – arrangements
Kim Lesley – backing vocals, congas (12)
Maz Roberts – backing vocals
Eyethu [Nimsa Calliza, Dagmar Krause, Chief Dawethi, Eyethu, Zundi Lekau, Wally Loate, Jabu Mbato, Fats Mogoboya and Norman Zulu] – backing vocals (5)