82233-4 Word of Mouth
Produced by Christopher Neil, Mike Rutherford, Russ Titelman
Released on 1991
US CHART POSITION #107
Find it at GEMM
82233-4 cover  

A fter the “huge” (imagine my arms wide apart) success of their first two releases, it was unusual that Word of Mouth stalled on the charts. Ironic, actually, since they’re called Mike + The Mechanics and you would think that if anyone wasn’t going to stall it would be a band called the Mechanics because a mechanic would be able to fix the car, so to speak, and prevent it from stalling in the first place. If they actually had a car, which I suppose they all do -- many, probably. (That for the homesick readers who might otherwise be sloughing through a terrible review of this somewhere else.) The first time I listened to this, I could imagine Paul Carrack (red nose and all) kicking off a chilly East German tour with “Word of Mouth” and returning the thundering applause with an enthusiastic “Vir lieben sie, Berlin.” The second time I listened to it, I’d worked up a pretty good Phil McCarracken joke in my head (the hybrid offspring of Phil Collins and Paul Carrack plus, I dunno, let’s say a chicken mcnugget since that always gets a laugh). The third time I listened to this (and at this stage I’d already drawn up a living will just in case), Word of Mouth bespoke its humble charms. “Get Up” is a pretty enthusiastic song (although when I start taking life advice from a two-dollar cassette, stop me somebody). “Word of Mouth” is one of those “thank you Eastern Europe for making us the number one single in Albania” songs, which usually happens when someone’s well-meaning manager says “You know you’re really huge over in this unpronounceable country that was previously part of the Soviet Union.” Hell, those countries are just happy somebody found them on the map. Unless it’s the Bush administration, in which case you hope they don’t find you on the map. (By the way, George, that $160 billion tiger repellent is working wonderfully -- no tigers ‘round here.) Anyway, getting back to our story (I believe I was teetering on a stool when last we spoke), before the next heartache could fall, I found myself enjoying several of these songs: “Let’s Pretend It Didn’t Happen” (pure pop majesty, I wrote), “My Crime of Passion” (country pop Squeezed the way I likes it -- I have to capitalize these things or nobody gets them), and “Everybody Gets A Second Chance” (even Phil Collins’ mugging of Motown apparently). The rest of the record is merely adequate, including some tracks (“Stop Baby,” “The Way You Look”) that don’t seem to have a discernible melody. As progressive rock goes, it doesn’t go anywhere near here, but if you thought that Phil Collins’ music was a little too dark, well, I just pity you is all.

TRACK LISTING

  1. GET UP    (Mike Rutherford/Paul Carrack)
  2. WORD OF MOUTH    (Mike Rutherford/Christopher Neil)
  3. A TIME AND PLACE    (Mike Rutherford/B.A. Robertson)
  4. YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW    (Mike Rutherford/B.A. Robertson)
  5. THE WAY YOU LOOK AT ME    (Mike Rutherford/Paul Carrack)
  6. EVERYBODY GETS A SECOND CHANCE    (Mike Rutherford/B.A. Robertson)
  7. STOP BABY    (Christopher Neil/Mike Rutherford)
  8. MY CRIME OF PASSION    (Mike Rutherford/Paul Carrack/Adrian Lee)
  9. LET'S PRETEND IT DIDN'T HAPPEN    (Mike Rutherford/B.A. Robertson)
  10. BEFORE (THE NEXT HEARTACHE FALLS)    (Mike Rutherford/Paul Carrack)

CREDITS

PAUL CARRACK -- vocals & keyboards
ADRIAN LEE -- keyboards
MIKE RUTHERFORD -- guitar & bass
PETER VAN HOOKE -- drums
PAUL YOUNG -- vocals
Martin Ditcham -- percussion
Kitson Hall Audience -- audience (2)
London Community Gospel Choir -- backing vocals (10)
Pino Paladino -- bass
Steve Piggot -- keyboards
Tim Renwick -- guitars
Phil Todd -- saxophone
Ian Wherry -- keyboards
Rob Eaton -- engineer, mixing
Mike Owen -- photography
Icon -- design and art direction

return to MIKE + THE MECHANICS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1991 Virgin CD/CS CDV/TCV 2662 lyric sleeve
US 1991 Atlantic CD/CS 82233 lyric sleeve

 

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