Mike + The Mechanics: Living Years/The Singles 1985-2014

25th anniversary reissue and a Best Of from Mr Rutherford’s other band.

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While most Genesis fans would eagerly purchase any solo album emanating from the band’s members, the progressive worth of these was often questioned when mega success came anyone’s way. Hence Phil Collins became everybody’s whipping boy, and even the ever-affable Mike Rutherford’s credentials were questioned when his own Mike + The Mechanics outfit hit big.

In truth they were never prog, but for many they were far more palatable than Phil’s soulful sound. Never more successful than on 1988’s Living Years, thanks in no small part to the emotive title track being a huge hit.

The album’s as good as their 1985 debut, and with Paul Young hitting the right notes on Nobody’s Perfect, it’s now augmented with a new take on The Living Years with current Mechanics vocalist Andrew Roachford plus a rather good live album.

As the title implies, The Singles is a pleasantly catchy romp through a set of songs you probably know a lot better than you thought. It gets a bit blander as time goes on, but there’s an eloquent charm to Silent Running, All I Need Is A Miracle and Beggar On A Beach Of Gold. Not prog perhaps, but enjoyable listening.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.