Mike & The Mechanics - The Singles 1985 -2014 + Rarities collection reviewed by Alan Hewitt.
With almost thirty years on the clock, the Mechanics model certainly has some mileage behind it and an impeccable pedigree when it comes to chart success. Anyone who doubts that statement will be reminded of the truth of it by this collection which encapsulates the band’s ethic that it is the music that matters.
There really is something for everybody on the first disc which comprises just about every single that the band released during this period from the unlikely debut hit: Silent Running to the songs which made the band a household name: The Living Years, Over My Shoulder, Another Cup Of Coffee… they are all present and correct here with many more besides. There is also the bonus of a brand new studio track: When My Feet Don’t Touch The Ground to emphasise the fact that the Mechanics are still very much alive and kicking in terms of studio work.
Compilations are really for the benefit of new fans and the curious and so the single edition of this project will do its job and hopefully bring more people into the Mechanics’ fold. However, in addition to this, there is the double edition with a second disc of rarities, B sides and even a previously unreleased track from the Carrack/Young era of the band. For serious Mechanics fans and collectors, this one will have much more appeal. If nothing else, it proves that there was seldom if ever a shortage of material from the band.
In fact, some of the tracks that were relegated to B sides should , in my opinion, have appeared on their respective albums but such was the strength of the material that here they are. From marvellous ballads such as You Never Change, and My Crime Of Passion, to rabble rousers such as Boys At The Front - a perfect evocation of the rock fans’ mentality superbly delivered by Paul Young. We even get a marvellous cover version of The Beatles’ classic: Revolution!
Purists will complain that there are tracks missing from this set and some on it which might have been better left off, but such is the way of things. What you do have is a magnificent resumé of the band’s career and one which proves that Mike & The Mechanics’ success is no mere flash in the pan!