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The Lost Album - Released 1985 - 1995

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This album was never officially released by either the band or their respective record company, and so resides in the grey area of bootleg recordings.

Mike and the mechanics
The band during "The Living Years" tour.

Originally released as part of a lavish 4 disc set by "MIL Productions", it's now a very difficult set of discs to track down, with the original set being crammed with acoustic, remixes and live versions of the most popular Mechanics tracks.

This review however, focuses on the part of the set I've actually heard (so if anyone out there wants to know what to get me for Christmas ....), the B-sides and rarities from the band.

Firstly, lets clear a few things up straight away. Whilst on tour, the band often performed tracks from their current, or past musical career away from the Mechanics.

Paul Carrack with fellow ACE members

From the Genesis camp, the band often performed a raucous version of "I Can't Dance", with Paul Young and Cow Bell giving the song a up-tempo face lift. From Paul Young, the band gave a faithfull rendition of "Everyday Hurts", which was the biggest hit from Paul's previous band, Sad Cafe. From Paul Carrack, the band got together on the traditional crowd pleaser, ACE's "How Long". These tracks were not written by the Mechanics as a band, and were simply live cover versions of each members best known solo number.

Now omissions. Whilst the set is about as comprehensive a collection of rare Mechanics material as you'll ever find, it does have one notable omission. During the promotional run for "Word Of Mouth" in '91, the band donated a performance of the Marvin Gaye song, "Aint That Peculiar", for the "Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal". For reasons unknown (as it's not that hard to find really) this tack is missing from "The Lost Album".

I've included my usual brief comments on each song, in their respective pop-up, so you can read more about the origin and of each song there. In general though, the set is largely comprised from the bands highly fruitful "Beggar On A Beach Of Gold" sessions, with no less than seven of the sixteen tracks on this collection, coming from this era.

mike and phil
No, I don't know what this has got to do with "The Lost Album" either, but I've been looking to use it for years now :)

Mostly, the songs are solid numbers, with "You Don't Know What Love Is" being my personal favourite. It's also very interesting to hear the bands take on the Beatles classic, "Revolution".

In yet further testament to the musical virility of the band during this era, it shows that the further you stray from the "Beggar" sessions, the less notable the B-sides are.

For the Mike Rutherford completists, you'll also note the inclusion of the B-sides from "Small Creeps Day" (Compression) and the rare in it's own right follow up, "Acting Very Strange" (Calypso).

Whilst it's rarely as strong as any of the bands studio albums, "The Lost Album" contains something every Mechanics fan will appreciate, and is well worth hunting down.

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