Top 10 Mike + The Mechanics Songs

Mike + The Mechanics Songs

Feature Photo: Stefan64, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Mike + The Mechanics Songs list takes a look at some of the most popular songs the band has released during its 20-plus-year career. Long known for his work in Genesis Mike Rutherford formed his own solo band Mike + The Mechanics in the 1980s as many of his Genesis bandmates were also celebrating solo projects and solo careers.

Top 10 Mike + The Mechanics Songs

# 10 – Silent Running

We open up our Mike + The Mechanics songs list with the sensational song “Silent Running.” The song was released on the band’s debut album entitled Mike + The Mechanics. The album was released in 1985. Mike Rutherford, co-wrote this song with his longtime musical collaborator, Scottish artist B.A. Robertson.  Rutherford explained that the song was ultimately about traveling across time. The grandfather in this tale is able to peer into the future and warn his family that things in England aren’t looking well. He is trying to contact his loved ones to let them know to prepare for the looming calamity. That’s why there’s a phrase that goes “Can you hear me; can you hear me calling you?”

Lyrically, the phrase “Silent Running” does not appear; rather, it is a reference to the narrative structure in which the father continually asks the boy if he can hear him running. The song’s subtitle, “On Dangerous Ground,” was added to promote the film of the same name. Most of that effort was wasted, however, because the film was distributed in the United States under the name Choke Canyon (On Dangerous Ground was the UK title). Unfortunately, the film’s box office performance was not mirrored by the success of the song. There was no explanation given for the subtitling for American listeners.

# 9 – All The Light I Need

Continuing with our Mike + The Mechanics songs list we present the grand song “All The Light I Need.” The song was released on the album M6. The album was released in 1999. It was the third single released from the albums and the only one not to break onto the music charts. Paul Carrack sings lead vocals on the song.

# 8 – Save My Soul

The main vocalists for this version of Mike + The Mechanics recording were Andrew Roachford (“Cuddly Toy (Feel for Me)”) and Tim Howar. In “Save My Soul,” Roachford sings lead, he is seeking a higher power or a cause to dedicate his life. Many biblical allusions and a redemptive message are woven into this song. The song begins, “Traveled south to wash my sins away.”

The song was co-written by Roachford, Chief Mechanic Mike Rutherford, and Rutherford’s longtime friend and music producer Fraser T. Smith, who has also worked with Rick Wakeman, Craig David, Britney Spears, Lily Allen, and a plethora of other artists.

# 7 – Always Listen To Your Heart

In the number seven spot on our top 10 Mike + The Mechanics songs list is the very beautiful song “Always Listen To Your Heart.’ The song was released in 1999. In the beginning, multiple electric guitars are distorted, and the song slowly progresses with ordinary drumming. Listen to your heart, be honest, and demonstrate strength in every life; these pieces of advice may seem obvious, but Paul Young plays the part of a wise elder who has made mistakes and learned from them in order to bestow wisdom on the younger generation. Paul Young’s voice is layered over and over again to accompany the chorus.

# 6 – Let Me Fly

While many of Mike Rutherford’s compositions have an ominous tone, his song “Let Me Fly” is upbeat and optimistic. The message, he claims, is “In other words, don’t feel bad about anything. Try it out if you’re curious.” Mike + The Mechanics’ eighth studio album, and second with the Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar combination, is titled Self-Titled. Roachford, whose single “Cuddly Toy (Feel For Me)” was a smash in the UK, provided the lead vocals here.

This song was co-written by Johnny Hates Jazz lead singer Clark Datchler and Rutherford and Roachford. “Shattered Dreams” was a huge hit for them, and he wrote it. Just as on Mike + The Mechanics’ massive hit “The Living Years,” this one also incorporates a choir. Their lineup includes Cherrice Kirton, Godfrey Gayle, Joy Malcolm, Priscilla Jones, Subrina McCalla, and Xavier Barnett.

# 5 – Open Up

As Paul Carrack’s voice comes in, the song transforms from quiet synth beats and gritty guitar sounds into a melodic pop tune. Don’t be afraid to let your partner know how you feel;Paul Carrack begs for another opportunity in their relationship as well. Perhaps a breakup hasn’t happened quite yet, but by keeping quiet and not sharing sentiments, one is continually misunderstood and viewed as unreliable.

# 4 – Nobody Knows

Mike Rutherford, the band’s frontman and lyricist, and Christopher Neil, the album’s co-producer, wrote this heartfelt song. In the song, the protagonist dissects his love after it has ended. What’s killing him is how much time and effort they’ve both put into their marriage. A verse at the end of the song, “It kills merely knowing your children won’t be mine,” is particularly poignant. Paul Carrack, one-half of the singing duo Paul Carrack and Paul Young, was the primary vocalist here. The album’s title track was sung by Carrack as well.

# 3 – Over My Shoulder

One of Mike + The Mechanics’ biggest UK hits is “Over My Shoulder,” which was written by the band’s leader, Mike Rutherford, and the song’s singer, Paul Carrack. The protagonist of the song is reflecting on his relationship with his ex-girlfriend.

# 2 – All I Need Is a Miracle

Mike Rutherford, who is most known for his work with Genesis, is the “Mike” of Mike + the Mechanics. In addition to Genesis, each member pursued other endeavors; Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins’ solo careers received the greatest attention, while Mike Rutherford’s Mike + the Mechanics had great success, with their 1988 single “The Living Years” becoming a top ten smash.

Mike Rutherford once claimed, “If you write a great song, you want a fantastic voice, and that voice isn’t me.” This was his justification for not contributing vocals to the band. This and three other songs on the CD feature Paul Young, formerly of the Sad Cafe (not to be confused with the Paul Young who performed “Every Time You Go Away”). Paul Carrack, of Squeeze and solo fame, contributed vocals to three additional tracks.

Young passed away in the year 2000, at the age of 53. Mike Rutherford (guitar, bass) and Christopher Neil (record producer) wrote this song for the debut album by Mike + the Mechanics. The protagonist of the song has mistreated his girlfriend and now desperately wants her back. The upbeat rhythm defies the song’s sad subject matter, creating an instance of linguistic dissonance.

# 1 – The Living Years

We close out our top 10  Mike + The Mechanics songs list with the bands heartbreaking son “The Living Years.”  The song was composed by Mike Rutherford and B.A. Robertson.  As Robertson and Rutherford had experienced the loss of their fathers, the song is deeply personal to them both. Several drafts of the song were created. Before his father passed away in 1986, B.A. Robertson penned the first verse. Rutherford’s father also passed away that year. With this verse as inspiration, the two worked together to write the music, and then sometime later Robertson wrote the second stanza. He didn’t finish writing the song’s final verse until just before it was recorded.

Top 10 Mike + The Mechanics Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. Any theft of our content will be met with swift legal action against the infringing websites.

DMCA.com Protection Status

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Three Days Grace Albums
Complete List Of Three Days Grace Albums And Discography
Agnostic Front Songs
Top 10 Agnostic Front Songs
Daryl Hall Solo Songs
Top 10 Daryl Hall Songs As A Solo Artist
Arctic Monkeys Albums
Complete List Of Arctic Monkeys Albums And Discography
15 Greatest Hits Albums With Best Unreleased Tracks & Non-Album Songs
18 Best Greatest Hits Albums With Unreleased Tracks & Non-Album Singles
Best Rock Albums Of 2022
Best Rock Albums Of 2022
12 Essential Jazz Guitar Albums
12 Essential Jazz Guitar Albums
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams LP
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams LP
Tom Verlaine Of Television Has Passed Away At 73
Tom Verlaine Of Television Has Passed Away At 73
Remembering David Crosby
Remembering David Crosby
David Crosby Dead At 81
David Crosby Dead At 81
Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming With Dave Letterman To Premier On Disney+ March 2023
Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming With Dave Letterman To Premier On Disney+ March 2023
10 Classic Rock Bands That Have Never Released A Live Album
10 Classic Rock Bands That Have Never Released A Live Album
Will Music CDs Become Collectors Items?
Why Basic Music CDs Will Become Collectors Items
Greatest Rock Bass Lines Of The 70s
Greatest Rock Bass Lines Of The 70s
Don Kirschner Rock Concert
Before MTV, There Was Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert
Paul De Lisle of Smash Mouth Interview
Paul De Lisle of Smash Mouth: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Tod Howarth Interview
Tod Howarth: Formerly of Frehley’s Comet: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Thomas Pedersen & Michael Sonne Interview
Thomas Pedersen & Michael Sonne Of Wasted: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Jimmy Marchiano Interview
Jimmy Marchiano: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Real Meanings Behind Songs On Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad Album
Real Meanings Behind Songs On Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Rihanna's Music of the Sun Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Rihanna’s Music of the Sun Album
Rihanna Albums
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Rihanna’s A Girl Like Me Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks Rock a Little Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks Rock a Little Album
Three Days Grace Albums
Complete List Of Three Days Grace Albums And Discography
Jack White Albums
Complete List Of Jack White Albums And Discography
The Pretty Reckless Albums
Complete List Of The Pretty Reckless Albums And Discography
Bob Marley Albums
Complete List Of Bob Marley & The Wailers Albums And Discography