Owen Paul (1985)


Owen Paul: our favourite waste of time!

by Christopher Smith

Glasgow born singer Owen Paul (b.1962) got a big hit with his debut single “My Favourite Waste Of Time” in 1986 when it peaked at No.3 on the UK singles chart. The song is actually a cover version, having been released four years earlier by American singer Marshall Crenshaw (b.1953) as the B side to his single “Someday, Someway”, which made No.36 on the US singles chart.

Owen started his career planning to be a footballer and even became an apprentice for Celtic Football Club. He instead walked away from it and joined the band Venigmas, releasing a single, “Strangelove” in 1983. After two years of playing together, Owen left the group to ‘go it alone’ and released “My Favourite Waste Of Time” through Epic records. Following the song’s huge success in the UK, Owen recorded his debut album “As It Is”, but this was not so successful. Neither were any other singles released from it!

Owen fell out with Epic soon after and joined the ranks of those artists who call themselves ‘one hit wonders’. He remained in the music business for the rest of the 1980’s, producing Japanese band Buck-Tick’s 1989 album “Taboo”, which has sold over 300,000 copies in Japan. Owen went on to run a London West End theatre for much of the 90’s before returning to music in 2002 with a new album “About Time”, his second and follow up to “As It Is”, sixteen years later! He joined Mike and The Mechanics in 2004 as a backing singer and production assistant, touring with the group for a number of years before joining the BBC as a television presenter.

In recent years, Owen has returned to performing, becoming highly sought after at 80’s revival festivals and music events, performing, well performing “My Favourite Waste Of Time” anyway! Owen is remembered in the UK for a memorable performance of the song on daytime TV, back in the days when artists mimed to their songs and no one really bothered with live singing. The music was heard on screen but not by the group, who stood and did nothing while “My Favourite Waste Of Time” played for the many millions that watched in shock and amusement!

Owen Paul (2019)

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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