Last week Daft Punk won a Grammy for Album of The Year, walking on stage with them was Paul Williams who’s debut album would without doubt be one of my desert island discs.
The music of Paul Williams has always been in my life for as long as I can remember. As a young child we had a copy of Kermit The Frog’s ‘Rainbow Connection’ in the house on 7”, we also watched Bugsy Malone at school in the assembly hall one Christmas, I loved The Monkees and my Mum owned an album by The Carpenters. Paul Williams pretty much soundtracked a lot of my childhood and I had no idea.
The title track of Paul Williams’ 1970 debut album was also recorded by The Monkees (see version at bottom of page) but it doesn’t come close to the original. Someday Man, along with the other 9 tracks is absolute pop perfection. Every time I listen to this album it reminds me of some of the happiest times of my life, not because it was the soundtrack but because it makes me feel so alive. The feeling I get from the songs within this album must be pretty similar to how your average joe feels when he hears ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ by Oasis, you just want to wave your arms around and sing along word for word.
I couldn’t tell you exactly when I first heard about the album, but it was from either Norman Blake or Douglas T Stewart via Twitter as they regularly talk about Paul’s work that I checked it out. This comes as no surprise really as the sleeve looks like Norman Blake sitting outside a building. However it was a real surpirse last year when Paul Williams popped up as one of the collaborators on the fourth Daft Punk album ‘Random Access Memories’. The track he appeared on was like a mini musical which pretty much sums up a lot of his work. From the opening title track there are twists and turns in each track that pull at the heart strings.
Never a week goes by when I don’t listen to all 10 tracks in this album. I could only describe it as a pop version of Forever Changes. The album equally failed to sell upon release and Paul later became famous not only for his songwriting but also his film and TV appearance including Smokey & The Bandit, Planet of The Apes and of course The Muppets.