Review: "The Living Years" - The London Hospice Choir With Paul Carrack

by David Spencer,

In pop quizzes, The Living Years is one of those songs that might be in the category of surprising non number ones, alongside the likes of Ultra Vox's Vienna. It dominated the airwaves for a time in 1989 and is a hugely powerful song about love and loss. Mike & The Mechanics' biggest hit, it reached number two and has been a firm fixture in the live set for vocalist Paul Carrack in his solo tours ever since.

Carrack is one of the UK's most modest pop stars, but his voice is a national treasure. Now, with the help of the London Hospice Choir, he is joining the race for Christmas number one. While not a song containing festive references, it's a hugely powerful choice for the 300 patients, families, staff and volunteers that make up the choir. The lyrics here about losing a loved one hit harder given the circumstances of many involved. Among those appearing on the track, which was recorded at Abbey Road, is 94 year old Lillian John, a patient at St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer more than 9 years ago and she says the choir has given her a special distraction from her illness.

He might not feature here, but the spirit of Britain's chief choirmaster Gareth Malone shines through on this uplifting version of the song. All profits from the sale will be divided between the 18 hospices in London involved. Uplifting and for a special cause; now that's what Christmas is about.

1 comment

JR said...

This song always reminds me of my Father passing away.I never got to say I love you Dad!

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