Episode 83: Tracie Young on life as a singer, The Jam, The Style Council, Respond, John Weller and more…

Welcome to another epic episode of The Paul Weller Fan Podcast as I am joined by Tracie! AKA Tracie Young.
Over the course of an hour plus, the singer, 80s popstar, TV Presenter & Radio Broadcaster talks about 80s hairdos, The Jam, The Style Council, Respond Records, her solo career, touring and recording with Paul Weller along with the truth behind the second album that remained unreleased for over 25 years.
My thanks to Mr Cool’s Dream – Iain Munn – and his brilliant book for help with the research too.

Click your preferred podcast platform to listen or hit the player below…

EP83 – Tracie Young – Pop Singer + Respond Records… ”I will learn, I will grow and for my pain, my strength shall show” Paul Weller Fan Podcast : Desperately Seeking Paul

Our story kicks off with a love of music and records as a kid to 1982, when Tracie answered an advert in Smash Hits magazine that would change her life and land her on Top of The Pops with the biggest band in the country – The Jam – in just a matter of months!
We discover that it was the second ad placed in the magazine which read…
SITUATIONS VACANT – “Paul Weller’s Respond Label are still looking for a female singer to record. Paul would like to stress that you don’t have to be 60s maniac to qualify. All you need is a strong voice and good technique. Send a cassette…”
Tracie recorded a bedroom version of Shoorah Shoorah on her home tape deck and eventually popped it into the postbox. After an audition at Solid Bond, Tracie became a priority signing for Paul’s Respond record label.

Her first job was to sing backing vocals on The Jam‘s final single, Beat Surrender and joined the band for their final appearance on TOTP – complete with C&A ski-pants – with styling by Paul! (she refused on the option of goggles!).

Next Tracie became an Honorary Councillor, contributing vocals for The Style Council’s first single, Speak Like a Child and she also appeared in the promo video with Nicky Weller. She toured with TSC in 1983 while also performing as a solo artist as part of a Respond package tour with A Craze, Main T Posse and The Questions.

Hit singles followed with The House That Jack Built (Number 9 in March 1983) and Give it Some Emotion (Number 24 in July 1983) and her debut album, Far from the Hurting Kind, was released in 1984.

Tracie recorded with The Style Council again in 1985, contributing backing vocals to the song Boy Who Cried Wolf, a single taken from the album Our Favourite Shop.

Paul took the decision to close Respond in 1986 and Tracie was briefly shifted to Polydor, but the second album that she had recorded was shelved and the deal came to an end soon after.
Tracie eventually secured the rights to the recordings from Paul for a quid and No Smoke Without Fire was finally released in May 2014 by Cherry Red Records.

Post-Pop Career, Tracie had a successful radio career for over 20 years, broadcasting hugely successful shows at various stations in the Essex area.
There have been a couple of live music performances since, with a gig at the 100 Club in 2007 where she sang backing vocals on a version of Speak Like a Child. As Tracie explained on the podcast, she had recently cycled from Lands End to John O Groats for charity and auctioned her silver disc for the charity too.
During a radio interview in 2008 she sang Nothing happens Here But You and there was also a one off gig in 2009, supporting Billy Franks, where you could also buy a limited edition six-song EP of previously released material, titled It Happened One Night… And Other Songs.
Mr Cools Dream – Iain Munn – reports on a few spots in the crowd with Steve White, Hilary Robertson, Anthony Harty, Stewart Prosser, Billy Chapman and Prince Harry!

In October 2021, Tracie was a special guest at the Adventures of The Style Council event – along previous podcast guests – Stuart Deabill, Snowy, Bax, Lee Cogswell, Mick Talbot and Nicky Weller. I was lucky enough to meet Tracie on the day and managed to persuade her to join the podcast. After spending a couple of hours chatting over Zoom one day – I’m so glad that I did. Brilliant!.

Tracie – The Discography & Some Info

March 1983 – The House That Jack Built
Tracie’s first single release was a Top Ten Hit with the sleeve noting…
“Go – ’83. And there’s no looking back – if this is to be the year of decision the who’s to decide. If youthclubs are for youth and discos are for dancing – why are you at home watching videos every Saturday night. If records are for selling and you’re not buying it’s because you’re not hearing enough to want to buy. Right? And so from the land of a thousand young hopefuls – from the influence of soul to the essence of pop – Respond Records asks you to try Tracie then decide. Lord Jim.
… and this is just the start, wee bairns and funksters… Tracie xx
Backed by The Soul Squad (Paul Weller appears courtesy of Polydor Records),sleeve design came from Simon Halfon and Paul Weller with Paul credited with production for Solid Bond Productions.
The 7″ single featured a B-Side written by Paul called Doctor Love, whilst the 12″ featured Tracie Talks (her being ‘interviewed’ by Paul (in character) on top of a dance beat) along with an instrumental of The House That Jack Built.

July 1983 – Give It Some Emotion
Tracie’s second single was again backed by The Soul Squad (Paul Weller appears courtesy of Polydor Records). 7″ single b-side The Boy Hairdresser was co-written by Paul, with 12″ featuring an extended version of the title track along with Tracie Raps (her again being ‘interviewed’ by Paul putting on a voice for a character called Bill ) and Give It Some Version (an instrumental of the lead song). Sleeve design again came from Simon Halfon and Paul Weller with Paul on production duties for Solid Bond Productions.

March 1984 – Souls on Fire
On her 3rd single, Tracie is backed by Kevin Miller (Bass & Backing Vocals), Helen Turner (Keyboards), Steve Sidelnyk (Drums) and Jake Fluckery (Guitar). In case you’re not aware, Jake Fluckery was actually a pseudonym for Paul Weller). The song was co-written by Paul Weller and the sleeve would highlight the upcoming Tracie LP to be released on April 24. Both 7″ and 12″ featured a new track called You Must Be Kidding on the B-side.

April 1984 – ALBUM – Far from the Hurting Kind
The record sleeve notes “Here ’tis! The debut long playing record from our Tracie. Not so much the girl next door as more the chick at the bottom of the garden who grows tomatoes. Tracie is of course an existentialist and a Buddhist. So, so, so here within lie ten cuts and grooves made with care and handled with goodness made for people in possession of their faults and proud of it all! Tracie’s saving grace is that she realises only the music is important and that the rest is all shit. Hear! Hear! This record. This is pop record. O my brothers and sisters, play it as you will.”
The album omitted the first two hit singles – but does feature the co-write with Paul – Souls on Fire – along with Weller originals – Dr Love and Far from the Hurting Kind, and a cover of The Style Council B-side Spring, Summer, Autumn. Paul co-produced, designed the sleeve with Simon Halfon and played guitar on the album. You can hear the re-released album (with the missing singles) on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/album/6yYfPSHv447ROxzrvDKPmB

May 1984 – (I Love You) When You Sleep
There she walks, head hung in thought. Forgotten about surroundings. Asleep as she walks. Walking into slumber to dream her world where she lives. Thoughts and dreams of hope for a future where we all have a place to go to. And a hope… Bish Bishop.
The song was written by Elvis Costello, the result of an inflight meeting between Tracie and Elvis.
The single was backed by a new song called Same Feelings Without The Emotions and a club mix of Moving Together as an addition on the 12″.

July 1985 – I Can’t Leave You Alone
Tracie talks about this release on the podcast and it’s controversial (at least with Polydor) B-side – a play on Paul Hardcastle’s smash hit single 19.
The sleeve notes “After a lengthy pause, the girl is back. This record captures the vitality of youth, the spirit of summer, and looks to the future rather than dwelling on the past. In words, it may not astound, but in feeling, it is positive. If all this sounds pretentious, then think what you will, but alot of people have put a great deal into this record and the quality of that is on a par with these words. I dedicate this record to The Wickham 19, a group of people who are currently victims of a struggle against yet another aspect of corruption. I hope that as you listen to the two songs on this record, it’s objectives will be achieved on two counts. Firstly, that side two will be understood, and secondly, that side one will be enjoyed.” Tracie.
19 – The Wickham Mix was co-written with Paul Weller and as Tracie mentions on the podcast, her backing band changes it’s name to The Sunshine Girls – with Kevin Miller, Steve Sidelnyk, Helen Turner and Sav Pisano on board. There were also thanks for Paul Barry, Toby Chapman, Stuart Prosser, Chris Lawrence, Billy Chapman, Brian Robson and Jacques Hughes.

October 1985 – Invitation
A new song followed a few months later called Invitation, with a song-writing credit for Tracie.
Still billed as a Respond Records release on the cover, Tracie was joined by Camelle Hinds on Vocals, Kevin Miller on Bass and BVs, Sav Pisano on Guitar, Simon Charterton from The Higsons & R4 on Drums, Steve Sidelnyk on Percussion, Billy Chapman on Saxophone (courtesy of Animal Nightlife & Island Records) and John Mealing & Brian Robson on Keyboards. String arrangements came from John Mealing.
The B-side The Country Code is a moving song about fox hunting with Toby Chapman on Piano.

July 1986 – We Should Be Together
As Paul closed down his Respond record label, Tracie moved to Polydor for her next release.
This song is a cover of a track written by Jay Gruska and Tom Keane for ABBA member – Agnetha Fältskog’s 1985 album Eyes of a Women.
We Should Be Together features Steve White on Drums.

October 1986 – (When You) Call Me
Originally a B-Side for The Style Council 1985 single – Come To Milton Keynes.
The 12″ is backed by a Paul Barry tune called Italian Girl and a Pisano/ Young co-write called Find It In Your Nature. This would be Tracie’s final release on Polydor, with the second album sitting unreleased in the vaults until 2014

2009 – It Happened One Night… And Other Songs

This CD was sold at Tracie’s show at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in 2009. Any of my readers / listeners got a copy? Let me know!

  1. Think You’re Lucky
  2. Far From The Hurting Kind
  3. I Can’t Leave You Alone (Pick ‘n’ Mix)
  4. The House That Jack Built
  5. Fingers Crossed
  6. Give It Some Emotion (Acoustic Radio Session)

2014 – No Smoke Without Fire

Tracie goes into detail on the podcast about buying the rights of the songs for her un-released songs from Paul Weller for £1 leading to the release of her second album on Cherry Red in May 2014.
The album features the previously released Italian Girl, I Can’t Leave You Alone, Invitation, (When You) Call Me and an alternative version of The Country Code along with new tracks Fingers Crossed, I Think You’re Lucky, Love Without Jealousy, Me and Jimmy Stone and No Smoke Without Fire – along with various demos and remixes.
You can hear the album on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/album/3aYeJPnJYfIpXYdoH28EMw

Tracie Interviews Paul Weller

Tracie Young on Video

Tracie Discography

April 1983 – The House That Jack Built
July 1983 – Give It Some Emotion
March 1984 – Souls on Fire
May 1984 – (I Love You) When You Sleep
July 1985 – I Can’t Leave You Alone
October 1985 – Invitation
July 1986 – We Should Be Together
October 1986 – (When You) Call Me

It Happened One Night… And Other Songs (June 2009)

June 1984 – Far from the Hurting Kind
May 2014 – No Smoke Without Fire

Singles as a Backing Vocalist
“Beat Surrender” (w/The Jam November 1982)
“Speak Like A Child” (w/The Style Council March 1983)
“Boy Who Cried Wolf” (w/The Style Council 1985)

Published by PaulWellerFanPodcast

The World’s first Paul Weller Fan Podcast - For the fans by the fans. A musical journey from In The City to Fat Pop (Vol 1). A radio broadcaster who gave up his career with one big regret. Never getting to interview the legendary British musician Paul Weller. This podcast exists purely to solve that issue. Welcome to Desperately Seeking Paul...

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