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New Seekers: Paul Layton

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Paul Layton joined the New Seekers at the same time as Lyn Paul and Peter Doyle, completing the line-up that would take the New Seekers to international success. Although he did not seek the spotlight and rarely sang lead vocal, Paul's enthusiasm for performing has made him the longest-surviving member of the group.

Biography
Discography
Further Reading


WEB LINKS

Paul Layton

IMDb:
Paul Layton


Cressida

Alex Gitlin's
Music Site:
Cressida


Asylum (album cover).

Cressida
Asylum
(album cover)


WEB LINKS

New Seekers

New Seekers
Facebook
Group


ARTIST direct:
New Seekers


IMDb:
New Seekers


MySpace:
New Seekers



New Colours (LP cover).

New Seekers
New Colours
(LP cover)



Live at the Royal Albert Hall (LP cover).

New Seekers
Live at the
Royal Albert Hall

(LP cover)



The New Seekers at the Royal Albert Hall (video cover).

The New Seekers
at the
Royal Albert Hall

(Castle Hendring)
video features
Paul Layton
playing his
Napoleon character.



Goodbye Is Just Another Word (single cover).

New Seekers
Goodbye Is Just
Another Word

(Yugoslavian
single cover)



Peter, Paul & Marty (album cover).

Peter,
Paul & Marty

Peter,
Paul & Marty.

(album cover)



Together (cassette cover).

New Seekers
Together
(cassette cover)



It's So Nice (single cover).

New Seekers
It's So Nice
(To Have You Home)

(Portuguese
single cover)



I Wanna Go Back (single cover).

New Seekers
I Wanna Go Back
(single cover)



Anthem (single cover).

New Seekers
Anthem
(One Day In Every Week)

(single cover)



Love Is A Song (single cover).

New Seekers
Love Is A Song
(single cover)



Let the Bells Ring Out (single cover).

New Seekers
Let the Bells
Ring Out Forever

(single cover)



Anthems (cassette cover).

New Seekers
Anthems:
Their Very Best

(Hallmark
Cassette 300684)



15 Grandes Exitos (CD cover).

New Seekers
15 Grandes Exitos

Biography


Paul Layton was born in Beaconsfield, England on 4th August 1947. He started out in showbiz as a child actor, appearing on TV in Dixon Of Dock Green (playing "Martin" in an episode from 1962 titled A Home Of One's Own), Danger Man (playing a Bellboy in the episode You Are Not In Any Trouble, Are You?) and Emergency Ward 10. Paul also appeared in the films I Could Go On Singing (1963) and Becket (1964).

As a teenager Paul learned to play the guitar and started song writing. He had a brief stab at a solo recording career but met with little success and turned instead to record production. His only solo single, Mister, Mister, was released in 1969: It was well received by the critics, one of whom wrote:

"Highly touted and advertised talent who certainly has a nice sense of style and performance. A light-toned voice but with plenty of attack, and a wide range. Song is extremely catchy." ****

The single was produced by Ossie Byrne, who had produced the Bee Gees' début album in 1967, Bee Gees 1st (Polydor 583-012) and the two hit singles taken from it, New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Polydor 56 161) and To Love Somebody (Polydor 56 178). Ossie and Paul remained friends throughout Ossie's life. When Ossie died from cancer in 1984 Paul inherited his estate, including his London recording studio.


Mister Mister (single cover).

Paul Layton
Mister Mister (picture sleeve).

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In 1970 Paul was approached by the New Seekers' management. He auditioned for the group playing acoustic guitar, only to find himself offered a place as the New Seekers' bass player. After some hasty practise on a bass guitar and several blistered fingers later, Paul joined the group. With the exception of the two years (1974-76) when the group members all went their separate ways, Paul has been with the New Seekers ever since.

In 1971, whilst he was with the New Seekers, Paul recorded an album with the British art rock group Cressida. Titled Asylum, the album was produced by Ossie Byrne and featured the musical talents of Iain Clark (drums), Angus Cullen (acoutstic guitar, vocals), John Culley (lead guitar), Peter Jennings (keyboards), Kevin McCarthy (bass) and Harold McNair (flute). The band, which took its name from the Shakespeare play Troilus And Cressida, was influenced by King Crimson and the Moody Blues. A début album, Cressida, had failed to make the chart when it was released in 1969. Asylum met a similar fate, selling only 800 copies. The band was dropped by its record label, Vertigo, shortly afterwards. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the album has since become a much sought-after collector's item, fetching sums of up to £225.


Paul Layton.

Paul Layton
(New Seekers' fan club photo).

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Paul wrote songs for five of the New Seekers' albums. His first contribution, Sweet Louise, appeared on their album New Colours and featured Peter Doyle on lead vocal. His second, Idaho, was featured on the album Circles. Co-written with Marty Kristian, this is one of only three tracks on which Paul himself takes the lead vocal.

In 1973 an album was released which was designed to promote the talents of the three guys in the group, titled (appropriately enough) Peter, Paul & Marty. Paul contributed three songs to the album and sang the lead on two of them - Me And My Guitar (co-written with Mick Flinn), Ride A Horse (a whimsical ditty) and Fight Another Day (a heavy rock number with Peter Oliver on lead vocal).

In 1974, when the New Seekers split up, Paul and Marty Kristian adapted the Peter, Paul & Marty formula, swapping Peter Oliver for Danny Finn to form a new trio - Marty, Paul and Danny. MPD were similar in sound and style to New World, a trio that had been successful in the early '70s with songs such as Rose Garden, Tom Tom Turnaround and Sister Jane. Legal wrangles delayed Marty, Paul and Danny's first single, Coming Alive Again. Scheduled for release on 8th November 1974, the single didn't actually make it into record shops until 21st March 1975. Despite much media attention and radio airplay the single failed to make the charts. The same fate awaited the follow up, Take Me Back, which was released on 12th September 1975 (and which featured one of Paul's songs, Dinkey, on the B-side). Both singles matched catchy tunes with harmony vocals, a formula which had worked for the New Seekers and for New World but which failed to work again for Marty, Paul and Danny. Their third and final single for RCA marked a change in direction. Sweet Melinda, released on 14th November 1975, was a real rocker but, it too, failed to find it's way into the charts.


Marty, Paul and Danny.

Pictured left to right are:
Danny Finn, Marty Kristian and Paul Layton as
Marty, Paul and Danny.

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Although the Top 40 had eluded them, Marty, Paul and Danny retained a loyal following of New Seekers' fans, many of whom continued to clamour for the group to re-form. In 1976 that pressure proved irresistible. Eve Graham returned to the fold and Kathy Ann Rae replaced Lyn Paul. Kathy had recorded backing vocals for Marty, Paul and Danny and can be heard singing on Holiday, the B-side of their last single.

The revised line-up of the New Seekers released two albums, Together Again and Anthem. The group had three hit singles - It's So Nice, I Wanna Go Back and Anthem (One Day In Every Week). Paul co-wrote the B-sides of all three and also contributed to some of the songs on the two albums. Although the New Seekers did not have any hits after this they remained a popular cabaret and club act. During the 1980s, as the group members settled down and had families, the New Seekers' live appearances became fewer and further between. As Paul put it in an interview for The Guardian newspaper: "We emerged very gently and were let down very gently. There was no disappointment to deal with ... the pop-star life just isn't an attractive proposition any more." (The Guardian, 8th January 2000). The group went through a number of line-ups but Paul remained a constant. Even when Marty Kristian stopped performing with the New Seekers, Paul kept the group going. In 2005 it was announced that the New Seekers would tour the UK the following year, with Paul as the only remaining member of the hit-making 1970s line-up.


New Seekers (2006 tour flyer).

Paul Layton pictured with the other members of the New Seekers
on the flyer promoting the group's 2006 tour of the UK.

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Paul married his wife Trish on 14th June 1981. Marty Kristian was Paul's Best Man, just as Paul had been Best Man for Marty at his wedding. Paul and Trish have a daughter, Lucy, who was born on 3rd September 1982 and a son, Jack, who was born in 1989.

Lucy has followed her father into the world of showbiz, trying her luck as a singer, model and actress. Musically she had some success in Japan as a member of a girl group called Heaven Sent. On television she was featured in the government's fireworks safety campaign and also appeared in Channel 5's football soap The Dream Team. Her biggest claim to fame was winning the Miss Net World competition in Libya in 2002. To find out more about Lucy, search out the following newspaper articles:

Briton wins Libya beauty pageant
by Tania Branigan
The Guardian, 4th November 2002, page 9.

Beauty is in the eye of the dictator
by Cosmo Landesman
Sunday Times, 10th November 2002, page 5.


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Discography



Paul Layton

Single

Mister Mister / Sing, Sadman, Sing
(UK: Paradox PAR 45-901 / Germany: Metronome Elektra J270 10) 1969

Paul's only solo single was reviewed in Sweet Floral Albion, Issue 30, where it described as "his best-ever recording". The B-side, written by Paul, receives particular praise, "Sing, Sadman, Sing is a little masterpiece. A brisk orchestrated syke popper ... beautified by yer typical fey and crisply-enunciated psych-style vocals ..."

Compilation Albums

Fading Yellow, Volume 9: The Other Side Of Life
(Flower Machine Records FMRCD 1009) 2007

Tracks: Pop Workshop, Fairyland | The Marianne, As For Marionettes | Susie Klee, Punch And Judy Girl | Brendan Phillips, Is It Worth A Try? | Pussyfoot, Hasty Words | Hogarth, Suzie's Gettin' Married | Tony Ritchie, Rain On My Window | Jumbo, Promises | John Pantry, Wash Myself Away | Paul Vigrass, Stop! | Dave Christie, Penepole Breedlove | Christian, Other Side Of Life | Christian, She | Tapestry, Like The Sun | Andy Forray, Sarah Jane | Rodney Bewes, Dear Mother Love Albert | Gary Hamilton, Let The Music Play | Mike Leslie, Office Girl | Micky Jones and Tommy Brown, If I Could Be Sure | Jon, Polly Sunday | Timon, And Now She Says She Is Young | Wishful Thinking, Clear White Light | Brendan Phillips, When She's Kissing Me | Bill Fay, [Unrelesed Acetate] | Paul Layton, Sing Sadman Sing

Piccadilly Sunshine • Part 8
British Pop Psych And Other Flavours 1966-1971

Various Artists
(PARTCD4012) 5th November 2012

Part 8 of this twelve-part series included Paul Layton's Sing, Sadman, Sing.

Tracks: Cardboard Orchestra, Zebedy Zak | Cats Eyes, Circus | The Nerve, Piece By Piece | The Unit, Would You Believe What I Say / Rifkin, We're Not Those People Anymore | Mud, The Latter Days | Peter Sully & The Orchard, Evil Woman | The Factotums, Driftwood | Granny's Intentions, Hilda The Bilda | House Of Lords, Ain't Gonna Wait Forever | Confucius, The Message | Cats Eyes, The Loser | Juice, Not Enough Words | Paul Layton, Sing, Sadman, Sing | Mud, Up The Airy Mountain | Persimmon's Peculiar Shades, Coplington | Merseys, Love Will Continue | Situation, Situation Now | The Truth, Fly Away Bird | Persimmon's Peculiar Shades, Watchmaker


Cressida

Album

Asylum
LP (Vertigo 6360 025) 1971
CD (Repertoire RR 4105-WP) 6th April 2001
CD (Akarma Records AK 229) 2003
Also released as a 2-CD with Cressida (Gott Discs GOTTCD 002)

Described by Barry Winton as "the super-rare, second and much cherished final LP from Cressida" (Record Collector, Issue 314, September 2005), Asylum, in its original vinyl format, has become a highly-prized (and highly-priced) collector's item.

Tracks: Asylum | Munich (Munich 1938: Appeasement Was the Cry; Munich 1970: Mine To Do or Die) | Goodbye Post Office Tower Goodbye | Survivor | Reprieved | Lisa | Summer Weekend of a Lifetime | Let Them Come When They Will


Marty Paul and Danny

Singles

RCA single sleeve.Coming Alive Again / Water Lady
(RCA 2486) 21st March 1975

Take Me Back / Dinkey
(RCA 2607) 12th September 1975

Sweet Melinda / Holiday
(RCA 2630) 14th November 1975


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Further Reading


From the Music Capitals of the World
Billboard, Vol. 80, No. 44, 2nd Nov 1968, page 68

Billboard reported the news that Elektra was setting up a new subsidiary label. "The first single on Paradox features Mr. Mr., by Paul Layton, produced in this country by Ossie Byrne."

International Turntable
Billboard, Vol. 87, No. 37, 13th September 1975, page 62

Billboard reported the news that Gerald W. Purcell had opened a UK office of Purcell Associates. "Purcell now represents Marty, Paul and Danny, who recently signed with RCA; Donna Jones and Mick Flynn [sic], both formerly with Springfield Revival; and Pussyfoot."


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Sound and Vision

Singles
Albums
Compilation Albums
Song By Song

Collectors' Items
Fan Clubs
Television
Top Of The Pops
Videos / DVDs


Biographies

Vivien Banks
Chris Barrington
Peter Doyle
Brian Engel
Danny Finn
Mick Flinn
Eve Graham
Sally Graham
Mark Hankins
Laurie Heath

Vikki James
Donna Jones
Nicola Kerr
Marty Kristian
Paul Layton
Peter Oliver
Keith Potger
Kathy Ann Rae
Francine Rees
Caitriona Walsh



Autograph.


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001116
Last amended:
141231

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