Desert Island Singles: “Taken In” by Mike and The Mechanics (1985)

Image from wikipedia

Mike and The Mechanics are an all-star band brought together in the mid-80s as a side project by Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford. In its heyday the band featured lead vocalists Paul Young and Paul Carrack in the same lineup, two of the best “journeyman” vocalists since Tony Burrows and Ron Dante.

“Taken In” was the third chart single from Mike and The Mechanics’ excellent, eponymous first album. Carrack took the lead vocal on “Silent Running,” and Young on this one and “All I Need Is A Miracle.”

Young nails this, one of the all-time greatest “relationships suck” songs. A more powerful voice like Carrack’s would have missed the point entirely. Young hits the right tone of quiet dignity in the wake of realizing he’d been betrayed:

Taken in, taken in again
Wrapped around the finger of some fair-weather friend
Caught up in the promises, left out in the end

No pride, taken for a ride
You say I’m the only one when I look in your eyes
I want to believe you, but you know how to lie

Taken in, taken in again
Someone saw me coming, a fool without a friend
There’s one born every minute, and you’re looking at him

The album notes credit saxophone players Ray Beavis and John Earle. I’m not sure which one takes the solo on this song, but his interplay with keyboardist Adrian Lee is masterful.

Look for former standup comic and, later, TV cop Richard Belzer in the video.

3 Comments on “Desert Island Singles: “Taken In” by Mike and The Mechanics (1985)”

  1. Nice choice, Scott! Two thoughts…
    1) Having made the Burrows/Carrack comparison many times myself, only to receive blank stares, your reference brought me validation and joy.
    2) I agree that Paul Young is better suited for this particular song. Carrack’s very subdued (but potent) vocal on “How Long?” makes me think he could have made it work if he’d been the only Mechanic vocalist…

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