"The Living Years" is a popular song written by Mike Rutherford and B. A. Robertson.
It was first released as a single by Mike + The Mechanics, becoming a top ten chart hit around the world. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA on 25 March 1989. It also spent four weeks at the top of the U.S. adult contemporary chart. It reached #1 in Canada and Australia and #2 in the UK.
The Mike + The Mechanics version was initially promoted to give the impression the lyrics described the disagreements between Rutherford and his father. In an interview with Mike + The Mechanics - (The Sun Online) 2004, Mike Rutherford said:
“The lyrics were written by BA and the song is about something he went through. He lost his Dad and it's about the lack of communication between him and his father before he died. There's also the irony of him having a baby just after losing his father. .”
Mike + The Mechanics band member Paul Carrack who performed the original lead vocal has made a number of solo interpretations. Carrack's father died in an industrial accident when he was eleven. It is still a mainstay of Carrack’s live performances today.
B.A. Robertson finally recorded his own version of the song - in Abbey Road Studios - in 2009, featuring backing vocals from The Gospel Truth Choir.
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