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Paul Collins (born 1954, New York) is an American singer, guitarist, percussionist and music producer.
Paul Collins began his career as a percussionist – and sometimes singer and lyricist – in The Nerves, a power pop trio from Los Angeles, alongside Jack Lee and the future leader of The Plimsouls, Peter Case. The band is best remembered for “Hanging on the Telephone,” a song later released to fame by Blondie. After the disappearance of The Nerves, Paul Collins formed his own group as a singer, rhythm guitarist and lyricist, The Beat, sometimes called The Paul Collins Beat to avoid confusion with the British ska group also known as The Beat (or The English Beat in the U.S). His self-titled debut in 1979 is considered a classic of the genre, receiving very positive reviews. Unfortunately, the massive success of “Get The Knack” may have overshadowed the album, which did not generate much sales.
Renowned to The Paul Collin’s Beat in the early 1980s, the band was already playing indie rock songs before Pixies, The Stone Roses or even Morrissey and The Smiths. Paul Collin’s Beat was in a constant state of tours and recordings around the world. They appeared in Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and contributed a song to the soundtrack of the movie Caddyshack, along with Journey, Bill Murray and Kenny Loggins. The band split up in 1989, following the release of their sixth album, One Night. Paul Collins continues to perform until 2008 with a new version of Paul Collin’s Beat, as well as his solo project, a country-rock band called Paul Collins Band.
Since the early 1980s, Collins has been making a living in Spain, where he has a particularly popular following, and spends most of his time in performances in Europe and Japan, although he still maintains his American citizenship. In fact, his first two wives are Spanish.
During this time, he has produced numerous Spanish pop bands, such as La Granja, Los Limones and Los Protones. His relationship with this last group has proven to be very fruitful, as two members of The Protons are now part of the new Paul Collins Beat.
Collins also produced a record company in the mid-1990s, Wagon Wheel Records, which specialized in power pop and alternative country music (alt-country).
In 2007, he released his first solo album of the decade, Flying High. The music, which received good reviews, is reminiscent of The Beat’s catchy power pop, particularly in the song that opens the album, “Rock and Roll Shoes.” In addition, “Flying High” shows styles such as alternative country, roots rock and Americana, with the singles “Will You Be A Woman” and “Afton Place”, which featured their respective music videos.
During the month of March 2008, Paul Collins released Ribbon Of Gold as the continuation of the critically acclaimed Flying High. This album contains several songs that the band plays live at concerts, including “Falling in Love With Her”, “I Still Want You”, “Big Pop Song” and “She Does not Want to Hang Around with You”.
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