He may have entered most people’s life as a co-writer and singer of “In The Mystery” on Allan Holdsworth’s seminal “Metal Fatigue” but Paul Korda – who died on March 11th at the age of 72 – had become part of British music scene much, much earlier. Introspective singer-songwriter like his friend Cat Stevens, Korda scored his first hit in 1967 with “The Time Has Come” – penned for P.P. Arnold – even though Paul’s own debut “Go On Home” didn’t enter the charts. Branching out into production and taking care of the young Jon Anderson, he used THE SMALL FACES as his backing band but, after a stint as a member of the “Hair” musical cast and Elkie Brooks’ vocal partner on DADA’s sole LP, Korda started his own career in earnest.
Paul’s “Passing Stranger” album from 1971 is a cult classic now, a pinnacle of his romanticism, but it was protest songs – such as ecologically-minded “Seagull” and “Give Us Right To Live” which drew attention to pensioners’ issues – that Korda initially focused on. Not that it made him a star, so Paul continued writing for others, submitting several successful songs for Roger Daltrey, before cameoing in “This Is Spinal Tap” (his love for cinema also led to Paul’s appearance in a couple of “Pirates Of The Caribbean” films and other movies) and singing with Holdsworth whose guitar is heard on “Living In The Sky” – a song for which Korda received a prize at Japan Expo in the ’80s.
When his career stalled, what with a record that flopped when the label went bankrupt and another not released at all, Paul began teaching music for children – in the U.S., where he’d moved – yet carried on laying down new songs nevertheless until his return to England a few years ago. Ill but ever-defiant, he suffered for a few years, so may he finally rest in peace now.