Classically trained cellist who matriculated from the Royal Academy of Music in London and went on to help shape the soundscape of rock music in the ’70s and beyond.
A gifted arranger, Paul helped David Bowie chart in 1969 with “Space Oddity” and went on to collaborate with a multitude of artists, most notably Elton John , beginning with his eponymous sophomore effort of 1970: This included the hits “Take Me To The Pilot” and “Your Song”. Other hits Paul arranged in the ’70s included “Haven’t Got Time For The Pain” and “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon, and “Without You ” by Harry Nilsson. He is also credited with the inclusion of the gospel choir in The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.
In 1971, Paul embarked on a lucrative career as a film composer with Friends, to which Elton John also contributed songs: Those long classical interludes are courtesy of the pen of Buckmaster. Since then, he has also worked on films such as Mulan, The Spy Who Loved Me, and 12 Monkeys, and crossed over into television with Frank’s Place, Jake and the Fatman, and WKRP in Cincinnati. In 1972, he was nominated for a BAFTA award for Macbeth.
Other artists and groups with whom he worked include Marc Almond, The Bee Gees , Julian Cope, Deep Purple, Yvonne Elliman, Ben Folds, Debbie Gibson, Faith Hill, Kitaro, The London Symphony Orchestra , Mott the Hoople, Stevie Nicks, Ozzy Osbourne, Kenny Rogers, Carol Bayer Sager, Leo Sayer, 10,000 Maniacs, UFO, Warrant, and Dwight Yoakam. He also maintained a friendship and creative partnership with Miles Davis, whom he idolized as a kid, and they collaborated on the albums Big Fun and On the Corner.
In 2001, Paul was honoured with a Grammy for his arrangement of Train’s “Drops of Jupiter”.
He passed away in November 2017 when he was 71 years old.
Here is his “Dreamers Awake” from Twelve Monkeys…