Over the course of preparing for the release of the Retrospeculative I was reminded of a number of events I’d completely forgotten, particularly gigs, which suggests there may well be other performances missing from the the Annals.
With Ben about to jump ship and the end of the band in sight we decided to record our tunes live in the studio. Not a music studio of course but the drama annex at Collyer’s College Horsham.
We played along to drum machine and second guitar parts pre-recorded to DAT onto our usual four track cassette machine. A little vocal reverb was added in the mix but nothing was replaced or overdubbed.
Twenty nine songs in one session was a gnats optimistic and we flag in places but it may be of interest as some of these songs were markedly different in their live versions and a few had benefited from a couple of years of gigging.
The tracks for the Restrospeculative were selected by a long, drawn out and overly complicated system of voting where songs were rated as in, out, or maybe by the core four of the band and Uwe from Firestation Records plus a few other folks whose opinions were combined into a single vote for comparison.
A wild card system saw Happily Mad make the cut despite a split vote and although it wasn’t popular with the record label Mother Knows How, being Jim’s choice, stayed in the game.
Similarly Jim wanted to leave off The Greatest Gift as he felt it wasn’t his best performance but as a Firestation favourite it was selected. Indeed at one point it was due to be the first track but given it’s history as invariably the second song in any live set that’s where it ended up on the CD.
Ben made the case for a much shorter compilation to maintain the quality but we’d probably still be arguing over what to include if that route had been pursued.