Well, many of you are sitting around your domicile wishing you had something to do and voila! – the call is answered. We (the royal we) are re-releasing my first-ever release, from 1983, remixed, remastered, re-whatever, with twenty-one period-appropriate bonus tracks. There is enough fun and variety on this release to spice up any self-isolation-house-quarantine! You can dance! You can sing along!
The folks who make our discs in LA are closed for who knows how long, so we are releasing this initially as download and CDr preorder. If you are like me and want a beautifully packaged disc, order now and we’ll get you the download and will send the gorgeous 2-disc set as soon as it comes in. Twice as much fun. If you say downloaded ones and zeros are all I need to float my boat, well, you are all set.
So, here’s the scoop. The lowdown.
Fall 1983. That’s when Truth or Consequences originally came out. Truth (GM002), along with the same-day-released compilation, Local Product (GM001), was my first music available to the public in record stores. Not my first recorded music – The Adults/Colorplates - Agony & Ecstasy (GM1017) predates this, but was not unleashed until thirty years after the fact. The music on Truth followed in the ashes of that band; this was truly my entrance into the recording life. The first two songs on the album were recorded in 1982 at a real 16-track studio, Triangle Studios, with The Enemy’s Peter Barnes on drums, The Cheaters’ Al Bloch on bass and The Pin’s Pat Hewitt engineering. It was exhilarating.
From there I bought a 4-track Teac 2340 reel-to-reel and the results are pretty much what you will hear on this expanded ToC, all recorded from ’82 thru early ’85. Three songs, “Get Modern,” “Sheila” (basically demos for my second and pretty much overlapping band, The Icons) plus “A Pearl” were done on the 8-track Tascam 38 reel-to reel that replaced the Teac.
The original ToC had eleven songs, Side A the darker rocking songs – with real drums, Side B the more whimsical pop side with programed fake drums - the eternal Dyer dark-shit/weirdo-pop song dichotomy set in motion. The two sides of the cassette are presented in their original order as the first songs on each of the two discs (if you have the download “On TV” starts Disc B). The Dichotomy is mostly observed for the remainder of each side.
I’ve thought about re-releasing Truth for some time. A few of these tunes popped up on my Songs From Academia Part 1 & 2 as well as the It Crawled from The Basement comp in 2009. Most have not been heard beyond friends and the few bold people that bought this stuff at Cellophane Square in the U-District (Seattle) or through the mail back in the day. This is not simply the original eleven songs – there are an additional 21 songs. A few were tracks with vocals released on the largely instrumental I Lived Three Lives (GM005) (most of the instrumentals appeared on Academia Vol. 2), a couple appeared on Local Product. The rest are period recordings that for better or worse make their first appearance here.
I am not a purist in my approach to presenting these songs, in mastering (and in several cases, baking old tapes and remixing) I just tried to make them sound good using the tools I have today. I didn’t re-record anything – the performance remains stock!
In the process, I discovered a song “Sports Action,” that I never had even finished. I am guessing that it got left behind in the transition from 4-track to 8-track. Only problem, it was lacking a chorus vocal. Oops. Then came the proverbial miracle of Saint Les Paul, the inventor of multitrack recording. While going thru tapes looking for something else, I found an isolated chorus vocal for the song and was able to fly it right into Pro Tools and finish it up 35 years later. Snappy!
I will say, having dug through the past and reshuffled it the last few weeks, I’m pretty happy with the result. These tracks certainly don’t sound like fancy modern recordings, but I think they capture the essence of where I was at in 1983 in a pretty pure manner. I hope you enjoy them.
I am not going to be playing these songs in public or on one of those internet shows that are everywhere since Covid-19 came to town, though shockingly, I can still play most of them after not having done so for thirty-seven years. Okay, I might hum a few bars of F.O.A.D. if you send me a Zoom meeting. Howie and I are going to try and knock out a video or two in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned for that.