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The Making Of LOTGA - Studio Timeline

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Here it is kids! Be advised no audio in this video for legal reasons, and it should generate a few questions.

 

 

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John,

 

did you attend the live shows during this time period? Do you have any recordings of shows from that era or know of any that may exist?

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Yes I was at a few. I seem to recall a Joan Osborne show at the Town Pump,  plus the original lineup at the Gastown Music Hall, (I think I did sound for that one). I was at the Underdogs debut at The Gate, etc. I would have needed to bring recording equipment, no cellphones back then, so sorry, no recordings,

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Thank you for putting this together so quickly.  

You're right, the video raised more questions than answers and I'm thrilled to get this kind of insight on the process leading up to LOTGA.  It's incredible you have your original notes and paperwork from that time too. Is this common for professions in your field to hold on to it for decades or was it for sentimental reasons?

Quote

Lost Album (EMI Publishing Deal)

The track list of what was recorded (A List, B List, To Be Completed) for LOTGA was a bit bittersweet as songs from the Lost Album were prepped for LOTGA but never made the cut (reference: timestamp 6:41/8:07).  So many questions about what could have been, where the songs ended up but mostly "what if" questions.   I imagine every MGB fan who watches this video will be equally surprised to learn of The Lost Album. Even after being a fan for 20+ years it's amazing that new details can still come to light.

From the 23 song titles listed (again at 6:41/8:07 of the video) there are some that made the final cut but weren't listed at all (to name a few: Alabama Motel Room, Symbolistic White Walls, Radio Bomb), can you comment on that?  Were some songs renamed or were there additional songs recorded beyond what is listed there?

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Utopia Parkway Studios closed it's doors in 2004 after 12 years in business. I had a tape and tracksheet vault in Studio B so it went home with me. You have to remember, it was 1995, and neither of us had internet. So we would talk on the phone, and notes would be made. Ideas would be floated. I was surprised to find the tracksheet for AMR because I assumed it went to Toronto, or L.A., but I must have dubbed the tapes and copied the tracksheet (just in case) and sent them. 

This is quite common. Pre the digital recording age, which started to become more predominant in the mid 1990's with the first ProTools DSP rigs, multi-track tapes would be copied from machine to machine, so in case the orginal master got degraded from use, they had the backup. In this case, using digital tape, it was just a matter of cloning from tape to tape.

So Alabama Motel Room was a watershed song, and the songs that were born after it sealed the deal. You can note the sessions were like chunks of time, in which we'd start all over again, literally from the ground up, drum beds, bass, overdubs, mixing. That's why you'll notice a difference in tonality and production. 

The LOTGA songs are from destinct time periods: (See Graphic) 

The songs from the previous band lineup (Lost Album) were eventually all on the B list.

The Making Of  LOTGA - 1995 Timeline In Focus.png

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Posted (edited)

Again, thanks a lot for doing this, John. Very interesting stuff.

I've got "a lot" of questions, but I think I'll just start at the beginning and ask some things related to the recording of the first album, Euphony.

-If you started recording in January of 1994 I'm assuming you met Matt for the first time in late 93 then. After your work with Sex with Nixon, did Dan just approach you on Matt's behalf and discuss the songs they were looking to record? Or how did that first introduction go? 

-With regards to the songs on that album, what was the recording process like? I'm assuming if you all recorded 6 songs in 4 sessions that pre-production for all of them must have been completed before entering the studio? 

-Euphony has always been one of my favorite tracks given that amazing bass line and how everything else (the lyrics, keyboard, drums, acoustic guitar) just formed around it to create this really timeless, haunting, and dark commentary. When it was recorded I'm assuming you were all pretty impressed with it or it wouldn't have been entered into the C-Fox Seeds contest. Was that the "demo derby" you reference at the 3:21 section of the video? If so, what exactly was "a demo derby"? Sounds interesting. Likewise, after winning it, did that mean Euphony was actually being played on Vancouver radio? 

-In fact, Push, Heather's Like a Sunday, and Dancing Invisible are also really great tracks, imo. Still listen to them to this day. Do you know if Matt wrote most of the material for that album himself or was it more of a band collaboration on that album? 

 

Edited by daniel_v
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Hey Daniel,

It's pretty much covered in the video. On my first meeting with Matt, I'm assuming it was with Danny, but I could be wrong, 25 years of doing records kinda makes it all fuzzy. However, shortly before that in my schedule, there was an entry in my schedule with Dan's name on it, so I can assume. SWN did some demos with me at Utopia in 1992 or 93, so they knew my place well.

Timestamp

Like I say, the band was well prepared, and things went down fast. 

I personally love what we did on that record, it was fully realized, niche though it was. CFOX ran the demo derby on Thursday nights I believe, it was a contest based on phone in responses I assume, we had that and mail then. The award is shown here:

Timestamp

Typically, Matt hated awards so he gave it me.

Here's the credits on the sleeve. Written and arranged. by MG

Credit for Euphony

Euphony Credits.png

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Hi John

Thank you so much for this! We MG nerds love that! 🙂

From what I understand from your video, the transition to the MGB with Ian and Geoff was actually more gradual that it seemed on the outside. I believe I saw that Ian was with the old lineup at some point until they left and Geoff joined. Is that right?

How involved was Dave in the making of the record? Given he joined as a permanent member afterwards, was he there a lot during the making of the record or did he join after?

How did the transition between the previous material and the new material happen? Was it just that Matt started writing in a different style or was it a conscious move? 

Why was LOTGA kept as a name for the record if the title track was scrapped? It's a good name but I remember how surprised and confused I was when the pre-LOTGA demos were leaked online and I learned that LOTGA was actually a song.

I'm confused about the "Lost Album". Who was the lineup record? Was there anything saved from those sessions? Did any of the songs recorded for that session make it onto LOTGA? If not were they on the History Teacher bootleg? What style were they in? The pre-LOTGA folky style or the LOTGA more rock style?

Were the songs from Raygun already floating around during the recording of LOTGA?

Sorry for the 100,000 questions 😉

Thanks!

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Hey Tips no sweat, happy to say my say!

The transition was not gradual at all. We had just finished mixing the Lost Album (actually I did most of it while the original lineup was on tour) then, boom, one phone call later, I was at Matt's apartment meeting Geoff Lloyd. I believe I didn't meet Ian that day but could be wrong. I believe Geoff relates this story in the memorial thread, about him being at Undertones and getting the call.

At any rate the only orginal member on the newer material at that point would be Judy.  

LOTGA proper started in March of 1995, with the Charlie Quintana session, at which Charlie laid the song Revenge down, then a tambourine track, then Ian stepped in a delivered Fearless and Vermillion. Dave was there throughout and we cut some organ tracks on Vermillion and Revenge, the follow sessions were to overdub Steve Black's Piano on Fearless, Judy's cello, and Ian did the background vocals.

Dave was a hired gun at first, but he was fully into it. and was really a big reason this album had legs, he added so much glue to the arrangements. Funny memory comes up. He'd always have to haul the organ rig from the Town Pump where it was stored and we'd hump it in. After hours of tooling re tooling the tracks we'd haul it all back into the van at 3am or some ungodly hour.  He'd always say "Don't dont call me to come back and fix anything!" 

So essentially, when it became Ian, Geoff and Dave, we quickly forgot about the previous Lost Album material. Everything you hear occurred after the Charlie session, and ultimately, Charlie's contributions were forgotten too as Revenge was not in the final lineup.

There we at the end three different sequences to what became LOTGA, at first it was something like 15 songs but it was eventually
culled down to the final order you hear. 

Raygun happened likely out of a need to expose MGB to the US market, but there's been plenty said about the Private deal already, I have nothing to add there. When you look at the albums that MGB did after, well, Dave and Matt were collaberating then. But on LOTGA, the only co-write is Alabama Motel Room (Good, Lloyd,Browne)

So still confusion about the band lineup?

Euphony had Danny and Joe 
15 hours and the Lost album had Ariel and Erin
LOTGA had Geoff and Ian
Judy was on all three

The was a marked difference in the material on Lost, way more folk, way more lyrics. More Talk Talk than Pixies, and LOTGA had a blend between the two.

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Well, since I'm going chronologically I’ll throw a few more out there next for 15 hours.

That is easily my favourite Pre-LOATGA album and has some of my favourite tracks from both MGB or MG’s catalogue in it (specifically Parable and Bluebird).

-As the title suggests it was recorded all in one day. What was behind the drive for this? Was it just to save money or did the band just feel they wanted to capture a live off the floor feel for the album?

-As I said, so many good songs: The Bomb Maker, The Ocean, LOTGA, Brand New Tune, Parable. But out of all of them- and even everything that has come after for Matt- Bluebird to this day remains one of my favourite songs of all time. The openess, the hopefulness, the energy, the progression, the lyrics, all the instrumentation done by every single band member and everything about the song is just so inspiring. My question about the song is whether or not that was one that everyone spent a long time on during pre-production to try and make sure it was as good as it could be or if it just came together quickly and naturally?

-U mentioned Euphony was straight up all written by Matt. I’ve heard that this one was more of a group effort. Could u expand upon what the writing process was like for this one? Again, obviously if it was recorded in 15 hours the songs had been worked out long in advance I would assume.

-Do you have any favorites from this album that specifically stood out to you after listening to it again after so long? 

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On 6/24/2020 at 2:59 PM, Shepp said:


Hey Tips no sweat, happy to say my say!

The transition was not gradual at all. We had just finished mixing the Lost Album (actually I did most of it while the original lineup was on tour) then, boom, one phone call later, I was at Matt's apartment meeting Geoff Lloyd. I believe I didn't meet Ian that day but could be wrong. I believe Geoff relates this story in the memorial thread, about him being at Undertones and getting the call.

At any rate the only orginal member on the newer material at that point would be Judy.  

LOTGA proper started in March of 1995, with the Charlie Quintana session, at which Charlie laid the song Revenge down, then a tambourine track, then Ian stepped in a delivered Fearless and Vermillion. Dave was there throughout and we cut some organ tracks on Vermillion and Revenge, the follow sessions were to overdub Steve Black's Piano on Fearless, Judy's cello, and Ian did the background vocals.

Dave was a hired gun at first, but he was fully into it. and was really a big reason this album had legs, he added so much glue to the arrangements. Funny memory comes up. He'd always have to haul the organ rig from the Town Pump where it was stored and we'd hump it in. After hours of tooling re tooling the tracks we'd haul it all back into the van at 3am or some ungodly hour.  He'd always say "Don't dont call me to come back and fix anything!" 

So essentially, when it became Ian, Geoff and Dave, we quickly forgot about the previous Lost Album material. Everything you hear occurred after the Charlie session, and ultimately, Charlie's contributions were forgotten too as Revenge was not in the final lineup.

There we at the end three different sequences to what became LOTGA, at first it was something like 15 songs but it was eventually
culled down to the final order you hear. 

Raygun happened likely out of a need to expose MGB to the US market, but there's been plenty said about the Private deal already, I have nothing to add there. When you look at the albums that MGB did after, well, Dave and Matt were collaberating then. But on LOTGA, the only co-write is Alabama Motel Room (Good, Lloyd,Browne)

So still confusion about the band lineup?

Euphony had Danny and Joe 
15 hours and the Lost album had Ariel and Erin
LOTGA had Geoff and Ian
Judy was on all three

The was a marked difference in the material on Lost, way more folk, way more lyrics. More Talk Talk than Pixies, and LOTGA had a blend between the two.

Thank you for the detailed reply! It's really appreciated!

In your video you mention "I Dream of Dolphins". I'm guessing that became The Sharks of Downtown?

Was a new version of Dancing Invisible ever recorded?

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13 hours ago, daniel_v said:

Well, since I'm going chronologically I’ll throw a few more out there next for 15 hours.

That is easily my favourite Pre-LOATGA album and has some of my favourite tracks from both MGB or MG’s catalogue in it (specifically Parable and Bluebird).

-As the title suggests it was recorded all in one day. What was behind the drive for this? Was it just to save money or did the band just feel they wanted to capture a live off the floor feel for the album?

-As I said, so many good songs: The Bomb Maker, The Ocean, LOTGA, Brand New Tune, Parable. But out of all of them- and even everything that has come after for Matt- Bluebird to this day remains one of my favourite songs of all time. The openess, the hopefulness, the energy, the progression, the lyrics, all the instrumentation done by every single band member and everything about the song is just so inspiring. My question about the song is whether or not that was one that everyone spent a long time on during pre-production to try and make sure it was as good as it could be or if it just came together quickly and naturally?

-U mentioned Euphony was straight up all written by Matt. I’ve heard that this one was more of a group effort. Could u expand upon what the writing process was like for this one? Again, obviously if it was recorded in 15 hours the songs had been worked out long in advance I would assume.

-Do you have any favorites from this album that specifically stood out to you after listening to it again after so long? 

Hi Daniel,

My memory is time period of time between Euphony and doing the 15 Hours session is vague. I don't see any rehearsal dates that I was present on, and likely not, because the band had already been in recording studios, and knew the process.

15 Hours was free recording time, won as the result of the CFOX contest. (I don't recall if I got paid much, doesn't matter in the long run anyway). Fact is, I was up for it, and to capture new material was the best use of the time. I don't recall getting stuck on the arrangement flaws, which were plenty, and rather just resolving to showcase the best parts in the mix, like when you're mixing a concert. The songs are quite epic lyrically and otherwise. When we finally did reconvene the following January, there was new group of songs that were better than those, but similar in approach. All the 15 Hours material got left behind in favor of what was new.  

Let me be clear, these were ALL group efforts, meaning every member wrote their own parts, and Matt would likely curate them, and lead the band like any band leader. He was clearly the driving force behind it all. That said, when it comes to songwriting credits, in the pure sense of copyright, lyrics and melody are all the matter. Music "arrangements" are generally collaborative in bands (sometimes this becomes and battle of wills, sometimes it's logical and easily obtained). The Producer's role is to keep the peace, but have final say.

I don't have any favorites, it was just really cool to hear them after all this time. Sounded better than I remember to be honest.

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2 hours ago, Tips said:

Thank you for the detailed reply! It's really appreciated!

In your video you mention "I Dream of Dolphins". I'm guessing that became The Sharks of Downtown?

Was a new version of Dancing Invisible ever recorded?

Hi Tips,

"I Dream of Dolphins All The Time" is a line from the song "I Dream of Dolphins" and reused in the song "Sharks Of Downtown"
Borrowing from other compositions (because the line is so good, why not use it again?) is also seen on the song "Healers and Saints"
recorded just after Dolphins. In that, the line "I'm tired of blood and overpriced bubblegum, Mom" ends the song. Six months later, it reappears, 
to open "Symbolistic White Walls" Great line to recycle, as Healers was never even mixed. It was just a takeaway tape for Matt to take home. 

No newer versions of Dancing Invisible were done, it was just a subject when we were doing Lost Album material about whether in an album release we would retool the drums and bass with the newer members. When you stop to think of how LOTGA is genuinely more like a Coppola film, drawn from everywhere, it's amazing at the end, the almost perfect sequence was found, and the right songs chosen. I credit that to Mike McCarty of EMI. The only regret was were Omissions was placed. I previous sequences Matt and I had done, it was dead center of the record, like an intermission with Omissions.

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23 hours ago, Shepp said:

Hi Tips,

"I Dream of Dolphins All The Time" is a line from the song "I Dream of Dolphins" and reused in the song "Sharks Of Downtown"
Borrowing from other compositions (because the line is so good, why not use it again?) is also seen on the song "Healers and Saints"
recorded just after Dolphins. In that, the line "I'm tired of blood and overpriced bubblegum, Mom" ends the song. Six months later, it reappears, 
to open "Symbolistic White Walls" Great line to recycle, as Healers was never even mixed. It was just a takeaway tape for Matt to take home. 

No newer versions of Dancing Invisible were done, it was just a subject when we were doing Lost Album material about whether in an album release we would retool the drums and bass with the newer members. When you stop to think of how LOTGA is genuinely more like a Coppola film, drawn from everywhere, it's amazing at the end, the almost perfect sequence was found, and the right songs chosen. I credit that to Mike McCarty of EMI. The only regret was were Omissions was placed. I previous sequences Matt and I had done, it was dead center of the record, like an intermission with Omissions.

Thanks again for the answer and the insight! It's not rare for Matt to reuse things he wrote and didn't use throughout his career indeed! He did it on Moving Walls recently.

Omissions definitely deserved to be more in the spotlight with the other songs rather than hidden in the end. Why was it decided to be put there? I see Haven't Slept in Years as the opening to the second half of the record but to me Omissions is definitely an album closer (maybe just because I'm used to it that way).

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2 hours ago, Tips said:

Omissions definitely deserved to be more in the spotlight with the other songs rather than hidden in the end.

You're right, in fact, it would have had sense to have it as track 11, just after the tail end of The War Is Over.
  
In 1995, hidden tracks were a niche thing, as most people would listen to the album or several in a CD changer system. The hidden track would appear only if the changer system didn't time out, otherwise, it would continue to the next programmed CD. Omissions did become popular though, I would hear about it all the time. Sad to see it didn't get included on the vinyl album as side four. But to cut a metal master for one song, or to thin out the grooves to include it on side three would have been a production decision of compromise.

I think we did three different sequences of LOTGA, I'll have to dig the masters up (pretty sure I still have them) and post the original orders (like in the video for the Lost Album), they evolved to shorter and shorter versions.

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22 hours ago, Shepp said:

You're right, in fact, it would have had sense to have it as track 11, just after the tail end of The War Is Over.
  
In 1995, hidden tracks were a niche thing, as most people would listen to the album or several in a CD changer system. The hidden track would appear only if the changer system didn't time out, otherwise, it would continue to the next programmed CD. Omissions did become popular though, I would hear about it all the time. Sad to see it didn't get included on the vinyl album as side four. But to cut a metal master for one song, or to thin out the grooves to include it on side three would have been a production decision of compromise.

I think we did three different sequences of LOTGA, I'll have to dig the masters up (pretty sure I still have them) and post the original orders (like in the video for the Lost Album), they evolved to shorter and shorter versions.

That would be great! Any information is gold to us MG nerds 😆

I didn't know it wasn't on the vinyl. That's such a shame! It's one of the best songs from that record.

I remember when people were talking about it online (because before the internet it was hard to say what that song was) and I do wonder if it became such a classic because it was hidden. We had to dig to find the title, make out the lyrics, talked about why it was hidden, how different it was from other songs on the record, how similar it was to the Lo-Fi B-Sides/Beautiful Midnight era and so on. And as you said it was a niche thing in the 90's and it kind of made fans feel like they knew a song that no one else did, much like people who knew Endless Nameless from Nevermind. Like Matt was interviewed in 1999 saying that he loved album tracks more than singles because it somehow makes you feel like you're the only one in the world who knows those songs. Maybe that helped it get the... well somewhat cult status it had before it was readily available everywhere.

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I think once people discovered how good the lyrics were in Omissions, they latched on to it. It is superior writing. Ian Tyson wrote Four Strongs winds at 24, Matt wrote Omissons at 24. 

Ok, there were at least two different sequences to LOTGA, neither included Revenge, which was the Charlie session I mentioned above.
The third version is the one you all know with Omissions at the end as a hidden track, but here's order number 2, which includes all the songs we recorded during that period after Revenge was done. You'll notice some interesting similarities.

1. Alabama Motel Room

2. Symbolistic White Walls

3. She's Got A New Disguise

4. Native Son (except the organ doesn't fade at the end, it continues and resolves from a sus4 to major, very churchy, a definite attempt at humor by Dave as I always noticed how he avoided 3rds constantly to make the chords float unresolved)

5. Vermillion

6. Fearless

7. Omissions Of The Omen

8. Haven't Slept In Years

9. Radio Bomb

10. Not What You Wanted

11. Leaving On A Hijacked Jet Plane

12. If The Desert Was The Ocean

13. Endless Slow Poison

14. The War Is Over

15. Every Name Is My Name

Total running time 1:08:38

Since the limit for CD format was 74 minutes, we could have had Every Name Is My Name as a hidden track in this sequence.
  

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The first run of CD's had the well known misprint of the word Ghetto as Ghello, but did you know it also had Matt's birthday, MGB290671?

That's today, so happy 49th birthday Matt!

mgb ghello.jpg

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Happy Birthday Matt!!! 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/26/2020 at 8:26 AM, Shepp said:

When we finally did reconvene the following January, there was new group of songs that were better than those, but similar in approach.

Alright, finally have some more time off so I’ll move onto The Lost Album.

With regards to it, it’s interesting to read how you describe it. On one hand you note that you felt the songs from the Lost Album were better than those from 15 Hours and yet “still in the progressive folk-rock domain, long etudes, poetic and Dylanesque, but more radio friendly”. But, you also note that it was “way more folk, way more lyrics. More Talk Talk than Pixies…”.

That sounds really interesting: Talk Talk meets Dylan in a radio friendly way? Would that be an accurate summary? 

Another thing that strikes me is all the different songs there were and especially the names: Where Ever We May Go; 12 second Tour; Ceiling Song; Awkward; Black Penny; The Navigator; The Boy Who Cried Wolf; I Dream of Dolphins; Sky Pilot; Never Let Me Down; Healers and Saints; A Mile Out of Paris. 

So 12 all together (but not all recorded, such as The Boy Who Cried Wolf)? 

While sometimes names can sound completely different from what the sonic instrumentals are for an actual song, sometimes they sound exactly like what one would expect (The Fall of Man for example). As such, a lot of these names got me thinking about what they all sounded like. For example, I noticed there was a song named Sky Pilot that you were all working on during February 9th of 1995. Being a nerd and thinking of the title I’m imagining something between Blue Bird and Generation X-Wing, though given your description of the album I’m probably off on that.  Was it ever finished? 


-Where Ever We May Go was not only the opening track for the Lost Album, but it was also included in the A list (along with Awkward). Does that mean you and the band were possibly thinking about redoing those two tracks and including them on LOTGA? Likewise were they more in the vein of LOTGA too? When I hear a name like WEWMG I, rightly or wrongly, kind of think of a ballad (similar to Fearless or Apparitions). 

- I noticed the section in there where you noted there being a "tug of war" with each new submission of songs on the Lost Album. Is that to suggest there was a lot discussion and debate about how the songs would ultimately be finalized?

Again, as usual you don’t have to answer all these questions, but I just thought I’d throw them out there because they are what came to mind when first watching this video.

Thanks again, John! 

Edited by daniel_v

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Daniel, here's the sequence I came up with for the "Lost Album"

1.Black Penny
2.Awkward
3.The Navigator
4.Ceiling Song
5.Wherever We May Go
6.Twelve Second Tour
7.Never Let Me Down Again
8.Healers And Saints

Songs never completed or just demoed and we didn't come back to:

-The Boy Who Cried Wolf (not recorded)
-A Mile Out Of Paris (single mic recording to document, never produced)
-I Dream Of Dolphins (produced, stripped down, vocals, guitar, piano and bass, abandoned)
-Sky Pilot (perhaps a title, but never recorded)

The general impression of the eight competed songs is like 15 hours, but fully realized and edited. Out of the eight, all are strong compositions, the first two lyrically dark subjects of disharmony, bias, racial injustice, social reform, etc. The Navigator also has a heavy feel to it, a bad relationship song. Then Ceiling song, light and airy, about a bored kid staring at the cieling making up imaginary subjects. 12 Second tour is most Dylanesque tale of what battles of the mind occur to one standing on top of a 40 foot building thinking of jumping (very progressive beats by the rhythm section, lots of trademark vocal heights)

Wherever We May Go (Big ballad, like Apparitions, big strings and piano)

Never Let Me Down Again - A playful cover of the Depeche Mode song. Matt kicked this vocal out of the park.

Healers and Saints, folky guitar and voice, ends with the opening line from Symbolistic White Walls. 

The sad part perhaps is it sits in the vault, but ultimately, when March of 1995 came along, the band was done, and a whole new scene will new songs emerged, and as they say, the rest is history and counterpoint. You don't know until you know, and when EMI wanted to release, well you just go along and do your best. There was something about the momentum of the first session with ace drummer Charlie Quintana, and songs themselves were more mature and honed than before (most of them). The "Tug Of War" was over, especially near the end when the big guns came out. We never looked back.
 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Shepp said:

Daniel, here's the sequence I came up with for the "Lost Album"

1.Black Penny
2.Awkward
3.The Navigator
4.Ceiling Song
5.Wherever We May Go
6.Twelve Second Tour
7.Never Let Me Down Again
8.Healers And Saints

Songs never completed or just demoed and we didn't come back to:

-The Boy Who Cried Wolf (not recorded)
-A Mile Out Of Paris (single mic recording to document, never produced)
-I Dream Of Dolphins (produced, stripped down, vocals, guitar, piano and bass, abandoned)
-Sky Pilot (perhaps a title, but never recorded)

The general impression of the eight competed songs is like 15 hours, but fully realized and edited. Out of the eight, all are strong compositions, the first two lyrically dark subjects of disharmony, bias, racial injustice, social reform, etc. The Navigator also has a heavy feel to it, a bad relationship song. Then Ceiling song, light and airy, about a bored kid staring at the cieling making up imaginary subjects. 12 Second tour is most Dylanesque tale of what battles of the mind occur to one standing on top of a 40 foot building thinking of jumping (very progressive beats by the rhythm section, lots of trademark vocal heights)

Wherever We May Go (Big ballad, like Apparitions, big strings and piano)

Never Let Me Down Again - A playful cover of the Depeche Mode song. Matt kicked this vocal out of the park.

Healers and Saints, folky guitar and voice, ends with the opening line from Symbolistic White Walls. 

The sad part perhaps is it sits in the vault, but ultimately, when March of 1995 came along, the band was done, and a whole new scene will new songs emerged, and as they say, the rest is history and counterpoint. You don't know until you know, and when EMI wanted to release, well you just go along and do your best. There was something about the momentum of the first session with ace drummer Charlie Quintana, and songs themselves were more mature and honed than before (most of them). The "Tug Of War" was over, especially near the end when the big guns came out. We never looked back.
 

Fascinating 🙂 All of it. Absolutely fascinating.  I was thinking of asking you for a break down of each song but thought that might be a little too much to ask about, lol. You not only describing each song, but also giving a description of all the different subjects addressed (on top of what the feel of each song was like) is greatly appreciated. I mean that.

I agree it's definitely too bad it's stuck in a vault, but even getting to hear about the songs individually is truly satisfying simply from a point of curiosity. To know that those political subjects (
disharmony, bias, racial injustice, social reform) have always been an interest of Matt's is pretty cool and it's also interesting to note that the other subjects covered (mental health in 12 second tour; the denigration that comes with unhealthy relationships in The Navigator;  boredom and imagination in Ceiling Song; etc) are ones that Matt has always had an interest in too. Likewise, the tone and feel of the instrumentals seems like it runs the gamut as is the case in most of Matt's albums which is something that I have always appreciated. You get light songs, dark songs, ballads, heavy rockers, acoustics, etc. Was also cool to see that Matt and the band covered another Depeche Mode song. I hadn't heard of that one before so I had to go look it up. Given how well Matt, Ian, Dave, Geoff did with Enjoy the Silence, I can only imagine that he and the talent of Judy, Steve, Ariel, and Eran must have knocked that one out of the park. 

Anyways, thanks again! 

Edited by daniel_v

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Hi John -  did you ever years later get a chance to run into the members of any of the lineups for LOTGA or its previous versions and reflect on those times and what they thought of things?

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Hi Steve,
Yes I've stayed in touch with all the previous band members, as well as Dave and Ian. Stay tuned, there's an interview video that Ian and I participated in with Daniel that should answer a few more questions and reflects upon our work all those years ago.
 

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Hi John

Does there exist any masters of Euphony or 15 Hours still? All the copies out there are from a shitty cassette. 

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