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The Butcher Says...A Sri Lankan gentleman once sat down beside me in a bar in Bremen, asked me to sign his copy of this record, and then, even as I wrote messages of good luck and global harmony, announced sternly "This is a very...bad record." He was a berk, but he had a point. Alan McGee and a number of people in France, America and The Music Business have called this one a "classic album". People do, of course, say much the same about "Dark Side Of The Moon". Can you hear my flesh creeping? Germans, on the other hand, despise it almost universally.
We were deeply confused young men when we made this record. Max, Jones and I had all been drinking dangerously for over a year now, and the poor bass player who replaced David was finding it almost impossible to keep up with our twisted thought patterns. Do you like my bass playing? That's me on Buffalo Shame, South America and a couple of others.
By now, effectively, Max and I had totally lost any sense of quality control on my writing. Tragic and sincere or glib and ludicrous, we recorded EVERYTHING. Sent in to make demos for this l.p. Max and I came out with Conspiracy where we squandered a couple of great ideas that this l.p. so badly needs. John A. Rivers you'll notice, has bought a new reverb unit, a Lexicon, in fact. He's also taken to recording digitally. The ensuing absurd gloss, matched with an absence of native intelligence around the bottom end, gives a lot of the songs a sound that I dislike. ON THE OTHER HAND, there's Angels, Falling In Love, The New World.
Still, in 1986 the best plan would be to but the 12" single and go see the band in concert. Generally, we had it down in concert. In just about every other department, however, we were coming to bits, individually and collectively, and to me this record actually shows the morbid state of things at the time. Not, of course, that we really noticed any of this until months later, when, confronted by the realitied of having been on an accidental two-year intercontinental binge, we retired damaged, leaving the group in pieces. Oh, and another thing about Gentlefolk... it's pretentious too.