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Varying impressions on different JBC discs
This is in no way a "defence" of any JBC product. I don't feel that I need to defend the stuff. There are bits and pieces that make me cringe now and again, but I'm quite happy to say so. For the most part I like my stuff, which is why I made it. I don't understand musicians who don't listen to their stuff. If they don't think it's worth playing, why did they spend all those thousands of bucks on making rubbish? No. Once JBC stuff is out there in the commercial arena then it belongs to the people who've paid for it, and they are (as I understand it) free to think what they like of our efforts. So I'm not after convincing anybody of anything, I'm just coming on line with a few random observations. As soon as I've rolled This...
Bath Of Bacon
The one nobody ever talks about, even though a surprising number of you seem to have it. Recorded for just £300 (Kevin Shields please take note...), it's really just the sound of a few mates failing to take seriously the fact they they've got an l.p. to make. Gloop Jiving and the unfinished Sex Engine make me squirm a fair bit, but Zombie Love, Girls Who Keep Goldfish and Partytime have all been good friends. It seems VERY early eighties now, but you must remember that there was a LOT of crap for us to clear out of the way in those days.A Scandal In Bohemia
The Albatross. Since the recording of Bath Of Bacon (almost two years before this one) we had become a "proper" group. For all that, we still pooled our skills in the studio, and this isn't a bad two weeks' work. I think that, lyrically, a lot of the songs are a bit trite and immature, and our inability to take ourselves seriously is much in evidence. A record, I feel, of its time. We were young(ish) and cocky and I think it shows. I still haven't learned to sing on this one, which bugs me too. Still, it was cheap and cheerful, and it helped us to meet an awful lot of people. I was told, incidentally, that if we released this on Glass we could expect a top global sale of 2,000. We released is on Glass and sold about 25,000 copies.Sex And Travel
One day's rehearsal in Kevin Haskins's living room, five days' recording and two days' mixing was all it took for us to make my favourite of the Glass records. Now that the band had done a few dates with decent p.a. systems and stuff, I was beginning to have some sort of a bead on this singing business. Also, having exhausted the initial stick of JB songs (several of the A Scandal In Bohemia tunes had actually been written at the time of Bath Of Bacon, but were rejected back then as needing further development), I was obliged for the first time to write about my life as it was at the time, which was very different to the way I lived when writing the first two records. Now I was "in a band", had left my day job, had been to Europe... I even started to write songs that were not self-consciously deferential and mocking. Hence, I guess, the arrival of the first recorded "big ballad" in Only A Rumour, where David J.'s harmonies at the end STILL give me the shivers. I think that now we had started to learn about actually creating recordings rather than just recording the sound of a bunch of pals fooling around, and the disc does have a nice, unified feel. Credit John A. Rivers for his high-speed mixing job. When I think about it, this l.p. doesn't really have any "great" tunes, in the sense of numbers that people request or whatever, but it has a nice totality, a good, atmospheric vibe. This one I'd actually defend at length if I had to.Distressed Gentlefolk
Big Planet, Scarey Planet
Cult Of The Basement
Waiting For The Love Bus
We were all disappointed at the way this came out. The concert was great, but logistics prevented us from making anything much more than a glorified bootleg. Still, live albums are best as souvenirs anyway, so I guess some people regard it fondly. Lots of entertaining photos to look at anyway...Western Family