In 1994, I recorded an album. It was a home recording job, but wasn’t completely a solo effort. The vocals were all me, and – I think – all of the instrumentation, except what was sequenced. I also did a lot of the engineering, but it was recorded in the midst of a party weekend in Brighton & Home, with lots of friends helping with button-pushing, tweaks and advice.
It was not a professional product, only being released on cassette, but I was – I am – pleased with it, in that it got some of my songs out there, as well as a cover of a friend’s composition, and a version of a song I had a co-write on. I sold a few hundred of them, and it got as far as the States.
Recently, a few of my friends have been uploading old albums from their own past to Bandcamp. As well as providing some nostalgia for our peers, it is also getting the songs to new ears.
Over the last couple of years, I have been asked a few times about whether my cassette was still available, someone seems to mention it every couple of months. So seeing all these other albums appearing on Bandcamp, I thought “why not?”
As it happens, I saved WAV versions of all the songs to disk a few years back. It had been mastered to DAT (Digital Audio Tape) and I had an opportunity to borrow a player for an evening, so did a transfer, just so I would have a copy. I even burned it to CD, just for myself.
So this made the whole process simple. I gained permission to use my friend’s track on the album, and talked to the other co-writers on the other track that wasn’t completely my own. I then had to design a quick cover, because the old cover was the wrong shape, and a black and white computer image that looked totally naff.
I also dropped one track. The title track appeared three times on the cassette. A short one verse introduction and the full version as the last track both made the Bandcamp release. But I had recorded an acoustic instrumental version to mark the end of the first side of the cassette. On a continuous streamed/CD format, this track was superfluous, and my guitar playing on it was fairly horrendous. It was an easy decision to make.
So now it is out there again. It is an odd little album, a mixture of genres from folky acoustic to fake disco. But the songs are good, and even if people only use this album to learn the songs to sing in their own way, then it would have been worthwhile.
Thanks and love to Talis Kimberley for the loan of her song, and to Mike Whitaker, Philip Allcock, Martin Gordon Kerr and Smitty. Also remembering Keris and acknowledging his and Adam Heath’s fine advice and help.