Thursday, April 05, 2007

Indulge Me Again

It's the holiday season and I'm taking the family to Puncknowle, in Dorset, for a week - so there'll be nowt more from me until the middle of May. Many thanks to everyone who has posted complimenary comments recently - it's great to feel appreciated.

Before I go I thought I'd post some of my *own* music. I don't play much these days (kids...) but I used to gig regularly around London and, for a period in the mid-80s, did quite a bit of home recording on my Tascam 244. I do have Cubase on my PC, but hardly ever get a chance to use it :-(

Anyway, my iPod suddenly surprised me by playing two of *my* songs back to back this morning, and I took that as a sign from up above to inflict them on you. As luck would have it, the first of these features me old mate Robert Maelstrom on lead guitar - we programmed the drum machine and he recorded the flanged solo before flitting back to Scotland, so I filled in the gaps afterwards. This is one of the few things that were done using Cubase.

In alphabetical order, then:

A Legacy (Thompson/Browning), c. 2000
JHB: acoustic & electric guitars, bass guitar, drum programming
Emil Thompson: flanged lead guitar, drum programming

The next track is a song that I wrote and recorded on my own while I lived in a flat in Highgate and had all my gear set up all the time. I can't remember who it's about.

A Rhyme, A Time (Browning), April 1987
JHB: lead and backing vocals, lead & rhythm electric guitars, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drum programming

Track three is a very early one, as evidenced by the fact that I'm using a TR909 drum machine (once I got into this properly I bought a Yamaha RX11). It's about a bloke who lives in a maze - I imagine that was supposed to be a clever metaphor but I can't remember what for.

Amazeman (Browning), August 1985
JHB: lead and backing vocals, electric lead and rhythm guitars, acoustic 12-string guitar, bass guitar, drum programming

Next, a track that I'm very fond of. In my opinion it's one of the nicest songs I've written, and I can even remember what it's about. Figure it out for yourself!

Blind (Browning), May 1984
JHB: lead and backing vocals, electric guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drum programming

I *really* like the feel of this next one - a pity the quality is so duff!

Eleanor Rigby (McCartney), December 1984
JHB: vocals, electric guitars, bass guitar

This next track was written about my boss, Teresa. I had a bit of a crush on her at the time, but she was leaving the company and going away. She had also recently starred in our company pantomime - hence the references to sheep bleating. The but about 'missing you now' was written a few years earlier for a different woman, and the 'boy and girl in shattered world' bit was ripped shamelessly from REM.

Face To The Ground (Browning, with acknowledgments to R.E.M.), December 1987
JHB: lead and backing vocals, lead & rhythm electric guitars, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drum programming

The next track was recorded live, improvised, direct to tape. Max (later Emil, later Robert), Dougie and me sitting in a circle (triangle) with headphones on, with guitar/bass/drumbox/mike plugged straight into the four inputs of the 244. No overdubs, no rehearsals, no idea what we were going to do. Max made up the lyrics as he went along. More of his music at

The History of Accapella Music (Thompson/Browning/Hopton) June 1988
Max Thompson: vocals, guitar
JHB: fretless bass guitar
Dougie Hopton: drum machine

I'm including this next one for two reasons - firstly because it features Sue Chewter, with whom I did quite a lot of writing & recording, and secondly because it took me bloody ages to program the drum machine and *somebody* ought to hear it.

The War Song (Chewter/Browning) October 1985
Sue Chewter: lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar
JHB: vocal, Spanish guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, drum programming

Finally, a bit of fun.

Orange Blossom Special (Trad. Arr. Wickens/Locker/Moseley/Browning) recorded live at the Queens, Crouch End, October 1978
Barry Wickens: violin
Pete Locker: mandolin
Simon Moseley: guitar
JHB: bass guitar

Just some stuff I did in the past...


Blogger Robert Maelstrom said...

Thanks so much for putting this stuff up. It's always great to hear original tunes, no matter how crappy the quality, for me there's something far more fascinating and personal about them than polished studio stuff. But then I would say that wouldn't I.

loved 'eleanor rigby' the best cover of it I've heard! And Legacy...bonkers...


10:30 pm  
Anonymous db said...

Yeah, I enjoyed that. Thanks :O)
Greetings from sarf west London

9:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hei! found this list on one discussion board ( and thought you might be interested in some of it. or maybe _know_ some of it, anyway (i dont, personally)

heh, i'm coming here to read your blog, even tho i'm rarely downloading anything. i like how passionate you are about this. rock on!

4:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, i suck. here:

delete both comments, if you wish.

the very same anonymous.

4:32 pm  

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