Explaining things I didn't do with things I shouldn't say:
Hello, Wodnesdæg. Welcome to my vanity project, a/k/a Song for Odin. That is, I post a song, type up some commentary, and call it "content."
Like last week, here again we have the test pressing playing a track from the forthcoming Sounds Rad compilation Shards vol. iii (RAD-18): "You Alone."
As before what's depicted is the spinning test press, with the newly mastered digital audio dropped in. Which is great, but the unsquashed sound of the actual thing is that much better. (Call "dibs" to get on the reserve list/waiting list -- link in notes below.)
"You Alone" was one of four out-takes from the Revenge Is Sweet and So Are You sessions at Toast Recorders in San Francisco in 1997. Literally in this case, because it was in the actual edited album sequence on the side B two-track reel, track 13, all set to be mastered when it was swapped out in the eleventh hour to make room for "I Don't Need You Now." (See notes below for pic.)
I can no longer remember specifically why or what the thinking was there, though the mostly acoustic new track really did help the sequence. We did it last-minute, after all the main recording and mixing had been done, at Bob Couver's laundry room studio known as Foxhound Sound. You can hear the FS studio office chair creaking on that track, a sound I love. Beyond that, it's all a bit hazy. But I'm glad it happened, because of that sonic diversity, of which there was little enough on the album.
As to why "You Alone" was cut rather than one of the other songs, I can't tell you. There's certainly nothing wrong with "You Alone". At all. In fact, it's really quite good, in some ways maybe one of the best among them. I don't know how we chose it, but choose it we did.
(For anyone keeping track, the other three out-takes were: "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," "King Dork," and the unfinished "I Was Losing You All Along" -- all "shards," now collected.)
Anyhow "You Alone" ended up on the B side of the "...and I Will Be with You" seven inch, and maybe it should have been the A side. As a slightly arch, self-deprecating love song, it is right in the pocket. Graded against my other such songs, I'd give it pretty much all As. It methodically works through the various senses of the title, in a fairly artful way that feels genuine and doesn't sound forced. The melody is well-formulated. The modulation that comes out of the bridge is hiding in plain sight, managed so that you can hardly even tell it happened unless you're trying (which is the best kind of modulation.) And that is one terrific guitar tone as well, unburdened here by the extra compression applied in the original mastering. Try as I might (and as you'll expect if you know me, I have tried) I can't find the flaw in it -- which may, in fact, make it unique among them.
Your results may vary, but just speaking for myself it's nice to have one of these that I don't have to justify or rationalize beyond its simple, effective self. Defending it requires no special pleading. To quote its replacement in the RISASAY sequence: for once I've got no explaining to do.
My original idea was for that initial figure played by the bass to be done by or at least augmented by some droning, sitar-like, Beatles-y guitar, distant in the intro, then coming back in as ambient sound in the bridge and getting piercing by the end. Honestly this is still how I hear it in my head. It surprises me when I hear it not being there. What might have been, my stupid revenge, etc. Except it really is just fine as is, I see that now. And believe me, I don't mind having one thing to cross off my list of regrets so yay me, what a relief.
"Dibs" for Shards vol. iii is now underway, which means you need to sign up to get on the list to reserve a copy of the deluxe 180 gram "sea glass" vinyl severely limited first pressing. See link below for more on that. At press time, all 300 "dibs" slots are filled, so what you're signing up for is a spot on the waiting list, which is worth doing because people do drop out when the time comes, plus that's the way to get on the "club" list for early sign-up for future releases. Buy links go out on June 7; street date is July 9.
Final note: the video thumbnail is via our man Klode, God love him.
Thanks for listening, reading, and dibsing if dibsing you have done. Song for Odin will return next time, with more stuff. See you then. In the meantime, hit it down below, by which I mean smash that like button, murder that subscribe button, ring the hell out of the bell, and leave comments about how I'm a such genius and so good looking too. Thanks.
-- Sounds Radical dibs link: https://www.soundsradical.com/shards3.html
-- My Stupid Revenge: https://drankf.medium.com/my-stupid-revenge-ce55aa2bd65b
-- RISASAY mix master: https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/1239221242652282880?referrer=frankportman
-- "I Don't Need You Now", Mtx forever remaster: https://youtu.be/lhYPrakmN1U
-- Songs for Odin playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLommF46BbnATopffORs0YkspebJHka2o_#music#songs#product#vinyl#minds