Wilton Said… Newsletter #90

The Band  
    The past few months were spent with the band (guitarist Chris Reid, drummer Peter Karppi, basist Frank Heisler) and I recording our E.P., doing a photo-shoot for the design of the E.P., and rehearsing a lot of older material.  However, we're all older and have additional obligations such as family, full time work, and building garages, so deadlines and schedules have had to be adjusted.  While we will be continuing to rehearse throughout the holiday season, we will start mixing and mastering the E.P. in the New Year and hope to have the whole thing completed by the end of January.  Our E.P. Release Show should follow not long after.  Please stay tuned….

Rock Opera
    On another note, it looks likes recording for the last character part of the Rock Opera will also commence in the New Year.  One of my work colleagues who has a wonderful voice has agreed to sing.  It will be a relief to finally have all the recording finished as this project has been in the making since 2005.  Once this last part is finished, I'll be mixing and mastering.  In the meantime I'll need to contact co writer Barry Brown to discuss the graphic design and manufacturing costs.  More info to come….

Simple Minds
    I've always enjoyed some of the Pop music from the 80's such as Duran Duran, The Cure, Billy Idol, and Tears for Fears.  While these bands might not have been in the same category of musicianship and complexity as 80's Yes, Genesis, Rush or Queen, they were by no means slouches within their genre.  Duran Duran bass player John Taylor was a monster on bass, take a listen to the song "Rio".  The songwriting of The Cure's Robert Smith was schizophrenic with his depressive gloom-ridden songs such as "The Same Deep Water As You" juxtaposed with his happier jolly "Lovecats", or "Friday I'm in Love".  Billy Idol's guitarist Steve Stevens was a fantastic player with chops to spare and helped write the arty jazzy psychedelic "Flesh for Fantasy".  Tears for Fears also had some great songs which rivaled the textures of Prog Rock with "Broken" and "Listen".  However lately I've been listening to a lot of Simple Minds.
    To my knowledge their early albums before they hit the big time were a little on the arty, minimalistic and New Wave side.  Not really my thing.  However with the release of their "Sparkle in the Rain" album they were able to advanced into a more mainstream rock/pop sound with songs such as "Up on the Catwalk", "Book Of Brilliant Things" and "Waterfront".  They really hit the big time with the song "Don't You Forget About Me" which was written  for the Breakfast Club movie by Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff.  The band however didn't really like the song and even after recording it have still not warmed up to it.  Nevertheless it helped put the band on the map and the following album "Once Upon a Time" was a huge hit.  A few years later they recorded the album "Street Fighting Years" which yielded the title track which is their most Proggy song to date.  I stopped being interested in the band after their stab at Pop/RnB with their release "Real Life".  A few OK tracks but just not my thing.
    Recently I decided to check out what had been happening with the band and came across a few songs from various recent albums which are fantastic.  "Stay Visible" from "Black & White 050505", "Moscow Underground" and "Stars Will Lead the Way" from "Graffiti Soul" and "Blindfolded" from the most recent "Big Music" are all songs which are worthy of anything they did in the 80's.  In the case of "Stay Visible", it's almost a rip off of "Wall of Love" from "Street Fighting Years".  A similar tempo, rhythm and guitar pattern.  However, the production on the song(s) sound more lively and richer which give them a darker and edgier feel.  If you like your Pop with some edge, give these songs a listen.

Until next time…
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Krazy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year and over all Happy Holidays.



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