Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the transformed man

William Shatner carved out a campy cult classic with these unique spoken word renditions of psychedelic songs, Shakespearean bombast, and Baroque romanticism.  Shatner would recount in the album's liner notes:    "The seed actually began to germinate when I met Cliff Ralke while working together on 'Star Trek'. Between shootings we would often talk about music, about Shakespeare, about poetry. I discovered that Cliff was quite a gifted young man with a lot of creative ideas. He was managing a musical group, performing, producing records, writing television scripts. He's truly a remarkable and multi-faceted person. When the subject of conversation turned to putting Shakespeare to music, an idea I had been nourishing for a long time, it was Cliff's enthusiasm that helped get the ball rolling.   Then one day Cliff brought me a song, "Elegy For The Brave," and a poem, "Transformed Man," by Frank Davenport. As I read over the material, I felt an immediate identification. I knew that was the work of a truly gifted poet, a first-rate talent, and I wanted to do something with it. I learned that Frank is also a pianist and orchestrator, besides doing literary translations. He did a beautiful job on the translations of Cyrano and Spleen from the French, which I decided would be great for the album.   Then Cliff introduced me to his father, Don Ralke. Being somewhat unfamiliar with the recording world, I didn't realise at first how fortunate I was to cross paths with this man. I found out that he has produced many hit albums and single records, besides writing for television and motion pictures. Don can do it all - he's a composer, conductor, orchestrator, pianist, you name it. He immediately saw the possibilities of the project, and we went to work. He did all the orchestrations, and composed original music for Spleen and Cyrano, the three selections from Shakespeare, and "Transformed Man," So you see, everyone made a contribution in the selection of material and in the format of the album. Between the four of us the project was set in motion."

Recorded at Gold Star Recording Studios in Hollywood during breaks from filming 'Star Trek' in 1968, 'The Transformed Man' was conceived as a serious concept album that paired poetry with modern pop songs.  Producer Don Ralke created the musical accompaniment to Shatner's dramatic readings and was assisted by recording engineer Stan Ross.   The album was considered a joke to most people and got lost in the final frontier of the used record bin.  Shatner considers his work to be:   "Entertainment. If it makes you laugh or makes you cry, or somewhere in between, it would appeal to me. I had been in a Shakespeare company for three years and done a lot of Shakespeare. That was fun. That was interesting. It was a lot of work–anything other than Shakespeare was less work...'The Transformed Man' was an attempt to illustrate that the lyrics in some modern-day songs are equally evocative as some of the literature that has been written in the English language. And so fresh music, new music, original music was written to some of the arias and literature, and different orchestrations were written to some of the lyrics, and the cuts really are juxtaposed so that you get a contrasting lesson in themes in the song and in the literate piece. What happened, then, since each cut was about six minutes long, for radio play they took one cut, which would be a song. So the audience didn't understand what I was doing. When they played it and laughed about it and had fun with it, I went along with it, because it was good fun. I understand how people would take a song that I was performing as an actor and think, 'Does he really think he's singing?' But if you play the record, the record has some serious attempts to linking, and to synthesizing, certain elements... I'm not out to convince anybody of anything. And I don't sing  ...  The songs have intrinsic meaning. I was trying to do the meaning while the music played...I see myself as an actor with a love of music. The spoken word is musical, the rhythm of the words and the musicality of the words is what makes music. The spoken word should not be any different than the extended notes of music. The fact that I don't extend the notes...my joshing line is that extending a note is highly overrated  ...  I was in the hands of relatively—I don’t want to say amateurish—but less complex musicians for 'The Transformed Man'. Basically, I was on my own. Don Ralke was very talented, but we didn’t know what we were doing essentially. I knew what I was doing, but musically, I wasn’t very adept  ...  'The Transformed Man' -- good, bad or indifferent -- didn't work because the cuts were too long. The literature and the song attached to the literature made for six-minute cuts, and I wasn't conscious of the necessity of keeping it closer to three minutes. So nobody ever played the six-minute cut, so the listening audience didn't get a sense of what it was I was trying to do...Unless they played the album in its entirety, and once they did that, a lot of people...said it had an important influence on them."



"Hamlet / It Was a Very Good Year"

'The Transformed Man'

full album:

1. "King Henry the Fifth / Elegy for the Brave" (Don Ralke · Frank Devenport) 6:16
2. "Theme from Cyrano / Mr. Tambourine Man" (Music by Don Ralke / Translation by Frank Devenport · Bob Dylan) 6:49
3. "Hamlet / It Was a Very Good Year" (Don Ralke · Ervin Drake) 7:45
4. "Romeo and Juliet / How Insensitive (Insensatez)" (Don Ralke · Antônio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes / English Lyrics by Norman Gimbel) 6:46
5. "Spleen / Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (Music by Don Ralke / Words and Translation by Frank Devenport · John Lennon / Paul McCartney) 5:54
6. "The Transformed Man" (Frank Devenport / Don Ralke) 3:38

'Rocket Man' from 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards

Monday, December 30, 2013


Miles Davis began experimenting with a more expressive modal music on the only album recorded with his original sextet.   In the year leading up to 'Milestones', Davis had broken up his quintet due to drug problems and traveled to France where he recorded the improvisational soundtrack to the film 'Ascenseur pour l'échafaud' and saw a performance by the Ballets Africains from Guinea from which he got the idea to pursue modal music.   

When he returned to the States, he reformed the quintet with the addition of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, who he had tried to recruit for the quintet before bringing in John Coltrane.  'Milestones' was recorded at Columbia 30th Street Studio in New York City with producer George Avakian and features Miles Davis on trumpet and piano (on "Sid's Ahead"); Cannonball Adderley on alto saxophone; John Coltrane on tenor saxophone; Red Garland on piano; Paul Chambers on double bass; and Philly Joe Jones on drums.  The hard bop blues sound of most of the record is broken up by the modal experiments of the title track.  Davis would expound:    "When you go this way you can go on forever.  You don't have to worry about changes and you can do more with the line.  It becomes a challenge to see how melodically inventive you are.  When you're based on chords, you know that at the end of thirty-two bars that the chords have run out and there's nothing to do but repeat what you've just done - with variations.  I think a movement in jazz in beginning away from the conventional string of chords, and a return to emphasis on melodic rather than harmonic variation. There will be fewer chords but infinite possibilities on what to do with them."  

Shortly after the album was finished, Davis fired  Garland and Jones and replaced them with Bill Evans and Jimmy Cobb.  Adderley revealed:    "I had planned when I joined him stay with Miles about a year; but I stayed longer.  Miles was getting more successful, and there was the business recession.  I was functioning meanwhile as a kind of road manager - paying off the guys, collecting money...In a way, I suppose, I was kind of a stabilizing influence on the band.  Two of the men he had - fine musicians - weren't exactly on time or dependable."

Davis would admit:  "Fronting a band ain't no fun. A lot of people don't understand that music is business, it's hard work and a big responsibility. I hate to even think what all I've been through to play my horn, and still go through. I put everything I've got into it. Even after a good rehearsal, I feel empty. And you add to playing your instrument the running of a band and you got plenty of problems. I got my own family, and the guys that work for me, and their families to think about. On one tour, I had this white woman in Kansas City meet me when I came off the stand and wanted me to come to her table with her and her husband for a drink. I told her I didn't like to do that, and she hollered, "They said you're like that!" I felt like throwing down my horn and kicking it. But I said to myself I was going to try and educate at least that one couple. So I went over and talked to them.   I told them an artist's first responsibility was to himself. I said if he kept getting upset with what other people think he ought to do, he never would get too far, or he sure wouldn't last. I tried to make them see how I had worked all my life to play myself and then to get a band worth people paying to hear. I said that a lot of times when people in a club wanted to talk to me, I needed to be worrying about something about my band. They said they understood. I hope they did."


full album:

Miles Davis - Milestones - Full Album Remastered by BnFCollection

Side one
"Dr. Jekyll" (aka "Dr. Jackle") – 5:47 (Jackie McLean)
"Sid's Ahead" – 12:59 (Miles Davis)
"Two Bass Hit" – 5:13 (John Lewis – Dizzy Gillespie)
Side two
"Milestones" (originally titled "Miles") – 5:45 (Davis)
"Billy Boy" – 7:14 (traditional, arr. Ahmad Jamal)
"Straight, No Chaser" – 10:41 (Thelonious Monk)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

construction time again

Depeche Mode rebuilt their sound with the industrial rhythms of this socially conscious stepping stone.  With the departure of founding member and principal songwriter Vince Clark after their debut 'Speak and Spell', the band had settled into a holding pattern with 'A Broken Frame' and began to feel typecast as bubblegum synth band and wanted to break out of that mold with their new album.  'Construction Time Again' was recorded at John Foxx's newly built London studio The Garden and as well as at Hansa Mischraum Studios in West Berlin.  Martin Gore looks back:   "The city was still surrounded by the wall. But you know why we chose to record in cities like...West Berlin? Because these were exotic cities to us. I still remember how we’d hang around in London and ask ourselves where to record the next album. Somebody would say 'Berlin' and we all immediately liked the idea. We liked Berlin because cool bands like Einstürzende Neubauten lived there. Not least Gareth Jones used to live in Berlin—he was our producer. He’d say, 'What about the Hansa studio at the Berlin wall?' And we all just agreed. We found it exciting. We actually wanted to undergo an adventure and Berlin just promised that to us. So there we went and we did indeed record 'Construction Time Again' at Hansa studios. It was a pretty awesome time. So why not record the next and the following album there as well? During that time we decided to always fathom a period of recording in any given city as an adventure trip."

The sessions featured Dave Gahan on lead vocals and sampling; Martin Gore on keyboards, guitar, sampling, backing vocals, recorder on "Shame", melodica on "Everything Counts", and lead vocals on "Pipeline"; Alan Wilder on keyboards, sampling, piano on "Love, in Itself", programming, and backing vocals;  and Andy Fletcher on sampling and backing vocals; with production by Daniel Miller and Depeche Mode.   Tonmeister Gareth Jones started as the engineer for the record; and, by the time it was completed, made the transition to production:    "We felt that a lot of what we were doing was defining new sonic territories.  Even on 'Construction Time', one of the things I brought to the table was to put the synthesizers through guitar amps. That wasn't being done very much back then — as far as we were concerned, we were the first people to do it — and that was part of the gradual darkening of the Depeche Mode sound. The band members wanted to experiment and they wanted to grow, and they were fed up with their synth-pop image. They didn't feel it did justice to what they wanted to express. They clearly wanted to go a long way, and at that time they were starting out on the journey...I felt I'd made a massive contribution to the sound of that album.  With Depeche, the studio was very much an instrument, too, and since that's what I played I felt entitled to ask if I could produce as well. Luckily for me, they said yes. The guy who'd founded Mute Records, Daniel Miller, was also the de facto manager — the band didn't have management at that time — and so he was the boss. He was fascinated by synthesizers and electronic music, and much of what he did musically was based on synthesizer sounds. Once those sounds came out of the synths I'd take over and build acoustic spaces around them, and at the same time we'd all work on the arrangements. Still, looking back, I'd say I was a very junior co-producer.  Daniel did a lot of hands-on crafting of those sounds, as did Martin Gore and Alan Wilder, who was also a major production figure within the band. Alan was extremely involved in the crafting of the studio product; a full-on, very musical guy, very interested in beats programming, and very interested in every aspect of the studio, be it compression or equalization or reverb or delays or anything. So, there was a trio of us all the time in the studio, with Alan representing the band, Daniel overseeing everything while crafting many of the sounds, and me taking care of the engineering side. I had no responsibility for schedule or budget, and I was only starting to really understand how pop songs worked. I was on a big learning curve. In fact, I think we were all on a learning curve — that's one of the things that was so exciting.  Sonically, I was contributing to the record big-time, and that's why I asked to be on the production team. I was just a young engineer, also with a long way to go, who knew I could add greatly to the production side of things, too, and the band and the record label obviously felt the same way because they took me on board."

'Construction Time Again' marked a change in the band's sound and image, with a more industrial musical approach combining with a leftist political perspective.  Wilder would wax: “The general tendency of the album is very socialised and The Worker sums it up – it’s the obvious image to get across socialism.  It’s like, the first thing you think seeing the cover is that the hammer is smashing down the mountain, but not to destroy. Because he’s a worker, it’s to rebuild it, it’s positive. That was the overall idea of the album, to be positive – that’s why it’s construction time, not destruction time...When we decided on the theme for the album, the first word that came up was caring, and that’s the main idea behind it. We’re not out and out, you know… but we are socialist and we are caring.”

Gahan considered: “With the hammer on this one we wanted to symbolise the force of a worker. It’s a very powerful force, it needed a very powerful image, whereas I think the sickle was a little bit more subtle...We do feel for those things and it’s a bit more important to sing about something of substance than sing about nonsense. If you’re in a band in our position, you’re in a very strong position to write about those things, so why not do it?    Obviously, for a lot of bands that aren’t so successful, it seems an obvious thing to do. Whereas a band in our position could quite easily sing about nonsense – I think a lot of people just expected us to sing about nonsense...A lot of people had no idea that we was capable of writing something like 'Construction Time'.   We’d been portrayed for ages in one way. Like, we did every interview going and just sorta said exactly the same thing. 'Yeah, we started in so and so…' y’know. But then we suddenly realised – what are we doing? If we want to carry on, we’ve got to do something a little more lasting.   I think Martin and Alan have both got a lot more substance in their writing…When I hear tracks from ['Speak and Spell'], I get embarrassed. Though at the time we thought it was great. Then on the second album, it was very hard in the studio, people were letting us drift, there was a lack of enthusiasm… but then with 'Construction Time' it was very up in the studio, everyone was really working to make it happen.”

'Construction Time Again'  went to two hundred and one in the US, thirty-four in the Netherlands, twenty-one in Switzerland, sixteen in France, seven in Germany, and number six in the UK.



"Everything Counts" went to number fifty in the Netherlands, twenty-four in Italy, twenty-three in Germany, eighteen in Sweden, seventeen on the US dance chart, fifteen in Ireland, eight in Switzerland, and number six in the UK.  Gahan says:  “Some people have thought it was about different things, like eating too much, or it was just about the music business but really though it’s about multinational corporations, y’know, that they’ve got too much power.  But it was a conscious move to come across fuller and more definite and not just floating through. People used to think before: 'Depeche Mode? Oh yeah, they’re that band that just sorta float by.' 'Everything Counts' was a definite move to make something stronger, more lasting."

Gore adds: “I think that was partly going to Thailand as well – that’s where the oriental flavour comes in, like Korea ‘n’ all that.   But you go over there and all the hotels are full of, like, businessmen and basically they tend to treat people as though they’re nothing. All they’re interested in is their business – that’s what I really hate about big business, people just don’t seem to matter. Just money.  You see all the women over there ‘n’ they’re all prostitutes – that’s the only way they can make any money. ’Course, the businessmen love it.”


The handshake
Seals the contract
From the contract
There's no turning back
The turning point
Of a career
In Korea, being insincere
The holiday
Was fun packed
The contract
Still intact
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can
All for themselves
After all
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can
All for themselves
After all
It's a competitive world
Everything counts in large amounts
The graph
On the wall
Tells the story
Of it all
Picture it now
See just how
The lies and deceit
Gained a little more power
Taken in
By a sun tan
And a grin
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can
All for themselves
After all
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can
All for themselves
After all
It's a competitive world
Everything counts in large amounts
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can
Everything counts in large amounts
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can
Everything counts in large amounts

 "Love, in Itself" found its way to twenty-eight in Germany, twenty-seven in Ireland, twenty-one in the UK and number one in the Netherlands.

'Construction Time Again'
full album:

All songs written and composed by Martin L. Gore, except where noted.

Side one
1. "Love, in Itself"   4:29
2. "More Than a Party"   4:45
3. "Pipeline"   5:54
4. "Everything Counts"   4:20
Side two
5. "Two Minute Warning"   Alan Wilder 4:13
6. "Shame"   3:51
7. "The Landscape Is Changing"   Wilder 4:49
8. "Told You So"   4:26
9. "And Then..."   5:39

Saturday, December 28, 2013

blue bell knoll

Cocteau Twins set up their own studio and finally got distribution in the US with the indecipherable ethereal elation of this lush and lanquid pop dream.  Remaining on independent 4AD label, the band signed a major-label deal with Capitol Records.  In the meantime, multi-instrumentalist Simon Raymonde, who had been unable to work on their previous album 'Victorialand', returned to join Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie for 'Blue Bell Knoll'.  The band produced the sessions at September Sound in Twickenham, England with Fraser on vocals, Guthrie on guitar, and Raymonde on bass guitar.  

Fraser would explain her unique lyrical style:  "I've just recently realized that I'm a very secretive person, that I'm constantly covering up for myself. I'm only just realizing how much. I don't really know what's happening. I hope it doesn't mean that I won't allow myself to do more things like 'Blue Bell Knoll'. I'd like to be able to do everything. You see, on that album, I was still expressing the same things. I was still feeling the same feelings, but I wasn't getting caught up in them. I was just feeling into a fucking microphone...It's amazing though, yeah, I mean that's...I mean really the records are...a representation of our coping skills...and I think...I was very much in denial...and I think that you can hear that on the album ['Blue Bell Knoll']...you know, not one word can you grasp...giving anything away...it just wasn't allowed...What they are are words that I've taken from...maybe seen written down...in a language that I don't understand, and liking them...and maybe...making new words as well out of them. I mean I've got reams and reams of words that I don't have a clue what they mean, but...I wanted them because, I knew I'd be able to express myself without giving anything away...The catch is I can barely talk English, isn't it? I quite like that. Combining words in different languages that I couldn't understand just meant that I could concentrate on the sound and not get caught up in the meaning...See, I find that mine [lyrics] don't have any meanings. They're not proper. Although I've got a great dictionary of them. It's like the Cockney rhyming slang or something. Writers like John Lennon. Writers that just kind of made up their own portmanteaux that caught on and people still use them. They don't mean anything, though, that's the thing. You know all the transcendent sounds. It's all sound all the way through...[the dictionary] is how I got some of the words. And then I got to the stage where, I don't know, something just came in. My life was a fucking mess...and I just couldn't carry on. I mean, it would have been so easy to do that. 'Cause after 'Blue Bell Knoll', which was really the easiest, the easiest I've ever done to make a record...I just couldn't keep going that way. I guess that was the start of learning to be aware of what was going on and what I was responsible for." 

 'Blue Bell Knoll' found its way to number one hundred and nine in the US, fifteen on the UK album chart, and number one on the UK independent album chart.  



"Blue Bell Knoll" – 3:24

"Athol-Brose" – 2:59

"Carolyn's Fingers" – 3:08
went to number two on the US modern rock tracks chart.  

"For Phoebe Still a Baby" – 3:16

"The Itchy Glowbo Blow" – 3:21

"Cico Buff" – 3:49

"Suckling the Mender" – 3:35

"Spooning Good Singing Gum" – 3:52

"A Kissed Out Red Floatboat" – 4:10

"Ella Megalast Burls Forever" – 3:39

Friday, December 27, 2013

the black saint and the sinner lady

Charles Mingus and his eleven piece band recorded the organized chaos of this allegorical ethnic folk dance emancipation in one day.   'The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady' was produced by Bob Thiele and engineered by Bob Simpson with Charles Mingus on double bass and piano; Jerome Richardson on soprano saxophone, baritone saxophone, and flute; Charlie Mariano on alto saxophone; Dick Hafer on tenor saxophone and flute; Rolf Ericson and Richard Williams on trumpet; Quentin Jackson on trombone; Don Butterfield on tuba and contrabass trombone; Jaki Byard on piano; Jay Berliner on acoustic guitar; and Dannie Richmond on drums.

'The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady'
comprised six suites composed by Mingus that were conceived as a ballet.  He revealed in the liner notes:   "I wrote the music for dancing and listening. It is true music with much and many of my meanings. It is my living epitaph from birth til the day I first heard of Bird and Diz. Now it is me again. This music is only one little wave of styles and waves of little ideas my mind has encompassed through living in a society that calls itself sane, as long as you're not behind iron bars where there at least one can't be half as crazy as in most of the ventures our leaders take upon themselves to do and think for us, even to the day we should be blown up to preserve their idea of how life should be. Crazy? They'd never get out of the observation ward at Bellevue.     I did. So, listen how. Play this record."

The album was recorded shortly after Mingus was discharged from Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital.  Clinical Psychologist Dr. Edmund Pollock wrote in the liner notes:    "He feels intensively. He tries to tell people he is in great pain and anguish because he loves. He cannot accept that he is alone, all by himself; he wants to love and be loved. His music is a call for acceptance, respect, love, understanding, fellowship, freedom - a plea to change the evil in man and to end hatred. The titles of this composition suggest the plight of the black man and a plea to the white man to be aware. He seems to state that the black man is not alone but all mankind must unite in revolution against any society that restricts freedom and human rights...Mr. Mingus thinks this is his best record. It may very well be his best to date for his present stage of development as other records were in his past. It must be emphasized that Mr. Mingus is not yet complete. He is still in a process of change and personal development. Hopefully the integration in society will keep pace with his. One must continue to expect more surprises from him." 


1. "Track A – Solo Dancer"   "Stop! Look! And Listen, Sinner Jim Whitney!" 6:39

"Track B – Duet Solo Dancers"   "Hearts' Beat and Shades in Physical Embraces" 6:45

'The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady' 
full album:

0:00 Solo Dancer
6:40 Duet Solo Dancers
13:23 Group Dancers
20:45 Trio and Group Dancers/ Single Solos and Group Dance/ Group and Solo Dance

Thursday, December 26, 2013

so good it hurts

The Mekons rose like lions with a lively tale to tell of the pleasures and pains of rebellion and revenge with the reggae zydeco experiments of this recondite wanderlust.  The band had moved away from their pioneering alt country punkabilly sound on 'Fear and Whiskey', 'The Edge of the World', and 'Honky Tonkin'' to a more diverse sound that incorporated various kinds of world music.  

Rico Bell explains:   “The Mekons like to deal in concepts and draw musical influences from all over the map, such as punk, folk, reggae and country...We still really get along and respect each other. A lot of bands fall apart because of ego problems but that’s never been the case with us."

'So Good it Hurts' credits  Jon "Johnny Minor" Langford on guitar, keyboards, percussion, and vocals; Tom "Brian" Greenhalgh on guitar and vocals; Dick "Sir Dickie" Taylor on guitar and piano; Sally "Hood" Timms on vocals; Robert "Sigmund" Worby on organ; Eric "Rico Christian" Bellis on accordion and vocals; Susie "Dora Honeyperson" Honeyman on fiddle; Steve "Buzz" Goulding on drums; Brendan "Staff Nurse" Croker and Ken Des Essientes on bass, guitar, and vocals; and John "Tahitian" Gill on bass and melodeon;   with engineer Brian C. Pugsley.  

Greenhalgh says:    "Things evolve informally but we generally have a pretty strong idea of what a record is going to be about, what's allowed and what is or isn't appropriate...It's just about being into music generally, listening a lot, to anything, and working out what relates to your own music and feeding it into the process...Anglo-Saxon culture has a deep phobia of anything that whiffs of intellectualism. We're probably inhibited by that, but also it should be possible to think about deep things without having to take yourself too seriously."

Timms considers:    "It wasn't something that I was concerned about, and I'd be an idiot to think that we could ever be a commercial success...I mean, you know, there were times when we've done better or worse, depending on the period. I don't think anyone's been unhappy about that. But the whole kind of ethos of the band was never to make money.  Otherwise, we'd be doing something different. We would have definitely tried to be more commercial. It's not a commercial-sounding band at all. Especially not in today's market. But even then."

The leftist politcs of 'So Good it Hurts' did nothing to increase the band's profile and it would be the band's last album on Twin/Tone Records.  Langford reveals:   "We had the Twin/Tone deal. Twin/Tone had a deal with A&M, and we just kind of slipped into it. It felt like it would be a good idea.  It would make sense for us, because there would be distribution. A big distributor collapsed on us when we were in the middle of a tour in '88. And it was just like, it was f**ked, it was a waste of time, no one could get our records...This guy who signed us talked a very good game... I liked him actually. He signed us to A&M. He had this idea. We weren't selling a lot of records, but they had this thing where they wouldn't give us that much money, but if we sold 30,000, then everyone would be happy. He wanted to create a model where major-label bands didn't have to sell 100,000 and then everyone was disappointed.  It made sense to us. We fell for it. And then he f**king moved. He was gone. He got kicked out. And then we were signed to this label with a load of  f**king ***holes in L.A., you know, looking at the accounts and saying, "Why do we have this band?"  Which is the same as what happened at Virgin, really... Some accountant came along and said, "Get rid of them."  And when we did an album for them that didn't sound like the previous album, you know, they were confused and they wanted to get rid of us. I don't blame them. We should have been gotten rid of. Put out of our misery as soon as possible."




Ghosts of American Astronauts  

Up in the hills above Bradford
Outside the Napalm factory
(They're floating above us)
Ghosts of American Astronauts
Glow in the headlights beam
It's just a small step for him
It's a nice break from Vietnam
(Filmed in a factory)
Out on the back lot in Houston
Who says the world isn't flat
John Glenn drinks cocktails with God
In a cafe in downtown Saigon
(High above them)
Ghosts of American Astronauts
Are drifting too close to the sun
A flag flying in the vacuum
Nixon sucks a dry Martini
Ghosts of American astronauts
Stay with us in our dreams


Johnny Miner  

(Sometimes I Feel Like) Fletcher Christian   

Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian
staring out across the sea
torn apart by duties shackles
The twisted tongues oif loyalty

Well I sucked hard on every pleasure
til my head begun to spin
he'll choose between the whip and feather
and that is where the crime begins

Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian
in paradise with the tables turned
Yes and I can feel the tatooists nedle
I can feel my neck and ankles burn

These south seas isles are cold and barren
but this civil war's been good for me
We took drugs and tore our uniforms
gave up our captain to the sea

Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian
twisting off the serpents head
for the mutiny I'll shoot the big one
hot and hungry, far from home

Through the sun and sea my skin is peeling
but it don't make the pictures fade
those shapes and symbols, I know their meaning
the shameless riches of another world

If I return they're sure to hang me
so I guess I'll have to stay
and if I should croak out in the darkness

No-one will know I got away


Fantastic Voyage  gives the album its title.

Every night from my window
I see the lights all over town
I'll meet you in the boneyard
after the sun goes down
I need the medicine only you create
I need - I need it now

The temptation on the street
is more than any saint could stand
I have to bite my tongue
and keep on walking straight ahead
you have got to draw the line between
what you want and what you need

Up in the clouds
(Aaah up in the clouds)
down in the dirt
it's so good
so good it hurts

Lying in the dirt
Looking up at the twinkling stars
struggle in the darkness
with the buttons on my shirt
this is meant to be a painkiler but
it's so good it hurts

Chains and incense fill the air
but I'm nowhere near a church
pull my knees up to my chest
and have the nightmares of a child
this is meant to be painkiller but

it's so good it hurts


Robin Hood   

So different from the dungeons gloom, the forest's shady bower
there's many a shade that love might share, where a man can kiss another
her warm breath is turning moist, where she is already
green leaves and sunshine, Sextatic in her head

Like beautiful maggots inside rotten apples
spitting out the juices of Kings and big-arsed Barons
fat on the Crusades, slaughtered by Assassins
Afraid to walk the glades of the land they own

Rise like lions, shake your chains, babe
Ye are many, they are few
Take from the rich and give to the poor

Images of spitfires strafing Greek resistance fighters
Winston Churchill gunning down the South Wales striking miners
In green we fought the Black n'tans and beat them back to Ulster
an 18 year old Argentine, lungs filled with cold water

Buried Republican Visions, Symbolic and Explicit
a history of resistance denied by bishops, lawyers and spies
Grantham hugely petty, riding on her crocodile
'cross teeming London bridge, paved with blood and gold

Out in hunting country we sabotage their leisure
Many a Grotto meant for rest holds a pirate for a guest
soft the scene so formed for joy
Oh curse the tyrants that destroy



 'So Good it Hurts' 
full album:

I'm Not Here (1967)            04:32
Ghosts Of American Astronauts  03:47
Road To Florida                02:20
Johnny Miner                   02:39
Dora                           04:38
Poxy Lips                      03:09
(Sometimes I Feel Like) Fletcher Christian             04:40
Fantastic Voyage               03:12
Robin Hood                     03:23
Heart Of Stone                 02:59
Maverick                       03:44
Vengeance                      01:49
Revenge                        03:05