Sunday, November 30, 2014

the wall

Pink Floyd built a nightmarish disguise to hide from the silent reproach of a million tear stained eyes with metaphorical bricks of alienation and isolation and gave us all an education.  The concept for 'The Wall' was born from experiences during the 'In The Flesh' tour that followed their previous album 'Animals'.  During the final show in Montreal, Waters became so frustrated with noisy fans near the stage that he spit on one of them.  The band took a break for a year, during which David Gilmour and Richard Wright recorded solo albums; Nick Mason produced Steve Hillage's 'Green'; and Waters worked on new material.  

Waters reveals:  "The starting point of this whole project was me feeling bad about being on a big stage and feeling that there was an enourmous wall between me and the audience. Albeit and invisible one, but one that I really felt was there. And looking at the faces of the people that I could see in the first fifteen of swaying heads, it looked as if they were experiencing it as well. It's like when you are singing a very quiet song with an acoustic guitar on stage and there's about ten thousand people are shouting, screaming, whistling...which happened a lot on the Animals tour. There was always at least twenty people that I could see whistling, and shouting, and screaming. They were trying, maybe, to kind of be with me, but it doesn't help...'Wooo, Hey, Yeah, Get down' know and you're trying to fucking sing these quiet little songs...Well, obviously they don't [understand what we're doing]. The ones who are making the noise. The problem is that you know that there are thousands of other people there who do and who want to listen to it. If they were all like that then you could just say, 'Ok, they're just a bunch of mindless pigs. Let's take their money and run.' But you know that there are people out there who do want to listen to it, and who are interested, and they do understand...The starting point of this project was me thinking, 'Wouldn't it be theatrical to do a show and to physically construct this wall that I feel between me and them during the show. And to just cut the songs off to really antagonize the audience and let them really find out for themselves how they feel about that. So in the show, we do do that, but we don't leave it at that. In terms of the structure of the piece, the wall gets finished at the end of side two -- or in terms of the show -- about halfway through the show...And then he keeps flipping into the other persona which is the raving, facist persona that he has adopted. I could explain one thing and that is that all that shouting, the bullhorn stuff is actually describing a march from a place in south London. It's a heavily black populated area of south London where the National Front is particularly active. And it describes a march from a place called Brixton Town Hall and it just describes the roads and things and which bridge they come over and where they're going. And they're going towards Hyde Park Corner to have a rally in Hyde Park. And at the end of it, I don't know if can hear, they're saying hammer. And that's another thing. On side four, the audience who start off in between 'The Show Must Go On' and 'In The Flesh' can hear them chanting Pink Floyd, but slowly that gets taken over by Hammer. The idea was for a rock show to turn into a rally...We did do Aneheim stadium last time where the first people in the audience are 120 yards away because they won't let you on the infield. A dreadful place to do a rock show. The only reason for doing it is money. The defense of doing huge gigs like that, where nobody can really hear anything or see anything, is 'well gosh, we're so popular...there are so many people who want to come see us that we have to do these very large venues in order to accomadate them.' Which is a very nice gently out, but the reason that we all do it is for the bucks. And don't let any rock and roller tell you different because it ain't true. So, he decides that he has, we have. All those big stadium gigs. As it's himself that's trying himself. The worst thing that he thinks can happen to him is that he should expose himself, and his fears, and his feelings, and anything to make himself vunerable...This is him hallucinating. This is him breaking down...The worst thing that he feels can happen to him is that he be exposed; when in fact, it's the best thing."

'The Wall' was produced by Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour, James Guthrie, and Roger Waters during a grueling process that drove the band apart as Waters pressured the rest of the group to end their vacations and finish the album sooner than planned.  Facing bankrupcy, the band became tax exiles during the recording as well.  The album was recorded over fifteen months at Britannia Row Studios in London, England;  Super Bear Studios and Studio Miraval in Correns, France;  CBS 30th Street Studio in New York, United States;  and at Cherokee Studios, Producers Workshop, and The Village in Los Angeles, United States.  The sessions featured Roger Waters on bass, vocals, and rhythm guitar;  David Gilmour on rhythm guitar, lead guitar, vocals, bass, fretless bass, and mandolin;   Nick Mason on drums and percussion;   and Richard Wright on keyboards;   with Bob Ezrin on organ, piano, synthesizer, and backing vocals;  James Guthrie on percussion, synthesizer, and sound effects;  Jeff Porcaro on drums;Lee Ritenour on guitars;  Joe (Ron) di Blasi on classical guitar;  Fred Mandel on Hammond organ;  Bobbye Hall on congas and bongos;  Frank Marrocco on concertina;  Larry Williams on clarinet;  Trevor Veitch on mandolin;  Phil Taylor on sound effects;  "Vicki & Clare" on backing vocals;  Harry Waters as child's voice on "Goodbye Blue Sky";  Chris Fitzmorris as the male telephone voice;  Trudy Young as the voice of the groupie;  and additional vocals by Bruce Johnston, Toni Tennille, Joe Chemay, Jon Joyce, Stan Farber, Jim Haas, and the Children of Islington Green School.   Michael Kamen did the arrangements with musicians from the New York Philharmonic and New York Symphony Orchestras and a choir from the New York City Opera.  

Gilmour remembers:  "The idea of The Wall was so big and there was such a lot of stuff that Roger wanted to get across lyrically that there was no other way to do it, really. As it was, we had to struggle to get it on a double album. And also, none of the stuff had ever been out on the road before. The Dark Side Of The Moon was toured before the album was made. That determined things - they worked onstage before they ever got to record. And I suppose that's the big difference on this thing. It was purely made in the studio...Roger had done a demo, at home, of the entire piece and then we got it into the studio with Bob Ezrin and the rest of us. We went through it and started with the tracks we liked best, discussed a lot of what was not so good, and kicked out a lot of stuff. Roger and Bob spent a lot of time trying to get the story line straighter, more linear conceptually. Ezrin is the sort of guy who's thinking about all the angles all the time, about how to make a shorter story line that's told properly, constantly worried about moving rhythms up and down, all that stuff which we've never really thought about...Some of the arrangements are very close to how Roger originally had them. Most of them are just changed, perhaps, a bit. That's just the normal process we use. Bash things on and try 'em...move things around if you don't like it...I don't think it was a matter of telescoping. It was a matter of being economical and making things say what they're trying to say, quite snappily and not waste the time. That was the mood we were in and certainly Bob Ezrin helped. Very snappy and to the point."

'The Wall'  became a massive success, going to number twenty-nine in Switzerland;  twenty-one in Finland;  nineteen in Denmark;  thirteen in Italy;  nine in Spain;  three in the UK;  and number one in Austria, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the US.   'The Wall' has sold an estimated thirty million copies worldwide.  In 1982, a feature film version 'Pink Floyd - The Wall', directed by Alan Parker was released starring Bob Geldof.  

"Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2"  became a worldwide number one smash, going to number three in the Netherlands; two in Belgium, Italy, and Spain; and number one everywhere else:  Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.  

Waters:  "As far as England is concerned, no I don't think they would be better off without it. I mean you can't just take away what's there and leave a vacuum. Most kids haven't been provided with the necessary tools to educate themselves. You've got to help children to learn. I agree with you that most children will be willing to learn if you help them to. Follow interests that they have, but the machinery that you would need to give them that help can probably only be derived from changing the existing system rather than wiping it all away and saying that whole formal thing is of no use to anyone. Part of the reason that this is in this piece is because at the moment there is a great resurgance in England because educational standards are falling for all kinds of reasons. Standards and literacy are falling, or so they say -- so some people say. And there's a great resurgance 'let's make them sit still and keep quiet and learn to read and write' school of thinking which I think is a terrible shame. But it's happening because the inner cities in England are becoming more overcrowded."

Gilmore:   "It was originally a very short song. There was going to be a quick guitar solo and that was it. There was only one verse ever recorded and we put the solo stuff on the end. Roger and myself sang the verse and then we thought we'd try getting some kids to sing on it. I made up a backing track with a sync pulse up on it so we could later sneak it back in with the original track. We were in L.A. at the time, so I sent the tape to England and got an engineer to summon some kids. I gave him a whole set of instructions - ten-to-fifteen-year-olds from North London, mostly boys - and I said get them to sing this song in as many ways as you like. And he filled up all the tracks on a 24-track machine with stereo pairs of all the different combinations and ways of singing with all these kids. We got the tape back to L.A., played it, and it was terrific.   Originally, we were going to put them in the background, behind Roger and me singing on the same verse. But it was so good we decided to do them on their own. But we didn't want to lose our vocal. So we wound up copying the tape and mixing it twice, one with me and Roger singing and one with the kids. The backing is the same. And we edited them together."

Ezrin:   "The most important thing I did for the song was to insist that it be more than just one verse and one chorus long, which it was when Roger wrote it. When we played it with the disco drumbeat I said: 'Man, this is a hit! But it's one minute 20. We need two verses and two choruses.' And they said, 'Well you're not bloody getting them. We don't do singles, so fuck you.' So I said, 'Okay, fine', and they left. And because of our two [tape recorder] set up, while they weren't around we were able to copy the first verse and chorus, take one of the drum fills, put them in between and extend the chorus.   Then the question is what do you do with the second verse, which is the same? And having been the guy who made Alice Cooper's School's Out, I've got this thing about kids on record, and it is about kids after all. So while we were in America, we sent [recording engineer] Nick Griffiths to a school near the Floyd studios [in Islington, North London]. I said, 'Give me 24 tracks of kids singing this thing. I want Cockney, I want posh, fill 'em up', and I put them on the song. I called Roger into the room, and when the kids came in on the second verse there was a total softening of his face, and you just knew that he knew it was going to be an important record."

Waters:  "Overprotection. If mothers area is often -- well I suppose some mothers neglect their children, but I think an awful lot more of them overprotect them. And go on trying to mother you for far too long. Don't get me wrong -- that's not how I feel about my mother. I don't feel that that's exactly what she did. In fact, I think that she gave me, in lots of ways, a reasonable view of the world and what it was like -- or as reasonable as she could. Nevertheless, I think that parents tend to indocrinate their children with their own beliefs far too strongly. My mother was extremely left wing and I grew up really believing that left wing politics was where it was at. But of course, all the children of right wing parents all held opposite view. And it's very difficult for parents to say to their children, 'well now, this is what I believe, but I might well wrong.' Because they don't feel their wrong. They've sorted it out and they feel they're right, but I think you can waste an aweful lot of your life if you just adopt your parent's view of the world -- or if you reject it completely as well. If you use their view either positively or negatively to the exclusion of thinking it out for yourself, you can waste ten / fifteen years [snaps fingers] like that."

"Hey You"

"Comfortably Numb"

"Young Lust"

"Run Like Hell"

'The Wall'  
full album:

All songs written and composed by Roger Waters, except where noted.

Side one
00:00:00 - In The Flesh?
00:03:20 - The Thin Ice
00:05:47 - Another Brick In The Wall, Part 1
00:09:00 - The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
00:10:49 - Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2
00:14:47 - Mother
Side two
00:20:22 - Goodbye Blue Sky
00:23:09 - Empty Spaces
00:25:17 - Young Lust (Gilmour, Waters)
00:28:47 - One Of My Turns
00:32:24 - Don't Leave Me Now
00:36:40 - Another Brick In The Wall, Part 3
00:37:54 - Goodbye Cruel World
Side three
00:39:11 - Hey You
00:43:53 - Is There Anybody Out There?
00:46:33 - Nobody Home
00:49:57 - Vera
00:51:30 - Bring The Boys Back Home
00:52:56 - Comfortably Numb  (Waters, Gilmour)
Side four
00:59:18 - The Show Must Go On
01:00:56 - In The Flesh
01:05:11 - Run Like Hell  (Waters, Gilmour)
01:09:34 - Waiting For The Worms
01:13:31 - Stop
01:14:02 - The Trial  (Waters, Ezrin)
01:19:20 - Outside The Wall

'The Wall'  
full concert 1980 

'Pink Floyd - The Wall'
full film:

Saturday, November 29, 2014

taking tiger mountain (by strategy)

Brian Eno sought a certain ratio swinging about through the creepers to make us weep more cheaply with subtleties a spectrograph would miss in the impressionistic espionage of these strategically scaled scenes of surrender.  

Eno had started 1974 off with the artistic triumph of his solo debut 'Here Come the Warm Jets' and continued to work in the studio producing John Cale's 'Fear', Robert Calvert's 'Lucky Leif and the Longships', and two albums for the Portsmouth Sinfonia.  Eno also collaborated with Kevin Ayers on the experimental spoken word album 'Lady June's Linguistic Leprosy';  and the two of them performed an all-star concert with John Cale and Nico at the Rainbow Theatre in London that was released as a live album entitled 'June 1, 1974'.  

All the while, Eno was struggling with the lyrical component of composition:   "I...began to wonder about what lyrics were...They aren't a problem in the sense of inhibition - but they were a problem in that I didn't have anything to say. I didn't have a message and I didn't have experiences that I felt strongly enough to want to write about. In fact, I felt far more strongly about the intellectual side of me that was going into essays and lectures and things...All my favourite songs had lyrics which I didn't quite understand...My own favourite songs had lines like that. 'Dead Finks', for example: 'Oh please sir, will you let it go by / Cos I failed both tests with my legs both tied / In my case the stuff is all there / I've never been so sad for a very long time.'  Which gave me a picture of this tongue-twisted boy who had just failed an interview and was sort of blushing and embarrassed.  And I decided I wanted these picture-lyrics. Because love-songs don't do that. Love-songs make a number of statements - which I'm wary of doing - so I've avoided love-songs, and it's only on this album I've just done that anything like a love-song starts to appear."

A major epiphany came when he found a set of postcard stills from a Red Chinese ballet-film called Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy:   "It was so exciting! I thought 'That's the sort of lyric I want!' There was 'Tiger Mountain' which gave it a medieval, almost folksy, flavour - and 'By Strategy', which was very up-tempo and modern.  So I bought the set and started carrying it around with me and thinking about it. And when I got to New York I went to stay with this girl called Randi and fell asleep after taking some mescaline and had this dream where this group of girls were singing to this group of sailors who had just come into port. And they were singing 'We are The 801 / We are the Central Shaft' - and I woke up absolutely jubilant because this was the first bit of lyric I'd written in this new style."

Back in London, Eno began going through years of old tapes to find fragments with which to work:   "I called up Phil (Manzanera) and asked him over to help. What actually happened was that I'd have loads of little bits and pieces lying around which I'd give to him to work out what key they were in, etc., and then he'd come back to me and say 'Well, this bit might fit onto the end of that bit', you know?  He helped a lot by plastering it together - and also by co-writing 'The True Wheel' which contains the fragment about The 801.   As soon as I'd made up the shape of the song, I made a plan of it on paper, sketching out all the spaces where I wanted words, and began running through it, just singing whatever came into my head. And every time I hit on a phrase I liked, I'd write it down in its particular place in the framework.   And gradually I'd arrive at a kind of 'found' document made up of half-obscured fragments -and all I then had to do was fill in the blanks by reconstructing what I thought each lyric was about. Automatic writing, in fact.  I liked the idea of making myself into a channel for whatever it is to transmit ideas and images through. So my lyrics are receivers, rather than transmitters, of meaning - very vague and ambiguous, but just about evocative enough to stimulate some sort of interpretation process to take place.  The mysterious thing is: where do the words come from?"

The sessions for 'Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)' took place at Island Studios in London with Brian Eno on arrangements, production, vocals, electronics, snake guitar, and keyboards;   Phil Manzanera on arrangements, production, and guitars;   Brian Turrington on bass guitar;  Freddie Smith on drums;  and Robert Wyatt on percussion and backing vocals.  "Special Guests" included Portsmouth Sinfonia on strings for "Put a Straw Under Baby";  Randi and the Pyramids on the chorus of "The True Wheel";  The Simplistics on the chorus of "Back in Judy's Jungle" and "Taking Tiger Mountain";   Andy Mackay providing brass on "The Fat Lady of Limbourg";  Phil Collins adding extra drums on "Mother Whale Eyeless";  and Polly Eltes doing vocals on "Mother Whale Eyeless".  Rhett Davies engineered the album with assistant Robert Ash.   During the process he also worked with Peter Schmidt to develop the 'Oblique Strategies (Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas)' cards to help break through creative blocks by trying a random approach.  Schmidt also designed the album cover from lithographs and polaroids of Eno.  

Manzanera looks back:     "Oh, it was great fun. On "Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)", we were just doing anything we felt like doing at the time. The funny thing is that the engineer who we used, Rhett Davies, he's involved on this Roxy tour. He also did "Diamond Head" and "801 Live" and Quiet Sun, so it's like a family. There was a lot of experimenting and a lot of hours spent with Brian Eno, me and Rhett in the control room doing all the things that eventually evolved into those cards, the "Oblique Strategies", and it was a lot of fun. But then, after "801 Live", Eno went off to work with Bowie, and we virtually never saw him again. He was just too busy working with all those other people."

Eno considers:  "I nearly always work from ideas rather than sounds. Titles. It's that title that just fascinates me. It's fabulous. I mean, I am interested in strategy, and the idea of it. I'm not Maoist or any of that; if anything, I'm anti-Maoist. Strategy interests me because it deals with the interaction of systems, which is what my interest in music is really, and not so much the interaction of sounds ... The dichotomy between the archaic and the progressive. Half Taking Tiger Mountain – that Middle Ages physical feel of storming a military position – and half (By Strategy) – that very, very 20th-century mental concept of a tactical interaction of systems ... One of the recurrent themes of rock music is a preoccupation with new dances. And it's taken by intellectuals as the lowest form of rock music, the most basic and crude. So I was interested in combining that very naive and crude form of expression with an extremely complex concept like Taking Tiger Mountain, which would be a sort of double joke. First of all the joke of me doing a dance number and secondly the fact that it also has a complex symbology that discusses another question. The idea is paraphrasing the dance as a dance between two technologies. One of McLuhan's contentions is that conflict, international conflict, is always conflict between two technologies, not two moralities. Moralities are dictated by those technologies. I've taken the conflict between the regular-type soldiers and guerilla-type technologies. I've called the regular soldier-type ones, since they're mechanically oriented, clockwork ones. The guerilla tactic ones are electronic... I'm not subscribing to any political point of view. It's to do with this technological rift. Technological rifts have always produced hybrid art forms... For the soldiers, it's a set of emergencies. For the guerillas, it's a set of opportunities."

"Taking Tiger Mountain"

"China My China"

"The True Wheel"

"Third Uncle"

 'Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)'
full album:

All songs written and composed by Brian Eno, except where noted. 

Side one

1. "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More"   3:18
2. "Back in Judy's Jungle"   5:16
3. "The Fat Lady of Limbourg"   5:03
4. "Mother Whale Eyeless"   5:45
5. "The Great Pretender"   5:11

Side two
1. "Third Uncle" (Eno, arr. Brian Turrington) 4:48
2. "Put a Straw Under Baby"   3:25
3. "The True Wheel" (composed by Eno, Phil Manzanera) 5:11
4. "China My China"   4:44
5. "Taking Tiger Mountain"   5:32

Friday, November 28, 2014


Jefferson Airplane tore down the walls and got a revolution with the free and easy acid anarchy of this controversial classic.  After spearheading the psychedelic movement with 'Surrealistic Pillow', the group continued to challenge themselves and their audiences with the heavier sound of albums like 'After Bathing at Baxter's' and 'Crown of Creation', and the live 'Bless Its Pointed Little Head'; all of which were commercial successes, despite the fact that radio was reluctant to play their singles.  By the time they came to record their next album, the group had secured artistic control and went into Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco with its state-of-the-art Ampex MM-1000 professional 16-track tape recorder.  The sessions were produced by Al Schmitt and engineered by Rich Schmitt and featured Grace Slick on vocals, piano, organ, and recorder;   Paul Kantner on vocals and rhythm guitar;  Marty Balin on vocals and percussion;   Jorma Kaukonen on lead guitar and vocals;   Jack Casady on bass;  and Spencer Dryden on drums and percussion;   with Nicky Hopkins on piano;  Stephen Stills on hammond organ;  Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar;  Joey Covington on congas and chair;  David Crosby contributing sailboat;  Ace of Cups adding vocals on "The Farm" and "Turn My Life Down";  and Bill Laudner providing lead vocals on "A Song for All Seasons".  

After the album was recorded, the group took part in the Woodstock Music & Art Fair where they played several songs from the album.  The release of the album was complicated when the actual Volunteers of America charity took umbrage with their intended 'Volunteers of Amerika'; so it was shortened to 'Volunteers'.  Despite having no hit singles, the album went to thirty-four in the UK and thirteen in the US, where it was certified gold.  It would be the final album with the band's classic lineup, as Marty Balin and Spencer Dryden would leave the group.

"Wooden Ships" was written by  David Crosby, Paul Kantner and Stephen Stills in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on a boat named "Mayan" owned by Crosby.  It had appeared on 'Crosby, Stills, & Nash' earlier that year.

If you smile at me, I will understand
'Cause that is something everybody everywhere does
In the same language
I can see by your coat, my friend
You're from the other side
There's just one thing I got to know
Can you tell me please, who won the war ?
Say, can I have some of your purple berries?
Yes, I've been eating them for six or seven weeks now
Haven't got sick once
Probably keep us both alive
Wooden ships on the water, very free and easy
Easy, you know the way it's supposed to be
Silver people on the shoreline, let us be
Talkin' 'bout very free and easy
Horror grips us as we watch you die
All we can do is echo your anguished cries
Stare as all human feelings die
We are leaving, you don't need us
Go, take your sister then, by the hand
Lead her away from this foreign land
Far away, where we might laugh again
We are leaving, you don't need us
And it's a fair wind blowin' warm
Out of the south over my shoulder
Guess I'll set a course and go

live at Woodstock

live at Woodstock

"We Can Be Together / Volunteers"

full album:

Side one
1. "We Can Be Together"   Paul Kantner 5:48
2. "Good Shepherd"   traditional, arranged by Jorma Kaukonen 4:21
3. "The Farm"   Kantner, Gary Blackman  3:15
4. "Hey Fredrick"   Grace Slick 8:26
Side two
1. "Turn My Life Down"   Kaukonen 2:54
2. "Wooden Ships"   David Crosby, Kantner, Stephen Stills 6:24
3. "Eskimo Blue Day"   Slick, Kantner 6:31
4. "A Song for All Seasons"   Spencer Dryden 3:28
5. "Meadowlands"   traditional, arranged by Slick, Kantner 1:04
6. "Volunteers"   Marty Balin, Kantner 2:08

Thursday, November 27, 2014

building the perfect beast

Don Henley stepped out of the shadows and never looked back, parlaying pop perfection into this respectable radio ready repast.  After years with The Eagles, Henley had begun a songwriting partnership with Danny Kortchmar that resulted in his solo debut 'I Can't Stand Still'.  Henley considers:    “I sold 650,000 copies or something, which is respectable, I guess, for a first album…I had a gold album and a gold single…I was moderately satisfied...['Building the Perfect Beast'] is an extension of the work I started on that album. The technology is on the record as part of the songwriting to make a point and color the words.”

When Asylum Records executive David Geffen left to form his own label, Henley followed him.  'Building the Perfect Beast' was recorded at at Record One in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles; Bill Schnee Studio at Universal City, C.A.; and The Villa in North Hollywood, Los Angeles.  The album features  Don Henley on lead vocals, percussion, drums, keyboards, chant, and harmony vocals;  and Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar on organ, synthesizer, bass, guitar, percussion, keyboards, synthesizer guitar, chant, and omnichord;   joined by a legion of luminary guests:        Lindsey Buckingham on guitar, backing vocals, and harmony vocals;  Mike Campbell on synthesizer, guitar, and percussion;  Charlie Sexton on guitar;   Tim Drummond, Pino Palladino, and Larry Klein on bass guitar;   Jim Keltner and Ian Wallace on drums;   Kevin McCormick on African drums;   Randy Newman, Steve Porcaro, and Michael Boddicker on synthesizer;   David Paich and Benmont Tench on synthesizer, piano, and keyboards;   Albhy Galuten on synthesizer and synclavier;  Bill Cuomo on synthesizer and percussion;   Jerry Hey on horns;   Belinda Carlisle on backing vocals and harmony vocals;    Michael O'Donahue, Waddy Wachtel, J.D. Souther, and Carla Olson on backing vocals and chant;    Patty Smyth and Martha Davis on backing vocals, chant, and harmony vocals;   Marie-Pascale Elfman and Dominique Mancinelli on backing vocals and ensemble;  and Sam Moore on harmony vocals.   Henley co-produced the sessions with Mike Campbell, Danny Kortchmar, and Greg Ladanyi.  

Henley says:    “I like to think of myself as a good casting director. One of the most joyous parts of recording for me is assembling the musicians and especially the singers. I mean, that’s the fun part at the end, after you’ve sweated the lyrics...I have a lot of nerve. I’ll call anybody. I didn’t know Patty or Sam and some of the others. I was afraid some of those people were not going to be into an old guy from the mellow Seventies, you know? And Patty said, ‘Are you kidding? I used to sing ‘Witchy Woman’ when I was 15!'...It’s really unhealthy to just stick together in little groups...The way people relate to each other on a one-to-one level is directly related to the way the world is and the way the times are...Information is not necessarily a substitute for meaning.”

'Building the Perfect Beast' became a major success for Henley, going to number twenty-four in  Sweden, eighteen in New Zealand, seventeen in Canada, fifteen in Norway, fourteen in the UK, thirteen in the US, and number four in Australia.

"Boys of Summer" became a smash hit for Henley  and made him much more recognizable in the MTV age, going to fifteen in Canada, twelve in the UK, five on the US pop chart, three on the US adult contemporary chart, and number one on the US hot mainstream rock tracks chart.  The video won MTV Video Music Awards for Video Of The Year, Best Director, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography.  Collaborator Mike Campbell reveals:   "I used to have a 4-track machine in my house and I had just gotten a drum machine - it's when the Roger Linn drum machine first came out. I was playing around with that and came up with a rhythm. I made the demo on my little 4-track and I showed it to Tom, but at the time, the record we were working on, Southern Accents, it didn't really sound like anything that would fit into the album. The producer we were working with at the time, Jimmy Iovine, called me up one day and said he had spoken with Don, who I'd never met, and said that he was looking for songs. He gave me his number and I called him up and played it for him and he called me the next day and said he put it on in his car and had written these words and wanted to record it. That's kind of how it started. Basically, he wanted to recreate the demo as close as we could. We ended up changing the key for the voice. We actually cut it in one key, did the whole record with overdubs and everything, and then he decided to change the key like a half step up or something, we had to do the whole record again, but it turned out pretty good."

Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air, the summer’s out of reach
Empty lake, empty streets, the sun goes down alone
I’m drivin’ by your house, though I know you’re not home
But I can see you, your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I never will forget those nights, I wonder if it was a dream

Remember how you made me crazy? Remember how I made you scream?
Now I don’t understand what happened to our love
But baby I’m gonna get you back I’m gonna show you what I’m made of
I can see you, your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
I see you walkin’ real slow and you’re smilin’ at everyone
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac

A little voice inside my head said “Don’t look back you can never look back”
I thought I knew what love was, what did I know?
Those days are gone forever, I should just let them go but

I can see you, your brown skin shinin’ in the sun

You got that top pulled down and that radio on baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I can see you, your brown skin shining in the sun

You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

"Sunset Grill" charted at number twenty-two on the US pop chart, eighteen on the US adult contemporary chart, seven on the US hot mainstream rock tracks chart, and number three on the Canadian adult contemporary chart.   Henley says:  "The worth ethic in America today and how everybody seems to want the most possible money in the quickest amount of time with the least possible effort.  It’s also about the spreading “franchise” mentality, which is creating a non-thinking automaton class of individuals who needn’t create or take responsibility."

Let's go down to the Sunset Grill 

We can watch the working girls go by 
Watch the "basket people" walk around and mumble 
And stare out at the auburn sky 
There's an old man there from the old world 
To him, it's all the same 
Calls all his customers by name

Down at the Sunset Grill 

You see a lot more meanness in the city 

It's the kind that eats you up inside 
Hard to come away with anything that feels like dignity 
Hard to get home with any pride 
These days a man makes you somethin' 
And you never see his face 
But there is no hiding place 

Down at the Sunset Grill 

Respectable little murders pay 

They get more respectable every day 
Don't worry girl, I'm gonna stick by you 
And someday soon we're gonna get in that 
Car and get outta here 

Let's go down to the Sunset Grill 

Watch the working girls go by 
Watch the "basket people" walk around and mumble 
Gaze out at the auburn sky 
Maybe we'll leave come springtime 
Meanwhile, have another beer 
What would we do without all these jerks anyway? 
And besides, all our friends are here 

Down at the Sunset Grill 

"All She Wants to Do Is Dance" went to number thirteen in Canada, ten on the US dance chart, nine on the US pop chart, and number one on the US hot mainstream rock tracks chart. 

"Not Enough Love in the World" hit number thirty-four on the US pop chart, seventeen on the US hot mainstream rock tracks chart, six on the US adult contemporary chart, and three on the Canadian adult contemporary chart.  

I was either standing in your shadow or 

Blocking your light 
Though I kept on trying I could not make it right 
For you girl 

There's just not enough love in the world

Don Henley - Not Enough Love In The World от Вадим Субочев на Rutube.

'Building the Perfect Beast' 
full album:

Building the Perfect Beast from Don Henley on Myspace.

1. "The Boys of Summer" (Don Henley, Mike Campbell) 4:45
2. "You Can't Make Love" (Henley, Danny Kortchmar) 3:34
3. "Man With a Mission" (Henley, Kortchmar, J.D. Souther) 2:43
4. "You're Not Drinking Enough" (Kortchmar) 4:40
5. "Not Enough Love in the World" (Henley, Kortchmar, Benmont Tench) 3:54
6. "Building the Perfect Beast" (Henley, Kortchmar) 4:59
7. "All She Wants to Do Is Dance" (Kortchmar) 4:28
8. "Sunset Grill" (Henley, Kortchmar, Tench) 6:22
9. "Drivin' With Your Eyes Closed" (Henley, Kortchmar, Stan Lynch) 3:41
10. "Land of the Living" (Henley, Kortchmar) 3:24