Sunday, November 9, 2014

when the pawn...

Fiona Apple challenged expectations and came into her own with the heartbreak and humor of this powerful personal perseverance.  Although her debut album 'Tidal' had sold more than three million copies and earned her the Best New Artist award at the MTV Music Awards, she was unsatisfied with the music industry.  

Apple would reveal:   "When I got off the road, I took, like, six or eight months where I didn't do anything, and I didn't, like, really play piano or anything like that, and I just didn't think about it at all, 'cause I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. I wasn't sure I wanted to come back. I wasn't sure, I wasn't sure, and I took some time, and I didn't really think about anything like re-entering it, and then, after a few months, you just kind of forget what it was like. So I just kind of naturally started writing songs again, and then once I wrote songs the decision is made, 'cause if you write songs and you're proud of them, then you kind of have to do something with them... I just feel like [there are] certain times in life where you just feel that you have an argument and you just want to make a point, but there's really no point in making that point to someone. You just kind of need to make it for yourself, to figure out exactly how you feel about something. I'd just be alone in my house and be like, "Ahh, piano," and it just started to be the way that I would deal with things. It was the way I deal with things three or four years ago, when I was writing songs for the other album, and then it kind of stopped being the way that I would deal with things. I would kind of deal with things then by just saying things to people a lot, 'cause I wasn't around the piano a lot, except for doing the shows. But after some time away from the piano, it started to become attractive to me again.  I started without thinking, "I'm going to start trying to write now for a record." I just started because it was at that moment, "I want to write something down." I think people run into that problem because they pay way too much attention to it early on. I think they start going, "Okay, well, this is going really good. How am I going to top this? What is my public image? How am I going to top that?" I didn't need to worry about topping my public image, and I'm really proud of the songs that I write [and] that I've written for this [album], and I was proud of them when I was writing them, and I knew they were good when I was writing them, so there was no worry about that. If I hadn't been sure that they were great, I just wouldn't have made the album."  

'When The Pawn...' was recorded at Andora Studio; Chateau Brion Studio; Nrg; Ocean Way Studio; One On One South; Preasence Studio Westport; and Woodwinds with producer Jon Brion.  The sessions featured  Fiona Apple on piano and vocals;   John Bainbridge on orchestration;   Robert Becker and Denyse Buffman, Scott Haupert, Maria Newman  on viola; Charlie Bisharat, Eve Butler,Susan Chatman,  Armen Garabedian, Berj Garabedianon, Peter Kent, Brian Leonard, Robert Peterson, Michele Richards, Edmund Stein, John Wittenberg on violin;   Mike Breaux on woodwind;  Jonathan "Butch" Norton and Matt Chamberlain on percussion and drums;  Greg Cohen and Mike Elizondo on bass guitar;  Larry Corbett and Suzie Katayama on cello;  Wendell Kelly on horn;  Jim Keltner on drums;  and Patrick Warren on Chamberlin and Wurlitzer. mixing was done by Brion and engineer Rich Costey.

Apple asserts:  "Because of changes in me personally, and also because of working with Jon, every element has been taken to the highest degree. It is more confident and less self-conscious. Jon has his genius and his visions, and will go and go and never stop and play everything that comes into his mind. He can do so much. It's easy to discuss, and take apart the song and its structure. But it's not only that he wants to make a good record - he wants to make a record that the songwriter intended. He knows that I will be going out to play this ... I'm just more confident as a singer. When I made the album the first time, I hadn't ever sung before, and then I went on the road, and that was when I kind of actually started learning how to sing, and so then making this album, I wasn't as shy with it. When I did the [first] album I'd never been on a stage, so I was kinda like in [the studio] with the [headphones] feeling really insecure. And then this time, you know, I didn't care."

The full title of the album was a ninety word poem that got her into the Guinness Book of World Records for longest album title:  'When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King/What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight/And He'll Win the Whole Thing 'fore He Enters the Ring/There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might/So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand/And Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights/And if You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land/And if You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right.'

She says it was written to help her process a negative story about her in Spin magazine:   "I was crying, like, 'This can't be happening. People are personally attacking me way too much, and I need to remember that I do everything for the right reasons.' I question my motives, I make myself proud, I am a good person, I've never done anything to hurt anyone, and this is not me that they're putting down. This is something that they've created.   I needed to write something, the same way that I write songs, when I feel like I need to clarify something to make myself feel better. I didn't have a piano because I was on a bus, so I wrote a poem. And then I figured, I'm going to get into a lot of this stuff again where I'm probably going to get attacked a lot. To remind myself, I'll just make it the title."

'When The Pawn...' went to number sixy-six in Germany, fifty-four in Australia, forty-six in the UK, thirty-nine in Japan, thirty-two in France, thirteen in the US, and six in Canada.  Apple considers:   "My goal was to really enjoy myself this time. Last time I would make myself work as hard as I could, just to prove that I could work hard. I did it so much that I got a certain pride out of it, but I also wasn't having fun at times, and just became addicted to doing everything that everybody wanted me to do. I want to do this for the rest of my life, but I have to be able to enjoy it, and that's the only goal I have. I just want to make that the f--king first priority this time. I want to be more of myself, which is about having fun rather than this self-inflicted workhorse thing ...  For me, the best times are always going to be the most intense, the ones with the highest highs and the lowest lows. I was so pissed off that I was misunderstood for a while that it discouraged me. Because I don't feel that way anymore, I can use those experiences and think they're wonderful. If I had the worst of times and I had the best times, that means I really kicked ass because I got past those worst times."

"Fast As You Can"


"Paper Bag"

"Across the Universe"

'When The Pawn...'
full album:

Fiona Apple - When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts... by kritikospa

All songs written by Fiona Apple

"On the Bound" – 5:23
"To Your Love" – 3:40
"Limp" – 3:31
"Love Ridden" – 3:22
"Paper Bag" – 3:40
"A Mistake" – 4:58
"Fast as You Can" – 4:40
"The Way Things Are" – 4:18
"Get Gone" – 4:10
"I Know" – 4:57

bonus tracks
"Across the Universe" (Lennon–McCartney)
"Never is a Promise" [live]

No comments:

Post a Comment