Thursday, 15 January 2015

Art of the Cover - Joe Ely's "B4 84" (2014)

Lubbock legend Joe Ely writes below on the origins of his newest “old” record, the wonderful B484, which has just recently been made available.

Versions of the songs that make up B484 ended up making Ely’s1984 album Hi-Res, which is until now, the only Ely album to never be officially released in the United States.

The versions here though afre far better, having, as Ely himself says, "a simple freshness" to them.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak wrote the liner notes for B484.

“I had been on the road day in and day out for seven years, I was deep in debt, tired of traveling and disillusioned by the music business. I was back home in Austin for the Christmas holidays nursing my wounds and wondering what to do next. The year was 1982. Our next gig was New Years Eve in Lubbock. After the close of what seemed to be a great show, my guitar player, Jesse Taylor, came backstage and announced that this was his last night. He had quit the band. 
I accepted his resignation as an omen, and was shocked and relieved at the same time. There had been friction building for a while now. It was clear that this meant the end of an era. 
I started writing new songs reflecting on where I had been, and in doing so, I found inspiration hiding in the moment. A new horizon began to appear. I had recently built a makeshift studio at my home in Texas. It consisted of a four-track TEAC recorder, a few microphones, a Roland 808 drum machine and a strange contraption called a personal computer. It was the early Apple 2+ Computer with the very first sequencer card called an Alpha Centauri. I recruited Mitch Watkins to help me figure out these new machines. Roscoe Beck, Bill Ginn and Eddy Beethoven added to the mix. This new era had reached up and bit me on the ass… 
Little by little I began to track the new sounds. New songs and appeared as fast as I could record them. Everything was an experiment. There was no familiar territory. And over the course of the year enough had been recorded for a record. 
But, alas, the record company was not impressed by the work and wanted to re-record everything from scratch in Hollywood … 
Of course, this took many months and every penny from my contract. And when it was all mixed and mastered I went back and listened to the earliest tracks. I heard a simple freshness in them that seemed to be missing in the new multitrack recordings. 
And now I have decided to share those original recordings with you from the year before 1984 …”

- by Joe Ely [original here]


01 – Imagine Houston
02 – You Got The Broken Heart
03 – What’s Shakin’ Tonight
04 – Ride A Motorcycle
05 – My Baby Thinks She’s French
06 – Cool Rockin’ Loretta
07 – Dame Tu Mano
08 – Lipstick In The Night
09 – Madame Wo
10 – Isabella

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