When I think back to the making of this record, my first memory is a phone call I got in 1982, from the President of A&M, asking me if I would like to record a album for the label. (I had been a staff songwriter there for a few years.) He said that he was always impressed with the sound of my demos, and that since we weren't setting the world on fire pitching my songs to others, maybe I should try recording them myself. Truly, a dream come true.
Fast forward to the next year which I spent painstakingly recording track upon track of guitar layers in the sweaty little control room of Wychwood, my home studio at the time. When I was nearly done, I remember staying up for 3 days straight, writing and recording 'Walking in The Dark', desperately trying to finish it before we went off to The Power Station in New York to mix. It was all a gruelling process, complete with its share of 80's debauchery, but it was totally a labour of love.
In addition to the tracks that were available on the original A&M version of this album, there are a few real 'rarities' which I have added. First of all, the extra piece at the end of 'I Need Your Love' was found when I listened to the original 24 track master. I thought that the way the track breaks down was so cool that I had to include it. At the end, if you listen close, you can even hear co-producer Fred Mollin telling drummer Jorn Andersen how great it was that we recorded this one on the first take.
The version of 'Heart of The Fire' is different from the one included on the original LP. We were never happy with that version because the mix barely had any bass on it and that the recording never captured the spark that the original demo once had. That demo version is included here.
'You Make It All So Easy' was recorded at Record One and Cherokee in L.A., around 1979, to be featured in the film 'Middle Age Crazy' starring Ann Margaret and Bruce Dern. It was a total gas for me because I recorded it with Jeff Porcaro (drums) and David Hungate (bass) from Toto. I was a huge fan.
'At The Water' What can I say? We were all young once. This is probably the earliest recorded song I will ever release. It was recorded in 1979 in D.D. Hill's basement and it sounds like the 8-track demo that it is. It has always been a song that I have had a certain fondness for. The keyboard part in the verse was actually played with the tone on a Korg guitar tuner, triple tracked to play the notes in the chords!
'Renegade' was recorded to be part of an album I never finished in 1987 and was previously unreleased.
Listening to this record while re-mastering for CD provided me with a unique thrill, in that I had gotten so used to the sound of the vinyl records, I had forgotten how clean the recordings actually were. This CD lets you hear it as we mixed it at The Power Station in November 1983.
-Stan Meissner, 1994.
Stan Meissner: guitars, keyboards, vocals
Paul Daiter: bass
Jorn Andersen: drums
Fred Mollin: percussion
Shelby Daniel: additional vocal on 'I Need Your Love'
Produced by Stan Meissner and Fred Mollin
Basic tracks recorded at Manta Sound by John Naslen, assisted by Ron Searles
All overdubs recorded at The Wychwood Studio by Stan Meissner
Additional recording at Eastern Sound by Peter Mann and Mike Baskerville
and Skyline Studios, N.Y.C. by Stan Meissner
Mixed at The Power Station N.Y.C. by Scott Litt assisted by Garry Rindfuss
'You Make It All So Easy'
Produced by Matthew McCauley
Recorded at Record One L.A. and Mixed at Cherokee, Engineered by Bobby Shaper
S.M.-Guitars & Vocals, Jeff Porcaro-Drums, David Hungate-Bass, Matthew McCauley-Keyboards
'At The Water'
Produced by Stan Meissner
Recorded and Mixed at Great Shakes, Engineered by D.D. Hill
S.M.-Guitars, Keyboards & Vocals, Gary Berman-Drums,Paul Daiter-Bass
Produced by Stan Meissner
Recorded and Mixed at The Wychwood Studio, Engineered by Stan Meissner
S.M. -Guitars, Keyboards, Drums & Vocals, Anton Evans-Bass, Fred Mollin-Percussion
Original Disc Mastering by Mike Reese of The Mastering Lab, Hollywood, California
Re-Mastered for C.D. by George Graves at Lacquer Channel
Special thanks to - Tim McCauley (for assistance beyond the call of duty), Fred, Deenah, Andrew Hermant, Peter Mann, Faigie & Wilf, Barbara, Michael, Russell, 'Dangerous' David Quinton, Jeff Morrison, Jim Bralower (Simmons Drums), Joey Axe, Stingers, Gina, The McCauley Family, Matthew, the staff at The Power Station, Scott, Studio 306, David Letterman, The Carnegie Deli, Mike Reese, Mary Ann, Susan B., Sparky and Rags.
Very special thanks to - Gerry Lacoursiere (then and now), Michael Godin, Brian Chater and all at A&M for their help and support. Thanks also (for helping prepare this C.D.) to Sally Macpherson, Madonna McMannus and Nancy Glatt
Even more thanks to Sondi & Carl Dixon for making this CD a reality.
Original Art Direction & Design - David Andoff
Photography - Bruno Dayan
Masters used on this album were licensed from PolyGram Group Canada Inc. and Meissner Music Productions Inc.