The day the music died, it rose again!
It was an incredible time for music. Prog rock was crashing and drowning in a deluge of new sounds. The 70s struggled to maintain the glamour of the 60s but economics bit deep with a three-day week and rubbish piling in the streets.
It was hard times and the youth got disillusioned in the dead end of tawdry English towns with nothing to offer and nothing to do there. The music became harsh and raw. Psychedelia bit the dust. All the flowers got ripped up. Punk Rock burst in with the Sex Pistols, the Damned, the Clash…London was calling the tune. The times rocked with a gritty new sound. The Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks was a startling and searing fuck-you to the establishment, ‘God save the Queen, she ain’t no human being…’
However, Punk soon got submerged in the New Wave of more polished material from the likes of The Police, Elvis Costello and many other exciting new acts, which were like a breath of fresh air after years of Yes and Pink Floyd! Those old bands had bored young people to death with their irrelevant meanderings. Of course, when we got older we began to love bands like Pink Floyd again.
The 80s rolled on with a synth-driven sound – Pet Shop Boys, Spandau Ballet, Tears for Fear etc – and some claimed the guitar had died. It never did, of course. The 90s ushered in Oasis, Blur, Suede and other bands with the guitar at the forefront of the sound. And there were players like Johnny Marr and Paul Weller who conjured fresh new grooves from the instrument. Weller was of course the front man of The Jam, a band that had blazed a trail of glory in the wreckage of Punk at the end of the 70s with fantastic songs such as David Watts and A Town Called Malice. Weller’s sound had matured by the 90s and one of that decades best albums was Stanley Road.
Back in the Day is a cycle of songs of nostalgic retrospect, tipping the hat to songwriters like Weller. The album has a common theme of London, where I grew up in the 70s. The sound can be reminiscent of Squeeze in Mandies & Blues for instance, or ‘Richard Ashcroft at his best’ on Little Bird, and perhaps a bit of the Clash on the title track Back in the Day. Mix in there older influences such the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Nevertheless, one critic wrote: ‘Stevee has his own voice, great lyrical skills, strong songwriting and a warm dynamic production.’ Nice one! Thanks!
I am an advocate of real instruments & musicians all playing together at the same time. All the songs were recorded with my typical modus operandi – the drums, bass and guitars are recorded live and then there are a few overdubs before mixing. I love to record this way because I believe it gives things a better feel.
Back in the Day is available at bandcamp.com (also available on Apple, Amazon and blah blah). I believe Bandcamp is the best choice for independent artists. You have complete control there unlike the aforementioned conglomerates. I like the fact that you can set whatever price you like for your material. I favour a pay-what-you-like system. It seems fairer to me. So if you’re skint you can have the album for nothing, and if you’re feeling generous you can pay a few quid. A fan paid $30 for Back in the Day yesterday. Thank you kindly, sir.
Check out Back in the Day at bandcamp. I hope you like it, and if you do you can pay what you like. How’s that for a square deal!?