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LC

"Desperate Fools"

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LC   

All that talk about "She Remembered" in another thread made me think of another favorite "underrated" ballad of mine, "Desperate Fools." Nearly 30 years after its release, it holds up well: an A-1 composition that's very visual... sort of like a movie within a song.

Back in the day (I was a sophomore in college at the time), I wondered why the album wasn't titled Desperate Fools, especially considering that "DF" is both the opening and closing track. Nothing against Change of Heart, but the B&W photograph does have a bit of a "desperate" feel. At a glance, it just looked like it should have been called Desperate Fools.

I also thought "Desperate Fools" coulda been a contender as a single. But I suppose a wistful ballad like that -- powerful though it may be --- might have gotten lost in the midst of disco-mania.

Just my thoughts on a great song (and the name of Marlene's fantasy baseball team, too!).

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When I turned in the album to Arista, "Desperate Fools" WAS the title. Alas, Clive thought it was "too negative." So the album title became "Change Or Heart."

Here's a little tidbit for you. When I sequenced the "Boats Against The Current" album, it STARTED with "Run Away" and ENDED with "Boats Against The Current." It was sequenced chronologically, like life. Clive didn't like starting with 'Run Away" because traditionally labels like to lead off with the "single". You know, back before "concept albums" when all of us artists started taking ourselves too seriously. I told Clive the sequence had to remain as is and that I really wanted it to start with "Run Away" but, if he insisted, he could start with "Boats" and run the sequence backwards. That, of course, was his choice.

"Boats" was always supposed to be the album "closer". That's the way I planned it, but heck, what do I know, It was just my life story and I only wrote the damn thing. ec

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Muzza   

So your life story is.....

Run Away

I think I found myself

She did it

Love is all that matters

Take it or leave

Nowhere to hide

Marathon Man

Boats against the current

or should that be was... and so what songs in what order would you use to create an album that's your life story now??

Muzza cool

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Back in the day if the hit single was the 2nd track in, most folks wouldn't fool around w/ trying to set the needle down perfectly just to

get to the song they really want to hear.

Therefore it could be an advantage to have a

'single' prospect as the 1st song on a side

just before the sure-fire hit. IMHO!

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When I sequenced the "Boats Against The Current" album, it STARTED with "Run Away" and ENDED with "Boats Against The Current." It was sequenced chronologically, like life.

Well, that's interesting! You've just introduced a whole new way to listen to the Boats album! Was the original sequencing exactly backwards or was a track slid around here and there?

Bernie

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LC   

Aha! Desperate Fools, the album.... That's how I figured it was intended. Not that I'm particularly astute, but it seemed obvious because of the first and last tracks and the cover.

As for that "Boats" tidbit, Ohhh MY! (as baseball announcer Dick Enberg would say). THAT is interesting! Boats is the album I've listened to more than any other in my life, Beatles and Beach Boys stuff included, and now, you've shed a whole new light on it. Thank you! The reverse-order tracking tells a different story, although I'd love to hear the answer to Bernie's question.

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My original sequence was:

Run Away

I Think I Found Myself

She Did It

Love Is All That Matters

Take It Or Leave It

Nowhere To Hide

A Temporary Hero

Marathon Man

Boats Against The Current

It tracked my life from 1967 (the year I graduated from high school) through 1977. Fortunately, I'm a bit more optimitsic now.

ec

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James   

Good thread LC...I think you and I have a kinda parallel Raspberry/ECarmen fandom experience. I enjoy reading your musical musings.

And WOW...the Boats revelation is interesting. I think song sequence is huge on an album. I also think a little something has been lost since the CD format did away with the 2 side structure that we had on our vinyl albums.

And the original sequence of Boats is intriguing, and really works. I thing it would have made the album even that much better..

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You know --- "A Temporary Hero" begs

the question????

I don't think I've seen/heard this one.

Excellent thread LC! To me that seems like the way to sequence an album.

Hmmm... A Temporary Hero eh? Why was it cut?

HT

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marvin   

I certainly can understand what Eric was trying to achieve thematically with "Boats" (the album), and as much as I love the album for its lyrical and musical richness, I always found many of the songs to be depressing. "Temporary Hero" would have fit this mood perfectly.

Marv

p.s. I'm going to go listen to "Boats" again, and program my cd player to play the songs in the proper running order.

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It wasn't cut. When Gud Dudgeon "left" the project, he also left me with 46 reels of 2 inch (24 track) tape. Everything we had done, which amounted to piano, bass and drums with the odd guitar here and there, recorded over a period of perhaps five months, was somewhere within those 46 reels of tape. Normally,the producer and/or engineer keep detailed notes, contained on a "track sheet" or each "take" of a song ( the date of the recording, which track the bass is on, which tracks the drums are on, stereo piano, guitar etc.). These track sheets are kept inside the box with each reel of tape, so, when you open the box, the first thing you see, sitting on top of the tape, is the track sheet that contains all the pertinent information pertaining to what is on that particular reel of tape.

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Each of those 46 reels contained multiple tracks, cut on different days, over a period of five months. Often, Gus would record takes from different months on the same reel, so, on one reel of tape, you might find four takes of "Run Away" (just piano, bass and drums) one take done in March of 1976, one take done in May of 1976, another take done in January of 1977 and still another done back in February of 1976. The nine songs on the "Boats" album were all somewhere on those 46 reels. The only problem was, and I'm quite sure this wasn't an "accident," there were NO TRACK SHEETS!!!!

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So, when I became the producer of the album, the first thing I had to do was go through each reel of tape and try to "find" the good take or takes on each reel. Let's see, 46 reels of tape with approximately 4 takes per reel is roughly 184 performances, each one about six minutes long. That translates to about 19 hours of solid, high intensity, microscopic listening.

I never could find the magic take of "A Temporary Hero." None of the takes within the 46 reels seemed to be the one. That's why it isn't on the album. Too bad, because it was really a magical take. I remember David Wintour's bass playing was the thing I was keying on as I listened, because his superb playing on that take was what stood out the day we played it. Thanks, Gus. ec

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Did Dudgean have control of the tapes when he was fired/left? If so, that must have been uncomfortable getting them back. I would think Clive would have had his head if he tried to sabatoge the project by removing the notes and forcing you to do all that extra work and delaying the project, after two smash hits on the first record (and many more that should have been hits!).

Did you go to Clive with this information or did you not feel it was worth the time pursuing?

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LC   

A few comments:

1) Mr. Dudgeon sounds either very vengeful... or very disorganized (or maybe both). It's amazing that Elton John had all that success with the Dudge-meister involved, isn't it?

2) Like others, I plan on listening to Boats backwards. I'll get a kick out of that. I have a 6-hour drive tomorrow, so it'll make the trip go quickly.... It'll be an experience.

3) The only thing about the reverse order that will take getting used to is "Run Away" as the opening track. It always seemed so perfect as a closer, because of its length and complexity and the way it just faded out, leaving you with that driving but haunting melody in your head until you got up and flipped the album back over.....

(On the other hand, "Funeral For a Friend" also had length, complexity, and a driving but haunting fade-out, and that was the lead-off track on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ....)

PS: Thanks, Beth. And James, yeah, sounds like we were on the same track and same page.... And we have great taste!

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Muzza   

Quote:
Like others, I plan on listening to Boats backwards. I'll get a kick out of that. I have a 6-hour drive tomorrow, so it'll make the trip go quickly.... It'll be an experience.
Hey LC... If you listen to it backwards can you rename it Boats WITH the Current..??? laugh:rolleyes:wink

Muzza cool

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The first girl I ever asked out on a date said no. I was absolutley crushed. I suffered from very low self esteem to begin with, and when she turned me down it was terrible. I remember going to bed at night an praying to be five foot seven. That's how tall she was. I bought "Beatle Boots" because I thought that would make me tall enough for her. She was the "blue-eyed, golden high school dream." I was Gatsby, with my face pressed against the window, always looking in from the outside. It was torture, but it was great motivation. I was going to show them all. And I eventually did! ec

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"Run Away" really was the "opening chapter." It was how I felt coming out of high school as the kid that didn't fit in. I relly felt like inside I was so worthwhile, but nobody could see it. They just saw a shy, skinny, sensitive kid. Definitely not a "winner." I felt like if only they could see the real me, things would be different. I decided that was my mission, to prove that I was worth something." Run Away" was my battle declaration. I knew I had to prove myself,not just to them, but to myself. I had to prove I "had it," and that they were wrong not to have seen that in me. I had to succeed. I hated being unable to compete with the football jocks and wrestlers.

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that sucks,i went thru something like that too..i was shy,insecure..i paid for that for a while in my younger years...i guess the old saying is true..you can forgive,but you never forget..lol,chris

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LC   

See, there's that honesty element --- you can just tell when a song is written from the heart. "Run Away" is all that, and I would bet any guy who's ever been 16 and had his heart trampled on could relate to that song. Thank God you had music as an outlet. It worked for you -- and for us, too.

That "faced-pressed-against-the-window" look, of course, is the cover of Boats.... I think I remember reading about that in the rock press of the day....

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Eric : Was this girl the inspiration for "Someday"? Was she at any of your high school reunions? Did she marry a loser? I hope so. These girls usually "retire" at 22 and then spend their adulthood trying to relive their past glory through their daughters. You are better off without her. But I'll bet she was gooood lookin'!!!

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I have seen her at my high school reunions. She didn't marry a loser (although he was seriously looking MY wife up and down at the last reunion). She did seem to have become a little "harder" (Caroline No, anyone?). We talked about it one time, and she told me I was the first boy who had ever asked her out, and she just didn't know what to do, so she said "no." She was certainly pretty, but not the absolute "knockout" of the class. I fell for her personality. She was smart and funny as well as cute. "Someday" wasn't inspired by any particular girl. It was more inspired by my situation. I only wish her well.

ec

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