When we first started kicking around the idea of doing this forever-in-the-making new LP, it was brought to our attention that it had been a few years since we’d done a proper record (December 2014, to be specific, with ‘Dream In Stereo’), and in the interim we’d released nothing but a 6-song covers EP (2017’s ‘Six Pack’). Considering the fact that we’d previously been fairly consistent with our release schedule, dropping something pretty much annually, we began to feel as though perhaps we’d been neglecting our obligation to flood the marketplace with product and further populate what Patrick refers to as the “flea market” that is our merch display.
Truth be told, he’s about spot-on with that assessment. Between 3 TGA LPs, 3 EPs, a full-length from The Die Youngs, solo albums from both myself and Kenny, AND the 2 fORMER CDs we carry around(since we still play a few of those tunes live), the merchandise stand can seem a bit cluttered once you factor in a few T-shirt designs and the free swag; like stickers & buttons, that litter the general vicinity of the rolling retail arm of this operation. Nobody wants to carry that damn case either…easily the most unwieldy thing in our trailer by a country mile.
SO, we decided a possible solution to this apparent glut of stuff would be to assemble some sort of compilation release, especially seeing as how we had no more physical inventory on the first 4 releases from The Great Affairs anyway, or a practical plan for repressing all of them in the midst of trying to finish up a new one($$$). Of course, likely due to the fact that we insist on making work where there needn’t be any, I suggested we follow the once-standard practice of adding some “previously unreleased” tracks as “bonus” material, and supplement our list of duties in the studio with the re-recording of a live favorite from the ‘Ricky Took The Wheels…’ record called “Last Good Memory”.
“Last Good Memory” was always kind of the dark horse of that album, relegated to the end - stashed away if you will…in a place most 21st Century attention spans never find their way to. When Kenny joined the band in 2013, we added a 3rd harmony voice, putting the recreation of this song’s layered vocals with realistic reach, and it was reintroduced to the live show, eventually becoming a staple. Sadly, it was on a record we now peddle exclusively via iTunes and the digital like, and no longer represented in physical form at our designated “swap meet” post-show….
….which is fine, because I was never particularly enamored with the original version we put down to begin with. The speed was all wrong, the vocal was pitched in a weird spot for me to deliver effectively live(or otherwise really, save for the shower), and it was missing a few bells & whistles that would’ve seemed ridiculous to incorporate at the time, particularly considering the lineup and the general aesthetic we had aspired to achieve on that batch of material. It would’ve been even more the odd man out than it already was, had I been allowed to give it the full treatment I was hearing in my head.
Fast-forward to late 2017, and we’re little behind schedule in getting album #6 out(1st Quarter 2018, honest.), so we decide to release a couple of tunes as a “single” - something we’ve never done before, but hear is quite common for folks to do in this new age of streaming and whatnot. This tune seemed like a perfect candidate, since it’s already made the acquaintance of several listeners, and was just sitting around fidgeting, anxious to show off a fresh coat of paint and an overhauled motor.
Rest assured, the sonics of this version…specifically the synthesizers, are in no way an indication that we’re turning a corner into some new territory that will have us playing over a mess of tracks, and there are certainly no plans to go back and revisit our catalog with a programmer in tow….I just figured that if we were gonna re-do something, it should get a proper reinvention, rather than just a retread. In the interest of not making the same record over & over again, we like to tinker around with things occasionally, that’s all. When you hear the remix of “California” that occupies the B-side, you’ll hear that it’s still business as usual.
OK then, here’s a little preview…the 99.7% there, almost final mix. Details on the actual release should be available soon. Hope you dig.
The Great Affairs