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18 December 2014

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  • Steeltown – song deep dive by Svein and Tom.

    • Quotes from Stuart explaining the background for the song.
    • Inspired by the plight of an English town called Corby. The town had a brand new steel mill and lots of people moved there for work, but after a couple of years it was closed down, leaving all the workers with no work or prospects.
    • The brooding opening of the song – the emotion of bitterness, resentment and growing anger, which intensifies over the course of the song.
    • The musical crescendo – it all comes to a boil in the last 30 seconds of the song. Intense desperation, anger and everything – and then, from one second to next, silence.
    • Song structure – a lot of different movements, and the chorus appearing very late in the song, and only twice! Also starting in minor key, then shifting to the major key bridge when the lyrics look back, when things were more hopeful. Then back to minor keys for the ongoing despair.
    • Stuart’s lifestyle during the recording of the album and the subsequent changes he made.
    • The “video” for Steeltown on the screen behind the band on the Live in NYC ’86 video.
    • We talk about good live versions of the song – with the WTAOASN version being a particularly great one.

    Where the Rose Is Sown – song deep dive by Tom and Svein.

    • The most traditionally (i.e. The Crossing) BC-sounding song on Steeltown?
    • The duality of the lyrics – one part is the voice of the “propaganda machine”/chorus, countered by the lone voice of the young man who is sent out to war.
    • The glory of war vs. the individual who is terrified of dying.
    • The solo. The glorious solo. It may be the biggest musical hook on the album.
    • Does Stuart shout “f*ck” around the 4-minute mark?
    • The ferociousness/intensity of the song, and really of the album thus far.

    Come Back To Me – song deep dive by Svein and Tom.

    • Part two of the story started in WTRIS. It goes from a man being terrified of dying, and by this song it happened. We see the people
    • A deeply sad song with a deep sense of loss on three levels: the woman lost her man, the child lost its father, and the man lost his life without knowing he would even be a father
    • A song of contrasts – the cheering crowds outside vs the solitaire intense grief inside
    • About the need to “put on armour” before listening to this song
    •  How Stuart would introduce the song live
    • Intense play-out – how well does it fit the song? Also how they used to play a different ending live, but they include the full ending on the current Steeltown tour for the first time ever
    • A thought about the use of female voice in the lyrics: an actual female voice could have been an interesting experiment. As they were in Polar studios, how about getting one of the ABBA ladies (who Stuart wrote songs for around that time anyway)? Not INSTEAD of the version we have, but in ADDITION to it, as an exclusive single version. A voice of ABBA on it would equal single star power in 1984.
    • Does the production of the song make it feel too cluttered? It has a lot of extra guitar parts, plenty of backing vocals, lots of reverb… is this needed? Comparisons with the rough mix on the deluxe edition.

    Tall Ships Go – song deep dive by Tom and Svein.

    • Speakpipe about Tall Ships Go from John Wilbur.
    • As we flip the album and start “side 2”, does this side feel different? Tom propose that the sound of side 2 is more spaced, and that the songs are more personal with Stuart drawing on thing from his own life – starting right here with Tall Ships Go
    • Stuart’s own situation growing up, with his father working on a deep sea trawler, going away for periods at a time to earn the keep for the family. He was not often a physical presence in Stuart’s childhood.
    • The father/son aspect of the song – being away from your kid, how the kid deal with that, etc.
    • The song being structured into three distinct dream sequences – one from the perspective of Stuart as a young child, one of the adolescent Stuart, and finally one of Stuart as a young man. Each of these dreams regard the father very differently.
    • How the father role has changed over the years, from the stern authority figure to being very much more involved in their children’s lives.
    • Mark’s sensational drumming – and a clip from the Zaandam convention in 2002, which gives a unique insight into how the drum parts sound like with no obfuscating other instruments.