Greetings & Salutations!
#6? What happened to #5, I hear you cry?
We’ll get to that shortly.
In the meantime, here’s the lowdown on our latest entry in the Baker’s Dozen project. This is the first song that Matt and I have put together for Theme Music, which means the entire thing was recorded, produced, and uploaded in just over a week. Business as usual for some bands, but a pretty big leap for us. The theme assigned for submissions that week was “A Matter Of Life And Death,” meaning that a song had to have some variant of the words Life or Death in the title. Matt chose this track, and explains why below…
Being the prog-rock junkie that I am, I still prefer to listen to music in album format more than I do single format, and to me the well-executed concept album is still king. I’ve often pondered what my top-ten list of concept albums would look like. Some of the classics would have to do battle with some of the more obscure or more recent offerings (like Marillion’s Brave or My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade), but I’m pretty sure one of the entries that would land in the Top 5 is ELO’s Time. That album is certainly outside the norm as far as concept albums go, eschewing some of your typical long moody musical passages for more of a pop mentality.
The song we chose to cover, “The Way Life’s Meant to Be”, is one of my favorites from the album. Setting aside the basic concept of the time traveler in the song, it is easy for me as a very late thirty-something to relate to the subject matter. I frequently get nostalgic for the good old days of four channels on the TV, music purchases based on what was at the record store, and long-lasting arguments over arcane trivia because we couldn’t solve the question with a quick google search. I can’t help but think that the lack of choice, and even more so the lack of data and metadata for every aspect of our lives, was easier and more freeing in some ways. Sometimes I feel like my simple brain just can’t keep up with the 21st century pace. It would be kind of fun to go back to 1981 just for a visit. As long as I can take my tablet with me.
For my own part, I had a blast recording this song. (And considering how I usually feel about recording, that’s a welcome change of pace indeed.) Matt generously offered me the lead vocal, and I’m glad he did — partly because I really enjoyed singing it, and partly because otherwise I wouldn’t have much footprint at all on this recording apart from the bass line. I knocked both out more quickly and easily than usual, and Matt swooped in to play and sing everything else. I’m very happy with the result: a version of the song that eschews a lot of the original’s heavy production, while still being arguably the most faithful cover we have recorded so far. Neat trick if you can pull it off.
“The Way Life’s Meant To Be” can be found, along with the rest of our recorded catalog, at the Sons Of Nothing BandCamp page.
So, only seven weeks to go, with seven songs to produce in order to fulfill the original deadline. Will we make it? Honestly, the odds are pretty long…but if the rest of the songs are as enjoyable to produce as this one was, we’ve at least got a shot.