This is music performed with some of the most
callous abandon ever to have been allowed in a recording studio. Many
of these tracks have a raw cinéma vérité atmosphere applied to recorded
rock and roll. My own performances seem to be either obnoxious or
attempting an insufferable cuteness, but often they achieve a compelling
electricity in their spontaneous excitement.
We recorded over a few days in the fall of 1975. I was very into a
loose, unrehearsed first take sort of approach to recording music. I
learned from producer Jim Dickinson the method of throwing a very
impromptu rendering of a song onto tape. With multitrack recording one
can edit out, clarify or fix anything before the final mixdown. This
method gives a fresh, sometimes anarchistic quality to the performances.
The first day of the sessions was approached in this way. The second
day went according to the producer’s more conservative method of
planning and rehearsal.
All in all there is some hot, untamed rock and roll on this disc. You
might get a kick out of the off the wall energy of this music that is
very hard to find on records from this or any other time.
Alex Chilton, 1992
This record is meant as an addendum to "Singer Not The Song" /
"Bach's Bottom" and not a substitution. The idea that somebody would be
interested in anything beyond what had already been released is lunacy
considering the underwhelming reaction the record industry had to it at
the time. When Munster asked if I'd like to take a look at releasing
anything that wasn’t out previously, I had to say yes. Now you have it,
all the contents of the first crazy night of recording, plus some new
ways to look at some of the other material.
Some folks are lucky, they make their first record and it's an
elevating experience both musically and spiritually. The first real
record I produced was a lesson in how difficult an artist can be. I've
been asked for my take on these seminal recordings 40 years later. As so
many people have enjoyed them and thanked me for them in the interim
(particularly lately), I feel somewhat powerless to pick them apart.
It’s sort of similar (not musically, but in terms of the producer/artist
relationship) to the "Blowin' Your Mind" album by Van Morrison – you
can sense the underlying tension, and not every track is a "success",
but it is mighty powerful.
Sure, it would have been nice to have more melody, more sparkle...
But Alex was not about melody at the time, he wanted to repudiate his
Big Star work and make a sinister record that threatened people. Without
half trying, "Singer Not The Song" did accomplish that. It became one
of the first punk rock/new wave records, the very first EP for the
genre, and was influential enough to spark a few people to re-record
these songs with their groups. It has more life, spunk and personality
than most of the piffle I hear on the radio these days, so I’m happy to
present these tracks with no apologies.
Jon Tiven, Jan 2017