This album was a long time in the making, as I have previously mentioned. Laurie Mayer started demoing it in 1988 at a studio called Bedlam in Wandsworth, owned by the Thompson Twins. She was aided initially by one Rik Kenton, a man whose immortality is assured by his short tenure with Roxy Music, and the fact that he played bass on their classic debut single Virginia Plain.
We then developed it for a while in our home studio and at Guerilla in Crouch End. But other projects kept getting in the way, and it wasn’t until 1993 that William Orbit started to mix it, a mix that ended up taking a couple of years. When William landed a label deal with Warner Brothers we finally had the means to finish it and release it, along with William’s Strange Cargo: Hinterland and his first volume of classical arrangements, Pieces In A Modern Style. These albums were unavailable for a long time but Warners have now kindly made them available on YouTube.
I feel that William’s mix of this album is one of his very best, and it still sounds good to me more than 20 years later. Uniquely, there was also a live performance, which took place at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and can be viewed here. Yes reader, that is me lurking behind Laurie, with the untenably long hair. I’m happy to say that my barber-phobia is now cured.
Michael Cook decided to move back to England so we set up a second studio in Kingly Street, central London…a location that is now the Soho Oyster House.
Unfortunately that was the beginning of the end of our company. Being on opposite sides of the world rather upset the creative chemistry. I think this Tarsem directed spot was our last successful collaboration.
BMW rolled out their Z3 roadster and produced this spot to celebrate and spread the word. It was made primarily for cinema audiences, and was accordingly mixed on a big sound stage…lots of fun.
Yes readers, that is indeed Naked Lunch author William Burroughs narrating this soap powder commercial, in a continuation of our “mad mid 90s” theme. This spot was produced by legendary ad agency Leo Burnett of Chicago.
In other news…today’s sad anniversary is even sadder this year with the passing of Chris Cornell, surely the most convincing rock star of the last 25 years. I also heard today that former Guerilla Studios team mate Marvin Slack has died of lung cancer. My deepest condolences to their families and friends.
More mid 90s craziness, this time from director Kinka Usher. Bearded Lady was particularly interesting to work on. The set comprised a real fairground which was constructed next to a power station near Long Beach. Unusually, I was allowed to visit the set to record some on-location sound. This shit is real, yo!
Ah, the mid 90s. The information age was dawning, GenX was roaring, young advertising “creatives” were given all manner of leeway to express themselves. Nobody wants to be Dylan’s Mr Jones, right? Certainly not the good folks at Centura Bank, who allowed talented young director Kevin Donovan to direct these spots the way he wanted to. A wackier bunch of ads has surely never been produced in the interests of promoting an august financial institution.
I have a couple of announcements to make. Firstly, I’m back from France, the concerts were great, and I’d like to extend a big merci to all of those who attended or participated in any way.
Secondly, you may have noticed a new button at the top of this page. This will transport you to Rico’s Audio Service, a new portal through which you may hire me for your mixing, mastering and other audio needs. Tell everybody you know about it.
Now allow me to whisk you back to 1994, when this cool public service announcement, out of Maryland if I remember rightly, was produced here in LA, with your gunslinging sound designers M62 in charge of the soundtrack. Keep off the tabs, kids!