Blog: Mike Peters ‘Under Attack’ Recording Diary Entry #22

Day Twenty Two: Tuesday 21st June 2005

Back into the serious business of the album. We decide to have a run through ‘Few And far Between’. Steve and I had come up with the idea of merging the song with the end of ‘My Defenses’ from the Poppy Fields Bond. At first we play it like it has been done live in recent times. Then the ideas start to flow, firstly we speed the song up in tempo. I come up with a more interesting chord sequence and melody to set up the chorus. Steve keeps the drums moving throughout the second verse and before long a far more potent arrangement of the song works and the addition of the ‘My Defenses’ ending brings the song to an almighty crescendo. It’s 6 o’clock, so instead of recording the backing track immediately we decide to tackle another of the bond songs, ‘Be Still’. When this song was originally recorded for the bond I felt it was a little high for me to sing in the key of D so we slowed the song down into C# where it was more comfortable. A lot of people voted for this song to be included on the last album but I felt uncomfortable that we may not be able to play it live so left it alone. ‘Be Still’ was the key song in clinching the EMI deal so we all feel a responsibility to do something good with it. One of the things about the original version that Steve felt needed working on was the fact that the verse goes round the chords only three times not four like most standard rock and roll arrangements. It meant that there was an unusual amount of bars before the chorus and Steve felt this did not help to set up the chorus as well as it could. We started out by trying the song out in B a good tome and a half below the original key and with a more standard four round of verse chords. It felt good even though I will have to rewrite / write more the lyrics. Again we all felt that while the song was good the arrangement was still a little unimaginative. We were almost about to give up when James suggested trying the song back in D. I also decided to have a go at playing the song on the electric 12 string guitar that James had used for 45 R.P.M. All of a sudden it started to come together, I played a picking riff over the intro that seemed to compliment James original guitar riff, Craig came up with a brilliant bass groove that inspired me to sing the verse an octave lower which meant that I had enough breath left to really go for it on the chorus. Now it is happening. The best rock and roll is meant to be sung at the top of your voice and things start to sound ‘Alarm’ like when I am pushing my voice into it’s upper range. By the close of the evening we think we have it but at the last minute, Steve suggests we need a change of chord / key out of the second chorus that will lift the song out of it’s four chord verse / chorus structure, I hear what he is talking about and when we try what I have in mind it sounds great just what the song needs. By eight o’clock it’s a wrap.

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