HI and welcome to the latest newsletter! We are so excited to be one day away from the GET SMART with SQUIRE tour with Secret Affair! We hope to see many of you at the gigs and look forward to chatting with you at the ‘merch table’ afterwards!
The gigs will be particularly special because we have been auditioning songs from the Get Smart album and have chosen some unheard numbers! The photo above is taken from Autumn 1982 at Le Beat Route in Soho, London , where we first auditioned Get Smart songs before starting the recording a few weeks later!
While going through the archive we have come across some fascinating recordings that shed light on the original sessions. One of the most intriguing out takes is the way the title song Get Smart had evolved during the planning. Its was first expected to be the opening number on the album! The demo version of this version of the song appears as an out-take on a Japanese only CD release back in 2010. You can hear it here!
However, as the recording sessions progressed, so a horn section was added to play the main motif, and the song was planned to first open the album as a shortened fanfare, and then finally close the album, following not only the way The Beatles bookended Sgt Pepper with the title track and then repeated with a rerecorded rockier version as the penultimate track, but we also planned to end the song in a swirl of cacophony, taking in the end of ’A Day In The Life’ as a model!
Ultimately, the concept became over ambitious and on hearing the rough mixes, a little too derivative and out of context to the rest of the album. It was great fun to plan and record, but hard to capture the size of the imagined sonic impact without a room full of musicians (the Beatles had recorded 40 musicians twice so had 80 on their ending!), and we didn’t want our idea to sound like a second rate attempt! Instead we reassembled the myriad of horn recordings as a live dub performance, switching and fading between parallel takes as we mixed to the master tape, to evoke the impression of a West Coast alt jazz raga jam, which captures an abstract mix of horn playing, and reminds us of The Byrds ‘Rock and Roll Star’ and so references the psychedelic undertones and influences on the album in a more subtle way. Each mix attempt was different, until we understood which parts worked. We finally ended up with the seamless version that we all know as the album track!
Nevertheless, the original "A Day In The Life" style rising horn motif still lies under the track and you can hear it in all its glory here, and imagine how it may have ended up as more and more overdubs were to be added as the trumpet aimed for the top note at the end!! This recording is the original rough monitor mix, so it includes all the captured ideas, and mistakes as they were practising the parts, as the intention was to scrutinise the recording of what we had so far, and decide what ideas worked and whether it needed any further instruments before editing and mixing.
In case you missed the recent email announcing the special tour GET SMART Tee shirt, you can still order it here! We released them early so EVERYONE had a chance of getting them! We placed the order last week, and have already sold out of Small and XXX Large! If this is your size, please let us know as we are ordering more next week!
We’ll also have them on the merch stall as well, but since there's nothing worse than waiting in line at the merch queue to find that we don't have your size left in stock, we thought you’d appreciate a special chance to Get Smart early! As two sizes are already sold out, you may want to order on line or let us know which gig you'll be coming to, so we can put one by if we have it!
See you all soon!
All the best from Squire