NEWCLEUS 24 TRACK STUDIO ROUGH MIXES
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These were rough mixes recorded to cassette for the group when they 1st laid the tracks at Quad Recording. Mostly originally recorded for the purpose of reference so that the vocals could be tightened up at a later session, they now represent the only copy (at least in the group’s possession) of the songs in the form that they were recorded in.
This song was originally written as a sort of Electro Rock Ballad. It featured a Rock style vocal by Cozmo and operatic answering vocals by the girls. Written at a sad and anguished moment in Cozmo’s life, it had solemn, persistent analog string pads and edgy Rock style synths. The vocals gave both Cozmo and especially the girls a bit of trouble, so this rough mix was laid with the idea of them studying it and returning to tighten up the vocals… never happened. The next time they heard the song it had been stripped bare by Jonathan Fearing. Most of the instruments and all of the girls vocals…with half of the lyrics…were gone. Of course the result is now considered an Electro and Hip-Hop classic.
This rough mix contains all of the original instruments, vocals and arrangement, except for some drops and effects put in by the engineer who was having fun. After all, it was only a rough mix, who would ever hear it?
This was the only Newcleus song (aside from “Space Bound” and “Time After Time”, which were shelved) that showcased the girls. It also featured Edgar Shaw and Tony Barnett, 2 guitarists who both Cozmo and Chilly B had played with in various Reggae and cover bands. Again, the vocals came out a little rough, so it was put to cassette to prepare for a vocal tightening session. Again…never happened. Instead, the song was rearranged basically as an instrumental, with an occasional vocal line or phrase dropped in here or there.
This rough mix contains everything exactly as it was laid…including a little piece of guitar riff over the break because Tony and Edgar didn’t know it was coming…and remains until this day Cozmo D’s mother’s favorite Newcleus song. Here you go Mommy.
This song had long been thought to be relatively the most unchanged of all the Newcleus songs used on the first album… at least until finding this recording. It was an older Positive Messenger song, maybe even as old or older than Destination Earth, and had a rather minimal funky feel to it. The group was pleasantly surprised to find that Fearing had done very little to alter that feel. The only problem that had arisen when it was being mixed was that Fearing had Cozmo come in to re-lay the vocal. The end result was a new vocal that was worse than the first, as Cozmo could not manage to quite find the key during the session. It’s only now over 2 decades later that we realize why. Upon finding this tape from the original session and with the original and much better vocal, we discovered for the first time that Fearing had later pitched up the track so as to make it faster. Obviously, that would have made Cozmo’s vocal sound unnatural, so it needed to be re-recorded. This also explains Cozmo’s key problems. Anyway here it is, original key, original arrangement, original vocal.
Until finding this tape we had totally forgotten that this was ever taken 24-Track. It was on the same reference tape as “I’m Not A Robot” which means that it was recorded during the same session and slated for the first album. Because it featured Chilly B on bass, Edgar Shaw and Tony Barnett on guitar, the girls singing lead vocals AND raps by Cozmo and Chilly it would have made a great addition, but most likely it was shelved due to either Fearing or Sunnyview’s dislike for the girls’ singing, or it not being enough of a dance track. If left on the album it would have been the oldest of the Positive Messenger songs to be turned into Newcleus, though the also shelved “Space Bound” was even older. At least it now gets to be a great addition to The Vault. Enjoy!
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