Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tommy Keene - unreleased demos (1981 & 1984)

The response to last years post of Tommy Keene's very scarce and out-of-print debut record Strange Alliance was so big, I'd be crazy to sit on an albums worth of unreleased material from the same era and shortly thereafter.

First up are seven tracks left on the cutting room floor from the 1981 Alliance sessions. Within the folder are some liner notes (not penned by myself) to browse, but here's a quick breakdown:

Tommy Keene recorded a number of demos in 1981. Some of those recordings were later used on his first LP, "Strange Alliance." The remaining songs presented here:

End Of The World
In Our Lives
Walking On The Street
I'm Your Friend
You Break My Mind
Someone To Blame
Foolish Mind

In April and May of 1981, Tommy recorded five songs at Track Recorders in Silver Spring, MD. Tommy and Ted Nicely produced. The remainder were tracked at another 1981 recording session (see liners for full details). 
Keene's quality control among the Strange Alliance album itself, and it's associated outtakes is something to marvel at, with each clangly, resplendent track so flawless it's almost as if these songs had written themselves. On to five more demos, these from '84, produced by T-Bone Burnett and Don Dixon at Reflection Studios in Charlotte, NC. As with the above selections, here's a synopsis from the folder notes: 
The album Songs From The Film was essentially recorded twice, first with T-Bone Burnett and Don Dixon producing, and then again, for the version that was ultimately released, with Geoff Emerick producing. Some of the Burnett/Dixon recordings were later released on the "Run Now" vinyl EP. Those tracks, plus a few more outtakes, were then included on the 1998 CD reissue of Songs From The Film.

These five tunes are recordings from the original sessions that remain unreleased. Four of them were re-recorded for the second version of the album, but none of these particular recordings appear on any officially released version of SFTF. Track listing: 
01 Call On Me
02 Run Now
03 Fall Down Too
04 The Story Ends
05 Gold Town 
Gold Town indeed. Get both sets of demos here: http://netkups.com/?d=ecb6323994531

8 comments:

Monkey Flinging Poo said...

Big kiss! Never knew this even existed. Very happy!

Matt said...

wow. just saw him about a week ago. it was pretty great.

thanks for this stuff!

halfbeat said...

Tommy still hasn't put out my favorite song that he wrote, it's called It's Like Fire. His 70s band Razz recorded though& it should be in the Razz stuff posted hither-
http://incaroads-wvkayaker.blogspot.com/2008/01/razz-u-of-md-nov-03-1978-wwdc-dc101.html

Jeffro said...

I just saw him a couple weeks ago too -- but it was as a contestant on the game show Merv Griffin's Crosswords! Here's a link to a funny essay he wrote about it!

http://www.magnetmagazine.com/2009/02/21/from-the-desk-of-tommy-keene-crosswords/

Thanks so much for the demos!

Maestro said...

Thanks for these and STRANGE ALLIANCE!
For those of us in the DC area in the 80's Tommy was our "Great White Hope".
If anyone can find the excellent expose that City Paper did on his commercial rise and fall called Back To Zero, it is a must read.
Also, the Keene collection, THE REAL UNDERGROUND on CD, is worth seeking out for more odds and sods from this era, including his Pazz and Jop award winning PLACES THAT ARE GONE ep and the amazing single of "Back To Zero Now" and "Mr. Roland".

spavid said...

Thanks for the links folks. Really appreciate it.

Zach said...

Good stuff!

Mark said...

Many thanks!...