Back to Robert James's profile
0:00
3:59

Also Ran

Uploaded .
1
12

I don’t say this often… if you go through the ton of songs I’ve uploaded here you can probably count the number of times I said this on one hand and have some fingers left over…

I really like this one. Literally everything about it. If I were actually releasing this month’s project as an album this would absolutely be the single and the first track. I really like this one. On some level I’ve been doing an album in a month each month as a way to sort of pre-write songs for next February’s RPM Challenge. If that’s the case then this one has already made the cut. I’m already thinking of things to do to improve it: a few beats per minute faster, maybe tune down from E to Eb to give the vocals a little help with the high notes. Also maybe hire a singer who doesn’t suck.

Two things about the lyrics. I was sitting in the living room with headphones on trying to figure out what to write. My wife and step daughter were there too and they were watching TV. I hit stop on the playback and heard a Joni Mitchell song coming from the TV. Well screw it, I am going to spend an hour or so listening to the most talented song writer I’ve ever heard. I put on Blue and disappeared for a while. I don’t listen to Joni Mitchell often, almost never. Why? She’s too good. She’s too talented. She’s too Earth shatteringly powerful as a writer, as a singer, as a musician. Normally when I listen to someone amazing it inspires me. Not Joni. Joni intimidates me. Joni scares me.

Not on that day (which actually was the first day of Summer, I think). Instead of my usual workflow of stream of consciousness lyric writing, I actually put time and effort into this one. I’m not saying it’s good, but I am saying I actually like what I did. Now if only I were a good enough singer to pull of the melody I wrote. There’s always one flaw, right?

The guitars are all a Gibson ES-335 Pro, the amps are all a Fender Bassbreaker 15. The rhythm used a RYRA The Klone into a Keeley Super Phat Mod, and the leads used a Dunlop Crybaby into a Klon KTR into a Keeley D&M Drive. The little feedbacky thing at the end also used an MXR Uni-Vibe. I wasn’t planning on it. I just stomped on it about halfway through the part and really liked the way it sounded. Inspiration, as it were.

B
pour out a glass for the also rans
for it is they who stand for the losers like me
can’t you see

A1
first day of summer and I
can’t seem to fake my way through
first day of summer and I
can’t take much more

its like a dream I once had
that I forgot by morning
I always lose the thread and
can’t seem to get back

A2
first day of summer and I’ve
already given up hope
first day of summer and I
cut myself off

I let the mystery be
its way to much pain for me
I bang my head against each
wall that I come to

Saved!