1. One Clear Shot
2. Jigsaw Puzzle
4. Is This What You Wanted?
5. Don't Discard Me [free MP3]
6. Rocket Man
7. Hell Has Frozen Over (On Who I Used To Be) [free MP3]
8. Night Comes In
9. Sometimes She Forgets
10. For Taking My Baby Away
11. Don't Go With Him [free MP3]
12. I'm Not Coming Back
How Can There Be Another Day?
Best Kissers in the World front man Gerald Collier had been through it all. His rock band moved from Arizona to Seattle, WA and soon found themselves signed to Sub Pop, spawning the 1991 self-titled debut EP. From there, the band quickly signed to MCA Records, releasing 1993ıs EP ³Puddinı² and later that year their debut full-length, ³Been There².
Following several high-profile tours, including two tours with X and two tours with Social Distortion, and recording a second full-length, ³Yellow Brick Roadkill², Collier and his band found themselves without a label in 1995 and soon disbanded.
It was then Collier started his solo career, and a similar chain of events would unfold.
He recorded his debut full-length, ³I Had To Laugh Like Hell² and then signed with C/Z Records, who released the record in 1996. Following critical praise and a huge buzz coming off of the Best Kissers in the World. Collier once again found himself being courted by major labels and inked a deal with Revolution Records, a label owned by Warner Bros.
For the purpose of Gerald Colleirıs new record, ³How Can There Be Another Day?² coming in the summer of 2007, this is where our story unfolds.
In July of 1997, Collier and his band - William Bernhard on guitar, J. Hollis Fleischman on drums, and Jeff Wood on bass would fly from Seattle to Forte Apache Studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts and record the self-titled full-length for Gerald Collier, and Revolutions Records would release it in March of 1998.
Entertainment Weekly said of the self-titled full-length, ³...filters his love-lorn tales through downcast, gritty songs that recall Neil Young at his most bummed out..." while Magnet Magazine stated, ³Collierıs world-weary voice, akin to Townes Van Sandtıs, is perfectly suited to the heart-wrenching jukebox confessionals contained herein².
Touring would follow and, due to lack of label support and Warner Bros. dissolving Revolution, Collier would soon find himself without a label again amidst band turmoil.
Now label-less and without a band, Collier would forge on and record 1999ıs ³Low Tar Taste², released on Aces & Eights Records, a label he co-owned with The Supersuckersı Eddie Spaghetti and former Dwarves member Danny Bland (who was managing Collier and The Supcrsuckers at the time). Then in he would record a full-blown country record simply entitled ³Unreleased Country Record² (it never saw a proper CD release, and is only available digitally). And in 2003 would record ³Breakinı Down² and release it on San Francisco-based Isota Records before giving up on music entirely, moving to Austin, TX with his wife, and getting a day job.
It seemed the end of his music career. That is, until Collierıs former guitar player William Bernhard discovered demos, outtakes, and live material they had recorded together before going their separate ways.
At this point in 2006 Collier and his wife had re-located to Portland, Oregon.
Bernhard, who was also living in Portland at the time, invited Collier and his wife over for dinner, and began playing Collier these recordings. Recordings of unreleased songs such as ³One Clear Shot² and ³Taking My Baby Away², covers of The Rolling Stonesı ³Jigsaw Puzzle², Elton Johnıs ³Rocket Man², and Steve Earleıs ³Sometimes She Forgets², among others.
These recordings and subsequent talks would soon find Bernhard compiling the songs together, paring it down to twelve recordings, getting it mastered, and designing artwork for the project.
³How Can There Be Another Day?² was born.
³It was the suggestion of the lead guitarist in the band at the time, William Bernhard,² says Collier of the recordıs birth. ³My lovely wife and I had just relocated from Austin Texas back to the Northwest and met with Bill and his lovely wife for dinner one night at their house in Portland. He produced these tapes. I don't think either of us had heard the stuff in years. They sounded very good.²
Collier continues, ³Bill said we should release them, and that was it².²
Listening back to these songs recorded in 1997 and 1998 with his Revolution Records-era band, Collier reminisces on the Revolution days.
³It was a good one all in all,² Collier says of the experience. ³I don't think they knew what to do with the record when it was done however. That coupled with the fact that Revolution was on shaky ground about three months after the record came out didn't help things.
³One day I got a call and the voice on the other end said, everyone has been fired here, can you come to Los Angeles for a meetingı? It wasn't going to be good news when I got there, you know? I knew that. But, I'm not one of those I hate major labelsı guys, so if youıre looking for dirt or bellyaching forget it. Fact is, they paid me very well to come on board and to go away (thanks to my lawyer) and never at anytime treated me like something the cat dragged in. A far cry from how I feel on a daily basis these days.²
The record also gets Collier thinking about the band, and how Bernhard, Fleischman, and Wood were a forced to be reckoned with.
³The band was very powerful and dynamic, and listening back to these recordings proves it,² Collier says without hesitation. ³The solo band could be very quiet and turn a song into a shit storm at our command. The players in the band had a lot chops and didn't give a rats ass about what anyone thought about what we were doing at the time. We knew it was great music and our performances were consistent and always on the verge. Tension was important to us.²
Songs such as ³Donıtı Discard Me² and ³Hell Has Frozen Over (On Who I Used To Be)² were demo recordings that were later re-recorded and put on ³Gerald Collier², while cover songs such as Leonard Cohenıs ³Is This What You Wanted?² and Richard Thompsonıs ³Night Comes In² were recorded as bonus material should the record take off. The record also includes full-band live cuts of ³Donıt Go With Him² and ³Iım Not Coming Back², songs that were recorded acoustically on Collierıs debut but re-worked with a full band for touring.
When asked why some of these songs didnıt make the Revolution Recordsı full-length, or why a few were re-recorded, Collier explains, ³Some just didn't get recorded in time for the release, as they were recorded after the CD had already been issued to the public. We chose what we thought would make the best CD from the songs we had at the time. Some of them were recorded after the fact for extra songsı, just in case the CD took off and sold a billion copies. This was common practice back then. The label wanted to make sure that we put material down when ever we were ready to do it as a way of always having material.²
When asked to discuss the recordings being put away and virtually lost, to be discovered nearly ten years later, Collier has an answer.
³How did they get lost?² he asks rhetorically. ³Itıs easy to lose anything. Put your best intentions on a restaurant table and leave it for five years. Chances are it will be lost. Couple that with the slovenly ways of music types and ta-da, itıs lost².
Taking it one step further, Collier, when initially hearing ³One Clear Shot² and ³Taking My Baby Away² didnıt even recall writing these songs.
³They are new songs to me. And to my fans, since Iıve never played them live or released them,² he says of the two songs. ³Hell, I don't even remember writing them. I love them. They are the best songs that I forgot I ever wrote. Period.²
If asked why a b-sides/outtakes record now, Collier will, without hesitation, explain to you that ³How Can There Be Another Day?² is ³the missing link. Behind everything that we were doing at the time were these experiments. This release shows in living color what we were all about. If you were a fan of our material at all, you must appreciate this offering.²
Asked if heıs excited about ³How Can There Be Another Day?² and getting back into live music and writing songs again (Collier is currently writing material for a new studio record to be released in the spring of 2008), Collier doesnıt pause for a moment when he says, ³What I really get excited about these days is cashing checks, made out to me in respectable amounts, which doesn't happen nearly enough on a daily basis in my humble opinion. With this CD, all proceeds are going to charity so I will be very happy should that come to pass with more regularity.²
Continuing, he says, ³I've had more excitement in my lifetime than most could ever imagine. I've been signed twice to major labels, toured with all the legends and contemporaries that I care about, made and lost enormous amounts of money, received affirmation of a job more than well done from pears and band members, married an absolute fox who stunts me in every category, sipped and sucked in some of the finest and foulest eateries the world has to offer.
³I'm sorry, what was the question?² he asks himself.
³Has making this record excited you about writing music and making records again?² his mind answers back.
³Oh yeah, I'm jacked up. I'm sure the future will be able to hold a candle to all of that!²
Collier hasnıt missed a beat. His dry, biting sense of humor is fully alive, as is his knack for turning a phrase into a cutting, memorable line, proven by the comment Collier makes when asked to recall the recording sessions these songs were made at.
³I can still taste the very powerful drugs,² he says with a smile. He knows heıs got you roped in, and he going to take you for a ride.
Gerald Collier's official website: www.geraldcollier.net
Gerald Collier on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/geraldcollier
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