1. Hardstone City 3:45
2. Give It Up 3:30
3. Christchurch Bells 3:54
4. Sweet Marie 6:06
5. Giving It All Away 3:49
6. Shut Up And Listen 4:04
7. I Can See Clearly Now 4:52
8. Movies 4:38
9. Eyes Wide Open 3:15
10. Water 4:09
11. Home 4:27
12. Trying To Get Through* 4:23
13. Dance To The Storm* 4:10
14. Seoladh na nGamhna 0:40
* only available on CD version.
All titles composed by Hothouse Flowers except 7. Johnny Nash and 14. Trad.
Liam Ó Maonlaí – Vocals Piano, Hammond Organ, Bodhran
Fiachna Ó Braonáin – Guitar – Electric, Acoustic. Bass Guitar in ‘Shut Up And Listen’, Vocals
Peter O’Toole – Vocals, Bass, Bass Guitar, Bouzouki, Mandolin
Leo Barnes – Seimer Saxophones, Paris. Hammond Organ, Organ, Vocals
Jerry Fehily – Pearl Drums and Zildjian Cymbals, Percussion, Vocals
Noel Eccles – Percussion
Claudia Fontaine – Background Vocals
Luis Jardim – Percussion
Carol Kenyon – Background Vocals
Andy Darker – Viola
Aisling Drury -Byrne – Cello
Wilfred Gibson – Violin
Garfield Jackson – Viola
Nawalifh Ali Khan – Fiddle
Daniel Lanois – Dobro, Producer
Martin Loveday – Cello
Steve Nieve – Hammond Organ, Organ, Piano, Arranger, String Arrangements
Andrew Parker – Viola
Andy Parker – Viola
Steve Wickham – Fiddle
Gavyn Wright – Violin
Robbie Adams – Assistant, Assistant Engineer, Mixing
Paul Barrett – Engineer, Producer
Ian Bryan – Engineer
Malcolm Burn – Engineer
Ciaran Byrne – Assistant Engineer
Stewart Day – Assistant, Assistant Engineer
Geoff Foster – Mixing, Mixing assistant
Gary Langan – Mixing, Producer
Clive Langer – Mixing, Producer
Steve Lipson – Mixing, Producer
Willie Mannion – Assistant, Assistant Producer
Patrick McCarthy – Engineer
Shane McCarthy – Photography
Heff Moraes – Engineer, Mixing
Paul Mortimer – Mixing assistant
Peter Mountain – Photography
Paul Nickson – Assistant, Assistant Engineer
Steve Orchard – Assistant, Assistant Producer
Ren Swan – Assistant, Assistant Engineer
Norman Verso – Producer
Alan Winstanley – Engineer, Producer
Donovan Wylie – Photography
Paul Young – Engineer
Tim Young – Mastering
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We toured non-stop for the next year and a half. During every sound check we could groove till we got tired. The tape machine was always recording. It had to be. We had a lot of wild music happening and not enough memory power to store it mentally. Soon it was time to think of our next recording adventure.
We spent some time at home eventually, but it was mainly spent in a new rehearsal complex in Dublin called The Factory. We worked on songs and jammed on a daily basis for quite a while – it must have cost a fortune and we wanted to work with Clive Langer who produced our first record but to try a different engineer. Pat Mc Carthy had been around Dublin working with The Waterboys in Windmill Lane where Peter and Liam spent a magical night jamming alone under the invitation of Mike Scott. Pat was quick in the studio capturing the moment with ease. We hired a house in Borris, Co. Carlow, and brought a mobile studio along. It was a very large house with a few hundred acres of forest and farming land. We ate too much, drank way too much, but in our madness we decided to balance all the opulence with an early morning jog every day. Some were better than others at this.
Some took it seriously while others didn’t do it at all. We all grew beards, played some hurling and recorded six songs of which two made the album. The sound in the house was brilliant. The two songs were ‘Water’ and ‘Eyes Wide Open’. The committee wanted more variation. We went touring around the States where we met Don Gainman who had produced ‘Lonesome Jubilee’ for John Cougar Mellencamp. It was a good day. We wrote a song called ‘If I Could Fly Away’. We also did some demos with our live engineer, Norman Verso, in New Orleans. Two songs from this session ‘Hardstone City’ and ‘Giving It All Away’ are on the album. While in New Orleans we got an invitation to Kingsway Studios which is owned by Daniel Lanois, the producer and musician. He was in the middle of recording with Bob Dylan but on a day off. So here’s a studio full of instruments set up for live recording and oozing with character. We got the nod. Liam sat at the piano. Peter picked up the nearest guitar. Fiachna played bass. Gerry played drums, Leo played Hammond and Daniel played the dobro while Malcolm engineered ‘Shut Up And Listen’. We’re even forming sub committees within the band now. As expected, we didn’t produce much from this session except a lesson in what it is to communicate.
It was back home to Dublin. Temple Bar in Dublin used to be an artist’s playground. To this day, painters work from their studios upstairs overlooking Temple Bar Square and the River Liffey. These buildings have now been rebuilt with bigger windows and cleaner interiors with more heating for the winter. Years ago you couldn’t walk around Temple Bar without being treated to some up and coming new bands latest songs, blasting from the collection of cheap rehearsal rooms scattered around the area. Like most European cities, Dublin has been redeveloped and cheap rehearsal rooms soon became valuable property on the market and had to close down. One such place was STS Studios which was above Claddagh Records in Temple Bar. A feast of artists recorded here including us. Paul Barrett was co-owner who also played and produced. We knew Paul and it didn’t take long before a working relationship was formed.
With Ian Bryan engineering we started arranging some songs and here we recorded ‘Christchurch Bells’, ‘Home’ and ‘Trying To Get Through’ for the album. We did another brief session with Clive and Alan recording ‘Movies’ and ‘Give It Up’ in Westside Studios, London. So what did we have? Lots of tracks recorded at various times in various studios with various producers and engineers. We needed a common thread to tie it all together. We brought in Gary Langan who was a mixing engineer. We spent about 10 days in Metropolis Studios in London with Gary and Paul Barrett. The album was number two in Australia, and did really well in Britain and all over the globe.
– – – – –
‘Home’ was released during the summer of 1990, did well in the UK and went to No. 2 in Australia. The band recorded and wrote all over the world; Dublin, Carlow, New Orleans and London.
This song was written well before the recording sessions took place for the album. From the sleeve notes it ‘was written a long time ago’.
GIVE IT UP
Recorded in Westside Studios, London with Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. Released as a single in May, 1990, ‘Give It Up’ reached No. 30 in the UK charts.
This song was recorded in STS Studios, above Claddagh records in Temple Bar with Ian Bryan as the engineer. This was the opener on all the UK Tour shows of 2002. Halfway through the tour the band decided to play the first verse with just Liam playing the song on acoustic guitar.
LIAM:When that song came up I could almost see the mood that was in it. I’d gone beyond all that sadness and pain anyway. So I was filled with this tremendous melancholy. Real happy-sad. That’s a precious feeling. It’s a moments like that when I feel like performing or writing the most. (Speaking to Melody Maker in 1988).
PETER: ‘Sweet Marie’ is a favourite. It feels great when we sing the chorus together. (Speaking to HFLIVE in 2002).
SHUT UP AND LISTEN
LIAM: We wrote and recorded ‘Shut Up And Listen’ in just one afternoon when we went to visit Daniel Lanois in New Orleans. It was great, we were there and we just started playing, we finished the whole thing in a couple of hours – a sort of back to basics approach.
I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW
On the live stage, the song runs on and on and incorporates all sorts of endings – Elvis’ ‘Mystery Train’ and Harry Thacker Burleigh’ gospel song ‘Motherless Child’, for example. This song was originally recorded by Jimmy Cliff and written by Johnny Nash. (It seems Jimmy’s music obviously is well respected – Madness covered Jimmy’s ‘The Harder They Come’.) Incidentally, Neil Finn has recorded a version of this song for the ‘Antz’ movie soundtrack. Released as a single in July, 1990, ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ reached No.23 in the UK charts and stayed in the charts for four weeks.
EYES WIDE OPEN
MATT: (Question via email) Is ‘Eyes Wide Open’ about Mother Teresa?
LIAM: She’s in there. And Pamela Anderson! Actually, Halle Berry! (Liam answering questions to HFLIVE in 2002.)
FIACHNA: When we were in Borris, an Australian didgeridoo player called Philip Pike, happened to be in town and Clive Langer, our producer had an Indian fiddle player over, so they both came along and joined in on that track.
PETER: Well, we liked the idea. It’s simple, and we like the word, and the place.
SEOLADH NA NGAMHNA
FIACHNA: Seoladh na nGamhna. It means ‘The Herding of the Calves. It’s a love song, although the fact that it’s called ‘The Herding of the Calves’ may sound a bit unromantic.
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19th June, 1990
Catalogue Numbers: 35044
Ire: London 828197
Limited Edition ASIN: B00004WZK2
Additional images and extensions
US Promo Kit includes cassette, video and newspaper in a presentation box. Video shows promo clips of singles and interviews.