A few of The Bedlam Six and I got together with Hope & Social in their crypt studio to arrange, record and mix a classic cover suggested by our combined social network. The only rule was that everything had to be begun and completed in the space of a day. We spent the morning going through the longlist of about sixty suggestions and whittled them down to about a dozen we thought could yield interesting results. We then pinned them to a big spinning wheel and let fate decide. There were all sorts of potentials, from Duran Duran to Whitney Houston to Eurythmics to Small Faces. But the wheel could choose only one. And it chose Simon & Garfunkel‘s “Keep The Customer Satisfied”.
Initially I was a little worried about this. It’s one of my favourite tracks on the Bridge Over Troubled Water album and I didn’t want to butcher it. We hoped to put our own stamp on the piece but not at the expense of the original’s personality. It’s a really fun song with a lovely groove. We opted to dirty it up, lots of distorted sounds at the beginning, a hakka-like vocal grunt, some low brass and an ominous rumbling beat from two drum kits. Simon and I split the vocal sections up to make them call and response and we overlayed some thick harmonies with the others for the long vowels and choruses. Hope & Social are a really lovely bunch to work with, a good work ethic but always time for a few japes when the microphone is turned off.
The day was live-blogged here.
I think we stayed true to the spirit of the original whilst bringing our own personalities to the song, that was the idea anyway. Whether we succeeded or not is up to the listener, but I had a great time working on it and look forward to getting together with those guys again for future projects.
Gee but it’s great to be back home…
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