Salad Days (Are Here Again) [Brooker, Reid]

Donna Blue  [USA]

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LP: this is a piece of paramount importance to the Procol canon, and oft overlooked. The sheer structural ingenuity of Matthew's organ solo, let alone the bleak contrasting hues of the words and music, made it an obvious choice for me to tackle. I had always wanted to orchestrate it but, time being a factor, I was able only to orchestrate the introduction. Using a basic piano motif, some thick English horns were added to the fabric in an alternate cadence to the rigid classic piano. Strings and piano were played simultaneously on the Korg N5 synth; the idea of adding the horns came a few weeks later, if memory serves. I opted for a decidedly slower tempo, hoping it would give the track a tormented, torch-song-like quality. The addition of 9th and 11th chords to basic majors and major sevenths added even more of the darkly nether-region feeling that I was hoping for as the song deals with the tortured collapse of a love relationship.

Donna's vocal was done in the maddest rush I can recall: it was dropped into my music program from a CD with only her vocal on it, made at home by Donna on some sort of home recorder. Luckily, the track was properly synchronized. The organ solo is below the vocal of the third verse for reasons of brevity. Since I consider the organ solo essential and did not want to forsake the orchestrated introduction, the only way to have the track run under eight minutes was to ride the vocal atop the organ wash. Bass was fundamentally played traditionally and the addition of some rather fat guitars was what I used to achieve a hoped for increase in blue darknesses.

I am hopeful that this will please as many upon listening to it as it has pleased me to produce it. 

Donna Blue voice

Larry Pennisi all instrument sounds, drum programming and arrangements


Korg N5 Digital Synth
Korg MI Digital Synth
Roland Sound Expander (analog synth and mellotron emulator)
Mackie 1202 Pro Mixer

Radio Shack Cheezo Mic
AMD 1200 MH Computer with Cakewalk digital recording software
Radio Shack Headphones

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