After nine years? The first record from JCHMusic will finally be available as a professionally remastered version.
As long-term listeners know, in late 2007 I embarked on a plan to re-master the first four records prior to the release of Home. For some reason, I released them in reverse order, starting with Balance — then Compartments and Superpower. Then all heck started to break loose in my life and I had to leave off.
Until now, this has always been a great personal sadness for me. After more than twenty years playing other people’s stuff, Positive was a chance to finally get the music out there that I wanted to do. So, like many artists’ first records, it contains some of my best stuff (in fact, the sophomore jinx so many artists encounter is often simply the result of one simple fact: they’ve usually had umpteen years to develop ten great songs for their initial offering but then only twelve months to do the second. Do the math.)
The really annoying thing is that, although Positive benefited greatly from the ‘first release effect’ as far as song quality, it also suffered in equal amount from another common characteristic of first records: namely crappy recording quality. And the complexity of reasons that led to this can all be summed up in one sentence: On the job training. I was teaching myself the wonders of digital recording as I went and made all the usual mistakes that newbies make.
In my defense, I have to say that I never intended to release Positive to the general public. As I’ve commented on ad nauseum, I was still in the ‘traditional marketing mode.’ My goal was simply to get something out to ‘the industry’, get a record deal of some kind and then record the ‘real’ debut album. With someone else’s money. Putting it on a web site was a complete afterthought and came about only because I was writing shopping cart software at my ‘day job.’ Making it available for sale was more of an exercise in learning e-commerce than in cutting edge music promotion. But for whatever reason, people bought it; I started touring to support it and the rest is recent history.
Now here we are. Positive has several songs that I still think are among my best efforts and I feel strongly that they deserve to be heard the way I meant for them to sound. At my live shows, “Why Don’t You Come In?” and “You Are Loved” always were among the best received pieces.
So while everyone is waiting for me to get on with something truly ‘new’, I’m offering the next best thing in the meantime—completely new mixes of the original twelve songs that I think you’ll find are as striking as seeing the Sistine Chapel before and after the cleaning. OK, maybe not quite that striking.
As we get closer to release date, we’ll be posting some ‘before and after’ clips to give you some idea of the differences. At the risk of sounding immodest, I think you’ll be impressed at the difference that nine years and a couple of Grammy® Award-winning engineers can make.
- Positive Re-Mastered is scheduled to ship August 1, 2010. As you’ve overwhelmingly demanded, it will be packaged in the traditional jewel-box and include not only the original art, but additional production notes.
- If you pre-order (we’ll start taking orders July 1) you will receive an autographed copy and a personal note.
- For current owners, as before, there will be a trade-up offer. You will be able to get the new release for a measly $5.00. If you ship back your current version, we’ll even pick up the return shipping.
As picayune as my ‘career’ has been by ‘American Idol’ standards, the truth is, that I have been totally blessed with a core following that most artists would kill to have. You who have been so devoted through all my ups and downs deserve the best quality recordings I can muster. It’s not only my pleasure and honour to finally offer Positive Re-mastered, but frankly? It’s the least I can do for everyone who has supported my work. Of course, I hope that this release finds new listeners—better mixes have definitely brought new people into the fold with each re-mastered album, but that’s not the main point. I want everyone to know that I’m back and just as energized about what I do as I was ten years ago. Positive Re-mastered is just the first fruit of that effort for 2010. As I sang almost a decade ago now into the first decent microphone I ever owned:
I am committed.