“The thing about BATW and the Crossroads Project that BATW grew into was the extraordinary collaboration between all of us. One of us would write a lyric, some chords, maybe a key riff, and then we’d show that rough draft to the others…
And that’s when the magic began.
We’d toss around ideas and suggestions first, and then, as we played a run through, each of us would add their own unique touch to their part, and that’s how the songs got their personality, their flavor. Each song was truly the sum of its parts.
So, for anyone who wonders who wrote which song, the answer is simple.
We all did.
That formula remained the same for years as we crafted a large catalog of original music. The goal of this site will be to finally document all those songs, providing recordings in most, if not all, cases and celebrate the music we’ve created.”
Just have to interject here… would any website devoted to the legacy of BATW be complete if it didn’t include the “go for broke” version of Al’s “Flies In February”? Nope, I didn’t think so either, so let’s have at it!
Al used to kid Ed and I as being the hair face members of the band, but he decided to join us and sport a full beard when we played a full set at Bryant College in Smithfield…
And here they are – some of our earliest basement tracks made way back when…
And so it begins! The Lost Tapes have begun to resurface after decades of hibernation! The first track sounds like a woodshedding session with Al on vocals and harp, Steve on drums and Ed on guitar working through a new idea that never got finished.
While searching for something in his house, Steve came across a box containing some very old cassettes. As he checked them, he soon realized these were the set of recordings we had from over 35 years ago, holding some tracks we thought were long gone. He contracted Everpresent to restore the audio on them, knowing that the media was fragile, and could easily self-destruct if he tried to run them in a home deck.
These are the lost tracks from two tapes, two sides each. They hold surprises like an early Celebration Sounds take of “Plain Jane” made before I joined, with Al showing very solid skills on the bass, and an instrumental experiment that we dubbed “Mario” because it reminded us of the sound of a video game. There are also a number of live tracks from one of the venues we played during the mid 80’s.
These aren’t perfect – There are some that sound like something is horribly out of tune, due to the “warbling” effect of aged tapes not being perfectly flat as it passes over the playback heads, some that contain mistakes we made… but they serve to show the progression we made over the years as we embraced the ever-changing technology that brought us from Ed’s original 4 track Tascam to the 24-track digital home studio we used for the Crossroads project.
As I begin work on cleaning up the audio on these tracks, an idea occurred to me… why not make a gift for the guys?
Back to the Lost Tapes – the door is open and Memory Lane is right outside. Let’s take a walk… this is Tape 1, Side A.
And now Tape 1, Side B
We now move along to Tape 2, Side C… this one has some seriously obscure stuff on it, a lot of very early live tracks (sorry about how noisy they are, but we can only clean up so much) and some tracks I don’t even recognize. I think those were early efforts done as a trio before I joined them, but I’ve reached out to the experts and will update the titles once I know the correct ones. I have a feeling Steve took the Service Elevator to the Thirteenth floor to find this tape!
Tape 2, Side C
Tape 2, Side D