The Final Part of . . .THE MAKING OF AN ALBUM.

Having returned from Nashville at the end of January 2015, I really wanted to get the final track in the can, I'd always planned on making a ten track album.

It really was a case of just getting my guitar out and seeing what I could come up with?   I'm a great believer that a song should merit going on an album, and that any old shit just won't do. However; when the ideas aren't coming it can get a bit frustrating. Eventually I came up with an idea which I can only descriibe as a Keith Richards type riff, with lots of jangly open strings. The riff really is good and I knew that the heart of the song had to be based round it. I'd also come up with the line "Under My Skin" . . . perhaps this album had started to get, just that . . . Under My Skin?

I tend to write lyrics pretty quick and when I entered the studio on the 9th of February I had the song ready to go, although I never invisaged how hard it would be to make this song work.
I had the same musicians as before, David Levy, Pete Lincoln, Dave Major and Ross Mcfarlane. David Levy arrived early so we both kind of jammed through the song and i'd said to Ross that I thought a Rolling Stones type vibe would work . . . He laid a groove that complimented what Myself and David where playing. Dave Major and Pete joined in and we got through the song somehow, but it just wasn't working at all.

David Levy kept requesting that we go to another chord in the chorus and whilst I fought my idea, they all kind of ganged up on me and said he was right, so we went with what David thought was right. . . . . It still didn't work and by late afternoon we didn't seem anywhere fucking nearer to getting this song right or even start the recording of it?

Cue Stuart . . . This is where a good producer comes in, he suggested that I don't sing the chorus but just play that killer riff (as he called it) over the chorus chords. I said "well then there's no fucking chorus you half wit" to which he said "You can sing over the riff" . . . . he was so right it worked a treat, he also suggested that we kind of half tempo the song until we get to the guitar solo. Stuart is clever, but you have to have the temprement to work with a producer who is happy to tell you what you've written, is shit and not working; good job i had that respect for him !!!!

I kid you not; "Under My Skin" has become my favourite track on the album, and just for the record . . . . That song would have never have worked had it not being for all the guys and producer, staying put, sticking with it, and making a considerable and unselfish effort to make that song evolve. Session musicians get paid for their time, but the fact that they got involved in the arrangement and the really inner workings of the song (rather than going home quickly)  meant that, the hardest song to record became one of the strongest songs and I'm contemplating changing the title of my album to "UNDER MY SKIN" . . . . I like that title.

So to bring you up to date:
The four tracks recorded in the UK need backing vocals. Blue had already completed most of the BV's on the tracks I recorded in Nashville. Some editing has to be taken care of, and of course the mixing of any album is so important. That decision is being worked on and I have had several discussions, but of course financial constraints really dictate who will mix and who will master the album?

I've thouroughly enjoyed writing and recording these songs. Yes it's a solo album, but without the major contribution of my fellow musicians, it wouldn't have come to life, so they deserve and get my sincere thanks. As for a release date, probably mid September.

I hope my music can be heard by music fans far and wide. I hope you share my campaign to promote what I have done, and support the writing of original music, something I have a deep passion for.
This is my best effort yet, I feel I have played my instrument as good as I can, and the music that has been created is well worthy of a listen.
I hope that the business side of matters goes as smooth as the making of this record. Just maybe . . . . there'll be some sunshine in September, and you can lower the soft top down on your car, turn up the volume and press play to a new Mick McConnell record.
 

5 comments

  • Arlene Philp

    Arlene Philp Perth, Western Australia

    Looking forward to hearing the finished product when it is released. I'll be keeping an eye out for a release date. I've enjoyed reading your updates on the workings of making good music and an album. Good luck and success with it. Best wishes, Arlene

    Looking forward to hearing the finished product when it is released. I'll be keeping an eye out for a release date. I've enjoyed reading your updates on the workings of making good music and an album. Good luck and success with it.
    Best wishes, Arlene

  • rimpa debnath

    rimpa debnath katwa

    101652 b

    101652 b

  • Douglas

    Douglas West Lothian scotland

    Hiya Mick, looking forward to your new album, also looking forward to a Smokie concert is there any chance of coming over the border to play .?

    Hiya Mick, looking forward to your new album, also looking forward to a Smokie concert is there any chance of coming over the border to play .?

  • Douglas

    Douglas West Lothian scotland

    Have just read your comment regarding Alan Barton I remember we booked to go and see black lace in concert in Blackpool many years ago well worth the money,a great concert and when looking at Smokie concerts on Youtube with Alan Barton singing he looked so happy and put everything into his performance,especially when Smokie played a concert in Cork Ireland, i am lucky enough to have the Smokie single when just about everybody had a tee shirt on saying who the **** is Alice again in Blackpool and of course Alan was the singer on that disc, a great loss, fond memories 🎼

    Have just read your comment regarding Alan Barton I remember we booked to go and see black lace in concert in Blackpool many years ago well worth the money,a great concert and when looking at Smokie concerts on Youtube with Alan Barton singing he looked so happy and put everything into his performance,especially when Smokie played a concert in Cork Ireland, i am lucky enough to have the Smokie single when just about everybody had a tee shirt on saying who the **** is Alice again in Blackpool and of course Alan was the singer on that disc, a great loss, fond memories 🎼

  • Cathy

    Cathy Kent

    Back in 1998, through early internet, and the launch of the Wild Horses album, you changed my life direction. Thanks to you, I went on to travel the world and live it to the full ☺

    Back in 1998, through early internet, and the launch of the Wild Horses album, you changed my life direction. Thanks to you, I went on to travel the world and live it to the full ☺

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