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While we were still in the midst of the Juggernaut tour, we started working on new material in a small studio in Montreal. The situation wasn't as easy as we had hoped it would be; trouble with getting a good drum sound ate up several days at the start of things and put all of us on edge, and me in particular. I was so frustrated with what was going on that Frank coined a phrase I have used to calm myself many times since: "It's only music, not global thermo-nuclear war". Truer words have never been spoken
While the results of those sessions were never used, we did manage to flesh out the basic idea of "Imagine", which we would later re-record for the album. I remember feeling as though we were moving in an interesting direction, one that felt pretty natural to me considering my prog leanings, but that was only a taste of what was to come!
Ensuing record company problems kept us out of the studio for the next couple years. During that time, I stopped touring with the band to focus on other projects a bit closer to home. Frank and I kept in touch though, and when the time came to move forward with the next album, I was headed to Montreal.
The majority of the tracks were already recorded or demo'd in very close to finished form. For me, it was a nice change to cut tracks to already completed tunes, a rarity in drum-recording-land. In some cases, there was a drum machine guide (programmed by Frank), while others had only a click. I actually copied the drum machine part for "Long Ago" to use as my groove for the tune. Great groove, one that I would not have thought to play. No way was I going to let that one get away!
The drums were tracked at RCA Victor studios (actually called Victor at that point in time), and Frank already had the sound together when I arrived. The drum sound in the room and on tape was phenomenal! We progressed through the tunes at a leisurely pace over the next few days. Perhaps the most poignant memory I have of my time on the band was tracking "When Love Is Lost" late at night in the dimly lit studio, with just the engineer for company. I believe it to be some of my best playing on any record. A great memory
Many long-time fans derided this album when it came out. I suppose I can understand that, but to me, this was a record that had to be made. Very cool songs, a lot of stretching, and an absolutely killer drum sound for the time!