Belly's Star was a game changer for me. Sonically and lyrically, it just resonated with me on a primal level. So, when their second album was to be released, I was tremendously excited. I was lucky to jo get a copy of King a month before it's official release through the music retail outlet I was working for at the time. From it's pulsing starting point to it's moody ballad of a finish, the album didn't have a weak moment. While it didn't seem to have the slickness that the singles from Star had in terms of the production, it was/is an expertly paced, rhythmically driven record. I was not disappointed.
With all the hype and seeing Tanya's face on the cover of every music rag out there, I was psyched that they might soon be getting the commercial success they so rightfully deserved. Alas, MTV refused to play their videos and alternative radio was soon all about the grungier, grittier sounding acts that exploded on the scene between the releases of Star and King. Long story short, Belly toured and called it quits near the end of said tour. My favorite band were no more.
So here we are in 2015, King's 20th Anniversary.This tribute album started as an attempt at teaching myself home music production. I felt if I could get as close to a sound (in terms of quality) to one of my favorite records, I might be able to do something like this one day. It had gotten to a point that I'd done a cover of every track on the album. Some are better than the others as this reads as a kind of progress chart for me. "L'il Ennio" was the earliest attempt. "The Bees" was recorded that very same evening. Followed by "Untitled And Unsung", "Puberty", "Silverfish", "Now They'll Sleep", and "Seal My Fate". Those I mixed down intially as instrumental covers. I've never thought of myself as a vocalist and have never even had an itch to be one, but after reluctantly recording my vocals for "L'il Ennio" & "The Bees" and receiving a decent response from friends on social media, I got a tiny bit more comfortable with the sound of my own voice. So, I decided to try to add my vocals to the above five instrumental tracks that had already been mixed down.That was tricky, but I think they turned out okay for what they were. Next came "Super-Connected", which I tracked and mixed as one should. It was with this track that I felt I started getting a pretty good grasp on the mixing aspect. "King" came next and turned out way better than I had anticipated, giving me more confidence in the rig I was using (a $7 quickcam for notebooks from 2007, my Gibson Custom SG through a Line 6 Spider, and my editing software).
A full year and a half went by and I finally started "Red" which I had to record on my laptop as my desktop's hardrive had fried. On this track I only used an acoustic guitar.That took another few months to finish. Mostly because I couldn't seem to get those drums figured out. There are time changes aplenty in that tune. Finally, "Judas My Heart" was recorded in the same fashion as "Red", meaning over several months of coming back to it and on my laptop.
So, there's my overwrought explanation for embarking on this gratuitous display of fanboy obsessision. A wobbly one man tribute to one of my favorite records of all time.
To Tanya, Gail, Tom, and Chris... my admiration for you guys hasn't wavered. I only hope that one day I get to see the full Belly experience live again. If not, my memories of those shows are still as vivid as they were 20 years and going.
Much love to you guys,
* I'm not affiliated with Belly or their logo, and these recordings were made for study, and not for profit of any kind. All songs Slowdog/Music, all rights are reserved to the author/authors of said songs. (individual track descriptions name the author/authors of that track)
released October 1, 2015
All vocals/guitars/drum programming/recording/mixing
by Jon F Ellis
I am Jon F. Ellis, a native of Dallas, TX and am just teaching myself the art of music production. (on a zero dollar budget mind you) I'm playing every guitar here, and doing all the vocal work, and drum/synth programming.