Thirty-Four Years of “Lust”

Somewhere around thirty-four years ago, back in 1981, I was attending college in the small town of Potsdam, New York at what was then called Clarkson College of Technology (now Clarkson University). I’d become very interested in a young woman I’d met via the college’s theatre club, and I’d thought we had a plan to meet up at a party in my dorm’s cafeteria one weekend night. She never showed up, and I ended up feeling sorry for myself and drinking way more than I’d usually do, but the drinking (mostly screwdrivers if I remember correctly) is beside the point of this story.

Sometime the next week, I met up with the young woman, and she confided in me that she’d been out with another mutual acquaintance, and things had gotten out of hand. I don’t remember specific details at this point in terms of what did or did not happen, but the impression I’ve retained over the years was that the situation was bordering on what we would now call date rape, or possibly fully into that territory. I was a sympathetic ear, and a friend to her, but she ultimately ended up becoming the girlfriend of this mutual acquaintance, and I was somewhat beside myself. It wasn’t only that she’d stood me up, but how could she take up with this guy who’d basically attacked her?! And the guy pretty much disgusted me.

It was out of that sentiment that I wrote “Lust”, more or less railing at confusing what I viewed as pure sexual interests with deeper feelings. I suppose you could say it was a bit of a protest song, albeit not political.

The original style of the song was meant to be somewhere along the line of the Cars’ “Just What I Needed”. However, I never recorded it in that style. Twenty years later, in 2001, I was wanting to experiment with some electronica-oriented styles, playing around with Sony’s loop-oriented Acid Music program for creating drum beats, and I was looking for songs that might work in the style I had in mind. “Lust” was simple enough that I thought it could work. I put together the drums, then moved the drum track over to my more general music production program, Cakewalk’s Pro Audio 9. There I more or less ad-libbed a synth bass part and several other synth parts, coming up with a feel that was like a cross between electronica and jazz. I put the track out there, and it got a bit of play on an electronica-oriented web site of that time.

More recently, going through my recordings for possible tracks to include on my forthcoming pop-flavored album, I came across the track, but wanted to update the production. My initial thought was that maybe I could just remix, or even just remaster, the 2001 recording. However, when I got down to it, most of my audio plugins from that time were no longer available on my system, and I think I must have used hardware synths, because there were no softsynths to be found in the project files, and the patch names did not sound familiar (nor did a Google search turn up any clues). Rather than start with the rendered audio tracks, I decided I’d replace all the synths with softsynths from my current collection, trying to match sounds to a degree, but not sweating it too much if I couldn’t. I did keep the original vocal tracks, though I also processed them differently in the new mix.

The result is this brand spanking new 2015 remix of “Lust”, making for a thirty-four year transit from the initial songwriting to this finished recording.