Three-Month Progress Report

Exactly three months ago, I announced my intention to produce a pop album, with the working title In and Out of Love Again, for release sometime during the first half of 2016. I also promised to provide occasional updates on the progress of the album, which I’ve done a couple of times since then in the form of "story behind the song" posts for "Just a Little Kiss" and "Lust". I’ve made a good deal of progress on the album since then, so I thought it might be time to provide a more comprehensive update.

I’m happy to report that the project is actually quite a bit ahead of where I’d expected it to by this juncture, with seven tracks finished and given informal approvals for licensing (pending dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s of the formal paperwork a bit later), an eighth track recorded in hopes of inclusion if licensing can be arranged, and at least two of the additional songs chosen but still needing to be recorded. The plan is for a twelve-track album, so this would nominally put things at the seven-twelfths or two-thirds mark, depending whether the eighth track can be licensed.

I say “nominally” in that last sentence above, because most of the tracks completed to date were further along when I announced my intentions than those that remain to be recorded and included from here forward. Some were originally recorded as far back as 2000, so mainly needed remixing and remastering. The first two tracks announced were more recent recordings, but were already finished at the time of the announcement. Additionally, beyond the recording work needed to finish the tracks for the album (and all remaining songs decided upon thus far need new recordings), there will be license agreements (for co-written songs) needing to be put together and signed, cover art needing to be designed and developed, liner notes needing to be written, and various other administrative tasks needing to be accomplished. Thus, the one-third (or five-twelfths) of the project still to be completed in terms of track counts will necessarily take considerably longer to complete than the work completed thus far.

Before I get into more detail on the progress to this point, if you’d like to actually hear the progress by listening to the tracks that have, at least tentatively, been confirmed for inclusion, you can listen to my "2016 Pop Album Candidates" playlist on SoundCloud. That playlist will be updated as additional tracks are confirmed, so, if you’re reading this after early November 2015, there may be tracks included that are not discussed below.

As of this writing, here are the recordings that have been confirmed:

  • In and Out of Love Again — The album’s title track was written and recorded in 2011, though I wrote the lyric back in 1997, initially for use with different music, for a project that never came to fruition. This one was already "ready to go" by the time I announced this project.
  • Just a Little Kiss — Another "ready to go" track, this one was written and recorded in 2010.
  • Lust — While I wrote this song way back in 1981 and recorded parts of the track in 2001, I ended up replacing most of the instruments used, though not the parts played, on this recording after I’d announced the project.
  • That Kiss — Laban Johnson and I wrote this song during 1998 and 1999, and the recording began as an early song demo, then a more polished recording, between 2004 and 2007. While I originally thought this one might only need remastering from the 2007 recording, it ended up needing a fairly extensive remix.
  • Love Holds On — Rebecca (“Shari”) Hanneman and I wrote this song back in 1997. While a more recent recording of the song was released as the title track of my Love Holds On album, this up-tempo pop version was recorded way back in 2000 and remastered for this project.
  • One Good Reason — I wrote and recorded this song back in 2000, and the track was remastered for this project.
  • What Do You Want to Know — Mary Lou Sudkamp and I wrote this song between May 2004 and October 2005. The recording this track is based on was originally intended to be a fairly quick song demo back in 2006, but I really liked the way it was feeling in that form. Background vocals were added, then the song was remixed, for this project.

So, there you have it. I’ll be posting further updates here over time, but if you’d like to hear of updates shortly after they occur, you may want to "Like" and "Follow" me on Facebook.