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How we madeWhen the label informed us it was going to be the lead track, I said: “You cant do that. Were a severe band” Mon 16 Aug 2021 14.55 BSTSue Drew, former vice-president of A&R, Reprise RecordsI joined Reprise Records in 1995, based in New York, and was appointed to assist Barenaked Ladies make their 4th record. I had actually just signed They Might Be Giants, who I thought about to be the cream of the smarty-pants, alternative music scene. So I thought: “Hmmm. Barenaked Ladies? What are we going to do here?”We hired Susan Rogers and David Leonard– who had actually both been sound engineers for Prince– and left them to it. This was pre-internet, so when they d finished, I flew from New York to the wedding rehearsal studio in Toronto. The bands brand-new songs were entertaining and memorable– I was delighted, we had a great album in the works. Then they stated: “There is another, but were just not exactly sure …”They played me One Week and I stated: “My God. This is the single. I cant believe you were questioning the validity.” It was so lovely, fresh and various from anything that was being played on the radio. Encouraging the record label to release it was almost impossible. Every few days, I would go into the head of pop promos office and say: “Lets work this thing.” He would look bemused and state: “This seems like absolutely nothing on the radio. I can never get this played.” It was pricey to promote a record and send it out to radio. I was like a bulldozer, pressing and pressing, thinking: “What have we got to lose?”The cover art work for One Week. Photograph: WarnerIt did well on alternative radio, which meant the promotion men finally got involved, and soon it went to No 1. I d be driving with my young child and it would be amazing when it began the radio: “Mommy worked on this!” It was so cutting edge and distinct; one of the very first pop tunes to feature a rap. Now it has additional beauty and fond memories. Its an evergreen– a tune that has remained popular for decades.Ed Robertson, singer, songwriterwhen and guitar player Im having a fight with my partner, despite the fact that I understand Im incorrect, you still have to go through different phases of the battle to save face. I had a concept for a tune about the stages of arguments in a relationship. I had the architecture of the choruses and the development of the battle. I kept trying to write these ridiculous topical verses, however they never felt right.I d been a huge hip-hop fan considering that the 80s. We would go into some random groove and I d freestyle about the city or the place we were in when we played live. [Co-founder, guitarist and vocalist] Steve Page stated: “You freestyle on stage every night. Why dont you simply freestyle the verses, too?” I set this Hi8 camcorder in my basement in Toronto and freestyled up until I ran out of mental energy, and went back and transcribed my preferred verses.The initial demo wasnt a lot more than a drum loop… Ed Robertson, Kevin Hearn, Tyler Stewart, Jim Creeggan, Steven Page and Andy Creeggan of Barenaked Ladies in February 1998. Photo: AllstarEvery line has some popular culture etymology that was on the mind of the band. “Bert Kaempferts got the mad hits”– our keyboard player was constantly playing this unusual European composer in the dressing room. “Like Harrison Ford/ Im getting frantic/ Like Sting, Im tantric”– the movie Frantic, starring Harrison Ford, had simply come out. “Chickity China/ The Chinese chicken/ You have a drumstick/ And your brain stops tickin” is a reference to Busta Rhymes “Chickity-choco/ The chocolate chicken” on Scenario by A Tribe Called Quest. I altered it to China since Asian bird flu– this terrible poultry virus – was all over the news.The original demonstration wasnt a lot more than a drum loop. I keep in mind Susan Rogers stating: “That drum loop isnt really cool,” and she made it sound all trip-hoppy. David Leonard stated: “Weve got to put some fucking guitars on this chorus,” and it became this banger, with all these meandering Afro-Cuban guitars. Its such a ridiculous song. We were getting quite severe about songwriting, therefore we presumed it would be an enjoyable B-side or bonus trackIt took us ages to find out how to play it live due to the fact that its sneakily made complex. We eventually understood we d need to activate all the keyboard layers and subsonic parts to make it sound more like the record.Its such a ridiculous song. We were getting rather severe about songwriting, and so we presumed it would be a fun B-side or reward track. When the label informed us it was going to be the lead single, I said: “You cant do that. Were a severe band.” It went to No 1 really quickly, so I was happy to be wrong.How we made: Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood I do not comprehend when artists have a complex relationship with their hit single. Possibly it was some big compromise or its overshadowed their career, however I love One Week. When we play it live, I like that its so silly and represents us. Its become a lot more popular recently as a meme. We get all these requests to authorize it to use on Family Guy or Jimmy Fallon or James Corden. I do not care if theyre celebrating the song, making enjoyable of it or making some joke about the band. I constantly state yes in an instant. – Barenaked Ladies brand-new album Detour de Force is out now on Raisin Records. #ticker topLeft. We will be in touch to advise you to contribute. Keep an eye out for a message in your inbox in September 2021. 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How we madeWhen the label told us it was going to be the lead track, I said: “You cant do that. They said: “There is one other, however were just not sure …”They played me One Week and I said: “My God. Photograph: WarnerIt did well on alternative radio, which suggested the discount guys lastly got included, and soon it went to No 1. When the label told us it was going to be the lead single, I stated: “You cant do that. It went to No 1 very rapidly, so I was happy to be wrong.How we made: Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood I do not comprehend when artists have a complicated relationship with their hit single.

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