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Opal/Warner Bros. 9 25969-2 (1989)
1. Still Water 4:28
This song was written in New Orleans. Initial recording was done with myself and Malcolm Burn playing guitars. Tony Hall overdubbed a sketch bass and I did sketch drums. In England, Brian Eno recorded the haunting background vocals. Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton recorded their parts soon after that in Dublin. It was later finished and mixed in New Orleans. The final version is made up of four mixes done on four different dates, then edited together.
2. The Maker 4:13
Written in a big old empty room in New Orleans. This song was abandoned till Malcolm and Kevin Laffey talked me into recording it. The drum track played by Willie Green was originally recorded for the Nevilles’ song “Voodoo,” but never used on the Nevilles’ record. I always loved this track and so with Willie’s permission, “The Maker” was superimposed overtop. Tony Hall overdubbed harmony basses, Cyril Neville played gembe, Art Neville played piano and Aaron Neville sang support and response vocals. Malcolm and I played the rest of the instruments. All done in New Orleans.
3. O Marie 3:13
I came up with the melody for “O Marie” in New York – a sort of contrast to the noise of traffic and general city din. Back in New Orleans the idea of a work song came into play. It sounded better in French and so, with helpful suggestions by Malcolm, it became a song about tobacco picking. There is a tradition of French Canadians picking tobacco in Ontario every summer. The song talks about the expectations and realities that go with this job. Malcolm and I performed this live, vocal and all. Mark Howard recorded and mixed it.
4. Jolie Louise 2:41
This song came together quickly. The idea had been in my head for a while but the construction of it happened in two days. The initial recording was done with Malcolm on piano, me singing and knee slapping and Mark at the console. Later in Hamilton, at Grant Ave. Studios, Ed Roth played accordion. Adam and Larry did their parts in Dublin with Paul Barrett recording. We mixed it in New Orleans.
5. Fisherman’s Daughter 2:45
The atmosphere for this goes back a few years. It was done in Hamilton at a time when Brian was there a lot. Brian inspired me to do this track. Later in New Orleans I rediscovered the track, and Malcolm and I recorded two acoustic guitars on top of it. The lyrics came last; a poem written in Biloxi about not being a pawn in the game.
6. White Mustang II 2:54
On a small portable recorder I did 20 takes of this guitar instrumental – my friend Pierre Marchand listened to them all and picked out the best. In England, Brian played many beautiful keyboard parts – a sort of sound sculpture behind a lonely guitar. James May, New Orleans trumpet player, was playing outside my window. I invited him in to do an overdub. Much later, Malcolm did the mix.
7. Under A Stormy Sky 2:19
This was recorded as a band – Willie, Tony, myself and Malcolm. Everyone set up in the control room, drums and all. The lyrics were completed after the track went down, the vocals done about a week later. I invited Mason Ruffner to play a solo. He lives in New Orleans not far from the studio. I put on a slide guitar and Malcolm did a vibrato guitar. The harmony on the last verse was a last minute addition. The name Bette was my mother’s nickname when she was a young girl.
8. Where The Hawkwind Kills 3:50
This song took forever to finish. The drum track came from another song that is not on the record. The drums were treated by Malcolm to give them that heavy Bolero effect. Brian recorded my heavy guitar part – a big sound from the smallest guitar amp. Brian also played wild synthesizer that sort of sounds like a kettle whistling. Back in New Orleans, Malcolm put on the Akai string parts and I finally finished the lyrics and the vocal and put on a last-minute acoustic guitar.
9. Silium’s Hill 3:00
This idea came to me in New York. It had been idling in my head for a long time and when I read a book of old gospel hymns. I connected Silium’s Hill with Shoe Shine Mamma. Recorded in New Orleans. The vocal was done separately from the guitar and the keyboard.
10. Ice 4:24
The sound on this is created by two main components. The first is the Omni chord, very heavily treated with echoes, etc. The second is Bill Dillon’s guitar, also heavily treated. These were recorded by myself in Canada at Grant Ave. Studio. Later in New Orleans the lyrics and vocals were completed. Malcolm mixed it with a lot of compression.
11. St. Ann’s Gold 3:29
This was an instrumental for the longest time. One of the many guitar numbers I recorded on my portable recorder. Pierre added some keyboards when he visited me in New Orleans. In England, Brian added what sort of sound like cellos. Roger Eno also played a distant keyboard part. In New Orleans, Malcolm suggested a melody to me and a lyric idea. I took the ideas and finished them into this song.
12. Amazing Grace 3:47
At one time, we had considered including “Amazing Grace” on the Nevilles’ record. Aaron and I had done a vocal but never used it. In my own time, I married Aaron’s vocal with the music. Brian helped me with this at his place in England. He played some keyboards, did treatments, etc. Later in New Orleans, Mark Howard and I did the mix.
Daniel Lanois: guitar, bass, omni chord and vocals;
Malcolm Burn: keyboards, guitar, treatments and background vocals;
Brian Eno: keyboards and vocals;
Tony Hall: Bass;
Willie Green: Drums;
Adam Clayton: bass;
Larry Mullen Jr.: Drums;
Pierre Marchand: keyboards;
Mason Ruffner: Guitar;
Roger Eno: Piano;
Ed Roth: Accordion;
James May: Trumpet;
Cyril Neville: Percussion;
Art Neville: Piano;
Aaron Neville: Vocals;
Bill Dillon: Guitar;
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Brian Eno for his keyboard sounds,
Malcolm Burn for his tobacco ideas;
Bob and Maureen Doidge,
Anne-Louise Kelly and the people at Principle Management,
Lou at Guitar Clinic,
The Staff at Warner Bros. Records.
330 Harrow Road,
James Phelan Company,
230 W. 55th Street,
New York, NY 10019,
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
P.O. Box 141,
P.O. Box 2749,
Hollywood, CA 90078
Produced by Daniel Lanois;
Recorded by Malcolm Burn and Mark Howard;
Musical Help and Suggestion, Malcolm Burn;
Mixed by Malcolm Burn and Daniel Lanois with Mark Howard;
Recorded in New Orleans, Louisiana;
Additional Recording: Brian Eno’s Wilderness Studios, England; STS Studio, Ireland with Paul Barrett; Grant Avenue Studio, Canada;
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York;
A&R Direction: Kevin Laffey;
All songs written by Daniel Lanois, Upala/Hamstein (BMI); Except St. Ann’s Gold, Music by Daniel Lanois, Lyrics by Daniel Lanois and Malcolm Burn; White Mustang II, Written by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno; Amazing Grace, Traditional;
Art Direction, Design: Jeri Heiden;
Front Cover Photograph: Lynn Goldsmith;
All Other Photography: Mark Abrahms;
Adam Clayton appears courtesy of Island Records, Larry Mullen Jr., appears courtesy of Island Records, Mason Ruffner appears courtesy of Epic Records, Cyril Neville, Art Neville and Aaron Neville appear courtesy of the Neville Brothers and A&M Records