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The Songwriters’ Collective’s eighth 2015 offering (for voting in September) was a ‘Sample’ month. I, for one, found this incredibly difficult and started at least three times! I look forward to hearing and voting on the performances.

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1. Send Me Into Space
Eddie Custard and the Zero Gravity Orchestra
I’ve sampled the riff from Montrose’s Space Station Number Five and built a different song around it. I’ve kept the original’s chords for the verses, but changed the melody and style of singing. Everything else: the drop down chorus, bridge and other bits are mine.

As a nod to the space theme of the original lyrics I’ve written about the forthcoming Mars One programme, which plans to send a group of people to settle on Mars in 2026. Apparently it can be done, although it’s likely to be a one-way ticket.  They’ve advertised for participants, most of whom will only pay a small amount. Travellers will be trained to make their own oxygen, grow vegetables and self-administer dental and medical care. The lyrics are written from the point of view of someone who’s been chosen for the trip and wants to get away from earth.
My aim at the beginning was to merge the sampled Montrose bits and my parts so seamlessly that the listener would have no idea where Hagar ended and Custard began.  The outcome is that the two artists have finished up about a planet’s width apart.Hopefully I'll get a law suit from the band to raise my profile. 

1 Eddie C Space sample



2. What’s To Be Done?
Stephen Clarke
I was lazing on a sunny (late) afternoon in Greece when I wrote this. Hence the "what's the point of anything?" lyrics. There was supposedly economic and social chaos everywhere, but the Greeks on the island of Skyros didn't seem that bothered. It was same old same old. 

I was at home when I recorded it yesterday, stuck between finishing a job and doing my accounts, so I didn't have time to sort out the actual sample thing. Instead I got Ray Davies and the boys to come in and play the intro. Note the authentic 1960s Vox semi-acoustic bass. Ray didn't bring a drummer, so it's just me and a hi-hat. Skiffle time again.
Oh yes that word I don't sing clearly in the last verse is "drought".

2 Stephen C WhatsToBeDone?




3. Missing
Phil Sanderson
I've used a short sample from the opening of 'One of Our Submarines' by Thomas Dolby and a small snippet of 'Windpower' too.
The lyrics are a sort of reflective muse on a theme rather than a coherent set of words.  I'm in a writer's block phase regarding lyrics, so was glad to get anything written this month.

3b Phil S Missing v12




4. You Keep The Score
Tim & Glyn
We were looking for a sample that people might recognise and I hit on a song by Elbow that some of you may know. I didn't tell Glyn what the sample was or how it fitted, so she wrote the vocal line for the first half of the chorus while only hearing my backing part, in case she got the tune stuck in her head (that probably makes some sense when you hear it). Simon chipped in with a brief guitar part near the end. 

We really enjoyed recording this one. Hope you like it! 

4. Tim & Glyn You keep the score




5. Foggy Day
Rob Warner
Despair and pain are two words that spring to mind during the ‘making’ of this song. I tried with four different beginnings. The first was a drum riff in 9/8 time from John McLaughlin - hopeless. Then I tried to make things easier by using Ringo’s drum break from ‘The End’ on ‘Abbey Road’ - not at all exciting and then I tried the opening haunting chords of some Coldplay song. Then I was in the car when ‘A Foggy Day’ came on (the version by Frank Sinatra) and I wondered if I could tap into some of the gloriousness of the arrangement. You tell me!

Lastly, ‘Administrator’s privilege’ allows me to upload a second version of this as I finished this at 10pm on deadline day and it didn’t really exist until 10am on deadline day. So expect more vocals and a better mix if you tune in in a few days’ time.
Foggy Day v2



6. Scream & Howl
Mike Gosling
I had some discussions with Karl on this month's task and asked him to lay down some backing drums over which I was going to do a kind of Bob Dylan tribute song (an idea pursued but not finished in Heroes month) and include a Dylan sample. After recording Karl's drums, none of the above happened - apologies Karl - your drums will see the light of day on another song. Instead, and this evolved from simply playing my iPod on shuffle, I sampled a few seconds from the 15:37 of Roforofo Fight by Fela Kuti and rather more of the saxophone on the 1:35 of Skrik & Hyl by Jan Garbarek. For those of you not fluent in Scandanavian languages, Skrik & Hyl is Norwegian for Scream and Howl. The lyrics grew from the title and the iconic Munch picture Skrik (The Scream).
6 Mike G Scream and Howl



7. Move Down the Bus
Tim & Julie Warner
Sorry to all those that uploaded on time, I’ve been a bit of a slacker this month.

Having begged for an extension, I found I didn’t really like what I had done unto then. I used Brittany Spears’ ‘Baby One More Time’ riff, thinking I would write a song about how I think it's inappropriate for school girls to dress as school girls anymore (thinking of the video that went with the song and my auntie Pam saying some of the girls at her school were jail bait). I thought better of it and came up with this instead.

You can probably tell that Julie didn’t have as much to do with the lyrics as normal because some of them are a bit more crammed in than usual. I don’t have her flair for concise lyrics.
7 Tim W move down the bus