Multiple Hall of Famer, songwriter, singer, and guitarist Randy Bachman announces the release of “By George – By Bachman”, a respectful and personal testimonial to George Harrison’s finest work, released in the UK on the 6thJuly 2018.
Make no mistake, this is not your typical tribute album. This truly is a ‘Harrison by Bachman’ concept with Bachman’s distinctively personal stamp and style placed on The Quiet Beatle’s music. “On Jukebox, the covers album I did with Burton Cummings back in 2007, I took ‘I’m Happy Just To Dance With You’, which was written by George but written for him to sing, and put a whole new groove on it,” Bachman explains. “People already knew the lyrics so I put it into a new musical context and it worked. For this album I figured I would take George’s songs and give them new grooves. I wanted the tempos and arrangements to be different but still recognizable by the lyrics. I took the major keys and turned them into minors. It was a whole new interpretation of a familiar song. I was quite excited about the prospect of re-imagining George Harrison’s songs.”
Bachman began work on the project in March of 2017, enlisting Mark LaFrance as co-producer/drummer, Mick Dalla-Vee on bass, and Brent Knudson for additional guitars. The quartet developed a process for creating demos for such time-tested material, reflecting the spirit of the source within their fresh approaches. Over weeks of back-and-forth, the songs took shape and indeed some of the demo recordings made it to the finished record.
In May of 2017, recording began at Armoury Studios in Vancouver, where artists such as AC/DC, Nickelback, the Cranberries, INXS, Seal, Diana Krall, Drake and Bruno Mars have all recorded. As LaFrance recalls the experience:…”once we started digging into the recording of the album, it almost became somewhat of a healing and liberating experience. Music can really take you to places you can’t imagine, especially while creating it. Sitting in the control room while Randy is ripping out a guitar solo, grabbing notes out of thin air, is good for the soul.”
The band lived with those first recordings for some months before returning to the studio in September to finish the album, this time at Calgary’s studio Bell – a facility within the National Music Centre, where one of Bachman’s Les Paul guitars is on display as part of Canada’s Music Hall of Fame. The studio houses all variety of rare and vintage gear, from Rolling Stones’ mobile recording studio to a historic Trident (Triad) A Range Console. Using these tools connected Bachman to his previous recording lives as well…as part of channeling elements of the past to weave through the present.
By Georgeopens and closes with “Between Two Mountains” – a Bachman original written to tie the various elements together which comprise the album’s concept. In this song, Harrison’s position amidst the musical giants of Lennon and McCartney is acknowledged. “George’s light shone through what could have been a shadow between such mountainous forces as John and Paul,” says Bachman. “Love is forever – and George made certain that paramount sentiment endured throughout his work and life. His music and his example mean the world to me, and I hope I have honoured that in a way that will resonate with people who, like me, are his fans and admirers.”
There’s also a little something extra for George Harrison aficionados. “Throughout the album, I put in little signature licks that are associated with George’s songs,” reveals Bachman, “like the slide part from ‘My Sweet Lord’ or the opening chord from ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ for the fans to notice. Kind of like Easter Eggs.”
Bachman stands in rarified air as a member of a very exclusive handful of artists who have topped the charts in two different bands: “American Woman” with The Guess Who and “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” as leader and singer with Bachman-Turner Overdrive. In a career spanning over five decades, he has earned 120 platinum, gold and silver records. His distinctive brand of guitar-driven, no-holds-barred hard rock is instantly recognized worldwide. As host of the top-rated CBC and Sirius XM radio series Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap, his listeners number in the millions.
As the most celebrated musician in Canadian history, Bachman counts among his many accolades his membership in the Order of Canada and the Order of Manitoba, as well as being twice inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame, and his inductions into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Prairie Music Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the Manitoba Order of The Buffalo Hunt, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, the ASCAP Global Impact Award, and holder of an honourary Doctorate in Music from Brandon University. Bachman has also earned multiple JUNO Awards as a songwriter, musician, band member and producer. In addition, Bachman can add best-selling author to his numerous list of accomplishments, having penned both Vinyl Tap Storiesand Takes from Beyond The Tap.
Between Two Mountains
If I Needed Someone
You Like Me Too Much
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Handle With Care
I Need You
Think For Yourself
Here Comes The Sun
Don’t Bother Me
Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)
Between Two Mountains – Reprise
“By George – By Bachman” is released through Universal Music on the 6thJuly 2018.