Misplaced Childhood

as performed by Hisham Muhammad

It was a crazy thing to do but, anyway...

I recorded Marillion's Misplaced Childhood on a single guitar and vocals.

Everything was recorded live (guitar and vocals performed together), captured with a single, tiny microphone -- it's actually an unplugged electric guitar. Yes, the sound quality is awful, but it has a strange quality of capturing the dynamics of the ambience.

It was a sort of Dogma 95 approach to recording: everything is raw and you listen as it happened (even the fade out in the last track). There are no edits or fixes, apart from cutting the silence around the edges of songs so that they flow in sequence like they do on the album. As basically it was all recorded through one long night, there are lots of playing and singing mistakes, but bear with me -- I learned to play most of these songs at the time I recorded them, so in most cases what you hear is actually the first time I played the song from start to finish. The idea was not to record something as perfect as possible. My intention was to record what you would hear if you were here in front of me and I played you this music. I hope the honesty of this approach was respectful to the original.

Listen

The tracks are meant to be listened all in one go, using a player that doesn't insert any silence between tracks (on Linux, most players have some "gapless" plugin for this; on the Mac, and I suppose also on Windows, iTunes can do the job well).

All-in-one download: to download all songs and lyrics, get this ZIP file containing all songs in MP3 format and lyrics in HTML, click here: MisplacedChildhood.zip.

Or you can listen online:

(Oops, apparently you don't have the Flash player installed.)

Lyrics

Click on a song title to open its lyrics in a new window/tab.

Side A

1. Pseudo Silk Kimono
2. Kayleigh
3. Lavender
4. Bitter Suite
   (i) Brief Encounter
   (ii) Lost Weekend
   (iii) Blue Angel
   (iv) Misplaced Rendezvous
   (v) Windswept Thumb
5. Heart of Lothian
   (i) Wide Boy
   (ii) Curtain Call

Misplaced Childhood, side 1


Misplaced Childhood, side 2

Side B

1. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)
2. Lords Of The Backstage
3. Blind Curve
   (i) Vocal Under A Bloodlight
   (ii) Passing Strangers
   (iii) Mylo
   (iv) Perimeter Walk
   (v) Threshold
4. Childhoods End?
5. White Feather


All music written by Rothery, Kelly, Trewavas and Mosley. All lyrics written by Fish.

Timeline

I recorded Kayleigh on Friday, June 1st 2007, but it didn't feel right without the surrounding context, so I struggled with the idea for some days and then ended up doing all the rest of the first side the next Tuesday night, June 5th. Recording side 1 was a project in itself, so I never viewed it as a "first half" of something I'd have to finish later, but amazingly a few people did ask me to record the second side. The plan was to do side 2 all on one night as well, but it was impossible. "Waterhole" to "Mylo" were recorded on a Thursday night (July 5th) and the prospects of attempting "Perimeter Walk" so late and tired were daunting. So I did it the next day, along with "Threshold", until I ran out of time. I wanted to finish it Saturday afternoon, but recording "Childhoods End?" was so exhausting that I left it to record "White Feather" on Monday night only (July 9th).

Special thanks to Rafael, for listening, the encouragement and the advice. I recorded two takes of Lavender and couldn't pick which one I would include, so I trusted his judgement. His comment when he heard the other take rang so true: "you lost yourself there... it sounds like you didn't want it to end."

Misplaced Childhood is one of those albums that hit you on a personal level -- at least it does for me. The experience of learning, performing and recording it was cathartic. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to take this forward. I hope you enjoy this; please be sure to let me know what you think, all feedback is greatly appreciated.

This recording is dedicated to-- nah, now that would be too obvious, wouldn'it it?