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untitled unwritten

1977 untitled unwritten

untitled/unwritten is a double album by bad medecine that was published in July 1977. Recordings took place in the spring of that year. After the break up in 1974, it was the first thing to be released by the band. It consists of "untitled" which is an acoustic lp and "unwritten" that is an electric one. The songs are mostly from Papa Beer, but Bello also wrote his part. After recording, the band toured through Europe in the autumn as a trio.
 

Songs

i. untitled

1. [2.39]  rindustrial evolution [k/k]         
2. [3.43]  pride of a praying bear [k/k, beeldhouwer, dehond]    
3. [3.26]  left my house this morning [k/k]
4. [4.15]  sleep well [debakker/debakker] 
5. [5.08]  chadian summer [k/k]
6. [2.12]  waiting for the weekend [k/k]                

7. [5.46]  gold [k/k, bello]   
8. [4.12]  just a guy [k/k]      
9.  [2.43]  park [k/k]  
10. [3.07]  talking to strangers [k/k]     
11. [6.33]  ocean [k, akamani/k]       

ii. unwritten

1. [4.44]  hurt soul [k/k, beeldhouwer]  
2. [1.54]  press [bello/bello] 
3. [5.47]  ...blz [k/k] 
4. [5.14]  bleed [k/k, bello, ibn al-habib]                       
5. [4.27]  cat of the neighbours [k/k]      
         
6. [6.32]  delivering a mouth full of words [k/k] 
7. [4.30] four nipples [k/bello, k]  
8. [4.02]  beerbitch [k, bello/bello]
9. [4.36]  lose control [bello/bello, beeldhouwer] 
 

Credits

Papa Beer : lead vocals + acoustic guitar [i] + mouthorgan [ii] + bass [ii] + electric guitars
Bello : piano [i] + drums [ii] + claps
Lisa Laverre :  backing vocals    
Percussion and vocals ‘ocean’ by Kamanzi Akamani
Percussion ‘sleep well’, ‘ocean’ & ‘bleed’ by Zeyad ibn Al-Habib
Claps and vocals on ‘ocean’ & ‘sleep well’ by Gérardo Debakker

Recorded at the Mick Studiós, Tèxord on March - May 1977
Produced by Mick Oe
Engineered by Gérardo Debakker
Mixed at the Mick Studiós, Tèxord in May – June 1977
Released at myzelf music inc. 7 July 1977


Background


The songs were all written in the sabbatical that bad medecine had taken. All six members had chosen different paths and this album is completely recorded by Papa Beer and Bello with the help of Lisa Laverre. Former member Gérardo Debakker was present at the sessions in the Mick Studiós, but he was only taking care of the technical side of recording. The production was done by Mick Oe, who had little work on the first record as that part is acoustic. 

Contrary to their latest record ‘no eastern inspiration in this case’, this album sees bad medecine in its smallest line-up. Papa Beer on guitar and vocals, Bello on piano on the first vinyl and drums on the second, assisted by Lisa Laverre who does backing vocals. Consequently, the songs are a lot less bombastic and whereas bad medecine had experimented in their blues with jazz and psychedelica, this album is more of a poppy approach. The structures are simpler and nearly all the songs have a verse-chorus form. Two African artists, Kamanzi Akamani and Zeyad ibn Al-Habib, whom Papa Beer had met on his travels, joined on the album for a couple of songs.


Writing and composition


Lyrically, Papa Beer develops themes as love, loneliness, growing up and travelling in a directer discourse than earlier albums. Yet, the focus doesn't always lay in the words as we hear in 'lose control' and '...blz'. These quasi-instrumentals, together with 'ocean', seem to be made up of a vocal mantra. Metaphors are not completely thrown overboard on "unwritten/untitled", but the parlando 'chadian summer' is a very clear example of papa beer's new approach of a song writing.

Papa Beer had been travelling for two years, mostly alone, and had begun recording in the beginning of 1977. He had written a bunch of songs in Africa that he immediately wanted to record. Mick Oe helped him and Bello only got to hear them when they were finished. When the two jammed together after not having seen each other for over a year, Mick Oe was recording as well. Unfortunately, the quality was too poor so the songs were redone a week later. The immediate outcome of their encounter was 'delivering a mouth full of words' and 'beerbitch'.


Release and reception


Despite the low-key promotion and the material on the album being completely different then their last album, it still had two European top 10 hits, and went double platinum, having sold over seven million copies worldwide so far. In a contemporary review for Tèxord's Music Magazine, music critic Jim Dehaan wrote that “With Lisa Laverre on vocals bad medecine sounds like Aretha Franklin singing for The Doors.” Another writer from another magazine stated that “Bad Medecine (sic) succeeded in surprising us with their compacter and friendlier sound.”


Tour


​As Bob Beeldhouwer had left bad medecine in 1974 to go solo, there was no bass player for the tour. Papa Beer wanted to tour with Bobby badly, but the latter was having a lot of concerts with his own music. Concerts were thus hardly planned and only when bobby had convinced Papa Beer to change instruments, he agreed to go on tour for six months. Upon returning, the band went into the studio as a trio once more, which resulted in '37 < ZACK > 37'.

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billy navrovski