CHAD STUART & JEREMY CLYDE
ARK-eology
(TBO)

 

40 years after their final Columbia records release, 1968’s The Ark, British invasion pop legends Chad & Jeremy return with ARK-eology. An 18 cut CD that revisits classic tracks from their most famous ‘60s releases including milestone albums The Ark and Of Cabbages & Kings as well as chart topping '60s pop classics like “Summer Song” and “Before And After.” For years Chad Stuart has lived in Idaho and from his home studio comes this fine return to form. Commenting on the CD, TBO Records owner Bob Heinlein adds, 'This album isn't just a re-recorded greatest hits. I think it stands alone as a definitive showcase of the Chad & Jeremy sound and what it represents from the beginning. For some reason, I think that no matter how many years it took to finish, that now is the time for it to appear. It sounds so fresh and alive that it defies time. The best Chad & Jeremy album ever!' Given a chance, those under 40 might actually appreciate ARK-eology as much as early C&J fans from the ‘60s who are now in their own ‘60s! Commenting on returning for this recording with Jeremy Clyde, Chad adds, ‘It feels good to have my old mate back in the picture after all these years. Welcome back Jeremy Clyde.’ www.ChadAndJeremy.com


CHAD STUART SPEAKS ABOUT THE NEW CHAD & JEREMY ARK-eology CD

Q: Why ARK-eology. Why now?

CS: Before we embarked on a new album with new songs, it was important to set the record straight as far as our catalogue was concerned. We've had seven albums released over the years and none of this catalogue is available for down-load. Personally, I'm glad that's the case! With the possible exception of the last two Columbia albums, the old recordings don't stand up today. They just don't. They were created in what Jeremy calls the dark ages of recording, an era when we were hustled into the studio by our elders and betters and expected to come up with an album in a ridiculously short space of time with no leeway to second guess, re-record or question whether or not a particular track was good enough to be included in the first place. It was a race against the clock, hardly an ideal way to come up with a hit, much less a recording that would stand the test of time. ARK-eology was recorded at home at our own pace. It took a while but so what? It's here now. We called it ARK-eology because 2008 is the 40th anniversary of the release of our last Columbia album, The Ark.

Q: What exactly is ARK-eology? Is it a greatest hits album?

CS. No. Absolutely not. Sure, the hits are on there, but there's actually eighteen tracks. It's an anthology, a trip down memory lane for anyone who may have bought some of these albums. There's two or three of our favorite cuts from each one. It's a sentimental journey in a way, recorded with a more contemporary mindset. I had the benefit of working in my own studio with much more sophisticated gear and with no union engineers and no big clocks on the wall. I feel like a race horse who can finally run around the pasture at his own pace!

Q: Are the arrangements radically different?

CS: In some cases yes, but we didn't tinker with the hits too much. Our current philosophy is that less is more. If you respect the song, you don't need to bury it in all sorts of ear candy. In the early days, we were in the hands of the system where the arranger would come in and arrange, the producer would produce, all the players would play and you just sort of hoped that something halfway decent would come out of it all. More often than not it was some sort of compromise. Too many cooks.

Q: But now it's different.

CS: Absolutely. It's just us, warts and all!

Q: Can you describe the process for us?

CS: When it's a Jeremy song, we like to hang out together and basically play with just two guitars until we've found a nice groove and some sort of routine. Eventually I'll record him with just guitar and vocal and a shaker track to keep it all together. Then I'll usually get him to redo the guitar part and the vocal so we've got more control over the ingredients. After that, I'll play some lead guitar, do my vocal part and then add piano or bass and drums if that's what it needs. Then Jeremy comes back in for more vocal overdubs and percussion. When it's one of my songs, I tend to build up the tracks first and get Jeremy to overdub his parts later.

Q: So why are you and Jeremy performing together again after all these years?

CS: Because we can! No, seriously folks, it's because Jeremy came back and said he really missed the music. He's not the first actor to have a musical background, but he's one of the lucky ones in the sense that he had a bunch of hit records under his belt. Over the years, I tried to get get all sorts of musical projects going in his absence, with not much luck. He tried a few over in England with a similar lack of success. In the end, PBS television started the ball rolling with the "Pop Rock Reunion" in 2003. Not a very promising title, but it served to get us back in front of the fans.

Q: Was it an amazing experience for you?

CS. Absolutely. Neither of us was ready for the standing ovation and the teary eyed reception after "Summer Song."

Q: So did that show open the door for a whole new career?

CS. Yes, it did, but what that career was going to be was a bit of an open question. Neither one of us wanted to slog around the country serving up a deja vu experience, but that's exactly what happened for the first year with the wrong management and the wrong agency. We dropped them both like a hot brick and spent 2005 searching for an agent. Stephan Boyd at ICON Performing Arts stepped up to the plate and we started doing our own two hour show in 2006. Just the two of us, singing songs, telling stories and doing that "evening with" thing. All I say to a promoter is give us a grand piano, an oriental rug and some guitar stands and we'll do the rest!

Q: So how would you describe your show as it is now?

CS: It's hard to put it into one sentence. We started with the premise that we've grown up, our audience has grown up and we're not about to cram ourselves into tight leather trousers and pretend that we're stuck in our late twenties. (Some of our contemporaries are still doing that, with mixed results!) Our audience has a lot of miles on the odometer, just as we have. We all have the same problems and challenges. Jeremy and I are no different than any other entertainers, except for the fact that we had some hit records back in the day. That's a bonus, but it it's not enough to give our audience their money's worth. There's got to be some genuine communication going on. Not only that, but our chops have improved over the years. Jeremy as an actor and myself as a music teacher, we've kept up the old skills and hopefully improved on them.

Q: What's next on the horizon?

CS: Now that we've got the anthology CD out of the way, the next challenge is an album of new songs. This is an important milesone for us, obviously. It's long overdue and we both have a backlog of material. It's going to be quite a challenge deciding what to include and what to banish to the bottom drawer!

Q: When can we expect that to be released?

CS: Probably the summer of 2009. My plan is an album a year until I can't do it any more. There are several candidates backed up in the wings. Songs from the Back Porch, C&J Live at the Liberty, The Other Side Of Stuart & Clyde, Jeremy's solo album, my solo album, my children's CD - there's a lot of stuff waiting to be born. And let's not forget the DVD of our life story. I'm not sure when that's coming out.

Q: Do you sometimes think that you're perhaps too old for all this?

CS: Never! We're very blessed that we can have another chance. It keeps you young, or at least thinking young, which is more than half the battle. Anyway, our audience is growing older with us. We'll all go together when we go!

 

 
   
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