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When The World Knows Your Name : The Real Gone Kids

If one word could describe When The World Knows Your Name then surely it would be 'Bigger'. Raintown had given the band a great start, critical acclaim, a solid fan base and famed live shows had seen their hard work pay off. But despite their success, one thing eluded them, the 'Hit Single'.

Ricky Ross had a clear vision that the follow up to Raintown would be singles driven. From the outset there was a desire to break away from the mould of Raintown, work with multiple producers, in different studios. A bigger sound with more production.

Originally to be titled "Las Vegas" the album was frustrating to make. The bands producer was ill delaying production in the UK, whilst disappointing sessions in America with 2nd producer David Kahne saw the recording drawn out over an entire year.

Disappointment was short lived though, Real Gone Kid delivered the band their first hit, peaking at number 8 in the UK chart and gaining worldwide radio play.


The success of Real Gone Kid had given them the dream start to the When The World Knows Your Name campaign. On it's release the album went straight in at number one knocking Madonna's "Like A Prayer" off the top of the charts. Tour dates across the UK were selling out in a matter of hours. University halls and student unions were long gone, this time it would be arenas, this time it would be 'Bigger'.

Recording


Sunset Sound Studios,
Los Angeles

Sunset Sound is a recording studio in Hollywood, California, located at 6650 Sunset Boulevard.

The Sunset Sound Recorders complex was converted in 1962 by Walt Disney's Director of Recording, Tutti Camarata, from a collection of old commercial and residential buildings - some built more than 80 years ago. Camarata actually started the recording studio at the encouragement of Disney himself, and soon, the audio for many of Disney's early films were being recorded at the studio, including Bambi, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Mary Poppins, and 101 Dalmatians.

Over 200 Gold records have been recorded at Sunset Sound, including albums by the Rolling Stones with the legendary Exile on Main St., The Beach Boys with the landmark Pet Sounds album, Linda Ronstadt with her first disc for David Geffen's Asylum label Don't Cry Now, as well as hit albums for Elton John and Led Zeppelin.

The Doors recorded their first two albums, 'The Doors' and 'Strange Days' at the studio.


Warne Livesey

Most of When The World Knows Your Name was recorded with Warne Livesey at the helm. Livesey started playing music in London amidst the punk and new wave revolution of the late seventies. Originally a bass player in many bands and on the session scene he soon realised that his main passion was for recording. Although self taught he soon established himself as an up and coming engineer, working with producers such as David Lord, Rhett Davis and Robin Miller. Through his work with the Specials he broke into production by recording projects for their ground breaking two tone record label and other indies such as some bizzare.

Additional recording was done with American producer David Kahne, these sessions did not go well. With the band finding the producer too hands on and disliking the sound and direction the recordings were taking. Most ot the recordings were abandoned with only Silhouette surviving.

Deacon Blue also produced themselves taking to the controls to record Orphans.


Jacobs Studios, Surrey 

Jacobs studios was built into an old Georgian farmhouse set in the Surrey countryside near Farnham. It was set up by Andy and Fran Fernbach who had previously had a 16 track studio (Vivatone) in their home. They moved into Ridgeway House in January 1980 to set up their new residential studio, named Jacobs after a breed of sheep that were farmed in the area.

Jacobs studios eventually closed in July 2006 when Andy and Fran Fernbach sold the place to relocate to the West country, after finding that it was impossible to make the studio commercially viable at the rates that record companies expected to pay

Other Studios

Further sessions were held at Outside Studios in Berkshire. Livingston London, Mayfair London and CAVA Glasgow.

Real Gone Kid


CBS Memo 1988

Click image for larger view


Inspired by watching the frenetic live performances of Maria Mckee, lead singer of the band Lone Justice. Ricky penned Real Gone Kid in 1987 and the song was soon part of the Deacon Blue live set, over a year before it was finally released.

As this enthusiastic CBS memo shows, expectations were high within CBS that Real Gone Kid was a sure fire hit.

To this day Real Gone Kid remains Ricky Ross most successful self penned single reaching number 8 in the UK. The song was also a hit across Europe topping the charts in Spain.

In 2012 Manchester Utd and England footballer Wayne Rooney tweeted that the song was part of his pre-match Spotify playlist. 


Promotional advert for
Real Gone Kid

Click image for larger view


Making Tracks - STV 2001

Broadcast in 2001, Ricky Ross talks about Real Gone Kid and music experts explore the song.



Even in 2012 Real Gone Kid is still inspiring people. DJ MikeA released this unofficial mashup version to the delight of Ricky and Lorraine, who supported the track on Facebook.

You can listen and download the track for free here : http://official.fm/tracks/VIzX

You can also view the video on You Tube here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0OrBxQ73kQ

Circus Lights - The Lost Single

When The World Knows Your Name spawned five hit singles, but it was often mentioned in interviews that the band and CBS had visions of releasing as many as six.

Circus Lights had been part of Deacon Blue's live set since October 1987. Early 1988 the band played the song on Scottish Television on the FSD show. Soon after, the band played the famous Glasgow Barrowlands Ballroom, to the amazement of the band, the fans knew all the words. 

So shocked, Ricky Ross was even caught on mic shouting "I don't believe this!" to the rest of the band.

So it comes as little surprise that Circus Lights was once lined up to be the follow up single to Real Gone Kid. These faxes from Edinburgh based design company Bridges & Woods dated 20th December 1988, show the proposed artwork for the 7" single.

The keen eyed will notice that although the single never made it, the artwork did, it was re-used for the eventual follow up single Wages Day months later.

 

Click image for larger view

Circus Lights - Glasgow Barrowlands 2nd April 1988

Artwork

1st Proof artwork for When The World Knows Your Name. Dated 17th February 1989. Designed by Edinburgh based Bridges & Woods.

Most notable differences from the final release is the band name printed over the image and the black text on the title that was later changed to gold.

This 1st proof also omitted David Kahne's name from the production credits. This was later added. Handwritten notes on other copies of this proof, state that Kahne's name be smaller that the other credits!


Click image for larger view

Promotion

  

2 magazine adverts and a promotional postcard circa 1989

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EPK (Electronic Press Kit)

Rare promotional only video sent out to promote When The World Knows Your Name. Ricky Ross is interviewed by the great Johnnie Walker.


Song Development

Real Gone Kid had been around for a long time before the band ever got to the studio to record it. So it's hardly surprising this early demo sounds so complete. The intro was still to be finalised, and Lorraine's vocal was still a long way back in mix. Real Gone Kid (Demo)

It's not often that Ricky Ross relinquishes control over his lyrics but he did make one exception. After completing the recording of Real Gone Kid. The opening line 'An I'd loose all those pages" was causing some confusion with the American producers who just didn't understand the lyric. After a long debate and Ricky even contacting an English teacher friend, it was agreed that whilst grammatically sound, the lyric would be changed. The finished recording would later contain the opening line 'And I'd tear out these pages'. In recent years Ricky has more often than not sang the original line! This pre mastered version with the original lyric has still yet to ever be released. Real Gone Kid (Pre Mastered Version).

Sad Loved Girl is a track that took an unlikely journey in finding it's final place on the album. Normally you would expect a song to start out as a simple piano or guitar track and grow into a full production number. This track began life as an upbeat pop song far from the sparse piano arrangement that made the album. The first demo has vocal embellishments over the intro, a few noticeably different lyrics and a complete ending Sad Loved Girl (Demo 1) The second demo has a completely different vocal to the first, a less cluttered backing track, the lyrics are pretty close to the finished version and it fades out this time. Sad Loved Girl (Demo 2). Of course the final twist in the tale, the track was later trimmed down, opening with the 2nd verse and having just one chorus and omitting the bridge completely. The long version was later released as a B Side to Queen Of The New Year.

The World Is Lit By Lightning is another song that had been played extensively live before recording. This version is very similar to those early live recordings. It features a brief keyboard intro from Jim Prime before Dougie's drums kick in. The keyboard part was dropped for the final recording. The rest of the track remains relatively faithful to the recorded version. The World Is Lit By Lightning (Demo).

One of the later songs to appear in the Deacon Blue live set, this demo of One Hundred Things has a fairly loose vocal from Ricky. All the lyrics are present and correct and Jim's part is largely the same as what made the record. One Hundred Things (Demo).

The only track to survive the ill fated David Kahne sessions, this pre mastered version of Silhouette is at first glance very similiar the the final mix containing most of the final tracks. On close inspection you can hear a few things have been cleaned up, for example at (0.46) Jim's keyboard part is a little untidy. The finished recording has these elements smoothed out. Silhouette (Pre Mastered Version).

When The World Knows Your Name - On The Road

The full album made up of classic bootleg recordings. Including some of the very earliest versions of the songs, some performed live for perhaps the very first time.

Where that criteria couldn't be met, I've looked for some good quality or interesting versions from later in the bands career.

01 Queen Of The New Year - Bremen Modernes 21.9.90
02 Wages Day - Glasgow Cotton Club 3.10.88
03 Real Gone Kid - Manchester International II 24.3.88
04 Love And Regret - Liverpool Polytechnic 20.10.87
05 Circus Lights - Manchester International II 24.3.88
06 This Changing Light - Glasgow Cotton Club 3.10.88
07 Sad Loved Girl - Glasgow Cotton Club 3.10.88
08 Fergus Sings The Blues - Glasgow Cotton Club 3.10.88
09 The World Is Lit By Lightning - Manchester International II 24.3.88
10 Silhouette - Glasgow S.E.C.C. 6.5.89
11 One Hundred Things - Glasgow Cotton Club 3.10.88
12 Your Constant Heart - Ayr Dam Park 28.4.89
13 Orphans - Frankfurt Batschkapp 3.6.93