Posts Tagged ‘Take It from the Man!’

 

Take It from the Man! is the third studio album by American psychedelic rock band The Brian Jonestown Massacre. After recording their shoegaze-influenced debut album Methodrone (1995) and releasing a collection of early recordings, Spacegirl & Other Favorites, the band took influence from 1960s British psychedelic garage rock and recorded Take it from the Man! from November 1995–February 1996.

After recording the entire album with an unnamed producer who scrapped the recordings, the band re-recorded the album on a minimal budget, mostly at Lifesource Studios in Emeryville, California with production from Psychic TV’s Larry Thrasher, whose usual “studio” approach was vetoed out by the band’s back-to-basics approach.

The album’s psychedelic garage rock has often been compared to the Rolling Stones. Released by Bomp! Records on May 28th, 1996, it is the first of three full-length albums released by the band in 1996, preceding Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request and Thank God for Mental Illness. The album was released to critical acclaim, with journalists praising the exuding of its influences and spirit. Anton Newcombe has since named the album as one of his favourites by the band. The album has featured in several “best of” lists and has been cited by several musicians as an influence. “Straight Up and Down”, which is featured in two alternate versions on the album, later became the theme music for Boardwalk Empire.

According to the liner notes, “Take it from the Man!” was recorded “live” between November 1995 and February 1996 at Dance Home Studio and Larry Thrasher’s Lifesource Studios in Emeryville, California, with digital editing undertaken at Music Box, Hollywood. The band initially recorded Take it from the Man! with an unnamed producer who, in wanting to “get on board”, recorded the album and “chopped it up to make it like so perfect” and then requested 3% of the royalties, leading the band to “just [laugh] in his face.”

As a result, the producer, as Newcombe recalled it, “got so pissed and he said he was going to destroy the recording. I was like, ‘Fuck you dude. Then I’m gonna kick your ass the minute I see you on the street.’ He did end up destroying it but I let him off the hook as far as the violence.” With the band needing to re-record the album in its entirety, Larry Thrasher from Psychic TV became interested in the band and producing the album, and borrowed a recording studio, possibly belonging to the Counting Crows, for the band to record in, presumably his Lifesource Studios credited in the liner notes.

Newcombe stated that, with a line-up of Newcombe, Dean Taylor (guitar), Matt Hollywood (bass) and Brian Glaze (drums), the band showed up on the day of recording without guitarist Jeff Davies because “he was a junkie” and so Newcombe’s girlfriend Dawn played guitar instead. The album was recorded on a minimal budget. When the band turned up to the studio, they were surprised to find that Thrasher had “about sixteen microphones set up for the drums,” because the band preferred a stripped down studio approach; Newcombe stated that “I asked him, ‘What the hell is this?’ and he said, ‘Well, these are for the drums…’ and I was like, ‘We don’t need sixteen mics for the drums. Take all of these away. I’m gonna use three mics for the drums and we’re gonna record it live, all at once. We’re just gonna put all the guitar amps down the hallway, the drums will be in here, and we’ll put on headphones and we’ll just play our set.’

We record everything the same way, so that’s what we did and then at the end he whipped out all of these effects when mixing at his studio and I just asked him, ‘What are all of these for?’ and he said, ‘You can’t have it sound the same on every song’ and I’m like ‘Bullshit, that’s the charm of this,’ we just try and get a certain sound.” Newcombe noted that “Straight Up and Down” was mixed to cassette. The band were recording their follow up album Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request (1996) concurrently with Take it from the Man!, although not in the same studio or with the same producer. Newcombe recalled “recording “Take It from the Man” in the day time and then recording Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request in the night time.

I was doing them simultaneously. I would go and stay at this one studio and then take the train out to the other one so instead of being homeless I was going between these two studios and crashing on the couches and doing two, 18 song records at the same time. Released May 28th, 1996