The Making of 'People'... From the beginning I wanted some cover tunes, because listeners can relate to a familiar melody right away. Searched for songs that were hugely popular in their time, but that hadn't been covered by a bunch of other artists. It's expensive and a lot of paperwork to include covers, but I knew that it would draw people's hearts in if the songs were rendered with the respect and creativity that they deserved. I had a formula in mind to include many kinds of material that would take the listener on a journey through different styles, cultures and musical eras: Laura- This standard was written for a movie of the same name. A song about obsessive love, it has a haunting quality to it that I thought would be essential to the feel of the album. Wanted music that would tug at the emotions of the listener, and never hesitated a second in choosing this song to represent the 'standard' category. B.K. and I discussed the mood we wanted to capture, and he nailed it completely. It has energy in the rhythm, and chords bursting with mystery and heartfelt desire . It was the first song we did in the studio. Look up the lyrics sometime...'Laura's Back' is obviously the stretched-out ending, separated later into a reprise. Where Is The Love?-A very popular r&b tune in the seventies, and it had legs as an easy-listening number, but for some reason it wasn't covered by a lot of players. Wanted to hurry and get it done before someone sniffed out the project and stole my thunder. Wanted it to take on a funky beat, and create a conversation between the flute and the tenor, which represented Roberta and Donnie. Then at the end the two instruments trade back and forth, without stepping on each other. It's a cheerful, carefree sound, but ironically the lyrics are about an unfaithful mate who now betrays the new lover. Go figure. People Make The World Go Round-This was intended to be the title track. Then as the project developed the title shortened to just 'People', especially since a prominent and talented sax player came out with his version of the song while mine languished in production. The lyrics of the tune cried out for a gritty urban treatment, which we augmented with an array of familiar city sounds and voices. The song ends with the accompaniment fading away, leaving the soprano sax player alone on the corner, playing amidst a cacophany of snarling traffic and construction noise. Betcha By Golly Wow-Another sure-fire pick right from the beginning, covered by a number of artists over the years. The Stylistics made it famous in a vocal combo form, and Norm Conners did a scorching ballad with it, but I wanted to energize it with a dynamic upbeat latin feel, and it surpassed my expectations. Simple piano trio accompaniment with percussion and a modulation in the middle to keep it fresh, it flows like a bird in flight; happy-go-lucky, and the feel is true to the lyrics. Smile, and enjoy... SF am-This song pursues the essence of the early morning in San Francisco. Standing on the near-deserted wharf looking out over the bay, gulls wheeling in the air and light beginning to energize the early mist, boats headed out and the dark water lapping gently at the shore. A reflective and introspective mood-filled offering. Smell the salt air! East Bay Nites-A nod to the bands of Oakland who developed their unique and irresistible greasy funk sound; i.e. Cold Blood and particularly Tower Of Power. Originally created for a player I was working with in a jazz ensemble. Skipped my senior prom, and my date Ellen and I went to the Lighthouse and caught Freddie Hubbard instead. With that sound playing fresh in my ear, I wrote it (originally called 'Cliffhanger') so my bandmate Cliff could stretch out on flugelhorn. Needed some funkification on the disc, dusted this chart off and reworked it with a strong East Bay feel. B.K. related completely and kicked a Prestia-esque bass line. It's You-Wrote this song for my then-wife Jamie in the late 70's, and sang it countless times in SoCal clubs, but never formally recorded it. This was the most worked-over piece, as we rendered it with an updated feel. Tried singing it myself, then as an instrumental on alto, then flute, then finally sought the help of a songstress that B.K. performed with as his lead vocalist, the talented Tamula Browning. After listening to a rough cut for a week, she walked into the studio and nailed it on the first take, revamped the background vocals and basically brought a floundering track back to vibrant life, adding that missing dynamic of raw emotion. Her voice conveyed commitment and believability and brought instant legitimacy to the lyrics. Love lives inside of music! Thank you, Tamula! Unbreak My Heart-Wanted to do a scorching r&b ballad by Chaka Khan entitled 'Through The Fire', but B.K. reminded me that it had been covered by another of those prominent sax players. He suggested Toni Braxton's blockbuster and it brought tears to my eyes when I listened to it...knew that it was the one. Such emptiness and isolaton! Wanted to uptempo it, and B.K. said, 'Why not make it your dance tune? We can use a house beat.' The key was Ray Mouton, with soaring nylon string guitar riffs. We created conversations in the piece, commiserating back and forth about the heartbreak of love abandoned. At the end the saxman is left alone with his pain. (Join E-Harmony or something, pal! Or get a respectable vocation!:) Love Dance-This song has been recorded by several artists, resulting in some intense vocal renditions (George Benson, Diane Schuur). I was looking for something to convert into a carefree island reggae number, and it clicked when we married the tune to the rhythm. 'Rain Kiss' was co-written as an intro to this number, and the two tracks provide ambience for lovers on a gentle rainy evening on a tropic atoll in the Pacific. Urbana Nocturna-Every project needs an energetic opener to herald the beginning of the journey, and this big band screamer filled the bill. It has several breakdowns in it to add contrast to the uptempo. B.K. takes a turn on piano, demonstrating his remarkable proficiency as a recording star (check out his album 'Boy Katindig-Groovin' High' on CD Baby). Ray is on several guitars as well, and smokin'! Thanks, guys! Reprise-A brief and silly romp and a big thank you to 'People' who love music and are moved emotionally by it. Keep listening and let your hearts run free! Cheers, Alan Applegate Las Vegas, Nevada.