‘Good / Brian Silk … the best of’ – a compilation of what I considered to be the best songs I had written and recorded up to 1999. 14 tracks, written over a period stretching back to my teenage years! Many of the tracks were either re-recorded or remixed so that they were at their shiny best to showcase what I considered to be my finest musical moments of the last millennium.
All tracks were recorded using my cassette-based Tascam-488 Portastudio, as pictured on this page. A Roland D20 synthesiser/sequencer and Alesis HR-16 drum machine provided all the non-guitar sounds, and I used an outboard Roland reverb on my vocals and acoustic guitar parts. Guitars were my ’85 Fender Stratocaster and Ovation Celebrity acoustic. Tracks were bounced onto DAT. All very 1990s! This was before computer programmes were affordable – such as Logic, which I used for all music-making after the tracks on Good.
Are You Looking At Me? (1987)
The compilation kicks off with this bright offering, recorded in 1987 but written a few years earlier. I added a few bits, here and there, to the arrangement to keep the listener (hopefully) hooked – there’s quite a lot going on throughout most of this song. The lyrics are about fancying a guy and not knowing if he likes me, and wanting a relationship and all that – typical delayed teenage years gay guy stuff.
Why I live Alone (1994)
Another bouncy track, with lots of guitar going on and subtle keyboards. There’s lots I like in this track, especially the closing bars: music and words. I recall the lyrics are about being happy living a solitary life.
That’s The Way (1992)
An attempt to write an out-and-out pop song. Funky guitar licks and meaningless lyrics – just as long the words sounds good. I’ll leave you to judge…
Goes On (1994)
This track is carefully put together, with a mixture of minimalism and walls-of-sound. The lyrics are about me appreciating life and everyone in it … or something. I had come out of a major health shock that turned out to be not quite as bad as I’d feared.
Flying To The Sky (1998)
One of two tracks taken from my 1998 album, Almost Million, Flying To The Sky is simply a lovely piece of guitar music, in my opinion. No drums, just stacks of (dare I say) deftly-played acoustic guitar and some nice singing.
It’s For You, Dear (1998)
Pretty much my signature acoustic guitar sound, with splashes of electric guitar. The song is about getting on with your life and not waiting for it to come to you.
The Thrill Of It All (1992)
Another nice acoustic guitar and vocal track about appreciating everything life has to offer, with someone who sees it the same way.
This is the Time We’ve Waited For (1994)
A typical Brian Silk guitar-based song, with subtle keyboard parts. Pleasant. Lyrics that are as much about how they sound as having much meaning.
Again, And Again, And Again (1998)
This epic track closes my 1998 album, Almost A Million, and was intended to be my equivalent of the medley of tracks that complete The Beatles’ Abbey Road album. A kind of firework display of music as I pulled out all the stops to show what I am capable of. The track goes through a series of phases, key and rhythmic changes, arrangement changes, mood changes – the lot. The lyrics touch on my personal longings… A piece of music I remain proud of.
Shine On (1994)
A track that is heavily influenced by early Cocteau Twins (whilst not claiming to sound like them). Very bleak/optimistic lyrics thinking back a couple of years to when I thought I was going to be dead within a few years and coming through the other side. Like so many of my songs from the mid-90s, it’s about appreciating life and getting on with it. I’m pretty proud of the distorted guitar harmonics towards the end. The stereo balance of this track is not quite right most of the way through. Aaagh – dealing with old tracks!
It’s Fabulous (dance edit) (1992)
My attempt to write a New Order-esque guitar dance track, which fails badly at that. But … not too bad in it’s own way, especially the wah-wah funky guitar (IMO). It’s the ‘dance edit,’ because there is an earlier version with more singing. When I put Good together, I probably wasn’t impressed by much of the singing. This track puts me in some gay disco somewhere.
Shine A Light Into The World (1994)
Jangly electric guitar and strummed acoustic guitar, with shimmering keyboards, make 1994’s Shine A Light Into The World an attractive track. Positive lyrics make this (hopefully) a song to listen to repeatedly. I hope you like it.
Another bleak track, lyrically. Young man, kicked out by his family for being gay. Ends up being a rent boy, getting hurt and abused, and ends up with AIDs. Not pleasant, but also true to what happens even now. Musically, Hope is quite nice: a melange of pleasing guitar, acoustic and electric. I like the rising chord sequence and the sound of the electric guitar at that point. The fade out and fade back in is “possibly” influenced by a Smiths track.
Crying Song (1985)
If you’ve made it this far through the album without feeling depressed, then Crying Song may finally take you there. Just how bleak did I feel about my life from my late teens and through my 20s? The acoustic guitar parts are nice and deftly played, IMO. I probably wrote this when I was 18 or 19.