In The Night
Should've Known Better
Blue and Grey
When Television first disbanded in 1978, I had already written a number of songs which became the basis of Alchemy. I had wanted to do a record of a different tambre than the two Television records, more Pop, sentimental and personal. Television was under contract to Elektra records both individually and as a group, so when the band broke up both Tom and I went on to make solo records.
Alchemy was recorded at Bearsville studios in Woodstock NY. This was the studio owned by Bob Dylan's manager Albert Grossman. My A&R person wanted me to record in the country to keep me away from certain temptations existing in the city. So I took the temptations with me. The A&R person also suggested the producer. The most interesting story about the record is that one day Fred Smith woke me up telling me that the producer had locked himself in the studio and was putting keyboard sounds on the record. We had had a discussion about this and I was very against keyboards being on the record. Nonetheless, when I went down and knocked on the studio he wouldn't let me in, and I could hear the cheesy sounds of his crappy synthesizer through the door.
I immediately called the record company and tried to fire him, but when they called him he told them that he was saving my record from me, and that I was a mess. The truth be known, I was half a mess. So production stopped for six weeks while we tried to sort it out. The record company informed me that my A&R person had arranged for him to be paid in full, and if I wanted a new producer I could pay for it myself. End result: keyboards on the record. With all of the travails around the recording, it still manages to have some lovely moments on it. Unfortunately, it is currently out of print. There is an e-mail campaign under foot to get Elektra to rerelease it.
I would love to get my hands on the master tapes and remix it and remaster it, but Elektra hasn't budged yet. If you'd like to join the campaign, you can go to any of the Television sites and they will direct you.