Pamela Davis
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The making of the CD "Play To Win"

This was the last CD worked with an analog sixteen track tape recorder, synced up to a computer.Times were changing and the computer was taking on more responsibilities in the studio.

The recording sessions for "Play To Win" started immediately after I finish "Look Before Crossing". I was all charged up after completion and knew it was the right time to write and record for the next full scale CD. The first song recorded was "Dancing The Night Away" and had a happier, upbeat tone, which led the way for the forth coming tracks.

The second song recorded was "sneakin' " and I knew I was onto something. I wanted to write a collection of songs that had social commentary this time around. I then decided to mix them with love songs, so it would not come off heavy handed. I also let my comical side come out to defuse my messages, as I certainly did not want to preach from a soapbox. I guess if I had done so I would've called the CD "Soapbox"!

Recording all the instruments is a slow process, and time consuming with each song lasting 6-8 weeks. After "Sneakin' " I began work on "Out On The Highway". With the arrival of my new Roland JV-30 Synth, I worked this instrumental with the intention towards experimentation. Playing the song it was decided to write lyrics for it and I soon realized, that it was recorded in a key too low for my voice. So I re-recorded the analog tracks in a higher key, and somehow it lost it's magic. I left it unfinished and with the remastering of "Look Before Crossing",  the instrumental version was added to the collection of songs.

It was time for a lighter moment and so I composed "Eyes On You", which sounds like a 1920's song. I sang the lead vocal with my hands cupped around my mouth and sang as nasally as possible to achieve the old Victorian sound.

 wpe1F.jpg (12615 bytes)
Photo shoot outtake from publicly package sent out to newspapers, & radio   for  promotion  for the 
"Play To Win" CD
Off in another direction came "Blue Days, Blue Nights". I had wanted to write a Sun record type song. The opening chord is an A major just like Elvis's  "Mystery Train". My lead guitar was played in the style of early Johnny Cash too. The result a country rocker!

"Here We Are" was next and I had programmed congas and percussion to create this love song. I wrote the song from the feel I created with the percussion tracks. This song features all acoustic guitar with Spanish style lead guitars. Also used was a Kawaii K1 module which enhanced the romantic ambiance of the song.

"You Better Watch It" came from an argument and I had blurted out the title. Realizing it was a catchy title I left in mid-sentence and wrote the song. This song was the defining moment of the album. With this song came a new sound and I certainly wanted more sounds like this. If I were to describe the tonal sounds, it would be almost like circus swirls, meshed together with slingin' electric guitars.

After that came "Round Peg, Square Hole", Strait Jacket, and "Breaking Point". All intended to pursue this new sound of mine. "Why" was written next and is the big political theme, asking questions about humanity. Written in a style and a nod to John Lennon's Imagine.

"Play To Win" was conceived while I was out jogging, and originally had 13 verses. I then decided to edit it way down to three, and focus on three main characters instead. I felt this was the core of the album and so the CD now officially had it's name. Second runner up name was  "Round Peg, Square Hole", but the other had a positive upbeat title.

After that the last track recorded was called "Turning blue over you". While giving a voice lesson my student Dave said wow "slow down I'm turning blue". I instantly wrote the idea on the spot and completed it later (thanx Dave).

After arranging the songs in sequence to begin hearing how the album was taking shape, I realized I needed one more slow song and so I wrote on a rain soaked, smoggy day, "The Void". The mood on this song is very much from the rainy aural that was cast that day.

Once the CD was mastered, the photo shoots began, and the concept of the visual aspect began. I wanted a funny back cover and so four "fun" pictures were chosen and put together in the center. (used as a background on this page). The cover shot was a full head to toe and just looked right, a more serious pose but with a big smile to show to the world I meant business.

Pamela Davis 2003

CD price $9.99 

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