My second album is a 'private concept' album. Its title comes from the source of these songs - my thirteenth songbook. The songs are presented in chronological order, starting from the first song in the book all the way to the penultimate one, ranging from 1989 to 1990. There are 22 songs in the book, of which 14 appear on this collection, covering a wide range of genres at (I felt) a fairly consistent quality. Lucky!
There are a range of styles on this collection, showcasing my versatility as a songwriter during this period. We Owe It All To Love is a simple folksy ballad while Back Seat and To Be With You are hard rock, and Big Bass Drum and Kansas City Bus are lighter rock.
I do like my ballads: Take Me As I Am and Wait A Minute are upbeat ballads, Right Here For You is a kind of jazzy ballad (I love the key change and harmonies here), and Never Seen Anyone Like You is a more classic piano-led ballad.
I'll Keep Looking Out For You is the most 'pop' (and slightly funky) song on the album, with some rather high notes. Meanwhile, It's Alright is a simple folk-style song made interesting (I hope) with multi-layered vocals and instrumentation.
When I wrote Never Tell Our Friends, I did a recording led by a finger-picked electric guitar. On coming back to redo it in 2003, I realised I'd written a bluegrass song before being aware of that genre! I'd love to hear Alison Krauss sing this, although the song has a happy ending and by Alison's own admission she mainly does sad songs.
In 1990 I had heard of country music, and Put Me Up On A Mountain is pure country. I had fun writing and recording this, although in 1990 I had to do the 'banjo' part on a keyboard. (The 2003 recording includes a real banjo.)
Sea Of Love was partly driven by the 'wave' sound I had on my keyboard at the time, which also produced the interesting synth melody in the song. I'm sure that 'wave' sound inspired the whole song lyrically and musically.
What of the eight songs in songbook 13 not on this collection? They include two of the Lissa suite songs already featured on Mixed Emotions, a jazzy but over-long song called Beautiful People, a pair of space-themed tracks (a song and linked instrumental) which could have been the result of an acid trip (but I never touched drugs), and a few unremarkable efforts.