I'm on another business trip for Nuance, this time visiting my team in Montreal. On my three and half hour drive up, I spent a little while listening to SiriusXM, and was reminded that there's a really popular song out now called "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon. That title sent me back almost 30 years to this song, a sloppy but fun dance tune from my 1986 album noodle stranger. This was written and recorded during my super-fruitful first leave of absence from my studies at Cornell, when I lived in London for 6 months and set up Cranbury Road Studio in the basement of the flat where I lived. (I've written about this a few times before.)
From what I remember, this was all about the bass riff. If I'd had a drum machine, I'd have set it on disco. But instead, I started this out with my go-to kick drum sound of that studio: a mic close on an 8" speaker as I thumped it with my thumb. Then I added a noteless whack on electric guitar strings in place of a snare drum. Next tracked was the bass part, which was played on a tuned-down Telecaster. Then there were two mostly doubled electric guitar parts, then a vocal part. All done by bouncing back and forth between two pairs of tracks while mixing in more tracks, on a Yamaha MT44 4-track cassette studio. The lyrics have a fun premise: guy wants to talk about some deep stuff, girl says "shut your mouth and dance". Not much too it, and somewhat sloppy, but a lot of fun.
Thanks for listening!
shut your mouth and dance no one talks about religion until someone makes an incision then they tear at the skin destroying whatever had been every religion is the same cultures just give them different names the means may be worlds apart but the end is at the human heart she said to me shut your mouth and dance beating, beating the drum is beating beating, beating the clock is beating and my heart freedom, freedom of movement freedom of thought freedom of song in my heart oh dance with me my girl oh dance with me my soul tell me I'm a hippie tell me I'm a fool tell me I'm a dreamer no regard for rules oh dance with me my girl oh dance with me my soul oh dance with me my girl I don't care any more she said to me shut your mouth and dance ©1986 by Andy Wyatt