Analog Reality 1986: The Right Way

‘The Right Way’ is the final release in a series of 3 albums that focus on music produced in the mid-1980’s, after ‘Analog Reality 1984: Dreams and Come Trues’ and ‘1985: Cosmic Connection’.

The title of the album refers to the first commercial release in 1986, a cassette album with 20 minutes of music. Besides the title track also the songs ‘A Little Bit Longer Everyday’, ‘A Romance Waltz’ and ‘Bridge’ were part of that cassette. ‘Bridge’ was also featured on the 2004 Anthology album ‘Almost Lost’ as was the ballad ‘You’, both songs being now labeled with a ‘2020 Remix’ tag with a superior mix compared to that on the 2004 album.

The original cover of the 1986 ‘The Right Way’ cassette

The 1984 and 1985 album saw the first journeys -and discoveries- into the world of multitrack recording. By 1986 the possibilities of the -then- modern studio technologies were taken to the next level. The experience in composing, arranging and recording over the past years showed off in strong confidence and direction. The opening track ‘I Wanna Be Where You Are’ is a convincing statement showing how the studio tools were mastered. Throughout the album a consistent -yet still modest- set up was used. The DX-7 and TX-7 were the core of the synthesised sounds, while TR-707 and Simmons drums laid out a solid rhythm base. The role of the guitar was minimal: only the Beatlesque ballad ‘Hey Girl’ was mainly build around the guitar as a lead instrument.

The big step up was without any doubt the introduction of the Tascam 246 as a recording device. Although limited to 4 tracks, the music saw a steep quality increase compared to the Fostex X-15 that was used on the previous 1984 and 1985 albums.

Tascam 246, the device used to record ‘The Right Way’

‘Pretty Nurse’ is an interesting song that shows a different type of sounds that Yamaha’s FM synthesis was able to produce compared to what usual is being associated with FM synthesis, giving the song an almost psychedelic rock-like qualities. Nevertheless it is not difficult to understand why ‘The Right Way’ is the key song of the selection. Through it use of the QX-7 sequencer and sequenced drum sounds it was a spectacular example of how ambitions and the ability to realize them had grown over the past 2 years. Compare this song to the first song of the 1984 album ‘Anyway You Want Me To’ to understand how fast this development had gone.

The album finishes with ‘So Little We Know’ an unfinished recording from 1986 now finished with the Dolceola as the main lead instrument with a sound recoginzable from the music of Ennio Morricone. The final song ‘The Sweetest Girl’ is a segment from a short demo, demonstrating the process of composing a song.