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This album is Geoff Whitehorn's reworking of the original Geoff Who? album, with a couple of tasty new tracks.
For a report on most of the compositions on this CD, see here.
The new cover combines imagery of metalwork and shattered glass, and breaks a pattern established by the last two GW solo albums, which were preoccupied with scale ... Geoff dwarfed by huge Marshall amps, Geoff looming hugely in a Gravesend street ...
Geoff's liner note:
'Most of the tracks on this CD first made their appearance on the Geoff Who? CD in 1990, with liner notes by Neville Marten, editor of Guitarist magazine. I was pleased with the music, but I always thought that there was something strange about the sound of the CD itself. Which brings us to this, Geoff Who? 2002. In the intervening years technology has raced ahead and we now find better equipment in home studios than was available to a lot of commercial studios ten or twelve years ago. So I thought it might be worthwhile re-recording the tunes from the original CD adding a couple of new ones, and seeing if it made sense to proceed further.
'I think (hope) it has. Most of the guitar parts are relatively unchanged from the original, although my good friend Phil Hilborne has joined me on an extended version of Ninetyonogy. ('Thanks, mate). Other than that, I've re -programmed a lot of the parts and improved a lot of the sounds, taking advantage of whatever new technology has become available. This project was recorded at my "Treehouse Studio" facility, using Akai DR4 & DR16 hard disk recorders, a Mackie 32:8 desk, and guitars from Paul Reed Smith, Tom Anderson, and my great friend, the late Sid Poole.
'Outboard equipment was from Roland, Behringer, Alesis, Presonus, Rocktron and t.c.electronics. All the guitars were recorded using a Marshall JMP-1 valve pre-amplifier. Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me over the years, and to Terry Day, whose original idea it was to do "Geoff Who?"
Roland Clare notes: there's little doubt that Geoff has wrought studio magic on these revisited tracks, which all sound more potent and bright than the originals. And there are two new instrumental tracks too: Without Annette is an attractive slow-paced piece with a rather Procoloid section based on appealing chord-changes, with some flowing keyboard figuring in the background; later it builds with some nice twin guitar work, and it's distinguished by some truly fat guitar sounds throughout. Eightyonavee, which concludes the new album, starts with some sci-fi pulsing and chattering Baba O Reilly synths, and sounds for a moment as though it is going to be a cousin of We Don't Talk Any More; but it does develop of characteristically Geoff-like feel and there is a great bass solo line in the middle, with a grand tone like that of John Giblin in the Brand X days! Great stuff, and it ends with a striking burst of guitar, very exciting with artful harmonics ... then it fades, just when it wants to end with a climax!
The other changed track is Ninetyonogy, featuring the very exciting guitar of Phil Hilborne ('The Widdlemaster', as Geoff calls him on the credits). BtP spoke to Phil about this extension of the original piece.
'Yes, it has my solo and a lot of extra playing from Geoff too – I think more than any other on the album, that particular tune has evolved a lot since it was first recorded. One of the reasons I suppose is because we have played it live many times over the years both at trade shows and at my gigs and at Nicko McBrain clinics too.'
Phil clarified the mysterious title, as follows ... 'I think it was that 1990 was the year that all UK cars had the letter G in their registration - plus I suppose you could be driving 90mph (speeding) in a car made in 1990 - simple as that!'. BtP notes that the final extra track, Eightyonavee, was presumably entitled ("80 on a 'V'") according to the same curious pattern!
Regarding Geoff's work on the 125th Street stage show, Phil reported the following amusing coincidence: 'Geoff did his first show in front of a paying audience on his birthday - which by some freak accident of fate was exactly the same night that I played my first show - about 100 yards away in the Dominion Theatre where I was depping for Laurie Wisefield in the Queen 'We Will Rock You' show... what's the chances of that happening!.......Geoff and I have been great mates since the 80s and we both end up making our West End theatre débuts on the same night which also happens to be Geoff's Birthday! I spoke to him about it the day after and we were both amazed by the odds of that happening.......It was a bit Twilight Zone really ...'