recorded at London’s Abbey Road studios in November 1999

While critics and fans have always commended the attention given to arrangements and production on Black albums, this all-acoustic album gave Colin a chance to strip the songs to the bone. Colin, a guitar and Lady Black entered Abbey Road studios in November 1999 to re-record back catalogue hits and new songs ‘Alive’ and ‘I’ll give you something to cry about’. The resulting CD reflected Colin’s recent solo tours, where he had performed old and new songs acoustically.

“I wish I had forced myself to do solo shows a lot earlier,” said Colin. “Having done it, what you get immediately is a sense of where the dead spots are in a song. You can sing a line and get an immediate response, so you know when you’ve made your point and can move on.”

The album was the first of many to be sold exclusively through

Now available as part of our Blackatalog reissue and as downloads from iTunes and CD Baby

original album credits

All tracks written by Colin Vearncombe except ‘Better Letting Go’ written by
Colin Vearncombe and John O’Kane
P&C 2000 Nero Schwarz Limited
All songs published by Hornall Brothers (Music) Ltd. Except ‘Better Letting
Go’ published by Hornall Brothers (Music) Ltd./Warner Chappell Music
Produced by Mike Hedges

Most modern records leave me cold: I don’t like the songs, the way they
sound, the performances just seem to get weaker and weaker. I don’t even
like the way most are made these days with such a focus on the
hard/software and so little on performance.
The Americans have a cute expression: “put up or shut up”.
Sometime in 1999 I began (again) to ‘put up’ and an unpromising December
day found me in the somewhat unreal position of being in the cinematically
large Abbey Road Studio One, the most famous recording studio in the world,
playing live and acoustic and looking through the glass at old friend and
producer Mike Hedges (now of course one of the hottest producers on the
planet) and new old friend and calm engineer Ian Grimble, standing
alongside them is old friend and long-suffering manager Steve Baker, a small
smile playing across his mouth for reasons I am yet to discover, John
Warwicker of Tomato shuffles about adjusting the cameras that will
document the day (why not?).
I am aware that it will probably be seen as absurd to bring so little to such a
tooled up session. I don’t care, backed by guitarist Christian Marsac and the
mellifluous singing of Ladyblack I play all day. These nine songs are the best
of it. I have a feeling that very soon I shall look back upon this day as the
real turning point; the point of remembrance. This is why I live with the
bruises and the nausea of constant adrenaline.
Music is the reason the world exists, let it breathe!

With thanks to Mike, Ian, Steve, Christian and Ladyblack (xx)