Background to the limited edition LP’s creation
I sent Jonny a Limited edition print of the GALACTIC NIGHTMARE poster, after agreeing to the release of the GALACTIC NIGHTMARE cassette version 2, on LP’s. I suggested including the poster with the album from my remaining stock. Jonny thought that was a good idea but later did not take me up on the offer -
There was a big problem to put the musical on vinyl. GALACTIC NIGHTMARE version 2 was 98 minutes long (48 minutes per cassette side ) The double LP could only hold 80 minutes maximum Jonny told me. This meant I would have to edit the musical down by 18 minutes, divide it into four parts without loosing the storyline!!!
With my old analogue tape system it would have been impossible to do. Even using my PC digital music software it turned into a nightmare to accomplish.
It started badly as a the expensive metal cassette of the master copy GALACTIC NIGHTMARE version 2 had become faulty. The tape started to crease playing in the dolby C cassette recorder spoiling the sound at the beginning. The rest of the tape played OK as I dubbed the music onto the computer but on listening later it did not sound right. High frequency sounds were up and down panning across left and right.
The solution was to use one of the oldest enhanced sound GALACTIC NIGHTMARE CD’s of version 2 and edit that. Tracks had to be cut, shortened, overlapped, spliced. All the tracks were joined as one continuous track for each LP side. Ironically, having spent a lot of time and effort previously to split the tracks for navigation on the CD, without any jumps. A track cut completely was Fowgal and War Is For Heroes was cut in half. Old and Grey was now split to play on side one and two.
After over two weeks of try outs it was done. The best I could do was to reduce the length by 10 minutes without spoiling the concept. So the LP sides would have to be approximately 22 minutes long!
My PC packed in so I purchased a new laptop to continue the work on the the poster background. Having photographed the poster artwork in high resolution, I spent a lot of time making the poster square from the rectangle shape.
Background to it’s creation, how it was recorded, instruments used and faults occurring copy was written. Jonny said he was going to have badges made of my GN symbol as he thought the design superb, so I did different coloured versions for him. He also thought of doing some cassettes and I suggested he could use my original inlays. ( I don’t think any badges or cassettes were made. He did have some T shirts made however, which I discovered on his web site later. )
Jonny thanked me for the work I had done and enjoyed listening to the GALACTIC NIGHTMARE edited version. I thanked him for his investment in the LP’s. He had two reservations however on the edited version, he loved Old and Grey but did not like it being split onto two tracks, and some of the narration being a little indistinct. I told him that I also did not like having Old and Grey being split but it was the best compromise for the musical on two LP’s.
I tried to improve some of the narration with some digital filtering but it did not work. Jonny then asked me to send him a copy of GALACTIC NIGHTMARE so that they could have a go at editing it with their record experience. I wished him luck.
Some weeks later I received two complementary GALACTIC NIGHTMARE LP’s in the post. To play the records I purchased a record deck as my old decks motor wore out years ago. Jonny had used my edited version after all, so they could not find a better way of editing it after all. It sounded pretty good with more base than my original. It has the usual vinyl clicks, which is why I prefer CD’s.
Jonny designed the Album, LP and record sleeves, using some of the artwork JPG’s I supplied of my pre production sketches etc. As a former graphic designer I would have liked to have been involved in the albums design. Knowing how much space was available I could have let him have more history artwork JPG’s to use for instance.
To my disappointment Jonny did not use the high resolution GALACTIC NIGHTMARE poster JPG for the front cover. But instead enlarged a JPG of a low resolution 6 x 4 inch photograph of the Galactic Nightmare poster in production, across the front and back cover. So it did not represent my artwork well.
There was some nice copy by Jonny on the inside left of the gate fold sleeve, together with the music production and equipment faults copy I wrote. My history of the musicals creation was not included though. ( Something that was commented on by a reviewer later. ) A collage of the JPG artworks I supplied covered the right hand side. A pleasant surprise was the record sleeves, which had on them the song lyrics and drawings from the original storyfile version one. The record labels had the GN logo nicely printed on them. Jonny loved the album but Jason Draper described it as ‘cheap and tacky!’
The album was released to purchase by mail order I believe, in specialist vinyl record shops, on Amazon, Spotify, i tunes and U Tube ( probably to publicize the album? ) I do not know how many LP’s were sold, only that it may have made it’s production costs back. Jonny informed me of a two good reviews. One in the Record Collector Magazine by Jason Draper, ( Reissue of the month! ) And one in the Wired magazine by Ken Hollings, which I was pleased about.
I must have heard the three different versions of GALACTIC NIGHTMARE about 200 times now. From the earliest ideas, recording, mixing and enhancing, to the latest unreleased version 3. But surprisingly I still enjoy listening to it, in a darkened room for the best atmosphere. Please do the same, only don’t have nightmares!