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Van Duren is not resting on his laurels, although he has collected over 40 years’ value of them since releasing his first power-pop masterpiece — Are You Severe? — in 1978. That album and its follow-up have loved renewed curiosity of late, particularly because the 2019 launch of the movie Ready: The Van Duren Story, made by Australian super-fans who grew to become obsessive about Duren’s Memphis-grown, post-Massive Star strategy to the right pop gem.
Now, after worldwide opinions of each the movie and Duren’s performances to assist it, the eye has culminated in reissues of each of Duren’s late-1970s works, absolutely remastered and with new liner notes, to be launched by Omnivore Recordings subsequent month.
However once I communicate to Duren about all this, the very first thing he desires to speak about is the brand new single he and Vicki Loveland launched digitally in late August. “A Place of No Place” options Duren’s Stonesy guitars underneath Loveland’s indignant, impassioned singing of strains like: “Inform us we’re unpatriotic/We query despicable deeds. … You are preserving youngsters in cages/Doubling down in your hateful speech.” Recorded at Royal Studios, its prospers of soul horns give it an unmistakably Memphis sound.
Memphis Flyer: The political/social commentary track looks like a brand new route for you.
Van Duren: Yeah, perhaps so. Beforehand, on the Loveland Duren information, it has been extra about familial issues. Household and abuse, issues like that. And there are plenty of love songs or out-of-love songs, which has been my factor for many years. However yeah, the brand new single’s very topical and will get extra so day by day.
We had a track on our final report, from 2016, known as “Not Allowed within the Home Anymore.” And it is precisely the identical theme, actually. Nothing adjustments, it is solely gotten worse.
MF: Was that track and the others from the upcoming Loveland Duren album influenced by final yr’s excursions, the place you promoted the movie Ready by revisiting your early work?
VD: Touring behind the movie final yr in Australia, we went again to these songs from 40 years in the past. And that compelled me to return and play keyboards once more, which I hadn’t completed since 2013, when Vicki and I began working collectively on information. In order that opened up a special avenue to writing that I had kinda shut down. As a result of I did not need these issues, seven or eight years in the past, to begin sounding just like the issues I would completed 40 years in the past. Nicely, when it got here to this one, since I would been enjoying piano on that tour, it opened me as much as enjoying piano. I hadn’t forgotten.
MF: I think about it has been emotional, seeing the previous stuff come out. Particularly the second album, Fool Optimism, which was merely shelved.
VD: The primary album was launched in 1978 and it truly offered nicely for a brand new unbiased label. The album got here out in March, and we toured within the spring and into the summer season. And the expertise of enjoying dwell for excellent crowds within the northeast actually made me wish to do much less ballads and acoustic-oriented issues, and much more band-oriented issues. So we began recording in October 1978, and it took till January of 1980 earlier than we had the factor utterly completed. At that time, the label had modified names and a few the unique house owners had left. I used to be hanging on for pricey life. Everyone aside from me and one different man had transformed to Scientology.
The stress was on to go to the mission and take out financial institution loans for unbelievable quantities of cash to pay for programs and all that. I simply put ’em off and tried to be good and purchase a while. When the report was blended, I obtained a cassette of the mixes and I walked. I simply left. One factor led to a different through the years, after which Omnivore did the soundtrack ablum for the movie final yr. It was a pure development, and we determined to do these information proper. I had a heavy involvement in all the pieces this time. It is onerous to consider that, 42 years after the very fact, these two information are popping out like they have been imagined to. Jeff Powell mastered it for vinyl, and the constancy is simply astonishing. I can hear all my errors.
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