Stuart Smith


Stuart Smith (Track By Track)





1. Don't Keep Me Waiting
This was written back in 1994 when I had the original Heaven & Earth band together with Kelly Hansen and Jay Schellen. I was sat round messing around with a riff from Deep Purple's, "No No No" off the Fireball album and it gave me the idea for the main riff to this song. I then jammed it with the band and it just progressed into "Don't Keep Me Waiting." The keyboard player, Ray Rodriguez came up with the bridge and Kelly Hansen wrote the lyrics.

2. Heaven & Earth
This one was written around the same period as "Don't Keep Me Waiting." I'd gone on a skiing trip in Taos, New Mexico with Kelly Hansen & Jay Schellen. I ended up twisting my knee on the first day so I just hung out at the hotel lamenting about an old girlfriend and came up with the chorus which originally said "I'd move Heaven & Earth to be back by your side" which got changed in recording to "be by your side." Kelly got the plane home and Jay Schellen and I drove my car back and wrote the verses on the drive home which was about 14 hours. The bridge I added later. When it came to recording this song I just felt Joe's voice was perfect for it.

3. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
I was watching the story of the blues guitarist, Leadbelly, on television and at the point where he meets up with Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Lemon plays this song, pretty much the way it starts on my album. I thought it was such a great track and couldn't believe that no one like Cream or Zeppelin hadn't done anything with it as they'd sort of covered most of the great blues songs from that period. After I'd recorded it I found out Bob Dylan had done a cover of it on his first album. Originally I had Paul Rodgers in mind to sing this one but his schedule was messed up due to touring and I'd known Glenn Hughes for years but had lost touch with him. When we ran into each other again I asked him if he wanted to sing a track on the album and when he heard this one he said, "That's the one for me."

4. When A Blind Man Cries
I wanted to do a tribute to all the guys in Purple as well as Ritchie but didn't want to do one of the more obvious ones like Highway Star or Mistreated, etc. I've always loved "When a Blind Man Cries" which was one of the more obscure ones and thought Richie Sambora would be perfect for it as he has such a soulful voice and as I said before, I think it's an incredibly soulful song.

5. Memories.
This is another song from about 7 years ago that I wrote while lamenting about the same girlfriend that "Heaven & Earth" was written about. It was originally demoed with Paul Shortino singing, then when we started Heaven & Earth, Kelly Hansen rewrote the melody but it sat around for quite a while till I got the solo deal.

6. Dreams Of Desire
This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Originally I was going to play the whole of "Jesu, Joy of Mans Desiring" on the classical guitar with a string quartet, but Pat Regan suggested rocking it up a bit. I was going to have Keith Emerson play the keyboard parts but he was getting ready to do the ELP reunion tour with Jethro Tull so we had Pat Regan play the parts. I think this is some of the best playing I've done in my life.

7. Trouble In Paradise
This is a song I originally wrote with Joe Lynn Turner about 10 years ago and demoed up with the Heaven & Earth band. When we went in to record it, I had Joe and Kelly Hansen change the lyrics to be more in line with what I want to say about today. People don't see this as a particularly strong song but I wanted to have a good Rock & Roller on the album and have a dig at the things that annoy me in life.

8. Shadow Of The Tyburn Tree
Tyburn Tree is British slang for the Gallows. This one came about as I was sat in my back garden in LA just messing around on the classical guitar and my wife suggested me writing a classical piece of my own. Just after that we saw a TV program on the lost treasure of King Charles 1st whereby in 1633, he basically messed up and lost the crown treasure at the bottom of the sea. The people at the time, said it was God punishing him for blasphemous behavior so to save face he countered by saying it was the fault of witchcraft and had 16 women hung as "Witches." Although the song is written about an event that took place over 400 years ago, the point I'm trying to get across with this song is that even today, people are still getting imprisoned, tortured and even killed over this kind of hypocritical thinking.

9. It's Got To Be Love
This song was written in the studio. We'd just finished laying down the backing track to "When a blind man cries" and I started off an AC/DC, (which is a band I've always loved), type riff and everyone just joined in. The next day we fine tuned it, recorded it then I sent the backing track to Joe Lynn who wrote the lyrics with a friend of his.

10. When The Blues Catch Up With You.
This is a song that was written by my friend, Al Mirikitani, who's a great guitarist as well as a great singer. He has a band in LA called BB Chung King & the Screaming Budda Heads and I wanted to include his voice on at least one of the tracks so I picked this one. It was a lot of fun recording it as Al, Howard Leese and myself played guitar solos on it.

11. Do You Ever Think Of Me?
This track is one that was originally written by Bobby Held and Al Greenwood, the keyboard player of Foreigner. I heard the first demo about 10 years ago with Joe Lynn singing and was knocked out with the song so I demoed up about 6 versions of this over the years. When I got the deal for the solo album I made a deal with Bobby Held and Al Greenwood to record the song and then in the middle of recording it Bobby Held, like an idiot, started giving permission for a load of other bands to record it. Obviously, I'll never have anything to do with anything he's written ever again.

12. Road To Melniboné
This came from an idea that I had kicking around for years which was inspired by the science/fantasy writer, Michael Moorcock's Elric series. I got together with my friend, Iain Hersey, who's a great guitar player but was not having much luck getting noticed, so I said why don't you help me write this track and play on it and that would get his name out there. We finished it up together and I guess it worked as he now has a deal of his own in Japan.

13. Howling at the Moon.
This is another song that was written by Al Mirikitani which I really liked and thought it would suit Paul Shortino's voice perfectly. I also think this song shows Paul at his best.

14. Telstar 2000
This is a remake of the old Tornados hit, "Telstar" which was written by Joe Meek. I first heard this track in 1963 and it was the first song which turned me on to the electric guitar so I always wanted to do a cover of it.

15. Lose My Number
This song I wrote the music for back in 95 and had the idea sat around for a few months but couldn't think of any lyrics to fit. Then I had a party at my house and this girl arrived who sat in my studio doing cocaine all night. Then around midnight she asked if she could borrow my car to which I said, "Not a hope." Anyway she disappeared and turned up at 4.00am as it was winding down and went into the bedroom. I followed her in there to find out what she was doing and found her in the closet smoking crack. I called a taxi and threw her out. The next day I was telling my friend what happened and he said, "Don't forget she knows where you live" and I replied, "Oh God, I just hope she loses my number and forgets my name." It suddenly clicked and I went home and wrote the lyrics in about 5 minutes.



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