Precious (Those Nervous Animals) by Padraig Meehan published on 2012/01/23 12:25:14 +0000 This song came out of two different jam sessions; one in Castlecomer with me and Eddie Lee, and another piece of work by Barry Brennan and Eddie in Sligo (I think BB had the basic riff before that). The whole thing was later assembled as a song (with Nicky's help) in Nicky Ryan's place in Artane. That particular session, with 'Into the Stitches' 'He Can't Resist A Mystery', 'How does the Shopper Feel' and 'Praise' was an amazing time. Myself and Eddie had a lot of the backing tracks demoed, and I had lyrics for verses 'when you see a picture in a storybook or a magazine...', etc, handwritten on bits of paper, and I had the two verse chords, a sixth (of course!) and sus four C. But I had not hardened up any melodies when we got to the studio. So basically Barry improvised the tunes, throwing in ideas here and there, and you can feel the looseness and freedom in the recording. We assembled the melody lines from different passes; Barry spent a whole day improvising and we spent another selecting and assembling the good bits. Sometimes Barry then performed the full verse, giving it what ever expression worked for him. The tape hiss in the background is real; it was recorded on a half-inch multi. Digital recording was just coming in in the mid eighties (This was mastered on to Beta video tape) so playing back multiple takes meant all hands to the mixing desk (and as little bouncing tracks as possible). For the chorus (with Nicky helping) we assembled lists of random things, wooly toys, cashew nuts etc, and although the bits of paper were now threatening to swamp the studio, Barry managed to fit a good few of these in. He also did the 'horn section' in the bridge, over the 'out in the sunshine' section, making trumpet sounds vocally. The basic groove was a Roland 808 and Eddies riff; this version (with kick replaced) was a remix we did in 1993 for the Rocket Ship release. The piece was originally in C; we slightly speeded up the demo to increase the feeling of lightness in the track, bringing it to C sharp; we always continued to play it in this key afterwards, no other one ever seemed right.