Return to Malibu

Return to Malibu
the album the songs

The Album

Neil’s then partner, Patti, should never have bought him that Casio keyboard and allowed him to have a 4 track cassette recorder! Brought all the latent creative juices back and the babbling brook turned into a waterfall. Recorded in 1993 at various studios, with the help of various musicians - released 1994. This was where it all started! This was not a Hamptons album but effectively set the Hamptons style - Neil coming out of the ‘80s where he got stuck in a "jazz"/big band, featuring lots of saxophone, trombone and trumpet players. He played bass - badly. What really killed it was having to sing "YMCA". Eventually, he, together with the then drummer/percussionist, quit both that band and also, later, a musical falange movement which split away and did a load of covers (endless Billy Joel/Phil Collins - cringe, not fringe).

So out came some new songs and a lot of old tracks which had disappeared into the mist years earlier - those were the days of four track cassette recorders - endless hours of demoing - then the finished product at Raezor Recording, Wandsworth with Neil's old college maties Ian and Anni. Mark Frith (later produced Gay Dad – file under “where are they now?”) engineered. Recording included endless squeezing a couple of hours of vocal sessions (often at 9 a.m. in the morning - croak) - followed by Nick Rollins (where is he now?) undertaking a mixing nightmare - trying to synch 2 inch tape, ADAT tape and what were then pretty embryonic digital recording devices!

Subsequently the product was picked up by one Alan Bellman of Freestyle Records, an independent label which released the album in 1994 - unfortunately Mr Bellman was ripping his own mates off at the label and Mr. Murray finally decided to sue the label! (Rock and roll!). Bellman, stay away from people.

Had a fleeting "big in Japan" (they're all 4'6'') experience via Tommy Nakamichi of "Explosion Works" in Tokyo - frankly, relative to the rest of the stuff on that Jap compilation, Return to Malibu shone like a beacon! I mean, would you go and see a band called "Slowly Cock Dog"? (Well actually…).

Return to Malibu turned out to be album number one, of many - and represented re-visiting "that thing" you always wanted to do. Indirectly, it also got Neil acquainted with a girl called Sally, who was later to feature a bit. Track 1 (Sally) was, however, borne of a different Sally in far Hong Kong).

The whole project took too long, cost too much (pre easy peasy laptop days!) but had to be done and was worth it – well, certainly got us hooked for the ensuing two decades!