So, Violence, my …third? Yes, third album. Never quite got around to making a physical copy of it, so no one outside of my friends ever really got to hear it (no one outside of my friends ever hears my music, really, but instead of ‘difficult,’ it was just ‘impossible.’)
It was a real shame, too, because I’d go so far as to consider Violence my best work. It’s my most cohesive work, certainly, thanks to the masterful production and mixing done by my good friend Jacob Strick. Before he put his hands on it, it was a completely inaudibly, unlistenable mess. After him, it was a thing of beauty.
It’s also a concept album, in the most prog-rock sense. More actually in ithe most Richard-Harris-y sense. He once recorded a concept album called “My Boy” about the failure of love. Here’s a tidbit of the synopsis written on the back:
After a night of love with Beth he suspects that their marriage is over.
THIS IS WHERE I CAME IN
It is. She leaves him.
HA HA AH HA. Way to go Richard.
Actually, Violence isn’t much less overwrought than that, but I don’t think I’d go so far as to spell it out on the sleeve. Actually, if I ever make a physical release of it, I will actually consider doing that.
I would be easy, as I kind of already have. You see, I wrote Violence in a very unusual way. I planned out the beats of the ‘story,’ then I assigned song titles to those beats, then I would write songs to those song titles.
Here’s the original Violence cheat-sheet:
So, to summarize, there’s a balloon salesman, who is also a gravedigger at night. One girl always buys a Blue Balloon from him, every day. Until she grows up and doesn’t any more. Later, he sees her when her father dies (he has to dig his grave). She is distraught, and clings to the only thing she recognizes: the balloon salesman. She has sex with him once, but leaves him. He doesn’t see her until more years later, when he has to dig her Mother’s grave. She is even more distraught. She won’t talk to him, so he pops all his balloons, but sees her walking down the street. So he runs out of his house (he’s a recluse, so it’s a big deal), gives her a Blue Balloon, but she just smiles and goes upstairs to her apartment, where she promptly shoots her self dead. Of course, he has to dig her grave. The album ends with him weeping in the rain as he fills her grave, then the sun coming out and him letting a Blue Balloon fly into the air.
I mean, obviously.
Some things changed over time. For instance, “The Knot Is Still There” was renamed “Circles,” since “Circles” didn’t particularly have anything to do with the ‘story.’ I later decided that “Circles” was a dream the main character was having, that represented his feelings for his unattainable love. (You can laugh, it’s funny.)
Likewise, there’s a blank for song seven. It ended up being “Water III,” which certainly doesn’t really have anything to do with the ‘story.’ It became another ‘dream’ song that dealt with the death of His Love’s father.
Another great thing I changed is I moved the story-perspective to some stranger reading her obituary, instead of having the Salesman describe him finding her body. Breakfast is a great song.
I’m not sure how much of that story you can get out of just listening to it. It might even ruin it for some to know it. But it’s there, no matter what. It’s totally fine if you ignore it, the songs are great by themselves.
ANYWAYS, this LOOOOOONG preamble is to announce that FINALLY, after THREE YEARS, Violence is available to the general public. Thanks to the wonderful Bandcamp, I am now selling a high-quality digital version of Violence on the internet. AND GUESS WHAT? (What.) RIGHT NOW, IT’S ONLY ONE DOLLAR. You can pay more if you’d like, but the base cost is a buck.
Fifteen songs! For a buck! Wow!
Anyways, here’s the streamer below:
Here is a link to the album’s page up there, in case you need one.
I hope, if you haven’t heard it yet, that you love it. I’m quite proud of this one.