"Simple Happy Dream" features sixteen original songs performed and produced by Chris Williams between 1998 and 2003, reflecting the author's love for Sixties pop harmonies, dynamic guitar textures, roots reggae drumming and bass guitar playfulness. The songs were recorded one by one for fun and personal enjoyment, and have been assembled into a variety-filled album representing an era of writing and recording effort.
Each CD has been painstakingly shrinkwrapped in a full-color jacket. Song titles and track numbers are printed on the CD for your convenient reference.
All songs copyright 2003 Chris Williams (BMI). All rights reserved.
6 & 12 string electric guitars
nylon string acoustic/electric guitar
6 string acoustic guitars
really bad keyboards
cover and on-disc design
additional harmony vocals during round in "Eversweet"
cymbal swells in "Refuse To Promise"
A NOTE FROM CHRIS:
When I started recording these songs in 1998, I had no intention of letting the world have a listen.
I was just trying to figure out my first eight-track recorder, the Roland VS-840. I'd use it to preserve song ideas before they evaporated, then use any spare tracks to whimsically elaborate. Far more advanced than my old four-track, the 840 encouraged me to experiment with vocal harmonies - as many as I could make up and sing - and layer more guitars than is usually appropriate.
Recording was all about the thrill of making a brand new song that I could listen to the next morning: clumsily capturing my erratic instrument performances... tirelessly tweaking the VS-840's built-in effects... lusciously layering as many harmony vocals as I could think of... and mixing it to my own, blissfully unfashionable taste.
Naturally, this was fun.
This also means there are a lot of mistakes, but for every not-so-hot rhythm or pitch, there are magic little moments of groove, harmony and coincidence. Most of the goofs are still funny to me, and I wouldn't edit them out for the world. Several of the songs use first-take vocal performances. In places I stumbled over the freshly-minted lyrics, or haphazardly improvised delivery, but when I went back to sing them perfectly I just couldn't recreate the innocence.
It took me years to decide to release this for family, friends and likeminded strangers. I might have re-recorded all the songs and fixed the iffy parts, and maybe someday I will.
In the end, though, I decided you should hear the versions I so happily played in the car each morning after each late night of recording. Each new "debut" was itself a reward for the countless hours spent.
I think anyone can make their own little pop album. I hope you'll enjoy mine.
February 4, 2004