In the late 80’s into the early 90’s Holly Penfield and Ian Ritchie were both based in Northridge in the Valley, Los Angeles. One day, when passing Bebop Records in Reseda, Holly decided that it would be a cool place to preview some of the songs she had been developing over previous year. The resulting gigs saw the birth of the “Fragile Human Monster” , Holly’s alter ego and the inspiration for the album “Parts Of My Privacy”.
Ritchie used down time at 12 Step recording studio in Studio City to produce the tracks on the record over some months ( usually weekends ) in 1990. The resulting album showcased some of the great songs Holly had written earlier in the 80’s like the quirky “Misfit” and powerful “It’s Always Been You”. It also brought her improvisational abilities to the fore with spontaneous compositions such as “Lather” and “Little Song” which were improvised, lyrics and all, live in the studio. The songs and improvisations, some of which feature the distinctive saxophone of Ian Ritchie ( later to become Roger Waters sax player of choice, touring the world playing “Dark Side Of The Moon” in 2006-2008 ) were woven together into a concept album full of dichotomy and paradox reflecting Penfield’s inner turmoil. The CD also has moments of great beauty. The Uplifting “Voices” and sweeping “Under The English Sky” dramatically contrast with the darker themes of “Misfit” and “The Last Enemy”, the title of which was taken from the autobiography by Spitfire pilot Richard Hillary.
The production, although relying heavily on Ritchie’s consummate programming abilities, has a timeless quality. The decision to avoid drums and focus attention on Penfield’s strikingly colourful vocal abilities, which range from whispered intimate moments to Diamanda Galas like outcries, was a good one. “Parts Of My Privacy” could have been recorded in 2009, just as easily as 1989. In 1992 the CD was released in Canada by Traffic Records, a subsidiary of MCA Records. Since then the rights to the recording have reverted to Penfield and is now available on CD Baby.
“Parts Of My Privacy” is a deeply personal work put together by two talented musicians during one of their creative peaks. A unique musical and lyrical experience not to be missed.