The songs on this recording are a collection of unique mixes of tracks recorded by Alan Merrill over several decades. The first recorded and released version of the song "It's Harder Now" is here, and some years later the song would be used as title track of Wilson Pickett's last solo album. Similarly, this album features the first released vocal of "24-7 Man," a song that was later covered by Robert Cray, with Cray changing little of Merrill's original delivery and approach on his version. "Protection," "Second Hand Paradise," and "Brand New Man" were songs covered by R&B great Freddie Scott. A Don Covay, Merrill, and Tiven co-write, "Brand New Man" was in fact Freddie Scott's millennium comeback solo album title track, Also included on this CD are several tracks that continue Alan Merrill's obssession with covering Arthur Alexander and Otis Blackwell songs, with tracks like "Go On Home Girl," and "Return To Sender."
"Yes I Ram" was co-written with Teenie Hodges (Al Green's guitarist) and features backing vocals by Billie Ray Martin. "At The Candy Shop" and "Baby Doll" were recorded in the south of France at Jon Anderson's (Yes) Chapel studio in Vence in 1977, and co-written with Bill Wyman and Terry Taylor, who also play on the tracks.
The last song on the album "Bridge To The Moon" was written and recorded by Merrill in Tokyo, with the legendary (and long gone) Akasaka disco Byblos in mind as inspiration. The club always closed with a romantic slow dance ballad at 4AM. The song is about the eternal quest for true love. It's hard to get more romantic than that! A live version from the Nagoya Apollo theater of the song appears here as a bonus track, with a terrific guitar solo by Robin LeMesurier. The other bonus track, "Long shot," was written in the 1980s, and is treated with an era appropriate production approach.
All of the musicians on this album are top notch, and some are even major stars. You will probably recognize many of their names. Their contributions on this recording are truly inspired.
Alan "Aleecat" Merrill continues to be a music industry enigma, and is a renegade recording artist who makes loose and fun albums in the true original spirit of rock 'n roll.