It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to Candlebox. The 90’s didn’t feel that far away, but man the debut album dropped in 1993, which makes it 25 years old.
The truth is, Candlebox was so good on that debut album, that I gave other 90’s bands a shot.
The “Purple Rain” sounding “Far Behind” is the star of the debut album. Then you had “Don’t You” and “Change” that rock as hard as any 80’s band and I used to cover “You” in bands I played in. I love the B minor key for songs and to be honest, a lot of punters thought it was an original of mine.
And “Cover Me”, is hidden all the way at the back end of the album at number 10. Brilliant track and a great solo section.
I didn’t get the “Lucy” album until a few years after its release. And something was missing. You know the whole saying, you have a lifetime to write your first album and you just write music that suits your tastes when you start out. Then your music breaks through into the mainstream and suddenly you feel like you need to write hits. I’m not sure if this was on their minds, but something definitely was. Because it was different. Maybe I just moved on. Who knows.
Anyway, “Happy Pills” came out and like “Lucy” I didn’t lay out money on it for a few years after it was released. Actually, by the time I got it, the band was already broken up.
They also tried to get out of their recording contract with their record label Maverick.
As you all know, bands sign crap deals when they are unknown, with the promise by the label to renegotiate if they break through. The band breaks through and label does not renegotiate, which means, the band is still in a crap contract with crap royalties while the label makes millions and the band still hasn’t recouped.
Anyway, I remember listening to the album, while I was working on lyrics for some songs and I’m nodding my head, not really paying attention, like it was background music and then “Sometimes” came on.
I stopped and listened.
When the song finished I pressed repeat and listened again, and then I just put it on auto-repeat. I don’t know how many times I listened to the song that day, but it was a lot. I just laid down on the couch and listened to the same song over and over again. I guess we do that sometimes.
The acoustic strumming and the little acoustic lead was enough to get me interested.
I wipe the night from my eyes
Block out the sunny day and I hide
Everything’s falling down around us
I’m just missing the rain
Man, hearing these lines when I heard them, they connected. I didn’t want to face the day. I was a few years into a marriage, and it was up and down, in debt and trying to have kids. I wasn’t talking to my brothers or my parents. The friends I had before the marriage, ended up not being friends with me afterwards. And I felt alone.
We change directions, we watch the tides
And we borrow too much
We form restrictions and we form lines
And we separate you from me
As you get older you realise how much truth is in the above lyrics, because we change our views, our friends and our relationships. Even our musical tastes change. We also change jobs and we do borrow too much, like money, emotions, peoples time and goodwill.
Sometimes we carry more weight than we own
Oh but sometimes
Sometimes goes on
We’ve all been there, taking up the slack of others because we need to. We carry the fears of partners and our children and put out a defiant and emotionless front. And sometimes, we just go on, doing what we need to do, to keep the lights on, and life ticking along.
The lead break.
You can hear the emotion drip from the strings, enhancing the melodies from the Chorus.
And just like that, Candlebox was back in my headspace.