graphomania (1994)

graphomania album cover art

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1. intro [sound effects lead-in for next track]   (0:36)     MP3  
2. Nightclub Heaven (I Want to Go Out Tonight)   (3:31)     MP3   lyrics chords
3. Gods On the Loose   (4:13)     MP3   lyrics chords
4. Officially Speaking   (4:26)     MP3   lyrics chords
5. Blaming the Messenger   (6:37)     MP3   lyrics chords
6. Prisoner   (4:02)     MP3   lyrics chords
7. Nightclub Hell (Why Go Outside Again?)   (2:52)     MP3   lyrics chords
8. The Insemination Dance   (4:49)     MP3   lyrics chords
9. Amoeba   (1:59)     MP3   lyrics chords
10. Gods On the Loose [acoustic version]   (4:06)     MP3   lyrics chords
11. Blaming the Messenger [solo demo]   (6:50)     MP3   lyrics chords
12. (untitled) [talk at end of album]   (1:04)     MP3  
13. Wishing Well   (6:01)     MP3   lyrics chords
14. Killer Bees   (2:58)     MP3   lyrics chords
15. Easy Target   (2:35)     MP3   lyrics chords

Total time:   57:16


# title musicians / singers
1. intro Sound effects at the start of the album include the crying of Melody Heather Brewton, the barking of Benny the dog, and the voice of Judy Toy talking with Robin Pearl on KXLU-FM's "Happy Trails" program, October 6, 1994. For the ticking "clock" sound, I recorded the turn signal in my car and speeded up the tape to the proper tempo.
2. Nightclub Heaven (I Want to Go Out Tonight) EARL: vocal, guitars, keyboards, bass
This was written as sort of a flip-side to "Nightclub Hell" (track #7). The "summer" sound effects at the end of the song were recorded at Santa Monica Pier on July 4, 1994.
3. Gods On the Loose EARL: vocal, guitars, keyboard, bass
JUDY TOY + ROBIN PEARL: backup vocals
One of several songs I've written about religion. This one points out that there are numerous faiths to choose from, and the choice you make says something about you. The background vocals were massively overdubbed, within the limitations of recording on 4-track cassette. I was trying for an Enya kind of sound. Thanks to Judy and Robin for their patience. [The original notes about this song from the graphomania lyrics booklet: "God is like H. Ross Perot. He found that when he presented specific programs his popularity declined. He has since cut back on personal appearances. People are left to fill in the blanks according to their own personalities."]
4. Officially Speaking EARL: vocal, guitar, keyboards, bass
JOHN McDUFFIE: lead guitar solos
SUZANNE SHERWIN: guest voice in third verse
JUDY TOY + ROBIN PEARL: backup vocals
A song about the silliness of censorship. (For more about this, see Judith Levine's 2002 book Harmful To Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex.) Judy and Suzanne used to have a duo called The Darlins, and I was hoping to have their exquisite harmonies on my recording, but sadly they had just broken up. The best I could do was to get them to record different parts at different times. Judy, now residing in Nashville, has recently revived The Darlins with another singing partner (see bio). During the piano solo, I reprised a riff from my previous song "Was A Time," which was on We're Not Strangers (1985).
5. Blaming the Messenger EARL: vocal, guitars, keyboards, bass, electronic percussion ("drums"), steel pipe ("anvil" sound)
This song was inspired partly by a documentary I had seen about quality control expert W. Edwards Deming. He stated that management was responsible for most quality problems. However, from my own experience as an employee, management always blames the workers.
6. Prisoner EARL: vocal, guitar, keyboards, bass
JANE BOLDUC + ROBIN PEARL: backup vocals
The lover-as-prisoner idea had already been done before, most notably in "The Tender Trap" and "Chains." So, in the interest of originality, I wrote my lyrics to say that not being in love is a kind of prison. The European-sounding melody reflects my love of French pop music of the Sixties and Seventies.
7. Nightclub Hell (Why Go Outside Again?) EARL: vocals, guitars, keyboard, bass
JUDY TOY: backup vocals
The "bar" sounds were lifted from videos I shot at various Hollywood nightclubs. The tune-up noises were by three of my favorite bands: The Hyperions, Wheel and Coat. Voices in the beginning include Sabrina Judge (Wheel) saying "What?!?" and Jason Planco (Hyperions) saying, "Okay, here we go!" The announcer at the end is Barn Dance host Ronnie Mack. He always used to say, "Put them on the radio!" whenever a band had put on a particularly exciting performance. Originally, the lyric was going to have a "happy" ending. But rather than have the song contradict itself, I decided to use the "up" idea for another song entirely. That led me to write "Nightclub Heaven (I Want to Go Out Tonight)" (track #2).
8. The Insemination Dance EARL: vocals, guitars, keyboard, bass
JANE BOLDUC + ROBIN PEARL: backup vocals
Since it's the people with the most sex drive who have the most kids, I surmised that society is progressively getting hornier and hornier. It's not "immorality," it's just evolution. In this recording, the pitch was too high for my voice. But because of the unusual chord positions I was playing on guitar, it would have been very difficult to lower the key.
9. Amoeba EARL: vocal, guitar, keyboard, bass
Inspired by Anne Sexton's poem Consorting With Angels, which says, "I was tired of being a woman, tired of the spoons and pots...I was tired of the gender of things." Sexton's poem made me think about how much simpler things would be if there were no such thing as gender, if we were all amoebas.
10. Gods On the Loose [acoustic version] EARL: vocal, guitar, bass
11. Blaming the Messenger [solo demo] EARL: vocal, guitar
This is the version I mailed to the Copyright Office when I first registered the song. It was recorded live to 2-track with no overdubs.
12. (untitled hidden track) This audio montage starts off with a fragment of Gwen and Jill's backup vocal from "Nightclub Heaven," followed by brief sound bites from Robin, Jill and Gwen.
13. Wishing Well EARL: vocal, guitar
14. Killer Bees EARL: vocal, guitar
15. Easy Target EARL: vocal, guitar
Engineered and mixed by Electric Earl.
Recording dates: 7/4/1994-10/20/1994 (track #1-12), 9/6/1991 (track #13-14), 7/25/1989 (track #15).

The original cassette version of this album had track #1-6 on side one, and #7-12 on side two.

The title graphomania was inspired by an item I read in a magazine (I believe it was Psychology Today), which defined it as a compulsion to write about one's experiences. Sources I've since found online, such as Wikipedia, state simply that's a compulsion to write.

The photo of Earl that appears in the middle of the cover art was taken by Billy Block on 11/8/1994. The artwork was meant as a visual gag. Instead of a photo of someone doing a painting, it's a painting of someone creating a photo.

All words and music by Earl P. Reinhalter.



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Last updated: February 22, 2024

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