Broken Homes — Producers Cut
Happy Birthday to us!
One year ago, I hit “publish” on the first episode of Abandoned Albums.
I had no idea what I was doing. Fortunately, I learned rather quickly, and over the past year, the show has evolved into what it is now a pretty damn good podcast.
Luckier still is that I didn’t do too much to this episode because it was still pretty damn good!
The origin of Abandoned Albums is found here on this inaugural episode’s album selection — the 1986 debut record by the LA-based band Broken Homes.
I’ve written repeatedly about this record and how great I think it is. And I’ll spare any long-time reader or listener any long-winded bloviation here.
This self-titled debut captures Broken Homes at that perfect moment. A band with all the talent (as witnessed by what everyone did after the band’s dissolution) and momentum going for them. Unfortunately, they didn’t have what was needed most, the support of a good rock and roll record label. If the band had been signed to Geffen Records instead of MCA Records, I am 1000% confident; I would not be writing this now.
[Listen to the Steve Isaacs episode to hear a funny acronym of what MCA stands for.]
When Broken Homes stepped into the studio with producer Jeff Eyrich, the band was undoubtedly firing on all cylinders. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out why one member didn’t make the grade for Eyrich despite this. The guy wasn’t fired; they just brought in a studio wizard to cover his part. Sorry, no spoilers… ya gotta listen.
The energy and excitement are palpable throughout the record, but if you need proof, listen to “It’s All Over Now” — arguably, one of the better album closers.
From the moment I first heard the intro to “In Another Land,” I was hooked. It was that day that I went to my record store.
In those days, we all had a “record store.” It wasn’t, usually, a big chain. It was some little mom-and-pop joint. Maybe it was a bearded old hippie who ran it or some hip young couple, but it was always playing good music. And the people working there were always a little stand-offish at first… until they nodded tacitly at the one purchase that broke the ice.
In any event, I was lucky enough that this little shop in Centerville, Ohio, had this debut album. Granted, only one copy, but that copy became mine.
I dropped the needle on the record that night, and about 40 minutes later, a Broken Homes fan was born.
While I was a fan of the band for their entire three-album career, I don’t feel they were ever this good again. This was before the horned, cloven-hooved beasts of the music industry stepped in when the first album didn’t go platinum. Okay, that may be a bit harsh… but I can say the self-titled debut by Broken Homes is far and away the best album in their three-album canon. It sounds like who they were — producer Jeff Eyrich even says as much in the podcast. I still listen to this record about once a month — at least. I don’t think I have listened to the other two albums in… well, a very long time.
I’m so thankful that this was the first episode in what has become a minor obsession. I mean, will any episode ever top interviewing the surviving band members and the other creative guys who recorded one of your favorite albums of all time? It hasn’t happened yet, and I’m not about to stop trying.
Like many significant moments in your life, it’s true — you never forget your first.
Thank you to all the artists, listeners, followers, contributors, partners… and any others I may forget.
Special thanks to @RobJanicke and Geoff Calhoun for their notes, suggestions, and ideas. Experiences are always better when shared.
Abandoned Albums is available wherever you get your favorite podcasts.
“The only music podcast that matters.”