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a broken sun

1988 a broken sun

‘A broken sun’ is the fourteenth album by Tèxord based rock group bad medecine. The recordings for this album took place in early 1988 and the band focused on their compositions without taking into consideration the fact the songs had to be played live. Papa Beer had bought a patch of land in 1985 on which he had built a mansion with a recording studio in the basement, which is where this album was recorded.


Songs


1. [4.01] yellow car [k/k, bello, beast]
2. [3.09] 100 % [beast, k/beast, bello]
3. [2.47] perhaps [k, bello/k, bello, beast]
4. [3.07] lover [k/k, beast]
5. [4.26] commotion [beast, k/k]
6. [5.32] cold turkey [k/k]

1. [4.20] josé & his silly dog [bello/bello]
2. [4.31] a broken sun [k/k, bello]
3. [1.54] the broken sun [k, bello, beast, james]
4. [9.17] dark little peace [k/k, beast, bello]
5. [1.34] seen you sleep [k/k]
 

Credits


Papa Beer : vocals + guitars
Bello : drums + percussion
Roy Beast : bass + keyboards + guitars

Lead vocals on ‘perhaps’, ‘commotion’ and ‘josé & his silly dog’ by Bello
Lead vocals on ‘100 %’ by Robijn Debeear
Mouthorgan on ‘not the blues’ by Papa Beer
Piano on ‘dark little peace’ by Roy Beast
Organ on and ‘a/the broken sun’ and by Nelson James

Recorded at Papa Beer’s home, January – April 1988
Produced by bad medecine
Engineered by Cas Jansze
Mixed at “the mick studiós,” Téxord, by Mick Oe & Cees Johnson ​
Released at Myzelf Music Inc., June 1988


Background


Following their comeback album 'two', bad medecine toured as a trio for over a year on all the continents. During the tour, the band always appeared as a trio for the press, showing that they were a group. As they explained, they did this to prevent people of thinking it was only Papa Beer's band, which had happened in the late seventies. The live sets on the 1987 tour had consisted of news songs as well as songs from the early and late seventies. They mostly played their new record and never played all their hits from before. They varied their setlists and played both louder and calmer songs.

During the tour, Roy played on a Fender Precision Bass, Papa Beer mostly played on his Gibson Firebird, SG & Fender Mustang. Roy also sang all the songs that used to be sung by Matt or Bobby. Bello played his Ludwig kit: hi-hat, snare, kick, floor tom, one top tom, two crashes and one ride. After their tour, the band preventively did not schedule any gigs in 1988 because they did not want to become overworked. Instead, they decided to make a record that would be focusing on the possibilities of the studio and another that they could play live easily.
 

Writing and composition


When the band started the recordings, they decided to make a record that would focus on the experimental side of song recording. ‘100%’ and ‘josé & his silly dog’ both use a drum computer. In ‘cold turkey’ and ‘a/the broken sun’, construction tools that Papa Beer recorded in a factory serve as rhythm and ‘perhaps’ is an a capella song with Roy Beast beatboxing. The b-side of the record is one continuing song, although the different parts are easily distinctive. Overall the songs are darker than their previous album, due to Roy’s eerie keyboards and Bello’s experimental approach of drumming, hardly using the usual rocky snare/hi-hat/kick-combination.

The songs ‘yellow car’, ‘100%’ and ‘josé & his silly dog’ are all small surrealist stories. Papa Beer sings about his wife in ‘lover’ and ‘cold turkey’ is about the period following on ‘wished to be dead’. ‘commotion’ describes the confusing situation of decolonisation, represented in the song ending with all the band members shouting different texts in different languages; Papa Beer in French and the Bantu dialect of his father, Roy Beast in Dutch and English & Bello in Malay and Italian. The lyrics of ‘a/the broken sun’ draw on minor variations of one phrase, ‘dark little peace’ is a utopian letter to the banks and ‘seen you sleep’ is a rhyming lullaby.


Artwork


The artwork is done by someone. The design is minimalistic with the credits in white courier new on a dark brown background. For the inner sleeve, the band picked misprinted journals which makes every single album unique. On the back, there is a picture of the band playing in the studio with headphones on. They all wear T-shirts and jeans. Papa Beer’s dreads are braided [he is credited as Karolez de Beear], Bello’s hair is short again and Roy still has his mohawk red. Also Papa Beer's son Robijn [who only partakes on one of the songs] is in the picture, playing guitar.
 

Promotion and tour


bad medecine went for less than one month of touring during the summer, only playing major festivals. This was accompanied by one single, ‘100%’, which was send to Mtv under a pseudonym and shows images of young skaters hanging and doing stunts, with Robijn as the only member of bad medecine being present in the clip. They explicitly did little promotion for the album to be able to focus on their next album. Nonetheless, critics were positive and sales were not too bad. After the small summer tour, they went back to the studio as a quartet to record ‘broken’. ‘Yellow car’, the second single, was released in November, when the tour of 1989 was announced. Corresponding with the lyrics, the clip is set in taxi’s in different parts of the world, of which most of the footage was shot by Bello on their previous tour.

contact

a cufnosed circus

billy navrovski