Cover art for Back Story album by Graham Armfield

Back Story Album

Back Story – my collection of older demos is now available. Listen on streaming services, or download for free.

What is the Back Story album?

Graham in the studio
Graham in the studio

Over the years when I was playing in various bands we recorded demos of the songs we were playing. Typically these songs were the ones that were most popular at our live gigs. And even now as a solo artist I’m still playing some of these songs at open-mic nights and gigs.

Some years I uncovered my collection of the reel-to-reel and DAT tapes from these studio sessions – not the original multitrack tapes but the final mixed versions of the songs. I had them all converted to digital format and stuck them all on a couple of CDs. I used to listen to them occasionally and then after a while I forgot about them.

But after a recent tidy-out I came across the CDs and it was great to hear all these songs again.

Since I’m still performing some of the songs and they generate a bit of interest I decided that I wanted to share them – hence the Back Story album.

What’s on the Back Story album?

Firstly, please note that this album doesn’t contain any new material. I have started to record a new album this year (2023) but that album is not likely to be ready for release until next year some time.

Anyway, having collected together the demos and getting mastered versions of them I had to decide which ones to include. I wanted it to be as complete as possible but because of some unknown issue the last Shnaffel demos were all at the wrong speed and sounded awful.

Altogether there are 18 songs, and here’s the track listing:

  1. Here By My Side
  2. Commit Yourself
  3. Inside Of Me
  4. On The Beach
  5. Release
  6. Heart Made Of Stone
  7. Am I Really Seeing Things?
  8. How Did You Know?
  9. Unknown
  10. The Truth
  11. Around The Table
  12. Sweet Shock
  13. Smooth
  14. Batman The Caveman
  15. Penguin’s Egg
  16. Streams
  17. So Far Away
  18. Seychelles Shootout

I’ve put some more details about each track further down the page – things like which musicians played on the song, who wrote it, when it was recorded etc.

How can I get the Back Story album?

Bandcamp LogoI’m not intending to release this album on a physical CD but keep it just to digital downloads and on streaming services.

So if you want to download the whole album for free, head to my Bandcamp page for the Back Story album. You can also download individual tracks if you want.

 

Spotify Logo

Or you can find the Back Story album on streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube.

Track details

Here’s a bit about each of the tracks on the album.

Here By My Side

  • Written by Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by Shnaffel in 1995

One of my favourites from my 1990s songs. I still play this one live. Originally released as part of Shnaffel’s ‘Hear Made of Stone’ CD single.

Commit Yourself

  • Written by Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by Shnaffel in 1995

I still play this one live occasionally but with a much gentler feel. Originally released as part of Shnaffel’s ‘Hear Made of Stone’ CD single.

Inside Of Me

  • Written by Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by Shnaffel in 1995

Shnaffel had a bit of a punkier edge compared to my previous band the Great Unshaven.

On The Beach

  • Written by Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by Graham Armfield in 1994

Originally written in the early 80s but I still play this one live occasionally. Originally released as part of Shnaffel’s ‘Hear Made of Stone’ CD single.

Release

Originally written in the 80s but only recorded in the 90s. I still play this one live.

Heart Made Of Stone

Another favourite from my 1990s songs. I still play this one live. Subsequently released as part of Shnaffel’s ‘Hear Made of Stone’ CD single – since Shnaffel did actually play this song.

Am I Really Seeing Things?

This song is adapted from a 1980s Reset song called Fishing line. Subsequently released as part of Shnaffel’s ‘Hear Made of Stone’ CD single – since Shnaffel did actually play this song. It sounded great with my 12 string guitar.

How Did You Know?

A favourite from the Great Unshaven set. I still play this song sometimes.

Unknown

The Truth

Mainly true story about a man I used to see when on the way to work.

Around The Table

  • Written by Laura Fudge, Glen Bishop and Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by The Aviators in 1986

This one started with Glen Bishop’s guitar part and bass lines. Laura and I helped to pull it together into a song and add chorus and bridge.

Sweet Shock

  • Written by Laura Fudge and Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by The Aviators in 1986

Laura added some great vocals to one of my guitar songs.

Smooth

  • Written by Laura Fudge and Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by The Aviators in 1986

Started with my guitar ideas, over which Laura added some great lyrics. Not at all influenced by Sade.

Batman The Caveman

  • Written by Laura Fudge and Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by The Aviators in 1984

My guitar ideas with Laura’s interesting lyrics.

Penguin’s Egg

  • Written by Laura Fudge and Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by The Aviators in 1984

Think this one started with some mucking about in a rehearsal studio.

Streams

  • Written by Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by Reset in 1983

A stream of consciousness was exactly how I wrote songs at this time.

So Far Away

  • Written by Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by Reset in 1983

Realised many years later that I used the Em to C chord progression in a few songs. I think I’ve left that time behind now.

Seychelles Shootout

  • Written by Graham Armfield
  • Recorded by Reset in 1983

Roles reversed on this one as I played bass and Pat played guitars. Helen Green provided the organ sounds from a Casio VL Tone.

Casio VL1 keyboard.
Casio VL1 keyboard. Pic from synx508 on Flickr.com