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  Literally Issue 30 DIARY     Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Back
 
Though some of the songs that appeared on
Fundamental were written back in 2003 (and one of them, "Numb", was recorded in its near-final version back then), most of the writing and recording took place during 2005. As usual, Literally has Neil's full diary of its sometimes meandering progress as it took place.

January 17th, 2005.
Beginning work in the Pet Shop Boys'London studio with Pete Gleadall. Wrote basis of a new song called "I'm with stupid".
January 18th.
Worked on "For every moment".

Neil: We wrote this song in 2003 and we've written three versions of it. We ended up giving it to Alcazar, though they've now split up. We were always revising it, never happy with it. We wrote "Luna Park" and "Casanova in Hell" at the same time.
January 19th.
Worked on "Unbelievable scenes
Neil: This was based on an old demo from 1998. Back then we wrote it thinking of it being for Robbie Williams, because even at that point there had been murmurings of us working with him. Anyway, we turned it into a new song which became "Fugitive".
January 20th.
Continued with "Fugitive" and started to write new song, "Psychological
January 21st.
Continued working on "Psychological". Gwyneth Paltrow came into the studio. Neil: Our studio is in the same building as Sam Taylor-Wood's studio. Gwyneth Paltrow came to be photographed and Sam invited us upstairs to have lunch with her.
January 24th.
Started writing new song, "Ring road".
January 25th.
Finished "Ring road".
Neil: It'll probably be a b-side. It's a sort of rock song, really.
January 26th.
Started writing a new song, "The performance of my life".
January 27th.
Finished "The performance of my life". In the evening, went to see A Minute Too Late, Simon McBurney's Complicite show.
Neil: There was a drinks party afterwards, and then Chris walked across Waterloo Bridge.
January 28th.
Started writing a new song, "I made my excuses and left", linked to a song Chris sung on his mobile last night.

January 31st.
Neil at home with flu - lay in bed and wrote lyrics for "The performance of my life" and "I'm with stupid". Chris in Paris for the Dior Homme show.
Neil: He phoned me up at one point from the Georges V and Kate Moss came on the phone and sang "Careless Whisper" to me.
February 1st.
Still had flu - more lyrics for "I'm with stupid" and lyrics for "I made my excuses and left".
February 7th.
Back in London studio. Added middle eight to "Psychological".
February 8th.
Vocals on "I'm with stupid".
February 9th.
Worked on a song called "One way street".
Turned an idea of Chris's into "Girls don't cry
Neil: "One way street" was later turned down by
Bananarama.
Chris: Not that they'll ever hear the end of that.
February 10th.
Finished demo of "Girls don't cry". Made it
more electronic-sounding. Vocals on "Fugitive".
February 11th.
Finished vocals on "Fugitive" and worked on "One way street".
February 14th.
Worked more on "One way street" then wrote most of a new song, "Integral". Chris went home to get records because he was DJ-ing.
February 15th.
Worked on "Integral" then put a vocal on "I made my excuses and left".

February 16th.
Worked on "I made my excuses and left", making the track more electronic-sounding and writing a new section. Put vocals on "The performance of my life
February 17th.
Went to the NME awards to present the Godlike
Genius award to New Order
February 18th.
Finished "The performance of my life
February 23rd.
Made changes to "Integral", "I made my excuses and left" and "One way street" then wrote a new song, The Resurrectionist
Neil: That's one of the songs where I gave Chris the lyric and he wrote the tune.
February 28.
Flew to Naples.
March 2nd.
Went into the studio in Naples and meet Luca Baldini. All our gear has arrived. Started working on a new song, "Dirty tricks
March 3rd.
Worked on "Dirty tricks
Neil: We worked very slowly here.

March 4th.
Worked on "Dirty tricks".
March 7th.
Started working on a new song, "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show ". Wrote chorus lyrics then came back from lunch and sang them.

March 8th.
Worked on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
Wrote the verse lyrics and sang them.
March 9th.
While Luca worked on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show ", changed some lyrics. Then started a new song called "Indefinite leave to remain
March 10th.
Worked on "Indefinite leave to remain ". A lot of sitting around. Then finished the words and sung vocals.
March 11th.
Worked on "Indefinite leave to remain
Neil: It was fun actually being in Naples.
March 14th.
Finished off "Indefinite leave to remain" - edited the middle bit and changed the bass and drums. Decided that was the end of working with Luca. Neil: That night we met Sondre Lerche - saw his concert at the Theatro Nuevo, and had dinner with him beforehand. Then we took the rest of the week off, went to Pompeii.
March 19th.
Flew back to London from Naples.
April 4th.
Back in our studio. Breakfast with our manager and discussed maybe Trevor Horn producing the new album. Started writing a new song called "Minimal".
April 5th.
Worked on "Minimal"; finished words and put on the vocals. Went to the ballet.
April 6th.
Finished "Minimal" and started reworking "The
Sodom and Gomorrah Show
April 7th.
Did seven-inch edit of "No time for tears" with
Pete Gleadall then carried on working on "The
Sodom and Gomorrah Show ". Went to the
National Film Theatre where we bumped into
Will Young.

Neil: We were discussing at one point releasing
"No time for tears" as a single.
April 8th.
Put vocals on "The Sodom and Gomorrah
Show".
April 11th.
Put vocals on "One way street".
April 12th.
Put new vocals on "The Resurrectionist", then Chris reprogrammed "Indefinite leave to remain" and I re-sang the vocals.
Neil: You changed the rhythm track, didn't you? Chris: Yes, it was fast, originally. We slowed it down.
April 13th.
Changed the lyrics to "The Sodom and
Gomorrah Show" and re-sang them.
April 14th.
Did a demo of a song for Sondre Lerche, "Dancing In The Dusk". Went to see Rufus Wainwright in concert.
Neil: Sondre Lerche asked us to take this song he'd written on acoustic guitar and make a demo of it so it sounded like Heetwood Mac, so we paused the whole writing of the album to do this. It's quite good, actually.
April 18th.
Wrote a new song called "China
Neil: Afterwards, rather appropriately, we went in a taxi to Mr Chow's where we had dinner with Gary Barlow.

April 19th.
Started writing a new song, "After the event".
April 20th.
Worked on "After the event"."

April 21st.
Finished writing "After the event" then went to a charity preview of the musical Billy Elliot.
April 22nd.
Worked on "After the event".
April 25th.
Started writing a new song called "The former enfant terrible
April 26th.
Finished "The former enfant terrible
April 27th.
Lunch with our ex-manager Jill.
April 28th.
Worked on a new song called "Twentieth
Century
April 29th.
Worked on "Twentieth Century
May 4th.
Put vocals on "Twentieth Century" then started to rework "After the event". Neil: "After the event" is one of those songs we keep changing. It's sort of good and sort of not-good.
May 5th. General election. After voting, we worked on "After the event".
May 6th.
Chatted to Trevor Horn about the album.
May 7th.
Went to see Kylie Minogue in her Showgirl concert at Earl's Court.
May 9th.
Start working with Trevor Horn at Sarm West on tracks for the new album. I went to see a performance of Shostakovitch 's Seventh Symphony at the Royal Albert Hall.
Neil: At this point we obviously think we've got enough songs.

May 11th.
Worked on "Luna Park" with Trevor Horn. Sang new backing vocal idea.
May 12th.
Worked on "Luna Park".
May 13th.
Worked on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show"
with a drummer called Cliff Hewitt.
Chris: He'd played with Apollo 440.
Neil: Some of it is still there on the track.
May 17th.
At Pete Gleadall 's studio, recorded chorus vocals on the track "Throw" by Dan Fresh then went to Sarm where we worked on "Luna Park".
May 18th.
Worked on "Integral" with Trevor Horn.
May 19th.
Worked on "Integral" and started work on "Casanova in Hell ". Corrected and re-sang lyrics in "Casanova in Hell" and "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show".
May 20th.
Worked with Trevor and Dave Clayton on the
overture for the album.
Neil: That bit was never used.
May 23rd.
Met with our manager about the Battleship
Potemkin release and decided to release "No
time for tears" as a single. Played Wolfgang
Tillmans some tracks from the album.

May 24th.
Met Yoko Ono at her hotel in London and dis
cussed performing with her at the Meltdown festival, then went to Sarm. Tessa Niles came in and sang backing vocals on "I'm with stupid". Worked with the programmer Dave Clayton on the introduction to the album, "The day before yesterday
May 25th.
Edited "Men and maggots" from the Potemkin soundtrack at Pete Gleadall 's studio for the album release. Went to Sarm where Trevor was working on "Integral". When we left Trevor was doing bass on "Luna Park".
Neil: We actually listened to all of the Battleship Potemkin tracks to decide what we'd edit down, then decided not to edit anything apart from that.
May 27th.
Tim Weidner, the engineer started to do a seven-inch mix of "No time for tears
May 31st.
Worked on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
Tim finished his mix of "No time for tears" and
we adjusted it slightly.
June 1st.
Went to Metropolis to master "No time for tears" and remaster the Battleship Potemkin album. In the evening, we went to the ballet to see Swan Lake.
June 2nd.
Worked on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show

June 3rd.
Recording "some Arabic flamenco nonsense vocals" for "The day before tomorrow", then we went to see Guys And Dolls with Ewan McGregor in it.
June 6th.
Worked on album introduction with Trevor and
Dave Clayton.
June 7th.
Worked on "Luna Park". Put backing vocals on
it. After dinner worked on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
June 8th.
In Pete Gleadall 's studio worked on our mix of "Walking On Thin Ice" for Yoko Ono's Meltdown Show then went to Sarm. Tessa Niles did backing vocals on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
June 9th.
In Sarm.
June 10th.
In Sarm.
June 13th.
I presented the BP Portrait Prize at the National
Portrait Gallery.
June 14th.
Worked on "Luna Park", putting back Chris's
original bassline. I played acoustic guitar on it.
After dinner, worked on "The Sodom and
Gomorrah Show "focussing on the bass.
June 15th.
An orchestral session at Angel studios, Islington,
for "Integral" "Luna Park" and "Casanova in
Hell".
Neil: As covered in Literally.

June 16th.
At Sarm, Trevor had Phil Palmer playing acoustic guitars on "Luna Park". Went to Music Bank and rehearsed with Yoko Ono.
Neil: As also reported in the last issue of Literally.
June 17th.
Decided to not go into the studio and let Trevor
Horn get on with it.
June 20th.
Sang harmonies on "Casanova in Hell
June 21st.
Put new parts on "The Sodom and Gomorrah
Show".
June 22nd.
Chatted to Trevor about producing more tracks. Then we decided to take a break and let Trevor vibe out on the tracks.
Neil: This is where we decided to make the whole album with Trevor.
June 28th.
Fred Applegate, an American actor who's in The Producers, came in and did the spoken introduction to "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show ". Then we went to a rehearsal for Live 8.
June 29th.
Live 8 rehearsal.
June 30th.
Flew to Moscow.
July 1st.
Meeting with promoter Walked around Moscow.
Neil: We were going to rehearse there, but we
didn't in the end.

July 2nd.
Performed at the Live 8 concert in Red Square.
July 3rd.
Flew from Moscow to Paris.
July 5th.
Dior Homme show. Jason Shears there with David Furnish. Hedi Slimane's birthday party, which Pete Docherty was at. We saw The Paddingtons play and ended up chatting to them in their tour bus.
July 6th.
Back to London.
July 7th.
Woke up to the news that there'd been blasts on the tube.
July 12th.
Worked on "Minimal" and listened through "Psychological ", then worked on "Indefinite leave to remain
July 13th.
Worked on "Indefinite leave to remain
July 14th.
Press day for Battleship Potemkin, then went to
see The Paddingtons play in a pub at King's

Cross.
July 15th.
Worked on "Indefinite leave to remain"; sang two new vocal parts.
July 18th.
Worked on "Indefinite leave to remain" then started to work on "Twentieth Century"; sung some new vocals on it.
July 19th.
A new keyboard player Pete Murray, came in and played on "Indefinite leave to remain" and "Twentieth Century
July 20th.
A harp player and singer Lucinda Barry, played harp on "Minimal", "Luna Park", "The Sodam and Gomorrah Show" and "Casanova in Hell and then sang ad-libs at the end of "Luna Park ". Pete Murray worked more on "Twentieth Century
July 21st.
Failed bombings on the tube. Worked on "Indefinite leave to remain" and re-sang some vocals. Pete Murray played keyboards on the end of "Psychological".
July 22nd.
Worked on "Indefinite leave to remain ". In the evening saw the play Telstar, by Nick Moran, about Joe Meek.
July 26th.
German interview for Battleship Potemkin at EML Phil Palmer played acoustic guitar on various tracks.
July 27th.
Worked on "Minimal". Trevor got Phil Palmer
to play guitar on it, and sped up the track. Worked on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show" making the new rock feel work better Meeting about the Newcastle Potemkin concert next May A drummer called Virgil Howe came in and played on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show".

July 28th.
Worked on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
Neil: Then we went on holiday for all of August.
August 31st.
Went to Frankfurt for the start of the Battleship
Potemkin tour in Germany.
September 6th.
Flew from Hamburg to London.
September 8th.
Back in Sarm West. Worked on "Psychological" and edited the end. Two musicians arrived from Los Angeles - Earl Harvin, who played drums, and Jamie Muhoberac, who played keyboards. Neil: They were there for two weeks, pretty much, playing on tracks on the album. They've played a lot on Seal's records but they also play with Air as well, and, I think, Beck.
September 9th.
Talked to Trevor about producing "I made my excuses and left". Jamie played on "Psychological" and "Luna Park". Earl and Trevor played on "Luna Park" and "I made my excuses and left".
Neil: Until this point we'd thought that "I made my excuses and left" would be produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto, but he never seemed to quite come through.
September 12th.
Jamie played on "I'm with stupid" and
"Indefinite leave to remain
Neil: We had two studios on the go by this point.

September 13th.
Jamie played on "Twentieth Century" all day
while we worked on "Integral". Earl Harvin put
Simmons drums on "Indefinite leave to remain
September 14th.
Earl played marimbas on "Minimal" and put
Simmons drums on it. Jamie worked on
"Integral" on keyboard sounds.
September 15th.
Technical stuff being done. Jamie finished work on "Integral". Meeting with Nick Ingman about string arrangements for "I made my excuses and left" and "Psychological". Earl played vibes on "Psychological".
Neil: The vibes are still very noticeable in the choruses.
September 16th.
A lot of sitting around. I sang "sun, sex, sin, death and destruction" 40 times for choir backing vocals in a falsetto voice.
Neil: Guess what that was like.
September 20th.
I went with Trevor to Anne Dudley's house and discussed orchestral arrangements of "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show" and "Indefinite leave to remain

September 21st.
In Sarm. Not much happening.
September 22nd.
Robbie Williams phoned. Listened through to Nick Ingman 's orchestral demos of "Psychological" and "Minimal".
Neil: Nowadays when people do a string arrangement, they play them on a keyboard so you can hear them.
September 23rd.
Talked to Nick Ingman about orchestral arrangements.
September 26th.
In Sarm. Not much happening.
Neil: In the evening I did watch the Bob Dylan
documentary, No Direction Home.
September 27th.
Recorded orchestra at Angel studios for "I made
my excuses and left", "Minimal", "Introduction" and "Psychological Neil: The instrumental that would end up being called "God willing", and which was "The day before yesterday"~ is now called "Introduction".
September 28th.
Worked on "Twentieth Century", simplifying the middle bit.
Neil: That's where we made it just all acoustic guitars. Stripped it down.

September 29th.
Worked more on "Twentieth Century
October 4th.
Chris's birthday party.
October 5th.
Put item on website.
Neil: I had been told at Chris's birthday party about the two teenage boys who were executed for being gay in Iran - I put an item about it on our website and phoned up Pete Tatchell about it. Fundamental is dedicated to them: Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni.
October 6th.
Recorded strings at Angel studios for "The
Sodom and Gomorrah Show" and "Indefinite
leave to remain" with Anne Dudley conducting.
Recorded brass parts on both songs.

October 7th.
Mixing. Work on mix of "Luna Park" and add more spoken vocals to the end of "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show". Changed the beginning of "Indefinite leave to remain" to just brass.
October 10th.
Tim mixing "Luna Park"~ Rob Orton mixing "Minimal ". In the evening, went to see a concert by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto.
Neil: We met Ryuichi Sakamoto at the aftershow party and he said he was sorry he hadn't been able to do "I made my excuses and left" but he'd been doing this tour.
October 11th.
Tim mixing "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show". Meeting with manager Played him "Luna Park".
Neil: When we played it, we thought the mix wasn't right. You could tell he wasn't knocked out by it.
October 12th.
Interview with Radio One about John Peel. Mixing.
Neil: Chris and I have to hang around the studio when they're mixing. That day we got bored so we went to see Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist which we didn't think was that good.

Chris: Disappointing.
October 13th.
Rob finished the mix of "Minimal". In the
evening we went to see a play called Flanders
Mare, starring Keith Allen.
October 14th.
Mixing. In the evening, we went to see a new
production of Hair.
Neil: Which we didn't like.
October 17th.
Rob mixing "Indefinite leave to remain ". Tim still working on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show ". We worked more on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show" with Trevo, putting a high string line and other stuff on it. Went to the Turner Prize preview. After we went, Trevor sang some new harmonies on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show".

October 18th.
Meeting about touring with our agents and managers. Worked on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show" mix with Tim. I copied Trevor's new harmonies and took his voice out.
October 19th.
Worked more on "Luna Park".
Neil: This is when we decided to strip it down
and make it more electronic. We had a day in
Trevor's little back room, working on that.
October 25th.
We went to Diane Arbus exhibit at the V&A and then went to Sarm. Another engineei Taz Mattar did a mix of "Luna Park" which we made some changes to.

October 26th.
Taz still mixing "Luna Park"; we made further changes. Rob mixing "I'm with stupid".
October 27th.
Rob finished "I'm with stupid" and started "Twentieth Century ". Taz finished "Luna Park". Neil: That mix, in the end, wasn't used, although it was quite a good mix.
October 28th.
Taz working on "Psychological" mix - two
young girls come in to sing on it.
Neil: One still sings on the end of the track.
October 31st.
Went to our studio and wrote a song with Robbie
Williams.
November 1st.
Back to Sarm. Tim mixing "I made my excuses and left". Rob finished "Twentieth Century". We adjusted the mix slightly and made some suggestions to make the "I made my excuses and left" mix more climactic at the end.

November 2nd.
Had a flu jab. Worked in our studio on the
demo of the track we'd done with Robbie
Williams.
November 3rd.
Rob mixing "Psychological", Tim mixing "Casanova in Hell". We worked with Trevor on "God willing ", now the title of the introduction. I suggested an album running order In the evening, we had a drink with Bananarama.
November 4th.
Listening through to my running order with
Trevo, then we all changed it. Suggested
changes in mixes.

November 7th.
Tim remixing "Casanova in Hell" - we went
back to the original demo drums in the verses.
More vocals on "God willing
November 8th.
Tim finished mix of "Casanova in Hell". Chris heard "God willing" vocals and we decided to dump them.
Neil: This was a sort of spoken thing on "God willing". We decided that it was pretentious, although Trevor actually quite liked it.
November 9th.
Went to the National Army Museum for the launch of a book, Last Post. We were in the same room as the only surviving veterans of World War I. Afterwards, went to Sarm and listened to new mix of "Integral" and "God willing", which Trevor had put the spoken vocals back on. Neil: Two of the people at the book launch were 105 and 109 years old.

November 10th.
Coffee with Sam Taylor-Wood and Patrick Cox re the stag night for Elton and David. Rob finishing the final mix of "Luna Park" and started new mix of "Integral", making it more electronic. Worked more on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show"; changed the introduction with a heartbeat.
Neil: We had a great faff - we walked up to the Electric restaurant on Portobello Road to record the ambience for the start of "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show" because we had the idea that we wanted you to walk into the club and hear it. I don't think we used it in the end.

November 11th.
Worked more on "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show" and "Integral".
Neil: We recorded me walking on Basing Street into Sarm at the beginning of "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show". That is still there - that click is the door of Sarm West.
November 12th.
Went to Manchester to see Little Britain.
November 14th.
Worked more on "God willing ". Both Chris and I spoke the lyrics, then rejected them. Sang the second line of "Numb" again to make it sound more English. Had a playback of the whole album in Studio 2 - Chris, Trevor and I - and decided what we wanted to change.
November 15th.
Meeting about the stag night. In the evening went to Koko in Camden to see Madonna launch her album. After we went to the Groucho club with Bernard Sumner Neil: Bernard, mysteriously, was at the launch. He had a slightly better ticket than us.
November 23rd.
Playback of the album for our management
and various friends, including Dainton, Pete
Gleadall, Janet Street-Porter and Mark
Farrow.
November 25th.
Parlophone have a playback of the album at the Electric on Portobello road.
Neil: The album now is officially finished. Nothing else musical is going to happen on
it.

November 30th.
Start work on a remix of "Sorry" by
Madonna at our own studio.
Neil: We do that for the next three days.
December 5th.
Meeting at EM!. Turner Prize dinner
December 6th.
Remixing "Sorry" at Sarm West with Goetz Botzenhardt engineering while Trevor did a seven-inch mix of "Minimal".
Neil: "Sorry" took three days at Sarm. The mix of "Minimal" didn't work out.
December 11th.
Went to Paris.
December 13th.

Meeting with Dave Dorrell and EM! France and played them tracks from the album. Train to Cologne.
December 14th.
Played tracks to the German EM! staff then
flew back from Dusseldoif Told by phone that
Madonna loves our remix.
December 15th.
Meeting at Radio 2 about doing a concert with
the BBC Concert Orchestra in 2006. Lynne
Easton 's funeral.
December 18th.
Rehearsal for stag night.
December 19th.
Stag night.
December 21st.
Elton John's and David Furnish's partnership party.
December 22nd.
To Sarm West for a seven-inch edit of "The
Sodom and Gomorrah Show
Neil: Then it was Christmas.

Only minor adjustments were made in 2006. At the end of 2005, the album's running order was set as follows - "God willing", "Minimal", "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show", "I'm with Stupid", "Psychological", "I made my excuses and left". "Integral", "Numb"~ "Luna Park"~ "Casanova in Hell"~ "Twentieth Century" and "Indefinite leave to remain" - and the earliest promotional copies were in this order. (At this point, the album's first single was also scheduled to be "Minimal".) In early 2006, the running order was changed to its final version, some transitions were edited accordingly, and the album was finished.

 
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