Broken Record

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Untitled
Studio album by Evanescence
Released August or September 2010 (scrapped)[1]
Recorded February 22 - April 2010; MSR Studios, New York
Genre Electro-pop, electronica
Label Wind-up Records
Producer Steve Lillywhite, Will B. Hunt, Warren Riker
Evanescence chronology
The Open Door
(2006)

Broken Record was a proposed project by Evanescence, originally intended to be their third studio album but it was scrapped at Wind-up's behest. It was scheduled for a Fall 2010 release date.[1] The title is not official, but it's how Amy Lee "lovingly" refers to this scrapped album.

The original project was later turned into the 2011 self-titled album.

Background

Exquisite-kfind.png See also: Evanescence (album)

During her hiatus since 2007, Amy indicated she was working on new material that she didn't know what it was for.[2] In 2008, she said she was writing folk songs that she wouldn't categorize as "Evanescence", saying it wasn't "all sad."[3] In June 2009, she confirmed the band were working on an album planned for release the following year.[4] She described it as "dark, sarcastic, fun, strange, familiar and very different at the same time."[5]

The band's original idea for the album was a electro-pop,[6] programming-based[7] record influenced by Massive Attack, Björk, Portishead, MGMT, Depeche Mode, La Roux, and M.I.A.[8][6] According to Amy, it had "a lot of electronic influence - industrial is a better word for it."[9] As for the songs, she said they were "a rainbow of sounds. But this album spreads out even more. There are moments that are amazingly heavy, but then there are moments that are completely stripped down."[6] She said the lyrical themes were moments of “Hey, I’m over it and I’m good” and others of fun sarcasm like, “Hey, everything’s not the most dramatic thing in the world,” adding that lyrically it was a more real version of herself.[6] The album's themes were unknown worlds, the ocean's abyss, life within dreams, strength, detachment, love and liars.[10]

Vin1.jpg I think our sound is evolving into something that will surprise people, in a very good way. I feel, as always, that growth can be an incredible, limitless thing if you let it. I never want to make the same album twice.[1] Vin2.jpg

Amy would incorporate the harp, which she learned between albums, on the new songs.[9] She described the new album as a "rhythmically driven record. So there’s tons of drum-programming fused with live drums; drums we’re renting a day at a time, like Japanese taiko drums."[8]

During 2009 Amy co-wrote most of the album with Will "Science" Hunt in New York and Texas. The pair had crafted and recorded much of the electronic programming that was to be used in the forthcoming record together.[8] She wrote with Tim and Terry later that year.[6][11]

Recording

Amy, Steve Lillywhite, Chad Copelin, and Will "Science" in the studio's control room

The band entered the studio on February 22, 2010 with producer Steve Lillywhite and co-producer Will "Science" Hunt,[8] who joined the band as a second drummer and was the chief co-writer.[6] David Campbell would return to handle string arrangements.[8] The Roots drummer Questlove contributed to drums on a song titled You Got a Lot to Learn,[12] but it wasn't included on the final album.

About 16 songs were being worked on, with some being compositions for potential film projects that weren't used.[9] Lillywhite claimed on Twitter that 12 songs were nearly finished.[13]

Through March, Amy previewed two new songs on Twitter: Perfect Dream, whose title was revealed on EvClub,[14] and a piano piece. They were not included on the final album. On March 10, there was a fire at the studio, but Will "Science" managed to save the hard drive.[15] On the 27th, producer Warren Riker entered the studio to work on the album.[16] Recordings were suspended in April.[17]

Although progress on the album appeared to be going well, on April 19 Amy posted on EvClub saying that the band took time out of the studio to work more on the music:[18]

Vin1.jpg I wanted to let you guys know that we’ve decided to take a little time out of the studio to work more on the music. There is more that I want to do and I want to make this album the best it can possibly be, so I’m not going to rush it. It means too much to me. Taking a breath, digging deeper into myself, and moving forward with even more strength than before. Like I’ve always said, good things take time! ;)

I’ll keep you posted, talk to you soon...

Vin2.jpg
The band with producer Warren Riker

On June 21, she publicly announced on EvThreads the band were not on the studio anymore and indicated that the record label was going through uncertain times which would hinder the band's progress on the album.[19] For the rest of the year, the band kept relatively quiet on the status of the album but an interview with Will Hunt in October suggested progress on the music was going well, saying there had been a "real band dynamics" and they had been experimenting with electronic textures.[20]

In February 2011, Amy announced the band were getting together for pre-production on the album next month.[21] However, she said in April that it wouldn't be a "techno album"[22] and a Spin interview revealed the band was no longer working with Steve Lillywhite and had changed producers to Nick Raskulinecz, with Amy saying Lillywhite wasn't "the right fit."[23] Only three songs from the Broken Record were reworked on the final album, titled Evanescence: Made of Stone, Swimming Home, and Secret Door.[24]

During the self-titled era, Amy kept quiet about what really happened with the scrapped sessions with Lillywhite, but she said it was her decision to shelve the album.[25] She said that none of the material recorded with him could be released due to legal issues,[26][27] but that the songs were hers and she could re-record them.[28] In November 2011, Terry said that once the album was getting finished, the label demanded for a more "traditional" Evanescence album.[29]

In a 2013 interview, producer Lillywhite mentioned his involvement in producing the album and why it was scrapped:[30]

Vin1.jpg With Evanescence, I suppose that I was interested in the idea of Amy [Lee] as a great artist. When I was involved there weren't really many band members involved, so the record was a really interesting combination of electronic sounds, but it didn't have any power chords. I like that. Very rarely do you hear any power chords on records I've made. I suppose I was interested in seeing how she could take her music in a new direction. Maybe I was wrong, but I was thinking, "Does the world really need another Evanescence album that sounds like Evanescence?" I don't know — maybe it did. But what happened was a few people lost their nerve. I don't even think it was her. It was people at the record company who really had no other band. They were thinking more in terms of the commerce rather than the art. Vin2.jpg
Terry tracking guitar during the Lillywhite sessions

In 2015, Amy revealed the real reason behind the album being scrapped. She disclosed the label had a change of heart during a "frustrating recording process" and that she was told that none of the songs she had been pouring her heart into for a year, in any form, were good enough.[31] This forced her to rewrite the album and release what we know as the self-titled album. While three (reworked) songs from the Lillywhite sessions ultimately made it on to the final album, she was "still left feeling unsatisfied about what I lovingly refer to as my 'broken record'." She acquired the rights of the Lillywhite sessions and she plans to "finish some, re-do some, and probably keep a couple to myself."[31]

Compiled Tracklist

These songs were electronic and experimental in their original versions. Some were reworked or finished for other albums or projects, others remain unreleased. They are listed in order of appearance.

  1. Lost Whispers
  2. Perfect Dream (previewed on a Twitter video, unreleased)[32]
  3. You Got a Lot to Learn (unreleased)
  4. Made of Stone (reworked on Evanescence)
  5. Swimming Home (reworked on Evanescence)
  6. Secret Door (reworked on Evanescence)
  7. Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing (Chris Izaak's cover, released on Amy Lee's solo EP Recover, Vol. 1)[31]
  8. Take Cover (debuted live in 2016, reworked on The Bitter Truth)
  9. Hi-Lo (reworked on Synthesis)[24]
  10. Yeah Right (reworked on The Bitter Truth)[33]
  11. Feeding the Dark (reworked on The Bitter Truth)

In January 2010, Amy mentioned on a EvClub blog post that she pitched a unnamed song for a film's end title but that it would end up being on the new album.[34]

Note: Amy stated Your Love was the first song written for the album,[35] though it was written during her folk phase in 2008.[36]

Credits

Lineup

Additional musicians

  • Will B. Hunt - Programming, percussion
  • Chad Copelin - Keyboards, stomping on Perfect Dream[32]
  • Questlove - Drums on You Got a Lot to Learn[12]
  • David Campbell - Orchestral arrangements[8]

Technical

  • Steve Lillywhite - Producer
  • Will B. Hunt - Co-producer
  • Warren Riker - Co-producer
  • Derik Lee - Recording engineer[12]
  • Brandee Younger - Harp technician[37]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Evanescence is Back". February 26, 2010. ARTISTdirect.
  2. "Evanescence Interview". The Gauntlet. October 23, 2008.
  3. Goodman, William (October 17, 2008). "Evanescence's Amy Lee: 'It's Not All Sad'". Spin.
  4. "Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?". Evanescence.com. June 19, 2009. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009.
  5. Lee, Amy (October 1, 2009). "Questions questions everywhere and not a drop to speak". EvThreads.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 "Exclusive: Amy Lee on the New Evanescence Album". March 5, 2010. Spin.
  7. "Q&A: Amy Lee wanted to go it alone—but needed her band to bring the pain". November 2011. Music & Musicians.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 "Evanescence Go Electro As Lee Has “Fun With Music” on Next LP". March 2, 2010. Rolling Stone.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Evanescence Recording New Album, Plots Summer Tour". March 26, 2010. Billboard.
  10. Lee, Amy (March 14, 2010). "Some inspirations: unknown worlds, the ocean's abyss". Twitter.
  11. In September 2009, Tim posted a Twitter video in which the band were working on a demo song. Amy said she was singing no lyrics.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Steve Lillywhite's interview with Amy Lee (March 23, 2010)
  13. Lillywhite, Steve (January 3, 2014). "hmmm, i can't remember but it was a whole albums worth… maybe 12?". Twitter.
  14. Lee, Amy (March 19, 2010). "A very worthy first twitvid in my opinion.... ladies and gentlemen: Stompin' Steve". Twitter.
  15. Lee, Amy (March 10, 2010). "Fire at the studio! Were all ok, standing outside- Will ran back in and rescued the harddrive. :O". Twitter.
  16. "Punk Aristocrats Guru Warren Riker and Steve Lillywhite on the new Evanescence Record". Punk Aristocrats. March 27, 2010. Archived from the original on March 31, 2010.
  17. Weiss, David (May 21, 2010). "MSR Studios Hosts Kid Cudi, Evanescence, Lloyd Banks, + Cast Recordings". SonicScoop.
  18. "Amy's new blog post on EvClub" (in Spanish). Evanescencechile.co.cc. April 20, 2010.
  19. Lee, Amy (June 21, 2010). "What's up". EvThreads.
  20. "EVANFADEAD OF MAYHEM SOCIETY. ET CAETERA". Radiometal.com. October 5, 2010.
  21. Lee, Amy (February 26, 2011). "Update!". EvThreads.
  22. Lee, Amy (April 4, 2011). "2011". EvThreads.
  23. Goodman, William (April 13, 2011). "Amy Lee Talks Evanescence's Comeback LP". Spin.
  24. 24.0 24.1 "You're getting it in pieces, and there are a few good bits left to go. Made of Stone, Secret Door and Swimming Home were from the broken record, and they went on the Ev self titled album. Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing was from that project and you've heard that now too, in Recover. I have a few left to show you when the time is right... Hi-lo is still one of my favorites. Love Will! We are working on another project right now!"
  25. Music & Musicians (September/October 2011 issue)
  26. Graff, Gary (October 6, 2011). "Evanescence's Lee: Scrapped Material Could Resurface 'On Different Projects Someday'". Billboard.
  27. Del Valle, Luis (January 1, 2012). "Interview with Amy Lee: Evanescence is Back" (in Spanish). Chilango.
  28. "Entrevista Exclusiva Com Amy Lee" (in Portuguese). AmyLeeBrasil.com. September 5, 2012.
  29. "EVANESCENCE NOT WHAT AMY LEE WANTED?". November 4, 2011. YouTube.
  30. Baccigaluppi, John (2013). "Steve Lillywhite: U2, Peter Gabriel, XTC". Tape Op.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 "Watch Amy Lee Cover Chris Isaak's 'Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing'". December 15, 2015. Loudwire.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Evanescence in studio: Steve Lillywhite dancing Twitvid (March 19, 2010)
  33. Yeah Right was a song I started 10 years ago with our good friend Will B. Hunt (the other one! Synthesis/DTM etc). After our self titled album went in a different direction and this song was set aside, I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to give up on it.
  34. "I finished a song that I’m pitching for a film’s end title last night (don’t get too excited, I do this all the time and it never works, it will probably will just go on the album) and it feels amazing to be able to finally sit back and enjoy it, I’ve been stuck on it for months."
  35. Bercito, Diogo (October 19, 2009). "The music is darker than life" (in Portuguese). Folha de S.Paulo.
  36. EvanescenceVille reported the song was written around June 2008 when Amy performed it for the first time at the Songwriter Icon Award.
  37. Younger, Brandee (March 24, 2010). "@ MSR studios...tuning Amy's harp for Evanescene's session". Twitter.