Released in the Summer of 1999,"who i was" is an ultra-retro romp of nine big artsy over-the-top rocking songs. Stylistically different from both from "godless"and Elegies, "who i was" revels in high, soaring, harmony-laden vocals, searing electric guitar and synth solos, huge drumming, and classic progressive rock production. Lofty, idealistic lyrics are reminiscent of rock's early FM, non-commercial days. Chronicling a series of recording sessions that took place over the years to capture Robert's most ambitious rock creations, "who i was" also features the talents of synth wizard Keith Daniell, wunderkind drummer Joey Readon and virtuoso sound engineer Peter Hodgson. Part retrospective, part anthology-it is, more than anything else,the sound of kindred spirits having a whole lotta fun in the studio.
Robert Urban Joey Reardon
Keith Daniell Steve Sullivan
EVERYONE WANTS THE FIRE(4:41) - a joyous release of much pent-up anger and frustration. In retrospect, also a heartfelt anthem to personal & artistic freedom. I was, at the time, furious with my do-nothing mangement, and was seeking a way out of my contract. I persuaded them to come to one of my live shows and publicly dedicated the song to them from the stage. I'll never forget the look on their faces afterwards. Mission accomplished. We parted ways shortly thereafter. Originally called THE MANAGEMENT SONG. Built from Keith's own catchy synth-hooks. And whose speaking voice is that over the 2nd intro?
ADVENTURES(6:15) - A coming out song wherein the personal process is viewed as some kind of heroic (if not homeric)quest. Also based on Keith's original synth patterns. That's Joey sharing the lead vocals with me.
- I'LL LET YOU KNOW(5:34)-A celebration of fatalism-a love/death paean to individualism-and a dream of self-destruction. Bassist Steve Sullivan showed up one day at rehearsal playing the basic riff - we jammed on it - and that night I wrote the song. That's Keith on the central keyboard solo. This is the original recording of this song. A later and entirely different recording of it also appears on my 1996 "godless" CD.
THE DANCE OF SHIVA(4:04)-Percussionist Marty Quinn had shown me a method of composing music based on what I call "canonic rhythms". It creates a kind of "eternal recurrance" of motion - very sequencer-like - so I conjured up a vision of an exotic temple-dancer's endlessly intriguing movements-as with the legendary dance of Shiva.
- WAITING FOR ROME TO FALL(5:04)-My take on the way of the world. Thermonuclear detonation courtesy of Peter Hodgson.
THE TIME OF OUR LIVES(3:43) - A song to mark the loss of innocence...and the passing of youth. Not just for myself...not just for my own generation, but for all of human history as well. Lone live cymbal crash courtesy of Peter Hodgson.
- NIGHT IN KAMPALA(and what transpired there...)(6:07)-Having gotten my hands on a vintage mini-moog and an old Roland 707 drum machine, I laid down some tribal patterns-then Keith and I just went nuts with synth and guitar overdubs. Mocking-Bird, thunderstorm, wildcat, monkeys, whales and woodpecker courtesy of Peter Hodgson.
I CLOSE MY EYES(5:35)-A cynical song about rock-stardom and/or the "me generation". Also the only surviving cut from my first solo recording project. Those early vocals still make me cringe-but hey, it's who I was. What really makes the tune are the great live performances by drummer Marty Quinn and bassist Richard Musk.
- I DON'T CARE(7:21)-Another coming out song? Perhaps a "coming of age" song - Nietzchean in spirit and Wagnerian in size. Again, the irrepressible seventeen year old Joey contributes mightily to the vocals.
Return to Homepage Order CD Now