Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ferron Backed Up 1978 album mp3 rip


"Backed Up"
by Ferron
1978 Lucy Records

The rare, out of print sophomore recording of one of the great Canadian singer/songwriters. I've written about Ferron's origins in an earlier post, so I won't cover that ground again. This album was recorded only a year after her debut album, and shows her continuing development as a writer and musician. I've read that, like her first, this was also recorded on a four-track in a TV studio, and only one thousand copies were pressed. It was self-released on her own Lucy Records.

Some of the songs might be familiar, as they appear on later records. Several appeared on Testimony, which was her third album and first major release. "Light of My Light" appears later, in her live concert album "Not A Still Life."

Ferron sounds more mature and confident on this album, in which she has backing musicians for the first time. I don't actually own the physical record, so I don't know who they are. But they add some punch to her otherwise sparse arrangements, with some very emotive strings, some percussion, and lead guitar. I've heard that she was never very happy with the results, and found them amateurish, but this is probably my favorite album of hers, with the possible exception of Not A Still Life. In particular, "Light of My Light" is a favorite. In this early version of the song, it's a bit jauntier than on the later, more introspective version, but the charisma of this strange, beautiful song shines through. It was the first song of hers that I ever heard, years ago. Wanda Fischer played it on WAMC one dark, cold winter night. I remember driving along a winding, icy road from Burnt Hills when the song came on, and a full moon shone through the blackness. It's haunted me ever since.

The rip I have is pretty good, with some minor pops and crackle. I removed the biggest pops, ran a limiter to boost the recording levels (the rip was on the soft side) and made a pass with a light hiss remover, to take away the distracting record noise. It's hard to say how the record is supposed to actually sound, since the only reference is an old piece of vinyl. I found that if I tried to clean up the signal too much it cut away some of the life in her vocals, which all sound a bit distant. The frequencies of her voice that have been recorded are a pretty narrow band, and I'm not sure why. I decided that leaving some of the hiss and crackle would be less distracting than trying to take it all out and losing brightness in her voice. The result is better than my attempt at her first record, in part because the rip and, I suspect, the vinyl source, is better.

Clicking on the link below will take you to sharebee, where you can select a link from three different file hosting services to download the album. I hope you enjoy it, and please check out Ferron's other music on her web site. She has had some health trouble recently, but her new album is fantastic and so is the rest of her work.

1. Boom Boom
2. The Kids Song
3. Dear Marly
4. Willow Tree
5. White Wing Mercy
6. Light of My Light
7. Soggy Dream
8. I Come to Your Window
9. Call Me Friend
10. Misty Mountain
11. Testimony