Soul Parish Lost Tracks: Mercy EP

by Nicholas Chase aka Soul Parish

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    Includes 4 BONUS tracks previously only available on cassette!
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1.
Tears that run like wine never fell when you were mine Tears that’s all and time please don’t leave me crying Mercy mercy Don’t leave me crying Mercy mercy Mercy mercy Don’t leave me crying Page to page each phrase seems to linger without place each hour I burn now you’ve got to show some Mercy mercy Mercy mercy you’ve got to show some Mercy mercy don’t leave me crying BREAK Tears that run like wine never fell when you were mine Tears that’s all all no time please don’t leave me crying Mercy mercy don’t leave me crying Mercy mercy you’ve got to show some Mercy mercy
2.
Love won’t last forever Just you take your time If we do things my way We’ll pick up lost time Don’t look on in anger Aren’t we tempting fate? I can’t wait forever And it’s getting late Better than this Anything’s better than this... I can’t wait forever Just make up your mind I can do things your way But you’re flying blind Wise up Get it straight There’s no time to hesitate This thing Can’t you see Is propelled by gravity Better than this Anything’s better than this BREAK Love won’t last forever Just you take your time If we do things your way We’ll be flying blind Watch the ships weigh anchor Drifting out to sea Outtakes from old movies It all makes sense to me Better than this Anything’s better than this... Wise up get it straight There’s no time to hesitate This thing can’t you see Is propelled by gravity Better than this Anything’s better than this... Love won’t last forever
3.
4.
Tears that run like wine never fell when you were mine Tears that’s all and time please don’t leave me crying Mercy mercy Don’t leave me crying Mercy mercy Mercy mercy Don’t leave me crying Page to page each phrase seems to linger without place each hour I burn now you’ve got to show some Mercy mercy Mercy mercy you’ve got to show some Mercy mercy don’t leave me crying BREAK Tears that run like wine never fell when you were mine Tears that’s all all no time please don’t leave me crying Mercy mercy don’t leave me crying Mercy mercy you’ve got to show some Mercy mercy

about

Mercy 12" (1986)
A: Mercy (Long Version)
B1: Better Than This
B2 Carousel
B3: Mercy (7" Edit)

PLUS BONUS TRACKS
Better Than This (Original Studio Demo)
Carousel (Original Instrumental)
Mercy (Original Instrumental)
Mercy (Instrumental Dub)

When I was 19 I made up a band. I got my first synth and booked a recording studio one month out. I'd been noodling with songwriting since high school, but the synth made songwriting come alive. I had a stack of songs sketched, a notebook filled with lyrics, but when my CZ5000—a pro Casio with a built in sequencer—arrived from Beirut (smuggled across the border), I started from scratch, writing and arranging at the same time, kicking out songs as fast as I could. The Casio was a new instrument in the field of synths, and didn't have a lot of cred yet, but it was being used by Thompson Twins and Depeche Mode already.

My songwriting routine was grueling: there were scheduled power outages in Damascus, Syria, where I was visiting my family, so I couldn't write during the day. Power overloads blacked out the city randomly after sunset, so I wrote in between, mostly in 6-10 hour shifts as long as there was consistent power. Then I went to bed around dawn.

"Better Than This" is the only song in this collection that was recorded at my first studio session in a very simple studio in Damascus. I wrote "Mercy" on the plane back to the US from Syria. For a long time, the only recording of the original arrangement was instrumental. I experimented with the arrangement and put vocals to alternate versions, but I never had the kit to record the vocal overdubs and multi-layered synths "Mercy" demanded, so it remained obscure until now.

Here, the 12"version realizes the original concept of the song—an album version if you will. The 7"is a new "rethink," omitting the a capella verse, and adding an extra synth sequence to keep it radio-friendly.

"Better Than This" is the 3rd song I ever wrote. It showed distinct sophistication and complexity, if not maturity, over "Radio" and "Electric Blue" which were written just a few days before. "Mercy" was written barely a month later—with a healthy list of songs in between.

I wrote "Carousel" a year later as an experiment, and recorded a crude instrumental of it in a friend's bedroom in Seattle. It's another cut that never got a vocal demo.

All of these songs had lyric sheets and sketches, tucked tidily into folders and stored side-by-side on my shelves with the notes for my chamber music scores. Many of the melodies and vocal arrangements have lived in my memory, fresh as the day I wrote the song. The fun part of realizing these songs in their original style is discovering where I left room for improvising—a space to flesh out the song idea into an arrangement, and into a recorded performance. That was the spirit of the music I was listening to in the 80s. The cool stuff wasn't planned, but was the result of many hours of experimenting on tape. Those things were out of my reach—though it's true, I sat at the table with record execs at major labels in London and LA, and negotiated a hard deal. I have it on good authority that one A&R rep in LA liked to play my demos in his car. At one point CBS records wanted to buy my songs—all of them.

I'll leave this part of the Soul Parish story here. There's more to come.

credits

released February 28, 2020

Lyrics and Music, Nicholas Chase, all rights reserved.
Produced and performed by Nicholas Chase aka Soul Parish.

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Nicholas Chase

Nicholas Chase blasts the boundaries of genre. The LA Times describes his music as "The Rite of Spring meets Metallica!" and his whiplash-blend of musical styles has been showcased by Kalvos & Damien and Other Minds radio, featured on KMHT Television in New York, on Salve Television, Germany and has been noted by Strad and Double Bassist magazines, and American Record Guide to name a few. ... more

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