Album Portfolio


Woolly Wolstenholme - Black Box Recovered

Black Box Recovered CD cover

CD: Eclectic ECLCD 1007, February 16th, 2004


Deceivers All (different mix) (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Has To Be A Reason (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Down The Line (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
All Get Burned (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Too Much, Too Loud, Too Late (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Even The Night (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
The Will To Fly (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Sunday Bells (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Open (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Why Remain (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Sail Away - Demo (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
A Prospect Of Whitby - Demo (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Patriots - demo (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Quiet Islands - demo (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
American Excess - live (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)
Lives On The Line - Live
Deceivers All - live
Bootham Park Elegy (Stuart J. Wolstenholme)



Background

When the idea of the original Songs From The Black Box CD was first conceived, we had several motives for getting the CD released - most important was to enable the unreleased gems from the 1982 Black Box sessions to be heard for the first time, plus there was the chance to remaster the original Mæstoso album, whose first transfer to CD left a bit to be desired. Less obviously, the project was a good way for Woolly to get involved in his music again without the need to be creative.

Ten years on, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge, and yet the parallels are striking: whilst Mæstoso is still available on CD, Songs From The Black Box has been deleted for some time, and the demand has built up for the 1982 material to be released once more. Perhaps more importantly this time, Woolly suffered a bout of illness at a time when he really needed to be active musically. Compiling this CD represented a small step on the road to recovery, drawing a line under his eighties output whilst simultaneously pointing the way to a creative rebirth in the 21st century. Today we're looking forward to Woolly's first all-new studio album in 23 years - a little tardy, perhaps, but most definitely worth waiting for.

The recordings which make up this collection have had a varied history. Some first appeared on a fan club-only cassette called Too Late, a project undertaken with more enthusiasm than expertise, others lay undisturbed in cardboard boxes in a barn for years, whilst a live cassette discovered by our good friend Marco de Niet captured another facet of Woolly's musical output. Together they represent an intriguing insight into an original and unique talent.

Without further ado, we'll hand you over to the man himself for his summation of the fascinating miscellany which is Black Box Recovered.

Keith & Monika Domone, October 2003

Here it is, then, an eclectic mix of the süß-sauer, songs from the bottom of the wardrobe, a pot-pourri of monitor mixes, home demos and bootleg live recordings from the Mæstoso years. Ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous ("Lives On The Line" live!) included is all the non-Mæstoso album material from the Songs From The Black Box CD, together with demos for the Mæstoso set and a selection from "Wiener Schnitzel", Mæstoso live in Wien. If my memory serves me right, sessions at Strawberry 1 Studios produced "Down The Line" and "Even The Night". "Deceivers All", "Too Much, Too Loud, Too Late" and "Has To Be A Reason" came from across the road at Strawberry 2 (still in Stockport). These are almost finished masters but there are some things that were not recorded at the time, so they remain as monitor mixes. Personnel on all of these is myself, Kim Turner (drums), Steve Broomhead (lead guitar) and Terry Grady (bass). The next four tunes are songs then in preparation, but never studio recorded. My original "mock ups" (a mishprint, shurely?) for "Sail Away", "Patriots", "Quiet Islands" and "A Prospect Of Whitby" appear here for the first time, and closely pre-empt the final album takes, sans drums.

Next up, three songs from the live set in Vienna, thankfully bootlegged on a handheld cassette machine. They give a good (if gritty!) insight into the shenanigans going on on the two nights we played there. Finally, as a closer, there's a new song for 2003, "Bootham Park Elegy", from my current writing splurge in a London bedroom (I must thank Colin Hesketh for his generous loan of the Kurzweil micro ensemble used on this track).

In the words of the great Justin Timberlake, "That's it"!

Woolly Wolstenholme, October 2003


Deceivers All

Lyrics:

Lying in some deep and dusty corner,
A sleeping giant in the dark
In the still and airless corridors of night.
Hiding in cobwebs slowly forming,
Until you bring us, shy and blinking
Into your grey unfriendly light.

Deceivers all, you told us lies
With every word, with every sigh.
Deceivers all, you told us lies
With every word, with every sigh.

Inside every child there is a window
It gazes out upon a world
Full of promises of things that are to come
And in the man, another window:
it's closed and shuttered on a world
Full of promises still left undone.

Deceivers all. you told us lies
With every word, with every sigh.
Deceivers all, you told us lies
With every word, with every sigh.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1981 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



Has To Be A Reason

Lyrics:

Another sleepless night for me,
Not knowing now what I should be,
But I will be back again,
Though I can't say how or when.

Another sleepless, starless night
And I'm lying here trying to make things right.
If I'd gone another way,
Would I be crazier today?

There has to be a reason for it all
Has to be somebody who can take the strain,
Has to be a number I can call,
Has to be somebody who can ease the pain.

Another night, another town
And I'm looking up what's going down,
Content to spend my time
Drowning in your wine,

But it's another night and another place
And I'm pleased enough to know one face.
If it's lonely at the top,
I say it's harder when you drop.

There has to be a reason for it all,
Has to be somebody who can take the strain.
Has to be a number I can call.
Has to be somebody who can ease the pain.

There has to be a reason...

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1981 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



Down The Line

Lyrics:

Wake up on the fault line.
It's no good lying in the sunshine.
You know it's just a short time
Before you're down, down, down the line.

Don't hide in the headphones
You should be hanging on the red 'phone.
There's nothing but the dead tone
Coming down, down, down the line.

I think I'm safer here.
Can't be the flying I fear;
Must be the rumblings I hear.

Slow down in the rat race.
No need to run a fast pace.
Won't get you out of last place
When you're down, down, down the line.

I think I'm safer here.
Can't be the flying I fear;
Must be the rumblings I hear.

Wake up on the fault line.
It's no good lying in the sunshine.
You know it's just a short time
Before you're down, down, down the line;
Before you're down, down, down the line.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1981 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



All Get Burned

Lyrics:

Seems to me the sky is bluer than ever.
A rainbow's shining through the haze.
I can see this summer staying together;
Good luck must surely find a way.

Try and get along with each other;
This is the lesson we should learn.
Still we turn our tails and run for cover.
Sometimes I think we'll all get burned.

Birds are resting on the edge of the water.
They stretch their wings out in the sun.
Soon they take their leave and fly from the winter;
They have their freedom, every one.

Try and get along with each other;
This is the lesson we should learn.
Still we turn our tails and run for cover.
Sometimes I think we'll all get burned.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



Too Much, Too Loud, Too Late

Lyrics:

We took a wrong turn on the highway of life.
The cut was cleaner than a surgeon's knife.
Don't waste your energy, don't try to shout.
No-one will come along and dig you out.

Guitars are wailing in another room
Some four-note solo coming through the gloom.
It sounds indifferent and not too clear.
You'd be indifferent if you were here.
You make it all so serious. (It's not a sacrificial rite).
It's not a bit mysterious. (It's just the artificial light).
It's too much, it's too loud, it's too late.

They say there's daylight at the other side.
There are no windows you can open wide.
This kind of treatment makes a grown man squeal.
I say the Pharaohs had a better deal.
My nose is bleeding and my legs like lead.
We've come to look just like the walking dead.
It sounds indifferent and not too clear.
You'd be indifferent if you were here.

You make it all so serious. (it's not a sacrificial rite).
It's not a bit mysterious. (it's just the artificial light).
It's too much. it's too loud, it's too late.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1981 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



Even The Night

Lyrics:

We've said it all, there's nothing worth saying.
It's hard telling truth from the lies.
We played the game, but the dice just weren't shaking.
Like a spark going out in your eyes,
It's not a man nor a beast but it dies
And it looks like our water's run dry.

Yet even the night is brighter than most.
Even the stars look fine
And even if we have to give up the ghost.
I think tonight will shine.

I take the blame. It was all my idea,
Suggesting we meet one more time
And pouring out words and boring each other
In our final performance tonight.
Perhaps I'm not saying it right.
It must be something they put in the wine.

Even the night is brighter than most.
Even the stars look fine
And even if we have to give up the ghost,
I think tonight will shine and shine and shine ...

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1981 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



The Will To Fly (Sport ohne Mord)

Lyrics:

Old loves lie bleeding. Will it ever end?
The birds die screaming, "Once you were our friend."
How come there's pleasure found in so much pain?
They can lay you low. but you'll always fly again.

It seems they've lost the will to fly.
I wonder if they ever try.
They think they've reached the very top.
There are no mountains left to climb.
I think they've lost the will to fly.

They took your theme of flight and made it ring.
Now there's another song they choose to sing.
Warm bodies lying on the bloody ground.
They'll shoot you up, but they'll never shoot you down.

It seems they've lost the will to fly.
I wonder if they ever try.
They think they've reached the very top,
There are no mountains left to climb.
I think they've lost the will to fly.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1981 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



Sunday Bells

Lyrics:

Why did they build it quite so high?
The climbing ruins all the fun
And silhouettes against the sky,
Alphin and Alderman look on
And on a clear day you can hear them ringing
The Sunday bells.

We huddle close for winter cheer
And read names from the list of men,
Who in their time must have been here
And was it any different then?
On such a morning they could hear them ringing
The Sunday bells.

Our morning's reverie is done.
The downward footpath guides our feet
To where our pilgrimage began
Upon the wet and empty street,
Reflecting where we stood and heard them ringing
The Sunday bells.

On such a morning you can hear them ringing
The Sunday bells.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1981 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



Open

Lyrics:

Open. Clear as the night.
Raised in our sight.
Continued. Begun.
As warm as the sun.
Open, inwardly be.
Open our eyes so that we might see.

Open. Bright as the day.
Gracious. Obey.
The hardest is done.
Committed as one.
Open, inwardly be.
Open our eyes so that we might see.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1981 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



Why Remain

Lyrics:

We seldom get around
As though we're living underground
Our windows shuttered and the blinds well down
We never circulate
We spend our time in contemplating
Why the world continues to go round

With all the bad things
Why remain?
With all the sadness and the pain

We grow things in the yard
It's easier if you discard
Material possessions like the set
The TV is a bore
We've seen the programmes all before
Why bother to repeat them when you get

All the bad things
Why remain?
With all the sadness and the pain

With all the sad things
Why remain?
With all the sadness and the pain

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1981 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



Sail Away

Lyrics:

"You must be joking," I hear you say.
"It can't be over and done."
I know the game but I don't want to play.
I've got my reasons to run.

Sail away. Sail away.
Sail away. Sail away.

If I get washed up upon some beach,
It's not for doing what I didn't preach.
No, I'm not saying I was always right,
But I had to sail away.

The wind is changing, it's turning cold.
It's blowing good for no-one.
Please don't believe all the tales you're told.
They'll never tell what goes on.

Sail away. Sail away.
Sail away. Sail away.

If I get thrown up upon some reef,
It's not for doing what was my belief.
No, I'm not saying I was always right,
But I had to sail away.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



A Prospect Of Whitby

Lyrics:

We stood alone on the empty beach.
We felt the spray on our open face.
The ocean line was within our reach.
Leaving our lives on the rocky ledge,
We came to stand at the water's edge.

We saw the lamps on the higher ground
Like pools of moonshine in evergreen.
We didn't say much above the sound;
Hearing was harder against the wind.
We stood in awe as the sea came in.

The sea wall faltered and lost its place.
Like broken diamonds the waves washed in.
They stole the shore from the shore itself;
The ground was moving beneath our feet.
We broke for home and our safe retreat.
We broke no rules, we were not the thief.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.




Patriots

Lyrics:

In the news it said the waters will subside.
We saw the pages full of faces with no names.
In a doorway, see the remnants of an age,
Their ragged souls tired out of playing in our games.
Wrong or right,
In black and white,
We see their plight.

We who stand and wait still serve,
On us you can rely.
We are the blind, we are the dumb,
And in our hundreds we will come.
Though we'll never say a word,
Like patriots we'll die.

Bless the hero in his death so glorious
And those who honoured him and took him to his grave.
Yet there is no glory road that's long enough
To take the millions, unknown to us, unsaved.
Wrong or right.
In black and white,
We see their flight.

We who stand and wait still serve.
On us you can rely.
We are the blind, we are the dumb,
And in our hundreds we will come.
Though we'll never say a word,
Like patriots we'll die.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



Quiet Islands

Lyrics:

Dark nights on quiet islands;
Tread soft, don't wake the sleeping.
Silent, the quiet islands.
Slumber beneath the still,
The still and jewelled sky.

Disturb us if you dare;
We will not sleep again.
Disturb us if you dare;
We will not sleep again.

Bird sounds on quiet islands,
Warning of our intrusion.
Dream on, you quiet islands.
Morning will find you woken,
Broken where you lie.

Disturb us if you dare;
We will not sleep again.
Disturb us if you dare;
We will not sleep again.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.



American Excess

Lyrics:

Somebody told me that our lives would never change;
In a one-horse occupation we'd be riding out the range
For two years at the most, or 'til we ran right off the coast
And the world looked on in envy as they watched our bodies roast.

American Excess can't buy you peace.

On the seventh day of landing I was shaking at the knees
In some motel/hotel/no-tell where you do just what you please,
So I put my hands together and I prayed that it would stop,
But he looked just like a hangman getting ready for the drop.

American Excess can't buy you peace.
American Excess can't buy you peace.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.




Lives On The Line

Lyrics:

Do you think? We can make the grade.
Do you feel?It would be all right.
Do you know?If the change is made.
Could you sleep?Every night.
We're laying lives on the line.
We're laying lives on the line.
Do you see?It's the closing phase.
Do you care?For the other side.
Do you believe?Now we've got the raise.
Could you share?In their suicide.
We're laying lives on the line.
We're laying lives on the line.

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 1979 EMI Music Publishing Ltd.




Bootham Park Elegy

Lyrics:

In Bootham Park it's another day
Out on the grass people lie in the shade
The telephone rings a mile away
But there's no haste, no plans to be laid

And here we stay
The faceless and the placeless ones
And who would say whatever way
The shadow comes

In Bootham Park it's another day
Out on the grass people lie in the shade
A telephone rings a mile away
But there's no haste, no plans to be late

And here we stay
The blameless and the nameless ones
And who would say whatever way
The shadow comes

In Bootham Park it's another day ...

Stuart J. Wolstenholme
© 2004 Eclectic Publishing

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