Heaven and Earth Singled Out Week: A Day Like Today

07/17/2013
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Heaven and Earth recently released their new studio album, "Dig" and celebrate we are asking the band's guitarist and founder Stuart Smith to tell us about some of his favorite tracks. Today he tells us about the song "A Day Like Today":

This is a song that I had the idea for quite a while ago and was written by Kelly Keeling, Howard Leese and myself. It was originally intended for what would have been the follow up Heaven & Earth album to "Windows to the World" and came from me messing around with a movement from Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto", more of a finger exercise in fact. Howard Leese and I felt we could make something interesting out of it so we took the classical piece in question, reduced it to the root base notes, replaced them with chords and came up with the song. We wait till the end of the first verse to give a hint of where it came from then give it away when we hit the guitar solo.

I gave Kelly Keeling the title and he came up with the lyrics. The original plan I had was to call it "A Day Like Today" about the time in World War One, and I believe it happened in WW2 as well, where the British and German soldiers, on Christmas Day, would stop fighting, get out of their trenches and exchange cigarettes and food, then go back to killing each other the next day. The idea was that you can kill anyone you like but not on a day like today. The way Kelly wrote it really didn't have anything to do with that but I liked it as I felt it perfectly described the feeling of falling in love.

This song was the only one we actually recorded in stages. Arlan Schierbaum played piano to a click track with Richie Onori drumming and Joe Retta singing a scratch vocal track. Then Chuck Wright added the bass. This was all done at Ocean Studios. We then took those tracks to our own Wine Cellar Studios where Joe sang the final vocal and Howard Leese and I played an acoustic rhythm track together. Howard then added the strings and I finished off by playing an acoustic solo on my Breedlove guitar and the final one on a Gibson Les Paul. Howard used a Paul Reed Smith acoustic guitar and I also used a Telecaster for rhythm in the choruses.

I always like to mix it up on Heaven & Earth albums and this one is no exception. I used to love it back in the 70's when bands would put all sorts of different styles of music on a single album and I try use that same philosophy today. I feel that diversity is sorely lacking from today's music. This song being in 6/8 waltz time is the only classical piece on "Dig".

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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