Episode #233 – Jon Lord – Before I Forget

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Lead up to the Album:

  • Jon Lord, in an interview on the special edition of the album released in 1994, said that the album was composed of songs that had “been rattling around in the old head for 4 or 5 years, which accounts for this slightly jokey title.”
  • Jon says that four songs on the album were autobiographical “about specific instances,”, the other four were just about “just feelings that I’ve been wanting to put down on tape for some time.”
  • Vocals on the album were done by her and her daughter Samantha, who likes to be called Sam, which was a mere stripping lass of 15 or 16, I think, and has again a delightful voice just like her mum’s.  
  • Lord on doing an album with friends: “there’s a danger. You’re in there in that it could become a party rather than the serious business of getting down to something that you believe in onto tape. But they all know me well enough and respect me enough, I think, to to a do what I tell them to do and B know that it shouldn’t degenerate into a party. Although there’s a lovely little story about the track I did with Bad Company on here on this album. I did two with them in one night and the first one we got Down Perfect, which was the one on the album, and the second one was supposed to be this kind of really like heavy chugging song I’d written called Going Home, about something that happened to me when I was down out broke in London and Mum kept ringing me up and saying, Come home to Leicester, lad, you know, don’t live there in a big city and be broke and starving. And I fought against it, you know, Stay down here and stick up for what I believe in and all that rubbish. And I wrote this song about it and it was supposed to be real heavy. And well, by the time we got to that one, which was the second one, bad company had consumed a fair amount of various liquids. And instead of being junk, junk, junk, junk, it ended up ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, you know, sort of rather a rather jolly little ditty which didn’t fit the words at all.”


  • Engineer [Assistant], Mixed By – Mike Johnson*
  • Producer – Jon Lord
  • Producer [Assistant], Engineer, Mixed By – Guy Bidmead
    • Worked with Yes, Noel Redding, Automatic Man (Pat Thrall’s band), Trapeze, Elvis Costello.

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Recorded September 1981 and February 17 – March 4, 1982 at Britannia Row, London


Studio founded by Pink Floyd and NIck Mason later assumed full ownership.


Album Tracks:

Side One

  • Chance On A Feeling
    • Backing Vocals – Vicky Brown*
      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicki_Brown
      • Member of The Vernon Girls.
      • One of the UK’s most prolific backing vocalists.
      • Worked with Carly Simon, Nazareth, Manfred Mann, Murray Head, to name just a few.
      • Passed away in 1991.
    • Backing Vocals – Sam Brown
    • Bass – Neil Murray
    • Drums – Ian Paice
    • Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer [Mini Moog] – Jon Lord
    • Vocals, Guitar – Bernie Marsden
    • “Towards the end of Purple Deep variety, the the bass player was a gentleman called Glenn Hughes and he had a smashing girlfriend who I fancied something rotten mate, you know, and being a gentleman, I nicked her, didn’t I? Right from under his nose. And this is a kind of a very simple song about that rather complicated situation.”
    • Lord said they turned the guitar amp around, pointed it at the wall and leaned it back on some bricks to record the solo.
  • Tender Babes
    • Bass – Neil Murray
    • Drums – Cozy Powell
    • Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer [Mini Moog] – Jon Lord
    • “…it’s it’s based on a tune which was written about 400 years ago, which was called Tender Babes. And they think it was by a guy called Thomas Tallis, who was an English composer of, I think, the 16th century. But I could be wrong. It might be the 15th. I mean, who knows from that? Somebody will. But it’s it’s one of those good little early English tunes that to me cried out to be messed around with in my usual fashion. And all I could hear when I started routining it in my mind, as it were, at home, all I could hear was cozy. Who is the best thunderer in the business? Just thundering. So I decided to start with how it would have been played. I used a synthesizer to get the sound of recorders and lutes and so on, or lutes, which is kind of blown away by the drum intro. And then it comes back at the end, sort of disappearing into the mists of time as it would have sounded then. It’s a vaguely intellectual exercise, but only to me. I mean, it stands or falls on whether you like the way I play it.”
    • The song is all Minimoog with Polymoog doing the harpsichord sound being filtered.
    • Song is based on a 15th century tune by Thomas Tallis.
    • Hammond is being used with slow Leslie effects and is doubled by Minimoog.
  • Hollywood Rock And Roll
    • Backing Vocals – Sam Brown, Vicky Brown*
    • Bass – Boz Burrell
    • Drums – Simon Kirke
    • Guitar – Mick Ralphs
    • Lord, responding to the interviewer’s desire to get Bad Company back together: “they are such a fine band and I believe, you know, just unique as far as British bands go, they’re very, very different. But I love that band. I was thrilled to have them on that track and I thought they played it extremely well. Simon Kirke, great backbeat drummer, wonderful, lazy, easy feel, which is quite unusual in English drummers.”
    • “Hollywood Rock and Roll is my reasonably friendly comment on the first time I ever came up against American A&R men. You know – you bring them an album on which you’ve slaved over and loved for months and honed to perfection (you think) and the first thing they say is “Is there a single on it?” However, to get the effect I wanted I got Tony Ashton to sing. He’s not a ‘technically qualified’ singer, but he is good and his style has a sort of throwaway humour. I purposefully did not fade out the track so that at the end you can hear us really enjoying it and all laughing.”
    • Jon: “The track is really Bad Company minus the singer: Mick Ralphs, Simon Kirke, Boz Burrell, with Tony Ashton singing. The polyphonic brass sound comes from the Opus – I like the synthesizer to suggest traditional instruments. Tony Ashton does the vocals in a sort of spoken/singing style (the Germans call it sprechgesan). I don’t like fade outs and I managed to find a good stopping place in this one.” 
  • Bach Onto This

Side Two:

  • Before I Forget
    • Backing Vocals – Sam Brown, Vicky Brown*
    • Bass – Neil Murray
    • Drums – Ian Paice
    • Keyboards, Piano, Synthesizer [Polymoog, Mini Moog] – Jon Lord
    • “Yeah it’s about memory, you know, and about the I mean, it sounds awfully sued, to put it this way, but because actually I tried to say it in the music, but it’s really, it’s about memory and how it eludes you. Um, and it was originally going to be a song which I was hoping to get David to sing, but I couldn’t get the words right at all. I just couldn’t, you know, I’ve got a set of words which didn’t it didn’t work at all for me anyway. So I stuck with an instrumental and just let the ladies sing the title line.”
    • Lord said he used the Polymoog cello with the strings filter and the French horn sound from the minimoog. Also he used the flute with digital echo panning left adnr ight in the stereo field.
  • Say It’s All Right (Lord, Gantry)
    • Backing Vocals – Sam Brown
    • Bass – Neil Murray
    • Drums – Simon Phillips
    • Guitar – Mick Ralphs
    • Keyboards, Piano, Organ, Synthesizer [Polymoog] – Jon Lord
    • Vocals, Backing Vocals – Vicky Brown*
    • “It’s a song I wrote and got stuck halfway through with the words. So I asked a guy called Elmer Gantry to help me with the words who sings another track on the album?  Voice, nice gravelly, lived in sort of voice, but he helped me with the words on it, which is why he’s credited on the album for doing so. And it’s a lovely lady called Vicki Brown singing it, and she’s marvelous.  Just a thing that happened to me once when I wasn’t very sure of myself in respect of my good lady. And that’s all really a confirmation that everything was A-okay. Yes. Really quite amazing that there are so many singers like Vicki Brown and others whose names I can’t remember. Corrie Josiah’s was one who sang on the Rick Wakeman single. Just around. It’s you see, they they tend to live in that session Singer world, which is a dead end street. And there they are, sort of lovely ladies with delightful voices who are being kind of said, okay, love you just sing in the background here, you know? There must be occasions when they go into a studio and they could probably blow away the person they’re supposed to be backing, many times, I would think. I would love to see that particular lady, Vicki Brown, get herself a solo deal because she does have a really quite remarkable voice. The only problem she has is she’s married to Joe Brown. Didn’t mean it, Joe. No, A great, great lady. Smashing voice.”
    • “. . . which is actually a chord sequence that I borrowed from Mr. [Edvard] Grieg. It is the way he puts two or three chords together which I liked, so I gently borrowed it.”
    • Lord said he was trying to get Vicki Brown a record deal.
  • Burntwood
    • Bass – Neil Murray
      • Murray plays an Aria fretless bass.
    • Keyboards, Piano, Synthesizer [Polymoog, Mini Moog] – Jon Lord
    • “This is it’s where I live. In actual fact, it’s the name of the house I live in, and it’s surrounded by trees. And when the wind blows, it makes a lovely noise. And it’s a very romantic place to live in. So it’s a fairly romantic piece of music. 
    • Interviewer compared it to Vangelis and “Chariots of Fire.”  Lord said he wrote it before “Chariots of Fire” and it was based on where he lived and attempted to evoke the English countryside.  The beginning is white noise emulating the wind followed by the horn call, all done on a Minimoog.
    • People at EMI told Jon that they wished they’d had a film to put this on.
  • Where Are You?
    • Keyboards, Piano, Synthesizer [Polymoog, Moog Source] – Jon Lord
    • Vocals – Elmer Gantry
      • Real name was David Terry
      • Performed with Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera
      • Was in a bogus Fleetwood Mac that toured the US in 1974. He said Mick Fleetwood was going to tour with them, something Fleetwood denied.
      • Worked with Cozy Powell and Alan Parsons Project
    • “This is a track I’ve actually played one track already from the album, which we played last night, and this is a superb song called Where Are You? And this was, I believe, a period when you were feeling less, less than wonderful in yourself and a little homesick for dear old Blighty. That’s how it started. I was snowed in in Philadelphia, of all places, in a couple of gigs being canceled. I was well fed up, and I had this little porter keyboard in my room, you know, and a pair of headphones, and I could sort of wallow away in my misery. And I came up with this chord sequence and a rough idea for a song which eventually became this song. It’s a homesick song. It’s a song about a lady. And I had to get someone with a lived in voice to sing it, because if I’d got someone with one of those awfully slick voices to sing it, it would have been a bit too cabaret because it’s, you know, it’s a it’s a fairly kind of sophisticated chord sequence. ET cetera. ET cetera. So I wanted someone to gravel it up, and I got Elmer Gantry to sing it for me. And I think he’s done a wonderful job and I’m thrilled with the song. “
    • Interviewer commented that it had a “Debussy type ending.”
      • “Well, again, he is a composer that i used to play quite a bit when I was a kid. Of course, you can listen to Chick Corea and hear Debussy and Ravel floating around – all those French impressionist ideas have had a lot of influence on modern jazz.”
    • Elmer Gantry wrote the lyrics.
    • Whistle effect is by Micromoog rarely used by Lord.
    • Backward piano was used to get into the Fugue.

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Bustin’ Out The Spreadsheet

Reception and Charts:

  • When asked what his next step would be Lord said: “to I’m going to make another album in a year’s time or whatever. Um, I might make one the year after that as well.  
  • His next solo album didn’t come until 1998’s “Pictured Within.”
  • Jon Lord said this was the first solo album he ever made without an orchestra.


  • Stargazer, Issue 26 – November 1982
    • “‘Chance On A Feeling’ is a lovely song, all about Jon stealing Glenn’s girlfriend during Mk 4 Purple days. ‘Bach Onto This’ is what Jon refers to as a piece of eight minute madness -the old Hammond swirling and letting rip. Great Stuff. ‘Before I Forget’ is the best track off the album, and one of the best things any member of Purple has ever done I think. ‘Say It’s Alright’ sounds like a combination of every Radio 2 ballad I’ve ever heard. ‘Burntwood’ is very like Aria off Sarabande. Overall a good album, with some lovely piano on the last track to finish with, and very Ashton like vocals from Elmer Gantry”. Richard Poustie.
    • Additionally there were rumors in this issue again about the Deep Purple reunion on the horizon.
  • Howard Johnson review (from Kerrang?)

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