SESSIONS & SONGS
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explanations, keys and abbreviations
192. I NEED TO LIVE ALONE AGAIN (JANIS IAN II; TITLE SONG FOR FILM "BETRAYAL"): Original handwritten onion-skin piano sketch along with 10 charts including Janis' own annotated chart; summer 1977. With CD of Janis Ian II. That same summer I rented a house in Connecticut to spend some "quality time" with my lover, said lover told me she needed some "space". It took me the next 15 years to figure out what that means. Now, when I hear those words, I'm out the door first, before I can embarrass myself by crawling.
193. I NEED TO LIVE ALONE AGAIN (JANIS IAN II; TITLE SONG FOR FILM "BETRAYAL"): Original handwritten lead sheet, along with Xerox for songbook with lots of notes & corrections; 1977. With CD of Janis Ian II. This film was shown to me in "rough cut", meaning sounds like footsteps hadn't been added and the final editing was a long time off. Nevertheless, I thought it was a wonderful film, and enjoyed writing the songs for it.
194. I REMEMBER YESTERDAY (RESTLESS EYES): Janis' original 4 page session chart with "SHUT UP!" written to herself in red ink, lots of annotation, along with the original 3 page arrangement sketch; 1980. A lovely set. With vinyl album of Restless Eyes.I had been listening to a lot of The Police at that time, and wanted very badly to get the feel of their drum kit. Almost made it...
195. I WOULD LIKE TO DANCE (AFTERTONES): Original handwritten 3 page lead sheet and heavily annotated copy of lyric, along with Janis' key session chart, also annotated, and 4 handwritten horn parts as well as 3 other session charts; 1975. With out-of-print Aftertones songbook. When I was 22 years old and out of work, just having finished the Stars album, I had to move back in with my mom. She had an apartment in a Hispanic neighborhood on West 85 Street in NYC, and Celia Cruz and salsa music were all I heard for a year; this arrangement came out of that.
196. IN THE WINTER (BETWEEN THE LINES): Original handwritten final lyric draft; 1973. With vinyl record of Between the Lines. I began this song in 1971 while still living in Los Angeles. I had a cheap rented upright piano that wasn't much good for anything but banging (hence the right-hand piano part, staccato quarter-notes). It was winter at the time, unseasonably cold for LA, and of course I had no heat in my apartment. The song grew out of my loneliness and frozen feet.
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197. IN THE WINTER (BETWEEN THE LINES): Three original 2 page handwritten orchestral charts along with 5 pages of annotated songbook corrections; 1974. With Between the Lines CD; sold as a lot. I wanted to be the first to record this, but when Dusty Springfield asked for it I just couldn't say no. When her version came out, complete with huge string section, I wanted to do something completely different, so I began working on the orchestrations myself.
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198. IN THE WINTER (BETWEEN THE LINES): Five handwritten original onionskin orchestral parts, along with 4 session charts including Janis' own annotated copy; 1974. With Between the Lines CD; sold as a lot. One of my favorite songs & orchestrations; the first time I felt I'd "gotten it right". Heavily influenced by "Eleanor Rigby" and the luxury of working with real strings.
199. JANEY'S BLUES (JANIS IAN): Original onion-skin lead sheet for copyright purposes, with Janis' corrections & her name spelled incorrectly; 1965-1966. With vinyl album of Janis Ian. This was the third song I ever recorded, when I was around 15 years old; they wouldn't let me write the lead sheet that had to be sent in to the copyright office because the publisher was afraid I'd get it wrong. After I finished correcting it, they let me start doing my own lead sheets....
200. JESSE (STARS): Janis' original chart, along with handwritten double-bass part for Richard Davis with annotated corrections; 1973. With vinyl record of Stars. This song had been recorded by Roberta Flack, but the release date was delayed several times; by the time her version was going up the charts, I was in the midst of recording it. It was important that we not resemble her arrangement in any way, so I decided to place emphasis on the double-bass & cellos.
201. JESSE (STARS): Typed session lyric, annotated in red; 1973. With vinyl record of Stars. I had a lot of trouble singing in those days, because I had very little idea of how to work a microphone in the studio - it just never came out sounding like I'd heard it in my head. And we didn't have the luxury of 24 or 48 tracks to put together a vocal like singers do now! The entire thing had to be done on one track. Fortunately for me, I'd been singing the song live for a few years and was comfortable with it.
202. LAST TIME (TITLE SONG FOR THE FILM "FOUR RODE OUT"): Handwritten final draft, several cross-outs and rewrite of bridge, on large sheet of ruled 3-hole paper; 1968. I got a request to score an entire film in 1967, when I was just 16. I turned it down initially because I'd never done one before (I also turned down "The Graduate" when it was offered to me - hey, nobody said I was smart!), but then they said I'd "have" to go to Spain for four weeks to work on it. I'd never been out of the United States, so I jumped at the chance.
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203. LET ME BE LONELY (MIRACLE ROW): Typed annotated session lyric along with 6 charts including Janis' (annotated in red) and her handwritten guitar parts; 1976. With Miracle Row CD. These are interesting to me because I'd just gotten an electric guitar & had figured out a solo, but I had to write out the solo for the second guitarist, which meant writing out my own. Things never look the same on paper as they sound when you play. The guitarist and I got into a huge argument during the session over whether I'd deliberately taught him the solo flat-picked and changed it to finger-picked just to annoy him, or whether (since I didn't flat-pick at all) he'd just never bothered noticing. Years later it turned out those were the coke years, which made his irritability more understandable.
204. LIGHT A LIGHT (BETWEEN THE LINES): Original handwritten 3 page lead sheet along with 5 charts including Janis' own, annotated in red and black; 1974. With CD of Between the Lines. Joan Baez wanted to record this so I wrote a lead sheet & copied it for her; lots of annotations about harmonies & arrangements throughout.
205. LIGHT A LIGHT (BETWEEN THE LINES): Typed session lyric with annotations in red; 1974. With CD of Between the Lines. I typed this up for Joan Baez, sent off a copy, then realized I'd forgotten a bunch of stuff for myself, which I added by hand.
206. LONELY ONE (A SONG FOR ALL THE SEASONS OF YOUR MIND): Original second draft, hand-written on both sides of a small sheet of ruled 3-holed notebook paper, with corrections and cross-outs; 1967. With vinyl album A Song For All The Seasons Of Your Mind. My manager at the time, record company, and publisher all loved this song, but I always thought it barely missed the mark. I'd wanted to convey what I saw in school every day among the teachers (remember, I did hate school), and instead everyone thought it was about me.
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207. LONELY ONE (A SONG FOR ALL THE SEASONS OF YOUR MIND): Original song folio from 1967, 4 pages with color cover (album cover of Janis Ian I), in excellent condition. With vinyl album A Song For All The Seasons Of Your Mind. We already have a bid of $25.00 for this. I remember that it was tremendously exciting to have a song folio out, to think that strangers were buying my music in the stores, then taking it home to play for themselves.
208. LOOK TO THE RAIN (THE SECRET LIFE OF J.EDDY FINK): Original handwritten final draft with one small correction and original title "Look to the Wind & the Rain" at the top; 1968. With vinyl record The Secret Life of J. Eddy Fink. Richie Havens did me a favor and played congas on this track; I remember that because as we were overdubbing his part (recording just the congas, while he listened to the rest of the track on headphones), his headphones stopped working. He just kept playing, and when the headphones came back on a verse later, he was right in time with the track! What an amazing musician that man is.
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209. LOVE IS BLIND (AFTERTONES): Typed lyric of original second draft with different (unused) lyrics, along with a typed final lyric, "Janis" written in red at top; 1974. With out-of-print Aftertones songbook. I loved writing this song. Loved it. It said exactly how I felt about love and being in love, at the time. This song was number one in Japan for a full 6 months the year after its release, though it did nothing in the US. Sure gave me a thriving career over there, though!
210. LOVE IS BLIND (AFTERTONES): 4 page songbook chart with corrections and annotations; 1975. With out-of-print Aftertones songbook. After the success of Between the Lines I got to do pretty much what I wanted with my songbooks. Unfortunately for the publisher, to me that meant having all the notes correct, exactly as I'd played them, and I'm afraid I drove the editors a little crazy.
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211. LOVER'S LULLABYE (BETWEEN THE LINES): Original handwritten 4 page lead sheet along with typed lyric for credits with "Janis OK for album cred JI" signed on bottom; 1974. With Between the Lines CD. I was living near Nyack at the time (in the cheap section of town); my apartment was on the top floor, with the only available heat that which snuck up through the open floor vents from the apartment below. Our landlady would light horrible smelling incense every Sunday, which would waft up along with the warm air. For some reason it made me think of religion, and I began this song.
212. LOVER'S LULLABYE (BETWEEN THE LINES): 17 annotated orchestral charts including 3 handwritten parts and 6 page songbook chart with corrections and annotations; 1974. With Between the Lines CD. We had a good time recording this, it was so different from what anyone else was doing at the time. Even the musicians sang along.
213. THE MAN YOU ARE IN ME (STARS): Session lyrics annotated in red with typed credit sheet containing album credits approval (signed by Janis), along with handwritten onionskin bass chart for Richard Davis; 1973. With vinyl album of Stars. This was one of the first songs we cut for the Stars album; I remember being thrilled that Richard Davis understood, from my sparse indications, exactly what kind of bass part I wanted. In the old days (before copiers), all charts had to be done with India ink on onionskin paper; only then could they be copied. It was a miserable way to work, because mistakes had to be cut out of the page and replaced with tiny bits of new onionskin.
214. MIGHT AS WELL BE MONDAY (HUNGER): Original handwritten second draft with many lyric changes and corrections, lots of unused lines, on yellow legal paper; 1997. A nice, nice piece. The original producer for Hunger "hated" this song, but the musicians and I loved it so we recorded it anyway. I was rewriting right up until the last minute, though, scrawling all over the place.
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215. MIRACLE ROW (MIRACLE ROW): Janis' original handwritten session chart, heavily annotated, with copy of session lyric, also annotated; 1976. With vinyl album of Miracle Row. While I was living with my Mom again (broke and a "has-been" while barely out of my teens), I spent a lot of time sitting on the front stoop watching our neighbors; they played congas, sang, laughed, argued - basically lived outside. This entire song & arrangement grew out of that feeling.
216. THE MISSION (REVENGE): Janis' original notated first draft, which began with a piano part and string section idea long before she and Kye Fleming developed melody or lyrics. On standard music paper ripped out of a spiral bound notebook; 1988. With Revenge CD. I had the idea for a song and orchestral piece based around a "backwards rhythm part", with no sound on the downbeat, the bass coming in on the next upbeat, and bass drum on the second or third beat of each 3/4 bar. I began writing it by working backwards - from the piano part to the string part to the melody to the lyric.
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217. THE MISSION (REVENGE): Original sketch of piano solo on a piece of staff paper 6.5"x5.5" from a custom staff pad made for Janis' birthday, with lyric notes & shopping list on the back; 1988. With Revenge CD. Writers write; that's what I always tell students. Any time, any place, on anything. The hard part is keeping all those silly little scraps together until they make a song!
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218. THE MISSION (REVENGE): Janis' original conductor copy - 14 pages of long staff paper with her handwritten score, corrected in red; 1989-1994. With Revenge CD. I had just moved to Nashville in 1988, flat broke, and couldn't afford a piano, so I would sit at the kitchen table & pretend to play notes on it as I scored this. With no tape recorder or synthesizer, it all just grew out of my head and directly onto the paper. Financial constraints made it unfeasible to record the piece until 1994, when I made Revenge. It's my favorite score, and the one I'm proudest of writing.
219. MY MAMA'S HOUSE (JANIS IAN II): Annotated session lyrics, along with Janis' original annotated session chart and 7 others; 1977. With vinyl album of Janis Ian II. I didn't have a good time making this album; a lot of it was like pulling teeth. The producer and I didn't get along, my ex-husband couldn't understand why I was perenially late for dinner... but I finished this song because Mom liked the rhythm and melody when I tried them out on her.
220. NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU (REVENGE): Original second draft, marked "2nd draft July 1994" on top left, two kinds of ink, two verses, notes, chords, notation, 1994. With Revenge CD. A very nice piece. Amanda Hunt and I met for lunch one day, had a great time, and spent most of it discussing our spouses and how terrific they were. On the way home I was listening to The Pretenders newest album, and by the time we arrived I had the chorus melody and chords in my head. We wrote it pretty fast, and it's another song that gets used in weddings a lot.
221. ON THE DARK SIDE OF TOWN (HUNGER): Original first draft on sheet of yellow legal paper, with lots of corrections and changes; 1997. I began with the idea that two women would meet on a southbound train and talk about their respective problems, only finding out later that one was married to the man who'd made the other his mistress. The song evolved from there, with the mistress turning on her lover in the end - apparently he also forgot to tell her he and his wife had a child.
222. ON THE WAY TO ME (ABC-TV MOVIE-OF-THE-WEEK "FREEDOM"): Original first draft with two verses and chorus, chords, lots of cross-outs and corrections, on yellow legal paper; 1979. I was approached some time in 1978 to do six songs for an ABC movie that would star Mare Winningham, who would sing them through the film. An interesting problem, to write songs that suit another's voice and explain their character. This song was written to illustrate her determination to "find herself" in her travels across the country.
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223. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SUN (NIGHT RAINS): Original first draft with two verses, chorus, chords, lots of corrections and markings in blue and purple ink, on sheet of yellow legal paper; 1977. With Night Rains CD. This was my first co-writing experience; I sat down with Albert Hammond, who saw that I was plainly terrified adn walked me through it. We wrote this much and then he took pity on me and dragged me downstairs to the Carnegie Deli for breakfast; then we finished it. I call it a "full stomach song".
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