All Music writes: For their second album, 1981’s Love Too Late, Sorrows were paired up with legendary producer Shel Talmy, who in the mid-’60s had worked with the Who, the Kinks, the Creation, and the Easybeats; unfortunately, the idea of working with Talmy was better than the results, and the album didn’t fare as well with critics and sold no better than they debut. Sorrows broke up in the mid-’80s and the albums fell out of print, never appearing on CD as they became the stuff of legend among fans of ’80s pop.
After four decades and a protracted legal battle, original SORROWS members ARTHUR ALEXANDER (vocals, guitar), JOEY COLA (vocals, guitar) and RICKY STREET (vocals, bass), joined by next generation powerhouse drummer LUIS HERRERA bring you LOVE TOO LATE… the real album. It is, as Arthur says in the sleeve notes, “real Sorrows, playing real Sorrows music, as only Sorrows can”, and those who were there to hear these songs performed live in the band’s heyday will attest that the newly-recorded Real Album is the real deal indeed.
Sweet Sweet Music spoke to Arthur Alexander about how ‘ LOVE TOO LATE… the real album’ came about.
Release Date: August 13, and you can pre-order here (Big Stir Records).
‘LOVE TOO LATE… the real album’ by SORROWS, the legendary band’s all-new 2021 recreation of their long-lost 1981 album. How did the recreation come about?
The idea for it came about two weeks into our original album sessions in London after I heard the results of what started emerging and walked out of the studio, never to return. What I heard was a mockery of our music and the band being destroyed right in front of me. Unbeknown to us, our record label and Shel Talmy, our Mr. Legendary Producer, had decided to take an ass-kicking rock & roll band and turn it into some amalgam of Fleetwood Mac and Barry Manilow backed by The Doobie Brothers wannabes.
Just so we’re clear on this, nothing against the artists as mentioned above, but that is not SORROWS!
If you’re doing a recreation, you may not want to stray too far from the original. Did you, therefore, impose rules on yourself about what was and was not allowed?
Everything was allowed. In fact, I couldn’t stray FAR ENOUGH from this piece of crap with my band’s name now attached to it. This was not a SORROWS’ album. This record was a total sham, orchestrated by the producer and label “bosses” in hopes of striking gold. Instead, what they struck was a solid wall, a record that had nothing to do with the band, the band who wanted nothing to do with the record, and the radio people and our fans who (instinctively) said: “what the fuck is THIS?!”
The record was a total flop, the band in a death spiral.
Well, not quite!
At what point did you know it was a good idea?
At what point? Let me see… well, in part, I already answered this question above, but to drive the point home…. it became a good idea when I heard the lead vocal (let me repeat that: THE LEAD VOCAL!) on one of our songs being sung by some castrated studio hack Shel Talmy brought in, being *featured*… on OUR album!
So much has changed, Arthur, since the early 1980s. What change in the music industry had the most impact on you?
Frankly, everything has changed. As it always does. At the forefront of it is the technology that gave us the internet, new tools to work with music, and practically unlimited access to the audience out there, unprecedented till then. It was the latter that was the most significant impetus for me to bring this project to fruition, knowing that when it’s all said and done, I will be able to bring SORROWS music to the people out there, show them how it should have been done and leave that abomination foisted on my band in the dustbin of history, forever.
What’s the gig you will never forget? And why?
Oh, that’s an easy one – the night we got signed to a record deal! We were working on our demo at that point with our producer at Mediasound, one of the most fantastic studios in NYC at that time. We had just basic tracks done and some scratch vocals.
Somehow, the demo leaked out, and we were told that Pavilion Records, one of the CBS Records associated labels, was interested in us. They asked if we had a show coming up; they wanted to come down and check us out. We did, the following week, at Max’s Kansas City.
Of course, we were convinced, as it happened so many times before, nobody would show up. The night came, we took the stage, looked into the audience… and froze. The freakin’ place was packed to the gills with CBS suits!
Appropriately, that night we played what must have been the absolute worst show in the band’s history.
Everything that could have possibly gone wrong did go wrong. I broke FOUR strings during the opening song… and it was downhill from there. So we’re sitting in the dressing room after the set, miserable, depressed, and pondering the end of our career (we didn’t know then THAT was yet to come!), when a bunch of the Suits barge into the dressing room, and the Chief Suit demands to know if we can come to their office next week. “Why?”, I ask.
The Chief Suit barks back, “to talk… if all goes right, as of next week, you are CBS recording artists”…..
Of course, we also found this turn of events very upsetting because we realized that this will effectively prevent us from ever finishing that demo, which we were told was an absolute ‘must have’ for a band to get a record deal!!!
In retrospect, we should have perhaps said: “geez, thanks but no thanks, but we’d rather finish that demo.”