FM TO WEB - 'Working With PETER MURPHY' by DAVID BARON

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Bauhaus will always be my favorite band in all these years. It's so simple. Today we have the exclusive article of David Baron (who was the producer of 'NINTH', the last album of great Peter Murphy) and this is a great gift for me. I really thank him for his time and our cooperation.

As for Peter Murphy, as time goes by, his voice becomes better and more mature. This is a gift from God and he really deserves it. 'Ninth' is a brilliant άλμπουμ with great production... The microphone to David...

David Baron

Working with Peter Murphy.

The story of Ninth actually started in New York City. I was working with an artist, Sarah Fimm, who had just toured as an opener for Peter when I got invited to see Peter play a show. He looked different than I remembered him. Spikier. A bit older but with an astonishing voice. One of the best voices I have ever heard live. I did not meet Peter that night but instead took my then pregnant wife for ice cream.

I made Sarah Fimm’s record. Peter really liked it. I moved to Woodstock, NY. Sarah Fimm moved to Woodstock as well. I built a studio and left my New York life for the mountains. Peter came and asked if I would be interested in trying to write some songs. I made a few tracks. I think the very first one was probably Secret Silk Society. Peter came into my studio and sang. It was outrageous. It felt like an album. We were both inspired.

Peter and I ended up spending a lot of time together. Drinking wine. Listening to various bands - especially anything connected to Brian Eno or the Residents. Peter told me stories about bands I worshipped but never knew personally. He knew them. The stories were fascinating. I felt connected to him in a way that, looking back, was the root of making Ninth.

We wrote most of the record in my home studio. A few tracks, like the Prince and Lady Shade, were written while Peter was in Turkey and I was in Woodstock. A few of the songs were from demos he had done with other writers. I particularly loved Uneven and Brittle, which Mark Gemini Thwaite wrote with Peter. It had been an electronic tune with chorused guitars - it was transformed into a grinder.

One day I received a call from a fellow Woodstock guy who said that he was representing a studio that was built into a church from 1890. I went over there and couldn’t believe my eyes. A full-on small gothic church. The light through the stained glass was magical. I knew we had to make Peter’s record there.

I called Peter and it didn’t take much convincing. Peter and his manager Hedi Kim put together the whole deal and we flew out the band. I hired the recording engineer John Siket because I knew he was great with capturing the feel of a band playing live.

The days were very long. There was a copious amount of coffee and alcohol consumed. Dinners were about story telling. It was a great time.

The band played the songs in the church live as we recorded them. Peter sang every take. Ninth is the opposite of a record made by laying down individual instruments. Sometimes it was a mess and sometimes it was magical. Peter would sometimes musical direct while singing “build here, less cymbals, etc”. Peter would also lie down on the couch and tell me to “get it sorted”.

I tried to keep the magical parts. Very little was overdubbed onto Ninth after we left the studio. It is a record of those days. A snapshot of time.

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