Christopher Sebela

writer, wronger, rearranger

Some songs were recorded live as a band, with overdubs layered over the basic tracks. Surprisingly, “Oh Comely,” at 8:18 the longest song on the album, was recorded in a single take by Jeff by himself. The other musicians clustered around Robert in the control booth and in the tiny adjacent room for what they thought was just a test take as Jeff tried out the mic placement. Robert remembers feeling claustrophobic, with maybe twenty people standing around him. The rooms were laid out so Robert could hear Jeff’s playing through the speakers, but also ambiently through the air. Although he was only supposed to play a verse or two, Jeff powered through the song, stunning his friends with a beautiful, passionate performance no less amazing for the uncontrolled moments when he veers out of tune. At the finish, everyone burst into spontaneous cheers and applause-you can hear someone, possibly Scott Spillane, yell “Holy shit!” at the end of the track if you listen closely. The final version is almost exactly what Jeff played that day, with the addition of horn overdubs and a couple of places where Robert went in and doubled the vocal.
— Kim Cooper, 33 1/3 - In The Aeroplane Over the Sea

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