Brent Bourgeois

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For several good reasons, I had to clean up my act during the making of Bourgeois Tagg’s Yoyo. Doing so led me into some deeply introspective writing, “recovery” songs that much more suited a solo artist than a band. So when it came time to make our third album, I had this large batch of highly personal songs. I reluctantly decided it was best if I did them on my own, and the result was this record.

I signed to Virgin Records, but during the making of the record, they asked me if I would like to be the first artist on their new Charisma label in the US. I jumped at the chance. I was also writing pop songs for my publishing company. These were “craft” songs, designed to get cut by other artists, and not meant for me. “Dare To Fall in Love” was one of those songs. I didn’t want my record company to hear it, because it was very “pop,” very commercial, and didn’t fit the tone of the rest of the record. I was afraid if they heard it, they would want to make it the single, and the record would be mis-represented to the public. Well, they heard it, and that’s exactly what happened.

Being the first single on their brand new label, they wanted to make a splash with the video. This was the golden age of music videos. The lyrics of the song suggested all kinds of salacious chicanery, just the kind of stuff I really didn’t want to do at that moment in my life. David Fincher, who did the “I Don’t Mind At All” video (and went on to much bigger an better things), was brought in to do a storyboard. I turned it down. We finally settled on a French fashion photographer who had made several videos that we liked. Choosing a director was basically the last choice one had in the matter. My manager, Mick Brigden, and I showed up on the set in Paris to all sorts of sado-masochistic “toys” and weapons. We preceded to have this absurd argument with a French fashion photographer about what was “sexy.” The resulting compromise pleased no one, I’m afraid.

One funny thing did happen while we were in Paris. On a day off, we convinced one of the cinematographers on the shoot to go out with us and shoot a parody of the real video. We then sent it to Virgin, telling them it was the real thing. They had spent A LOT of money on this, and we sent them what looked like the worst video of all time. We had them going for about a day…I had lost all traces of this video, but found a copy of it on a VHS tape at my parent’s home in Dallas. The quality is not good, but then again, the content stinks, too:

Also found at my mom’s house was a copy of a copy of a copy of the video to “Can’t Feel the Pain.” Thank God for moms. I have always been a terrible archivist, and it’s now come back to haunt me. This is the only copy I have–the only one I know of. Unlike everything else, it has never shown up on YouTube. This was actually a pretty good video, if you could see the original. Maybe someday I’ll find it. “Can’t Feel the Pain” was a Lyle Workman co-write, and featured Christine McVie on vocals. Fleetwood Mac was in another room at the same studio mixing their record, and they had a lot of time on their hands to kill. Christine wandered down the hall one day, prompted by engineer Ross Hogarth, and stuck her head in the room when “Can’t Feel the Pain” was playing. She said, “What is that? It’s lovely.” Now, Scout’s honor, when I wrote the song, I had her voice in mind to sing the high harmony–in my mind, as there was no way that that was ever going to happen. So there she was, nothing to do, and pleasantly interested in the song. I was never one to miss a softball that fat to hit.

Me & Christine McVie

In the video, it is a young Vicki Randle accompanying me…

The record featured a great rhythm section of Steve Jordan on drums and Randy Jackson on guitar, with Danny Kortchmar producing and playing guitar, and Ross Hogarth, who mixed and co-produced “The High Road,” engineering.

Hogarth, Kortchmar

Album Review

Brent Bourgeois, formerly of Bourgeois Tagg, is blessed with a great voice, ample musical talent, and, most of all, the ability to compose a catchy pop tune. It's unfortunate that this album, his debut solo release, produced only one minor hit -- the excellent "Dare to Fall in Love." Several other highlights are on this album, including a smart cover of the Zombies' classic "Time of the Season," "Evil Run Riot, and "Can't Feel the Pain," featuring Christine McVie. An excellent, well-produced effort.
- Tim Griggs,