This LP was Tim's debut album as a solo artist. As you will hear this album truly is an eclectic mix of songs.
"It must be clear from the kind of... the wide range on the album that one wasn't going for a super-hit, mega-platinum, sock-you-between-the-eyes, 'Gosh this is gonna be on the radio every second!' It's very much an introduction and allegro.” (Tim Curry speaking about Read My Lips on the Thirsy Ear Radio Show in 1978.)
Read My Lips includes the infamous "Sloe Gin" which includes the lyrics 'I'm so fucking lonely and I aint even high...' This obviously impacted potential radio play and Tim admits he didn't realise including 'four letter words' on the album would cause such an issue. He also uses the word 'Shit' in the song "Alan" but Tim insists he thought the words should remain on the album despite reduced air play in order to remain true to himself and the themes of the songs.
Tim Curry: Four-letter words are such a dead issue in the theatre, that first of all it was a surprise to me that there was such a tough battle to get them on the album, you know? Or that it was as dangerous as it seemed to be. They're just words that we use every single day and if you've never said 'I'm so fucking lonely' to yourself, then I... despair. I mean, this is everyday parlance with a vengeance, no?
Peter Gordon: Yeah. But there's the so-called code of etiquette that, in terms of the FCC, what can be put over the air. I know some stations have aired your song, true, as is, and I think even a college station did, and they were picked up by the FCC.
Tim Curry: Really? What is the FCC?
Peter Gordon: That's the mega-gods of radio.
Tim Curry: 'No, no - not here! Mustn't play that!' Yes. Well I understand that, of course I understand that. I knew by putting them on the record that they were very unlikely to get on the radio but then you know, you can't make an album just for radio stations. If people are gonna buy the album they're gonna go home and play it at home and they can edit their own audience. I think it's a shame if it isn't played on the radio. But I can understand that it won't be.
Peter Gordon: So you're really just keeping true to your emotional self and to your daily self in keeping the obscenities in there.
Tim Curry: Well, yes. I wanted them there because I think they were both valid... [tries on different mild degrees of emotion] 'I'm so awfully lonely?' 'I'm so jolly lonely?' 'Gosh*I'm so lonely.' Do you know? I mean it...
Peter Gordon: It makes a great deal of sense, but it's going directly against the grain of what's acceptable.
Tim Curry: Yes, I know. I know, but never mind. I'm a foolish amateur. [laughs]
(Tim Curry speaking about Read My Lips on the Thirsy Ear Radio Show in 1978.)
The songs "Alan", written by Tony Kosinec, and "Sloe Gin", written by producer Bob Ezrin along with Michael Kamen (session musician on this album and a producer on Tim's later albums) are the only original songs on the album. "Birds of a Feather" went on to be released by the writers Kevan Staples and Carol Pope (also know as the band Rogue Trade) as a single in the mid 80s. The song had previously appeared on a Rogue Trade Live album but Tim was the first to record the track in a studio. The remainder of the tracks are covers of songs originally recorded by performers such as The Beatles, Dionne Warwick, Joni Mitchell and The Move. Each song is recorded in its own very distinctive style making some of the originals unrecognisable. These include a reggae versions of "I Will" and a rock and roll version of Irving Berlin's "Harlem On My Mind".
The songs "Birds Of A Feather", "I Will", and "Anyone Who Had A Heart" were all re-released on CD format in 1989 as part of the Best Of Tim Curry album. A previously unreleased live version of "Alan" was also released on the same CD.
TIM CURRY - Lead Vocals
DICK WAGNER - Lead & Rhythm Guitars BOB BABBITT - Bass CHARLES COLLINS - Drums ALLAN SCHWARTZBERG - Drums
ROBIN MILLER - Rhythm Guitar, Mandolin MICHAEL KAMEN - Keyboards JOHN TROPEA - Rhythm Guitar BOB EZRIN - Keyboards, Percussion & Background Vocals JIM MAELEN - Percussion LEE MICHAELS - Keyboards NILS LOFGREN - Accordion JOE VENUTI - Violin MAX KAMINSKY - Trumpet RUDY TOTH - Cymbalom RNIE WATTS - Sax solo TONY KOSINEC - Acoustic Guitar DONNY BROOK - Harmonica BROOKS HUNNICUT and DENNIS TUFANO - Background Vocals
PRODUCED BY BOB EZRIN IN ASSOCIATION WITH MICHAEL KAMEN, BRIAN CHRISTIAN AND DICK WAGNER FOR MIGRATION RECORDS, INC.
Arranged by Bob Ezrin and Michael Kamen
Recorded by Brian Christian, Ringo Hrycyna, David Gertz, Rick Hart, Jim Frank and David Prentice
Special Recording by John McClure and John Frye
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