Split Level – Sons Of Liberty – 1987

This is the second album from Split Level and what a great album it is. Their first album was released on a label I’ve never heard of and can’t find any record of, Big Feet Records. I also can’t find a copy of the album. The band went into the studio with Andy McCarroll who was about to produce his first album. Reportedly when the album came out the band said the album didn’t sound like them. I just watched a live cut of them and I think it did represent them well. Maybe the band wasn’t used to a studio album toning down the rawness that band has live. From the one track I saw live the album is a pretty good representation. Anyway the album was popular and the band kept on touring and playing gigs where they thought they could reach people who wouldn’t normally listen to Christian music. It should be noted that the released album track order was not the same as the album label. I have no idea if this was intentional or a gimmick but here we’ve presented the tracks in to order on the record label. Word only released the album in the U.K. and why they did that is beyond me. I’m sure this album would have done well in the North American market.

1 – Land Of Freedom – 3:45
2 – Peace Of Home – 3:02
3 – I Will Live – 3:25
4 – Into The Fire – 3:40
5 – It Won’t Be Long – 4:27
6 – Sons Of Liberty – 3:58
7 – View Of A World – 3:48
8 – Desertland – 3:21
9 – God Is – 4:13
10 – Dove – 3:54

Design – James Kessell
Keyboards – Brian Jones
Keyboards, Programmed By [Engineering Programming] – Enda Walsh
Mixed By – Neil Costello, Pat McCarthy
Photography By – Jim Loring
Photography By [Additional] – Branka Jukić
Producer – Andy McCarroll
Vocals, Bass Guitar – Derek Currie
Vocals, Drums – Barry Kennedy
Vocals, Guitar – Adrian Thompson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Gap Music
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word (UK) Ltd.
Mixed At – ICC Studios
Recorded At – Homestead Studios
Copyright © – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Copyright © – Gap Music (2)
Printed By – Shorewood Packaging
Made By – Shorewood Packaging
Mixed At – Windmill Lane Studios

Split Level – glo.bal – 1997

Originating from the fruitful music motherland of Ireland in the mid-1980’s, Split Level with a pop riven alternative band that fit right into the mold of British music of the day. For fans of The Baby’s, The Tubes, The Imitators et al, the band garnered a decent following in Europe, though struggled to really breakthrough in the states. After moving to England the band found itself releasing an independent project that sounded more like demos before releasing the highly coveted, “Sons of Liberty” on the British imprint of What? Records. The band would exist for nearly two decades, but only release albums occasionally. The album spotlighted here is their final studio project, “glo.bal.” Released through Pamplin Music (where artists went to die), the album was only a blip on the rock/alternative scene even in the US. Limited marketing and a sound that didn’t fit the accepted sound of Christian music at the time (acoustic folk or hardcore), this was the least “European” sounding album of their career. It is also ranks among their best. “Everything” kicks off the record with what should have been the biggest rock radio hit. Easily palatable to fans of The Elms, Smalltown Poets and Seven Day Jesus, the song has a monster hook chorus and radio friendly vibe. Occasionally the melody got lost in questionable production, where the distortion of the guitar overplays its hand and distracts from the melody. Such is the case with “Twister,” which could have been a mainstream radio single in the early 90’s. The best chance for mainstream Christian radio airplay is the mid-tempo ballad, “Emily.” Touches of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Blind Melon, Dinosaur Jr. and other similar bands with a hooky chorus driven be bass and acoustic guitar. The order of songs is really interesting. Starting with more melodic pop rock, the album becomes much more experimental and introspective as it closes. And much mellower. The second half of the album could easily been released under the moniker, Smalltown Poets. Great acoustic rock with smart melodies. In a way, the band seemed to hit its stride in finding an identity that could have proven successful in the states, but it would unfortunately serve as the last studio project as only a live album would be released a few years later.

Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/


1 – Everything – 3:58
2 – Twister – 3:58
3 – Emily – 3:54
4 – Healed – 4:40
5 – The Things I Do – 3:54
6 – Shrinking Brain – 3:38
7 – Circles – 5:45
8 – If I Should Leave – 4:46
9 – Fly – 2:53
10 – Pinlight – 4:25
11 – Got Your Number – 3:09

$B Dash 3 – Musician
David Bach – Art Direction
Rob Craner – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Dan Donovan – Art Direction
Rick Elias – Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Producer, Vocals (Background)
Chris Grainger – Mixing Assistant
Russ Long – Engineer, Mixing, Percussion, Theremin
Phil Madeira – Musician
Trevor Michael – Studio Assistant
Ben Pearson – Photography
Gary Randall – Executive Producer
Mark Roth – Cover Design, Photography
Split Level – Primary Artist
Hank Williams – Mastering

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Pila Music
Manufactured By – Pila Music
Record Company – Organic Records
Distributed By – Pamplin Music