I went to dig up some of my writing on Songs from Memory, and I was surprised to find very little. This is weird for me because I bent over backwards to write about all of the tracks on Loving Every Other Minute of It, and I can’t believe I didn’t do the same for Songs from Memory. Still, I found a post on “Extraordinary,” which I updated and post for you below.
“Extraordinary” is a special song to me because it bridges the gap between the Refreshments and Songs from Memory. In fact, I called the record Songs from Memory because, back when I first picked up the guitar again in 2004, some of my material was so old I could barely remember it. Once Bret Hartley sold me on the idea of a solo record, I wound up writing more songs, which booted some of the old material off the record. As it stands, only three of the ten tracks on Songs from Memory are from Refreshments days. The rest were written between 2004 and 2007.
What most people don’t know about “Extraordinary” is that it was a Refreshments song for a brief time. We played it live maybe 3 or 4 times with me on lead vocals, during the band’s final throes in 1998. I generally group it with later Refreshments songs such as “Easy,” “Honky Tonk Union,” and “Tell Your Momma,” which we were working on when we disbanded. Frankly, “Extraordinary” never sounded as complete as those other songs, but I never doubted that, with “Extraordinary,” I’d written a song worthy of being played and recorded. For whatever reason, it didn’t congeal with the Refreshments.
That was always a difficult thing for me to deal with, writing songs that I loved but for some reason didn’t come together when the four of us played them. Weren’t the Refreshments just a conglomeration of the best songs any of the four of us can write and perform together? To me we were, first and foremost, a pop rock band in the broadest sense. Listen to “Down Together,” “Carefree,” “Mekong,” “Don’t Wanna Know.” They’re pop songs, and by that I mean, in terms of theme, they could’ve been written by anyone anywhere.
Songs from Memory is also a collection of pop songs. They could’ve been written by anyone anywhere, but they happen to have been written by me during the span of time between the start of my Refreshments life (1993) to 2007. I’ve heard from a few that the album reminds them of the Refreshments. “Exactly,” I want to say.
Anyway, enjoy “Extraordinary.”