I lived in Seattle from August 2002 to Feb 2004, and while I had a token closet full of stuff in San Francisco, I had my recording gear in Seattle, in a moldy basement. Monthly visits to SF were for getting a handful of basic tracks with Derek Ritchie in my recently-relinquished studio at Hyde St. Studios. Derek was always magical in getting a tasty drum track in two or three takes, even though he could get fussy and say, “No, Chris, that’s just not a good enough song, you must have something else.”
Symphony of Love was written with the song “Happy Heart” in mind, the idea that feelings can be heard as sound and music. Literally?
The galloping rhythm was inspired by the Paul Collins’ Beat song “That’s What Life Is All About” and Derek came up with a unique drum pattern. It required crossing over the hands in some trick, all very quickly, to maintain the tom-tom pattern while coming back over for the snare hit. Khoi-San overdubbed a piano, saying it reminded him of a U2 song, not helping one bit!
In Seattle, working on ADAT machines, I stacked up all the guitars, bells, tons of vocals, and my Rickenbacker 12-string. I used that guitar on whatever needed it for the album, then delivered it to a buyer in Leicester who figured it was cheaper to fly me there than to pay shipping and VAT. I wasn’t keen to sell it.
When I was able to move back to SF, I’d started mixing the CA Redemption Value CD at Hyde St. This song was mixed in one pass, it just fell off the bone that way without a struggle.
When I met Les Fradkin in Hollywood after the album came out, he said, “Symphony of Love, that should be a number-one hit song!” Coincidentally, that Rickenbacker 360-12 that I’d let go was a custom color white model, made for Les when he was in the original cast of Beatlemania! on Broadway in the ‘70s. He’d sold it to Henry Gross (of “Shannon” fame) who sold it to the shop where I’d found it in 1991.
I had good feelings about “Symphony Of Love” too, and put it in the mythological “hit song” spot in the album sequence- third song, side one.