Editor’s Note: Britain’s Prog Magazine said Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard’s new recording “Re Imaginos,” was “Worth the Wait.” Billboard in New York City included it in its top 100 releases. And the Illinois-based Music Street Journal called it “simply stunning.”
But closer to home, Robbinsville musician and past U.S. 1 graphic designer Vaughan Burton has his own thoughts on this hot recording and how — despite being quarantined in New Jersey — he became one of its contributing artists.
I have been a guitarist since 1980 and a composer since the mid-80s. My recording credits include numerous independent, commercially released compact discs. The music of Blue Öyster Cult — along with that of numerous other classic and progressive rock bands — has been the soundtrack of my life since the summer that I first picked up a guitar.
In early February of this year, I sent an email (which included my music biography) to Albert Bouchard, original drummer and songwriter for Blue Öyster Cult. I asked if he would consider recording a new version of a song called “The Girl That Love Made Blind,” a composition that had been intended for but was ultimately omitted from the polarizing B.Ö.C. album from 1988, “Imaginos.” Prior to this year, the “Imaginos” version was only available as a prerelease outtake.
Much to my surprise, Bouchard responded saying that he was — by sheer coincidence — working on that very song for a new version of “Imaginos.” He asked to hear some of my music, so I sent him a link to my Soundcloud profile.
Bouchard liked my music (in particular the guitar solo on an original song called “I Hardly Know Me”) and invited me to participate in the recording of his new version of “The Girl That Love Made Blind.”
Needless to say, I was excited. Bouchard offered me the choice of recording in his Manhattan studio or recording the tracks myself. As much as I wanted to meet Bouchard in New York and see his studio, I — under at least the pretense of being a serious musician — didn’t want to appear too anxious, so I suggested that I could start at home then go to Manhattan should any problems arise.
I immediately began thinking about ideas. I recorded the better ones on my portable, digital recorder, rehearsed the best passages, and then recorded my final parts in my “studio” (A.K.A. basement) in mid-February.
Bouchard liked what I did overall but asked for a couple of minor revisions. I made the changes that he requested. Despite a brief technical setback, I sent him a revised mix of the song. Bouchard liked the revised version and asked that I share the individual tracks with him on Dropbox, which I did.
He then offered to share the entire album with me via Dropbox; so I got to hear how the songs changed and evolved, which was fascinating. The final masters of all the songs were posted on July 4.
Bouchard’s CD, titled “Re Imaginos,” was released on November 6 and has received praise from critics and fans alike. The disc also features Albert’s brother, Joe Bouchard (who was the bass player and occasional songwriter and vocalist for Blue Öyster Cult) on piano and trumpet.
As it turns out, I’m very fortunate that I decided to record my parts myself, because it was soon after my initial correspondence with Albert that COVID hit. Travel to New York would have been risky. Even if I had gone to Albert’s studio prior to the outbreak, it would have been very difficult to finish the recording had any major obstacles arisen during the session. I may have been able to complete the recording at home, but who knows?
My involvement in “Re Imaginos” is a dream come true.
It’s virtually impossible these days to be noticed by a record company; and prominent individuals can still ignore you … but I think it’s a little easier to find that person who just might say “Yes.” Always ask.