Q – I’ve been listening once again, for the past few weeks, to the “Another Side” second half of “Don’t Get Wierd on Me, Babe”, and the beautiful arrangements Paul Buckmaster contributed. I’m curious how you two collaborated? Did you play him finished songs that he then orchestrated, or did the songs form in a more active collaboration?

Anyway, it’s a beautiful six song cycle; one of my favorite moments from your oeuvre.

A – Thanks so much. That was the A Side of the album in the rest of the world, only Capitol, in their wisdom, refused this and flipped the sides for the USA and Canada.

Those arrangements are Blair Cowan’s work, mainly, with the exception of ‘What he doesn’t know’ which was all Paul’s work. On the first five songs Blair wrote the music and faux orchestral arrangements using synths and samplers. Paul took these arrangements and made them work with an actual orchestra. Working with him, and the musicians he chose was a dream, it was fantastic. He is brilliant and charming and great fun to be around.

My only real regret with this record, these days, is that I didn’t foresee the record companies’ attitude to the orchestral tracks – I think they saw them as some sort of vanity project that they only tolerated because they felt they had enough ‘radio songs’ on the other side. If I had been smarter I would have delivered a whole album of the Buckmaster stuff and then we would have been forced to go to radio with something radical (by their standards, anyway). Or they could of just refused the album and dropped me, which is what Capitol did 2 years later anyway…

I was just researching what music of mine was and wasn’t available on iTunes (North American version) and as of today, there’s only a partial album of DGWOMB up there, and it only has one orchestral song – ‘Butterfly’ on it. No ‘Margo’s Waltz’, which, I guess with it being in ‘There’s Something about Mary’, is maybe my most heard song… strange stuff. I will be trying to persuade Capitol to address this asap.

BTW – if you want to hear what a Blair Cowan faux orchestra sounds like, check out Paul Quinn’s second solo record ‘Will I ever be inside you?’. Parts of it are really great!