New Strawberry Alarm Clock CD

New Strawberry Alarm Clock band recording CDThe Strawberry Alarm Clock has a message for fans: New music is on the way.

Under the guidance of producer Steve Bartek, the band has been busy laying down tracks for a new CD.

(Update: “Wake Up Where You Are,” the first new album from the Strawberry Alarm Clock in over 40 years, is now available. It was released in March 2012.)

The album includes brand-new songs, a killer cover song and rerecordings (or reinterpretations) of some tunes from the band’s classic period — the late 1960s. (Read a track-by-track breakdown of the CD songs.)

Unlike some other ’60s rock acts, however, the SAC has no intention of leaning on songs from their younger days on future releases.

“These new songs were done to test the waters,” says SAC keyboardist Mark Weitz. “It’s a springboard to a second new album of all-new original material. We now are dedicated to recording new music.”

(Photos: Top of page, from left: Mark Weitz, Randy Seol, George Bunnell and Howie Anderson. Below: Weitz takes a break in the studio.)

SAC bass player George Bunnell says the original plan “was to embark on a recording project by revisiting and recording some of the old material ‘just to see if we could work together’ — and also to see what we sound like this many years later. Like, do we still sound like the SAC?

“Our real intention was to write and record new songs. We just wanted to get back to our roots a bit, establish a method and move on from there.”

musician Mark Weitz in Steve Bartek's studioWeitz says of the producer: “Steve (Bartek) had a tremendous role in the new recordings (for the CD). Without his patience, knowledge, vision and experience — not to mention his studio and the massive amount of donated studio time — this project never would have happened.”

Bartek (Oingo Boingo) has a long history with the band, dating back to before they hit the charts in 1966. He last played as a member of the Strawberry Alarm Clock during 2007-2010, but left due to his insanely demanding schedule scoring films with Danny Elfman (his Oingo Boingo bandmate).

The core band members — Bunnell, , Weitz, Howie Anderson, Randy Seol and Gene Gunnels — played live in the studio, just like in the old days. “We try to record together,” Weitz says. “Everything is mic’d, and we play and sing as a group. We try to musically overdub as little as possible.”

Bunnell recently answered a fan’s question about “Incense and Peppermints,” which is MIA on the CD: “The song is a difficult act to follow. There are so many serendipitous reasons for that original track coming together as it did, as well as a healthy amount of disdain over the mishandled writer’s credits and the possibility of us adding more revenue to that handbag.

“I think the track was doomed from the get go. We did have a nice (new) arrangement for it, but the original version is is what it is, because it is what it is. So we let that be.”

There are two alternate tracks on the CD. Both are extended versions of songs on the disc. One is the surprisingly psychedelic Seeds cover “Mr. Farmer.” (Appearing on an upcoming Sky Saxon memorial tribute CD set.) The other is the SAC classic “Sit With the Guru” revisited with a long drum solo.

Here are the songs on the upcoming CD in the projected running order:

1. Mr. Farmer (single version)*
2. Strawberries Mean Love
3. Hummin’ Happy
4. Birds in My Tree
5. World Citizen*
6. Drifting Away*
7. Lose to Live
8. Barefoot in Baltimore
9. Charlotte’s Remains*
10. Sit with the Guru (classic version)
11. Tomorrow
12. Wake up*
13. Mr. Farmer (extended with psychedelic jam)*
14. Sit with the Guru (extended with drum solo)

* = New

Comments

  1. I was lucky enough to hear the Alarm Clock cover Sky Saxon’s Mr Farmer. Talk about a barn burner. You guys are in for a treat.

  2. Carol E says:

    Hey George, Wow! This news is exciting. Can’t wait to hear it.

  3. Carl Hufton says:

    Hi George:
    Any chance that the original ‘Incense and Peppermints’ album will be released on CD? Have you any rights to SAC old recordings? It seems strange that everything else is fairly easy to obtain but that first album?

    Cheers

    Carl.

  4. george bunnell says:

    the first album was released on cd by Universal Psych in Japan around 2001. the liner notes and lyric translations are killer.

  5. dizzy lizzie says:

    Interesting when I first heard about this one a few years ago.Somehow I can’t imagine American psych being too big over there.Was there anywhere SAC toured back in the 60’s where you though it was unusual that your brand of musical musing was fairly popular?I can’t imagine it would have been too big in San Antonio or Santa Fe.But then as Frank Zappa once mused,people were “freaking out” everywhere”!

  6. George, I was hoping you would consider doing a conference call to pre-record an interview so that our listeners might share in the excitement of what is happening with SAC. It could be done at your convenience, we’d love to promote not only the upcoming release but whatever your future plans hold. Thanks for considering! Best Regards,
    Kevin Anthony
    psychedelicjukebox.com

  7. Carol MacDonald says:

    Wow, just saw this via my mom (steve’s aunt millie). i was visited with him last week at his cabin and he never said anything about it. I think this is really cool and I can’t wait to hear it.

    Steve’s cousin Carol (from Michigan)

    • george bunnell says:

      Hi Carol….Isn’t that perfectly Steve….you have tp pry info from him….glad you found out though….we hope to get a release date soon.

  8. Mason Donaldson says:

    I’m only 23 but ever since I heard Strawberry Alarm Clock on the Simpsons I searched out everything I could get, and some years back I obtained all of the studio albums. When I first started working with Paul Wertico (formally of Pat Metheny’s group), we immediately bonded when he discovered my love for SAC. He apparantly was at the same wedding or something like that with Randy Seol a few years back. Randy’s drumming has been a big influence on me, and I love playing the marimba along with the songs that have either that or vibes. Is there any definitive date of when the new album will be released?

    • george bunnell says:

      @Mason….it’s been a long process….all sorts of nooks and crannies along the way.
      We are finally at the packaging stage….the artwork, liner notes, pics, etc.
      Contracts are signed and it’s moving forward….very soon I hope!

  9. Dizzy Lizzy says:

    Are you planning any singles releases?

  10. steve ackerman says:

    I can’t wait for the new album. I love the music very much!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. gwilcoxs@yahoo.com says:

    Any chance of putting the new release on LP?

  12. Hey, im 28 years old and have been listening to the SAC for the last 8 years. Have about everything you have done. Call me strange but its music i can put in everyday and never get tired of it. Just checked out this site again for the first time in the last year and saw all these updates. Very excited to see theres a new project coming out. Just want to say thanks for all the great music, theres not one bad song in my opinion. Hummin Happy is my faviorite and im glad to see its on the new album!

  13. Well: I’m pleased that the original SAC album is being released on CD by Sundazed this Tuesday, at long last.

  14. The Dragon Cult says:

    haven’t checked in in over 3 months, still no official release date for the new music ?

  15. george bunnell says:

    looks like it’ll be Feb., 2012

  16. The Dragon Cult says:

    Nice, would be great of any of you guys could make it to Tennessee next June or August.

  17. Stephanie Campbell says:

    I just saw this website and I cant believe these guys are still together! A 49 year old fan. Go Strawberry Alarm Clock and show them how its done. I miss the psychedelic days,
    Steph

    • george bunnell says:

      Go Steph….love you too!
      Old rockers never die…they just fade to gray….and have to rock all that much more!

  18. Marilyn Mooneyham says:

    Hi George! Is it too early to pre-order this album? I can’t wait to get mine!!

    xoxo

    Marilyn

  19. I hope this will be released as vinyl LP too. CD only would be boring.
    I’m 23 years old and I collect vinyl since 10 years.

  20. Feb 20th: the cold dark days of Winter has a beacon of light!!

    The Sundazed release of the ‘Incense and Peppermints’ album is fab and I recommend it to every SAC fan. Fab sleeve and good remastering work by Bob Irwin.

  21. Dean Richie says:

    Hi!
    I just stumbled across this site and decided to drop a few lines. Congrats on the new release. Looking forward to hearing it.
    I was just musing about the “old days” esp. Decca Studios at Universal City, the concert at Western Michigan University co-appearing with The Pair Extraortinaire and Flip Wilson, and thinking about some old friends like Jim Pittman, and the late and greatly missed Lee Freeman.
    Hey, keep on keepin’ on!
    Dean

  22. Jen Scardino says:

    Mark, excited to hear the upcoming cd. My dad Dennis Sloan is huge fan and me too. I got in touch with you about 7 years ago when we threw him a surprise 60th bday (BLAST FROM THE PAST). He played drums with you many moons ago. In fact you remembered his mom who lived off Victory Blvd in North Hollywood. I have this dream to see him get back on the drums, he’s played a few times but that’s it. You guys should play at Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City you would fill the place plus its close to us. 🙂 Take care!

  23. I was just turned on to SAC music a few months ago – grew up in the 60’s but never knew your music. Of course like everyone at that time I knew the name. Unparalleled music really awesome! Very unique sound with great jazzy material. Love it love it!!! Received your CD at Xmas and play it almost everyday. You rock SAC ! And Randy Seol is the best drummer ever !! Pls tell me he’s not married 🙂

  24. Hi! I can’t believe we’ve got a NEW SAC album to look forward to after all these years! Can’t wait to hear it! Is it going to be available via the usual channels; Amazon, Best Buy, etc? Also, I’m very curious – what is the title of the new album…?

    Bring on 2.20.12!

    Peace,
    Jim

  25. mark earle says:

    What happened to “RE-Entry”?”Wake Up Where You Are” would work better without the “It’s About TIme”.I just heard the new “Lose to Live”.Wow,Randy really burns on the drum solo!

    • Well, Mark found a poster he had drawn back in 67 and at the bottom it said “it’s about time”
      we decided to use the poster as part of the new album packaging.
      It was Mark that drew the original sac logo.

  26. mark earle says:

    Who plays lead guitar on the new “Lose to Live”?

    • Howie Anderson does the soloing and Steve Bartek does some of the fills. They both play slide at the end and Steve plays the harmonica answers to Howies guitar riffs in the funk section.

  27. Oh man. Can’t wait!

  28. Well, February 20th is only three days away…just wondering if the new SAC album is ready to go, and where it can be ordered from…? I haven’t seen it listed on Amazon yet.

    Peace,
    Jim

    • Hi Jim….Sorry about the delays….we are waiting for an approval from Amazon on our cover art and liner notes….looks like an early March release.

  29. I can’t wait until it is released! Please please visit all of us in England!
    Looking forward to hearing all new original SAC xxx

  30. steve ackerman says:

    I am looking forward to the new cd, have all of them, and listen to them every day, can’t wait to hear the new songs, and see you on april 25th.

  31. Billy Gsellmann says:

    Ohh man I can’t wait for this. How do we get this CD, is there any good websites that will post to Australia, because man I NEED this album!!!

  32. Ian Stuart Rowley says:

    I met a member of the Strawberry Alarm Clock in Dallas, he was taking a course from the company BancTec and his roommate was from British Columbia Canada. His name was Allan Jones and my Name is Ian, I would very much like to contact him …

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