Brian Canham Almost Chewed Up Lost Pseudo Echo Album In Cassette Player - Noise11.com
Singer Brian Canham Pseudo Echo performs at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda on Wednesday 13 December 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Brian Canham Pseudo Echo at the Palais Theatre. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Brian Canham Almost Chewed Up Lost Pseudo Echo Album In Cassette Player

by Paul Cashmere on July 1, 2021

in News

Pseudo Echo’s recently released ‘1990: The Lost Album Demos’ was almost destroyed instead of being released.

Brian Canham recorded the demos back in 1990 and stored them on a cassette. The cassette was unlabeled and spent the next 30 years in storage before Brian rediscovered it. By putting the decades old cassette into a cassette player was almost a disaster.

“I just chucked the cassettes in and off I went and so far it was good,” Brian Canham tells Noise11.com. “I just absolutely couldn’t believe it. They’re pretty good. I produced them at a fairly high level. They sound finished to most people. And while we were talking about all this the tape started rewinding, must have hit the end and auto rewind. I looked across at the tape deck and one of the spools isn’t rewinding, one is and one isn’t. That’s not a good look. So I quickly hit the stop button and sort of ejected it which probably wasn’t such a good idea because it nearly came out and then I sort of grabbed it and then I went ‘oh my God’. There’s about like a meter of tape in the machine. It just gobbled it up and so it’s sort of pulling it out. I was in shock, just freaking out. So we got it in and we you know ironically we didn’t even have tears or creases. It just came out perfectly. I tell you it wasn’t it wasn’t a good day.”

The tapes went unnoticed because they were unlabeled. “I just didn’t label it very well,” Brian says. “I just hastily backed it up and it just had “master” scribbled on it, but so did about another 100 tapes so wasn’t really indicative of what was on the tape. And you know cassettes tapes, they’re tiny and you’ve only got so much room to write on them and you always lose the cover and everyone loses the cardboard bit. You end up just with the tape in that plastic case. When we found the box of tapes I had to then go ‘well this is going to be a pretty laborious job to go through all these tapes’. They’re all old, I knew they were old 30-40 years old, and I had to hook up an old tape deck. I didn’t even have a cassette player anymore. I got rid of all that stuff so I bought this lovely old pioneer tape deck. It looked nice so it’s nice and shiny so I figured it was good I didn’t clean the heads. I didn’t check that it was running properly or anything”.

Brian went through the old tapes while he was in lockdown. “I just came across one and started playing and I was multitasking and all of a sudden I hear this song ‘Just Your Day’ and I mean “hang on this is the first song off the album”,” he says. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I’m just freaking out and I’m thinking what do I do? Do I quickly write down the lyrics in case it disappears again or do I write down the chord progressions and so I fast forward and listen through and then next one, ‘Destiny’. All these songs are coming up.”

Finding the lost album was like discovering a treasure. “The funniest thing is this now looking back and realizing that that album has been following me around for the last 30 years,” Brian says. “I didn’t even know I had it. It’s been right under my nose. The thing is I might have been good with the music but I wasn’t so good with the labeling and the archiving.”

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