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The Feelies proper re-emerged with a new rhythm section (the line-up they’ve had ever since and that appears on Here Before) in 1984 and recorded The Good Earth, co-produced by Million, Mercer and REM’s Peter Buck). The album was released 1986 on the Coyote label (run by Steve Fallon, owner of Hoboken, NJ’s Maxwells, and the group’s manager for a spell), followed by two further releases on Coyote through Twin/Tone/A&M: Only Life (1988) and Time For A Witness (1991). The band shared bills with Patti Smith, LouReed, REM and Bob Dylan during this period and toured nationally.
In 1992 Bill Million left the music business, moving his family to Florida and effectively putting the band on what turned out to be a very long hiatus. Meanwhile, Glenn and Dave continued playing together in Wake Ooloo, Stanley was a founding member of the band Luna and Brenda played in a number of groups including her own Wild Carnations. Glenn Mercer put out his first solo album in 2007.
In 2008, the Feelies re-united to open for long time admirers Sonic Youth at Battery Park and then resurrected their tradition of playing low key gigs around national holidays (many at their old home base, Maxwell’s) rather than doing lengthy tours. In 2009 Bar/None re-issued Crazy Rhythms and The Good Earth, this being the first band-sanctioned CD release of the former; both titles were also issued on heavyweight vinyl and with download cards for access to bonus tracks. A highlight of the All Tomorrows Parties festival in New York state that year was the Feelies playing Crazy Rhythms in its entirety for the very first time. They also introduced new songs written by Mercer and Million raising fans’ hopes for a new album eventually materializing.
In 2010, using the basement studio in Mercer’s New Jersey home, Glenn and Bill resumed writing songs and working out arrangements for new Feelies songs in the midst of rehearsals for live shows in Boston, Philadelphia and D.C. with Bill commuting back and forth from Florida for this. By Fall that year, the band had worked up 13 songs. Basic tracks were cut at Water Music in October with the classic Feelies line-up of Mercer, Million, Demeski, Sauter and Weckerman; tracking dates were engineered by Sean Kelly who also helped out with overdubbing sessions in November and mixing in December. In addition to their main instruments Brenda played violin and sang backup vocals, Glenn contributed keyboards and Bill, Stan, Glenn and Dave all pitched in on percussion.
Many of their fans probably didn’t think they would ever get a chance to see the Feelies perform again let alone have a new album in
their hands. Here Before adds a solid fifth album to the Feelies discography. The album will be released digitally as well as on CD and vinyl with a download card.