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A Blog from John

December 25th, 2010

[John Taylor goes track by track on the band’s new release “All You Need is Now”; keep checking back to the blog section for the latest installment ]

Track four: ‘Leave a Light on’

After our first day’s work on ‘Leave a Light on’ I turned to Nick with tears in my eyes and said, “I can’t believe it, we’ve written a drinking song..” Of all the songs on this album, ‘Leave a Light on’ was the most complete after day one. We could almost have performed it live that night.

Built around Nick’s lead synthesizer line, we chose chords that vaguely gestured towards ‘Save A Prayer’. It’s the kind of lyric and vocal presentation Simon does better than anyone. Ambiguous, sensitive, both a little dirty and somewhat moral.

The song stayed in an unwashed and slightly dazed state until December of last year, when we were alerted to the fact that Rob Marshall, the director of ‘Nine’, was looking for an end-title song. We finished ‘Leave a Light on’ in two days. It didn’t make the film cut, but quite honestly, given the reception the movie got, I’m not sorry. We went back to the mix this summer and made some changes to the sonic textures, but the song didn’t change any. It was while listening to a playback of this song on the big Sphere One studio speakers we said to ourselves, ‘How amazing would it be to have Spike Stent mix this song.’ We had chased Spike for years, approaching him to mix both ‘Astronaut’ and ‘Red Carpet Massacre’. Lucky for us, this time he agreed to mix ‘Leave a Light On’ and every other song on the album.