In other words:

“Our objective was to make a very radio-sounding pop record. And the songs dictated that direction. They weren’t the type of thing you’d want to superimpose some kind of quirky approach to, just to be interesting. Since it’s very pop-sounding, some people are just gonna turn off to it right away. But if people listen to it carefully, there’s some real interesting textural stuff going on there.” — Larry Klein, co-producer of The Lace, from “Benjamin Orr: The Cars’ Mr. Casual Steps Out” by Rob Tannenbaum, Musician Magazine, March 1987

Pic49
Larry Klein, phootograph by James Minchin III

8 thoughts on “In other words:

  1. I’ve never been able to figure out why this album wasn’t a huge seller. “Stay The Night” really showcased Ben’s beautiful voice and it sure got a lot of publicity and playtime on MTV. It only peaked at #24. I still can’t figure it out……..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do think his album should have done better, it’s a great album. The songs are always popping into my head. He had wonderful melodies and of course his voice…there’s nothing better. I think Stay The Night did respectably well. Ric’s single only made it to #15 and he was a lot more well known and recognizable.

      Stay The Night was pretty big on MTV but other than that I don’t know that there was really that much promo for the single or the album, I don’t think he did any musical guest appearances on any of the late night shows, not sure who would be responsible for that, could be a combo of things, record company falling down on the job and also I don’t know if Benjamin was up to it(not in terms of ability of course, I just don’t know what kind of headspace he was in at the time, but then again he may have been ready and willing and none of the people who are supposed to do that booked him the spots, which is on them).

      Also while obviously it’s not a really well known album I feel like the people who DO know it, like it and respect it. I visit a music message board, lots of audiophiles, lots of guys and naturally when I fell hook line and sinker for Benjamin a few months ago LOL, I searched his name to find past mentions of him in thread comments. There weren’t tons of them, 15 or so pages worth, but it was nice to see when he was mentioned he was generally well respected and when The Lace was mentioned, it seemed like the people who knew, it liked it and generally thought of it as a hidden gem. There was this one nitwit I really considered upping a 5 year old thread for because he totally misremembered the events of that Live Aid interview(I think it was some sort of rock stars behaving badly type thread). I was quite ready to post the link to the interview and be like “looks like Martha is pretty into it to me!” He said Martha was his favorite VJ so he must have been a teenage Martha Quinn fan and was jealous and it colored his memory and somehow turned Ben into a leering creep and Martha into shrinking virginal damsel in distress. LOL

      I both dislike that interview and like that interview, I dislike it because Mark Goodman is SO annoying at the beginning and because of the mostly inane questions, but I like it because I think Benjamin and Martha were cute, not like “I ship them!” cute, but it looked like they were enjoying themselves and Benjamin was very charming and looked great. But I didn’t post it because for one of the rare occasions in my fan life, I put it into proper perspective “No one remembers this dude saying this, it’s buried in an old thread and no one even responded to his comment”. However I reserve the right to lose perspective in the future, dig up that thread, post that video and drag him. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Haha – I had to go to Urban Dictionary for what “I ship them” means! Cute. Agree with you. I adooooore the clip! Martha is sooooooo struggling with The Ben Effect ❤ She represents us well 😀
        Which music board were you on pse (I will leave the nitwit alone, promise) – and are there others you recommend? Ty x

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know of “The Lace” back then, but have since bought it on iTunes and because it is Ben I love it.
    I, however do not like the Tannenbaum article, it is seems so patronising and so does Klein in his comments – he is taking so much credit. We don’t know how much Klein changed things, but really it is awful if they did change lots – Ben presented them with a fait accompli, words and music, I suppose they were just supposed to add an orchestral backing, but what arse….. they were if they changed lots of it, and if they didn’t why speak about it at all. Sorry, hard to be moderate with this one.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I did think Klein sounded a bit self-serving in that interview but if Benjamin felt the songs remained true to his originals, then I would tend to believe him. Ben’s album was Klein’s first time as a solo producer, prior to that he’d just co-produced his then wife Joni Mitchell’s 1985 album, so that could affect his view as well. It’s possible that for Klein, he just felt it was somewhat challenging, so it caused him to over-estimate the percentage of change. Or it’s possible they were just talking at cross purposes – they may have been focusing on different aspects–the parts that were important to Ben and the parts that were important to Klein may have been different so Ben felt everything that was important to him in the songs was left in place and Klein felt he’d done a lot of work on the parts that were important to himself but that doesn’t necessarily mean the overall songs were changed very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Lace is among my top 3 all time albums. The work is fantastic and I always hoped Benjamin’s writing would have garnered him a Grammy and a couple of song’s on the next album by the Cars. In retrospect the best work is somewhat misunderstood and assaulted by those who are either frustrated music critics with no basis but their opinionated view on an artists creativity. Yes the writers thought Ben eould somehow telease HBC2. For all that matters most felt Ric and Elliot shpuld have as well. Gregs solo record recieved much deserved praise as an album of Cars worthy material. But never the less The Lace and unreleased works are immortalized with air play and sales to this very day and the fans older and newer march on listening regardless of critics or writers perspectives. The fans always surpass them in understanding enjoying and make the legacy of great music is eternal.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. B.B. I am so glad I discovered Donna’s site, because I always get insight from people like you, and of course, Donna’s work is wonderfully encyclopaedic and entertaining.

    Liked by 2 people

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