After The Rain - It was late 1991. Ed was deep in the composing of new music for his progressive-rock orchestral band, Fable. He had been turned on to pro-rock music when he was introduce to the European pro-rock band Marillion the year before. After having listened to their epic 1985 concept album Misplaced Childhood, Ed had found his muse. But it would be the life changing concert Marillion put on at The Palace in Los Angeles March 2, 1990 that would forever change the path Ed would undertake musically.
Although the concert featured new music from Marillion off their just released 1990 album Seasons End, and included a new lead singer, Steve Hogarth. The impact of that show was not wasted on Ed and it would set the bar for Ed's future musical endeavors.
After taking in the new music and the performance by the band, Ed put on his writing cap and looked to create his own epic tune. One of the first Ed experimented on came out of a little ditty in 7/8.
Having no formal musical training, or experience in meter and time signatures he believed he knew what sounded good, and he believed he had come up with a little lick that sounded interesting enough to peruse.
So Ed got to working, switching on his then cutting edge Roland D-20 workstation. Ed would begin the process of trying to produce this newly discovered tune himself. His first hurdle was trying to figure out why his default 4/4 setting wasn't working for his sequence. Everything was off. It wasn't until hours later, going through various settings that he discover having his meter set to 7/8, that he could finally sequence the parts to his song correctly.
Ed had a cool lick and now could add some poor sequenced drums, add some horrible guitar samples and at best a mediocre vocal track. Ed also came up with a melody that sounded a little like something former Marillion frontman Fish might sing.
Once all the parts were put together and recorded, Ed played the rough demo for Fable guitarist Dave Perrigan. Dave and Ed had been collaborating on many of Fable's songs since the band started. This would be the first tune penned by Ed that was without any of Dave's contributions. It did not receive a warm reception. The song was labeled "Too Keyboardy". Although Fable's then drummer Dave Scherer seemed to like the song, it would ultimately get shelved.
It would be a year later after Fable's break-up and Dave and Ed rejoining to start a Christian band that they would meet bassist Marc Miller and drummer Gary Zdenek. Together they would become the second incarnation of the band Fair Exchange. It was there that the song would finally see the light of day. For a time the song was simply known as the 7/8 tune. After improvising the lyrics 'After The Rain', during a chorus in the song, Ed saw a window for the song's message. After Marc and Gary gave the song the progressive pop edge it needed, Dave couldn't help but finally see the potential the song could have.
The original elements that remained in the song outside of the main chord progression were the lyrics: "You got a one way ticket to paradise, but you could never find the time. You better take the time to listen before your lose your mind". All other lyrics would be scrapped and be re-written by Ed, as well as a new melody for the song.
The band knew they had something special when all was said and done. After they recorded a demo of the song in their own studio they would call on close friend Shawn Van Eeckhoutte. He would be asked to use his filming talents to produce a music video for 'After The Rain'.
It would be Gary Zdenek who would provide the video's storyboard. It would be filmed on location in the city of Orange County, California. The video was shot in two sessions. The exteriors were shot in early January (as it had rained that month) and then six months later in June. Close-up's of Ed singing his vocal parts were shot in June and required using a water hose to give the appearance of rain. The 'After The Rain' video went on to win a few awards and the song finally got be heard. Not too bad.
So this week's Flashback Friday takes a look back at the 7/8 song that almost wasn't. The song that helped Ed discover that there was more to music than just 4/4.
Below is Ed's original home recording: Ed Melendez - Gretel A.K.A 7/8 Song, After The Rain (Original 1990)