Chris Taylor – What’s Left When All the Good Words are Stolen

Chris Taylor
What’s Left When All the Good Words are Stolen
1990 (no label)
San Antonio, Texas, USA

Chris Taylor – Vocals, acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, keyboards, drums, percussion, delay pedal
Rod Butler – Drums, keys, and background shouting on “Poor Man’s Song”; organ and cymbals on “Bleeding for My Sin”; keyboards, vase, and bells on “In the Air”
Bryan Slagle – Fender strat on “These Nights,” electric guitar and vocals on “Around the World”
Mitch Welch – Strings on “These Nights,” keyboards on “Be On Time”
Don Mashburn – Bass and drum programming on “These Nights” and “Be On Time”
Kevin Casey – Background vocals on “Around the World”
Adam Saenze – Acoustic solos on “A Song”

Side 1:

  1. Poor Man’s Song
  2. I Don’t Want to Turn
  3. These Nights
  4. Be On Time
  5. Scarlet Day Instrumental
  6. Around the World
  7. A Song (live)

Side 2:

  1. Bleeding for My Sin (live)
  2. In the Air
  3. Everybody’s Longing for God (live)
  4. In the Morning

Like some of his other demos, this tape appears to be a compilation of songs from various sources put together as one album. Some songs are live, others seem more put together in a studio. The list of people that played on it is kind of long. Three of the songs here (“Poor Man’s Song,” “Scarlet Day,” and “Around the World”) were on an early version of So Much for the Blues, but taken off at some point and re-recorded here. However, don’t think this is a throw away collection of problem songs. Taylor is a top-notch songwriter, and it shows here as it does on all of his releases. Of course, this came out in the years leading up to his band Love Coma, so you can see the roots of that here as with his other tapes. Taylor does the emotional college alternative rock thing that was popular at the time, with vocals that were influenced by Bono (among others) – for those few that are wondering. By the time his 1991 demo Simple Things “Confound” the Wise rolled around, he had a permanent band and a professionally printed j-card.

Chris Taylor and Windows – Simple Things “Confound” The Wise Man

Chris Taylor and Windows
Simple Things “Confound” The Wise Man
1991 (no label)
San Antonio, Texas, USA

Chris Taylor – The Singer, 12 string, tambourine
T.J. Behling – Bass guitar, vocals, coughing
Matt Slocum – Guitar
Chris Dodds – All of the pounding and vocals

Mike Acevedo – Guitar on 3, 4, 8, 12
“Elvis” – Vocals on 11

Side 1:

  1. Poor Man’s Song
  2. Love and Rhythm
  3. Nothing Like the Word
  4. Christians, Critics, Razorblades
  5. Around the World
  6. Everything is Looking

Side 2:

  1. Two People
  2. Tell Me
  3. Personally
  4. Echo of Love
  5. If I Had a Boat
  6. We Will Meet Again

A couple of years after So Much for the Blues finds Chris Taylor finding the band that he wished for in the liner notes of that demo and putting out a solid studio effort. Here Taylor is developing closer and closer to the U2-influenced alternative rock that he first gained national exposure for with Love Coma. In fact, I would say that based on the credits, this band is what evolved into Love Coma maybe? “Tell Me” and “Echo of Love” from So Much for the Blues make a re-appearance here, as do “Poor Man’s Song,” “Around the World” and “Everyone is Looking” from What’s Left When All the Good Words are Stolen.

Chris Taylor – So Much for the Blues

Chris Taylor
So Much for the Blues
1989 (no label)
San Antonio, Texas, USA

Chris Taylor – Guitars, vocals, lyrics, melodies, etc
Rod Butler – Keyboards, voice on “Without a Fight,” Drums on 3
Bryan Slagle – Electric Guitars on 1, 3, 4, 6, 10
Glenn Boone – Drums on 2, 7
Todd Lindstrom – Keyboards on 6
Robbie Vincent – Bass on live songs, vocals on 2
John Carroll – Bass on 4
Matt Williamson – Drums on 9

Side 1:

  1. Chains of Shame
  2. Echo of Love
  3. Faster
  4. Tell Me
  5. Without a Fight

Side 2:

  1. Tied and Twisted
  2. More of You
  3. Rain Places 2
  4. Take Me
  5. Tears

By now, you should know who Chris Taylor is. He has been a mainstay of this scene since the 80s, and is still going strong today. This is one of his earliest demos. It really serves as a compilation of recordings – some songs are live with an audience, some recorded live in studio, some were recorded with other people, some as a solo effort, and so on. But the sound on all songs is pretty consistent with Taylor’s 80s alternative influenced sound. You can even hear some of the beginnings of the sound that would produce his band Love Coma. There is also another version of this tape without the Xeroxed cover – it has a different song order, and it swaps out “Without a Fight,” “Take Me,” and “Tears” for “Poor Man’s Song,” “Scarlet Day,” and “Around the World.” Also, some of the songs (like “Echo of Love” and “Faster”) have longer intros and outros than on the official version. I’m guessing this was an earlier version that had some songs cut.

Chris Taylor & Matt Slocum – Better Days

Chris Taylor & Matt Slocum
Better Days
1991 (no label)
San Antonio, Texas, USA

Chris Taylor – Lyrics, singer, guitar
Matt Slocum – Guitars
Chris Dodds – Drum Samples
Teresa Lopez – Vocals on “hole”

Side 1:

  1. Like a Woman
  2. Moon
  3. Who in Hell?
  4. So Cold in Here
  5. Hole
  6. Need You to Be Free

Side 2:

  1. What’s Behind Those Eyes…
  2. Rip.
  3. Another Sunday Morning…
  4. Summer Wind
  5. Selah 140
  6. Just a Little Bit of Me
  7. Silver…

Chris Taylor seems to have a large number of cassette demos from his pre-label days, a couple of which I have heard and a couple more I have only heard of, and probably a couple more beyond that. On this one, he teams up with Lova Coma band-mate Matt Slocum (you might have also heard of him from this little band called Sixpence None the Richer). Two of these songs were later recorded by Love Coma (“What’s Behind Those Eyes” on Soul Rash and “Summer Wind” on Language of Fools). These are more stripped down formats. In fact, the whole thing is definitely alternative like Love Coma and Taylor’s solo work, just much more basic and demo-esque. But the talent still shines through. A few of the tracks made it online for your listening pleasure: