When Graham Brazier died nearly two years ago, he’d been working with producer Alan Jansson on his fourth solo album — recording with him every Thursday night across several months.
Since his death, Alan Jansson has been continuing to produce the album. A labour of love in every sense, Alan has also produced it in virtually every sense: starting with just the raw acoustic tracks they’d originally laid down, he has summoned musicians; enlisted the help of friends and followers; and with the help of Kelly Addis initiated a ‘kickstarter’ (and more) to help complete the great work they’d begun.
It’s the final testimonial of this great man.
"I feel like all the experience in my life was leading up to this point,” [says Jansson].
Jansson said the songs on the new album are as good, if not better, than Brazier's Blue Lady with Hello Sailor and solo hit Billy Bold.
"There is no B-side, all of the songs pop out of the speakers.”
Jansson said Graham's sudden death, after a heart attack, had "hit him hard". He took a year off from producing the album because the grief was too raw.
"Losing him was heartbreaking. I have lost family and not cried but when I was told about Graham I just broke down," Jansson said.
"It was the saddest day of my life.”
The pair had were working on Brazier's album in the months before his death.
"I would sit there in the studio trying to start the album and I'd bring the track up and I couldn't do it. For a year it was too hard," Jansson said.
"Then a few weeks ago it was decided to finish the album for release around Graham's 65th birthday."
“This is such an important album for New Zealand music,” says Janssson, how helmed and co-wrote Paulie Fuemana’s US number one, ‘How Bizarre.'
And now it’s complete and ready for launch next week — May 5th — and with your help we can get it to number one (and wouldn’t that be a great thing to do for our mate).
All you have to do is pre-order the album (which you have to buy anyway; having heard an advance copy, I can tell you it’s up there with the very best things he ever did). And your pre-order will help maximise sales in the first week of release — which is next week.
So get on to it:
NB: Graham had to wait until death for the sort of mainstream press that could have done so much to help back in the day, but the (non) usual suspects have stepped up with stories — and good on 'em for that!:
- Alan Jansson - A tribute to Graham Brazier - RADIO NZ
- How bizarre: Hello Sailor frontman Graham Brazier's album from beyond the grave - NZ HERALD
- Watch: Kiwi music legend Graham Brazier's secret last recordings - finished 10 days before death - TVNZ
Oh, and there’s an album launch party at the King’s Arms on Sunday afternoon, May 7th, complete with every guest musician you could ever hope for. See you there. :-)