Nov 29, 2013
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Josh Klinghoffer commented on the unreleased songs by saying “Finding songs that seem to want to join hands with others is a special task that require the right people…and the right songs! Some songs seem to have a lot more of an agenda than others. Some songs play well with others and some songs need more attention and a little extra care. Here are some songs that seemed to want to pair up and take a later train. Keep your eye on them, they’re up to something…”
Smith said in July 2012 of the unreleased songs that “We just wanted them to come out because we just really like them. We didn’t want them to get lost, so we’re gonna put them out, mainly for our fans. They would’ve waited for the Warner Bros. box set in, like, 2020, if there’s even a record company around then. I’m glad they’re going to see the light of day because it’s an important part of the band and what we were doing at the time.” On the sound of the songs, Smith says he finds it “hard to explain” what the first two songs to be release sound like but describes “Long Progression” as “kind of a flowing, kind of midtempo funk”. He also stated the band is currently working on new music. “Those are just waiting,” Smith said. “We’ll go back to those when we start writing again, I’m sure – or not. We’re just always trying to come up with new stuff; usually the latest and greatest is what we use, but you never know.
All of the seventeen songs were recorded during the sessions for I’m with You. “Long Progression”, the b-side to “Strange Man” which was the first single released, almost made the album’s final cut but was left off in favor of “Goodbye Hooray”. One of the songs, “In Love, Dying” is an eight-minute rocker captured in a single studio take that occupies both sides of a single, as Klinghoffer told Rolling Stone from a recent tour stop in Berne, Switzerland. “We’re going to have to do that old trick where it fades out and fades back in on the B-side.” Another cut, “Victorian Machinery” “sounds like a big three-headed monster playing drums,” Klinghoffer said, adding that the band captured “absolute magic” with “Never Is a Long Time,” a “pop-tastic” number featuring Greg Kurstin on piano. “It’s really one of those cases where they had too many good songs to fit on an album. They have this cohesive thing in the studio – when they get that take, that’s the take that they keep.”
“It’s always difficult, but we use a democratic process and the songs with the most votes are usually the backbone of the album,” producer Rick Rubin wrote in an email. “I can just say as is always the case, some of my personal favorites don’t make the cut. I’m sure everyone in the band can tell you the same.”
Klinghoffer said that they recorded 48 songs during the album’s sessions and some could eventually see the light of day. “It’s possible,” Klinghoffer said. “We just had so much material back then that certain things just straight-up didn’t get enough attention. There’s a couple that will probably just remain in our iPods.”