do you remember playing catch in your back yard?
I remember UFO’s and falling stars
“drug addiction” back then to us had no meaning
in the kitchen our action figures hit the ceiling
and I wonder why
and I can’t help but cry
we were so innocent, the world didn’t know our names
so why do we have to admit, that now the time has changed?
can you surrender, all the pain inside your heart?Lyrics by Shane Sikkema
I love you so much, I know you’ve been there from the start
|Written by:||Shane Sikkema|
|Lead Vocal:||Shane Sikkema|
|Back-up Vocal:||Paul Friemel|
|Recorded at:||Twofish Studios – 4/5/2002 (Demo Version)|
Reel Trax Recording – 5/13 – 5/20/2002 (Album Version)
|Appears on:||JEL Compilation (Demo version)|
The Ames Area Music Group Presents: Grabbing Melodies (Demo version)
Put Your Heart Where Your Mouth Is (Album Version)
The Best and Mostly Worst of 2nd Best 1998-2003 (Demo Version)
– 928 is commonly considered “the ultimate 2nd Best song” by members of the band and at least 27 adoring fans.
– The song was written about a cousin of Shane’s that had a drug induced mental breakdown and was hospitalized. When asked about what 928 was about, Shane would often state that this song had a deeper meaning than most of the more fun-loving, laid-back content of other 2nd Best songs. Shane on the creation of the song: “I wrote that song after getting off the phone with my mom telling me he was in the hospital. I remember I cried for the first time since my grandpa’s funeral when I was eight or nine years old. I picked up my guitar and just started singing. Ten to fifteen minutes later 928 was finished. It was surreal.”
– 9-2-8 were the address numbers of Shane’s childhood home.
– The band finalized this song shortly after becoming a three-piece, post Brad’s departure and it set the tone for the style of music and message behind the band at a crucial time of development.
– The band decided on 928 as the song they would record when given a chance to record a test song at a top-notch recording studio in Mankato, MN called Twofish Studios in April of 2002. This recording session blew away all expectations and the resulting ‘demo’ created of 928 really felt like catching lightning in a bottle. Everyone’s performance was on point and the resulting recording still mystifies the band members to this day. The band probably listened to the mastered demo at least 928 times on that 6 hour drive back to the Quad Cities.
– When it came time to record the full studio album that would be titled Put Your Heart Where Your Mouth Is, the band foolishly decided to re-record the song so that it might fit the rest of the album sonically, since it was initially tracked at a different studio months earlier. This decision would ultimately be looked back upon as a ‘goof’ when the second recording lacked much of the pizazz and luster of the initial demo. The band lacked the experience to realize that just because you record the song later when you think you are a better band doesn’t mean the recording will be guaranteed to reflect that. Whoopsie!
– The recording of the song that appeared on the physical copies of Put Your Heart Where Your Mouth Is ended up being the inferior second recording, leaving the initial magical demo version to be lost to the sands of time by only appearing on regional compilations, The Best & Worst of 2nd Best 1998-2003, and the band’s website. There was an attempt to rectify this after the end of 2nd Best by putting the demo version in the actual track-list of the album on their bandcamp listings. Although the demo version appeared on 2nd Best’s Best & Worst compilation from 2003, the bandcamp pages for each album have the audio track switched, so that the demo is now part of the album, and the album version is in place of the demo on the comp. The track titles were not altered, so now it will be forever confusing if you are a 2nd Best historian.
– The main differences between the two versions are on the album version, the initial vocal line, “Do you remember” sounds a little stronger than the demo, but it all goes down hill from there. Most of the rest of vocals just sounds a little ‘nerdier & whinier’ than the initial demo. The mix and performance of the back-up vocals are dramatically weaker in the album recording when compared to the demo. The “whoa” sections have a different reverberation effect and just don’t pack the punch of the original. The music as a whole isn’t notably better or worse. The guitar solo section could debatably be considered superior in the album recording, but in general, the sum of all the parts were weaker than the whole.
– TJ and Shane initial pitched putting 928 as the lead track of Put Your Heart Where Your Mouth Is, but Paul disagreed because he had some grand artistic vision for the flow of the album. He wanted people to listen to the whole album and ‘discover’ their favorite song after multiple listens. TJ & Shane simply thought it made sense to make the strongest song the first song. Paul has later been quoted as stating “If I have just one regret in life, it’s that we didn’t lead the album with 928. The whole shebang could’ve turned out a lot different if everyone had heard that song front and center.” Hindsight is often 20/20. So just how is it that this Paul guy ended up with a career in the music business after this travesty? Somewhere in an alternate universe, 2nd Best is the world’s Fall Out Boy. Criminy…
– As the band matured and got comfortable playing the song live, the back-up vocals for the song morphed a bit from just the “whoa” during the chorus to Paul actually harmonizing some of the verses and chorus along with Shane, leaving the “whoa” to be belted out by the crowd. This style of the song was only captured on tape a few times, most notably on the live recording of Shane’s final performance on May 17, 2003.
– The band opted to drop 928 from the regular rotation of live songs after Shane left the band. This was mostly due to the sentimental value of the song and that it was such a ‘Shane-driven’ song. The loss of 928 as a regular 2nd Best live performance cemented the end of major epoch of the band, and signified that things would never be quite the same.