All (Descendents album)

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All
Studio album by the Descendents
Released 1987
Recorded January 1987 at Radio Tokyo studios in Venice, California
Genre Punk rock, pop punk
Length 36:38
Label SST
Producer Bill Stevenson
Descendents chronology
Enjoy!
(1986)
All
(1987)
Liveage!
(1987)

All is the fourth album by the Los Angeles-based punk rock band the Descendents, released in 1987 through SST Records. It was their first album with guitarist Stephen Egerton and bassist Karl Alvarez, and their final studio album before singer Milo Aukerman left the band to pursue a career in biochemistry. The album is titled after the concept of "All", invented by drummer Bill Stevenson and friend Pat McCuistion in 1980. Based on the goals of achieving "the total extent" and "to not settle for some, to always go for All", the philosophy was the subject of the one-second title track, the two-second "No, All!", and "All-O-Gistics". Following Aukerman's departure the band renamed themselves All, recruiting singer Dave Smalley and releasing eight albums between 1988 and 1995 before reuniting with Aukerman to record and perform as the Descendents again on Everything Sucks.

Background[edit]

Following their Summer 1986 tour in support of Enjoy!, guitarist Ray Cooper and bassist Doug Carrion left the Descendents, Cooper to become a software developer and Carrion to perform in other musical acts.[1][2][3][4] One week later, on Stevenson's birthday of September 10, Stephen Egerton and Karl Alvarez moved from Salt Lake City to fill the vacant guitar and bass positions.[3] All was recorded in January 1987 at Radio Tokyo studios in Venice, California with recording engineer Richard Andrews and was produced by Stevenson.[5][6] Dez Cadena sang backing vocals, while Stevenson created the album's cover graphics and Alvarez provided illustrations for the sleeve and liner notes.[4][5]

The album was themed around the concept of "All", which had been invented by Stevenson and friend Pat McCuistion during a fishing trip on Stevenson's boat Orca in 1980.[3][7] According to singer Milo Aukerman: "While drinking all this coffee in the midst of catching mackerel they came up with the concept of All — doing the utmost, achieving the utmost. The more they got into it the more it turned into their own religion; it's partly humor, but it's also an outlook on how to conduct your life: to not settle for some, to always go for All."[7] Stevenson described the concept of "All" as "the total extent", and he and McCuistion had quickly written several short songs that would later be recorded by the Descendents, including "All" and "No, All!", written "in a fit of Allular frustration. The songs were only seconds long, but that was all the time we needed to make the point."[3][7] McCuistion also shared writing credit on "All-O-Gistics", a musical set of commandments for achieving All, including lyrics such as "Thou shalt not commit adulthood", "Thou shalt not partake of decaf", and "Thou shalt not suppress flatulence".[5] In a June 1987 interview with Music magazine, Stevenson elaborated on the "All" concept:

I'm really into "ALL"' and I've waited a long time to unleash the whole concept on people. And now I'm going to do it [...] It's just a way of thinking, in which there are extremes and there is this goal called 'ALL.' It's a way that I created in dealing with achievement and satisfaction and how the two relate. Basically just to avoid stagnation... going for "ALL" and never being satisfied and just wallowing in your own sameness.[8]

Aside from the concept of "All", other songs on the album such as "Coolidge", "Pep Talk", and "Clean Sheets" dealt with themes of broken relationships, while "Iceman" was loosely based on the play The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill.[4][9] The album was released through SST Records, who had purchased the Descendents' previous label New Alliance Records that year and also re-released all of their previous albums. All was released in LP, cassette, and CD formats, the latter two containing the additional tracks "Jealous of the World" and "Uranus".[10] The band supported the album with a 60-day Spring 1987 tour, followed by the 50-day Summer "FinALL" tour, so-called due to Aukerman's decision to leave the band to pursue a career in biochemistry.[1][2][3] Recordings from these tours were used for the live albums Liveage! (1987) and Hallraker: Live! (1989). Following Aukerman's departure the band added singer Dave Smalley of Dag Nasty and rechristened themselves All, a change Stevenson claimed he had wanted to make for eight years:[8]

Well, basically, I've been wanting to work with David for a long time; but at the same time, Milo has stuck with me for almost nine years now, so I wouldn't exactly feel right about just continuing to call us the Descendents. In a sense that would be kind of like discrediting Milo's nine years worth of effort. It's kind of like, "Let the Descendents be my and Milo's sacred thing," or whatever. Who knows, at some point later on we might decide that we want to get together and record something.[8]

On December 16, 1987, during the record of the first All album Allroy Sez, Pat McCuistion died when his fishing boat sank during a storm. Stevenson remarked that "He had 15,000 pounds of fish onboard, so I guess you could say he died in heated pursuit of All. He was always the '5th member' of the band, besided being my best friend, next to Milo."[3] With Smalley and later singers Scott Reynolds and Chad Price, All released eight albums between 1988 and 1995, with Aukerman contributing occasional songwriting and backing vocals. In 1995 Aukerman would return to record Everything Sucks with the band under the Descendents name.

Reception[edit]

Mike DaRonco of Allmusic gave All four stars out of five, saying that "With this record, not only are they forgiven for the bad spots to be found on here — it's not like they can't be skipped over — but their last release (Enjoy!) will be forgotten."[9] He remarked that the relationship-themed songs "prove that the most creative music comes out of personal tragedy" and called it a felony that "Pep Talk" was not included on the band's 1991 "best of" compilation Somery.[9] By contrast, DaRonco's colleague Jason Ankeny referred to All as "lackluster" in his biography of the band.[11] Jenny Eliscu of Rolling Stone praised Aukerman's growth as a lyricist in several songs: "All is often underrated because of the strange pseudo-arty in-strumental tracks on its second half; nonetheless, the album features three of the band's best songs, 'Cameage,' 'Coolidge,' and 'Clean Sheets.' The subjects are perennial, but Auckerman's sophistication as a lyricist has grown. 'Coolidge' is about accepting one's uncoolness, and 'Clean Sheets' talks of being forced to sleep on the floor after a lover's infidelity sullies the sheets."[12]

Track listing[edit]

[5][10]

LP version[edit]

Side A
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "All"   Bill Stevenson, Pat McCuistion Stevenson, McCuistion 0:01
2. "Coolidge"   Karl Alvarez Alvarez 2:35
3. "No, All!"   Stevenson, McCuistion Stevenson, McCuistion 0:02
4. "Van"   Milo Aukerman Alvarez, Stephen Egerton 2:55
5. "Cameage"   Stevenson Stevenson 2:49
6. "Impressions"   Aukerman Egerton 3:02
7. "Iceman"   Aukerman Egerton 3:05
Side B
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Clean Sheets"   Stevenson Stevenson 3:09
2. "Pep Talk"   Stevenson, Aukerman Aukerman 3:00
3. "All-O-Gistics"   Stevenson, McCuistion Egerton 3:00
4. "Schizophrenia"   Aukerman Egerton 6:46
5. "Uranus (unlisted)"   instrumental Alvarez, Aukerman, Egerton, Stevenson 2:14
Total length:
30:24

CD and cassette versions[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "All"   Bill Stevenson, Pat McCuistion Stevenson, McCuistion 0:01
2. "Coolidge"   Karl Alvarez Alvarez 2:35
3. "No, All!"   Stevenson, McCuistion Stevenson, McCuistion 0:02
4. "Van"   Milo Aukerman Alvarez, Stephen Egerton 2:55
5. "Cameage"   Stevenson Stevenson 2:49
6. "Impressions"   Aukerman Egerton 3:02
7. "Iceman"   Aukerman Egerton 3:05
8. "Jealous of the World"   Aukerman Aukerman 4:00
9. "Clean Sheets"   Stevenson Stevenson 3:09
10. "Pep Talk"   Stevenson, Aukerman Aukerman 3:00
11. "All-O-Gistics"   Stevenson, McCuistion Egerton 3:00
12. "Schizophrenia"   Aukerman Egerton 6:46
13. "Uranus"   instrumental Alvarez, Aukerman, Egerton, Stevenson 2:14
Total length:
36:38

Personnel[edit]

[5][6]

Band[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "All/Descendents Family Shrub". All (CD bookelt). All. Fort Collins, Colorado: Owned & Operated Records. 1998. O&O 007-2. 
  2. ^ a b "All/Descendents Family Shrub". descendentsonline.com. Descendents. 1996. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Stevenson, Bill (1989). Hallraker: Live! (CD liner). Descendents. Lawndale, California: SST Records. SST CD 205. 
  4. ^ a b c d "F.A.Q.". descendentsonline.com. Descendents. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  5. ^ a b c d e All (CD liner). Descendents. Lawndale, California: SST Records. 1987. SST CD 112. 
  6. ^ a b Somery (CD liner). Descendents. Lawndale, California: SST Records. 1991. SST CD 259. 
  7. ^ a b c Blush, Steven (2001). American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Los Angeles: Feral House. p. 80. ISBN 0-922915-71-7. 
  8. ^ a b c "Interviews". descendentsonline.com. Descendents. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  9. ^ a b c DaRonco, Mike. "Review: All". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  10. ^ a b "Discography: Full-Lengths". descendentsonline.com. Descendents. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  11. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Descendents Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  12. ^ Eliscu, Jenny (2004). "Descendents Biography". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-02-14.