New Green Clear Blue

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New Green Clear Blue
Dan Hartman New Green Clear Blue 1989 Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by Dan Hartman
Released April 4, 1989[1]
Genre Pop, Ambient, New Age
Length 56:04
Label Private Music
Producer Dan Hartman
Dan Hartman chronology
White Boy
(1986)White Boy1986
New Green Clear Blue
(1989)
Keep the Fire Burnin'
(1994)Keep the Fire Burnin'1994

New Green Clear Blue is a 1989 album by American musician/singer/songwriter Dan Hartman. It was Hartman's seventh and final studio album. It was his first album since 1984's I Can Dream About You, discounting the unreleased 1986 album White Boy.[2] The album represented a big stylistic departure for Hartman; it consists of mostly instrumental, ambient songs, with the concept of being a journey into the subconscious.

Upon release, the album was critically well received, but it failed to gain commercial success.[3][4]

The album was written, performed, engineered and produced entirely by Hartman. Special thanks for the album went to Vangelis Papathanassiou, Harold Budd and Richard Harries, Jr. for musical and personal inspiration; New York City; all at Green Street Recording Studios; Amanda Stone and Andrew Derrick Design, London; Dana Millman and all at Gold Spaceship and at Private Music.[5]

For the album notes, Hartman was quoted as saying, "The subconscious mind is a powerful world possessing experiences and feelings we do not necessarily recognize in our daily movements; but nonetheless they influence our entire lives. The tones and shades in this collection were performed live and intuitively for the purpose of opening channels by which the listener may visit their own subconscious".[5] He also stated "This music is meant to be something that helps people connect with their subconscious. It is intended to be played at very low levels in a tranquil environment. It's a platform for the imagination."[6]

Background[edit]

In a 1989 interview for the Mohave Daily Miner, Hartman revealed that having listened to the music of Brian Eno and Vangelis, he felt inspired to record similar material of his own. He admitted, "I knew there would be a time in my career when I would stop doing what I was doing and try to create some of this on my own." The project came to fruition after Hartman and his record company MCA had disagreements over Hartman's career. The company had expected Hartman to continue writing similar songs to "I Can Dream About You", and rejected Hartman's planned follow-up album, White Boy, as a result. When Hartman decided to begin the project that would become New Green Clear Blue, he began reading material on the subconscious mind and intuitiveness, as well as how songs work to create an emotional reaction with their listener. After researching these subjects for eight months, Hartman began writing and recording material in his Connecticut studio. During this time he turned down producing other artists, as well as offers to cut pop records from three record labels in order to work on an album designed to allow listeners' subconscious memories to surface. He worked on the album from August 1987 to August 1988.[7][8]

When recording the album's material, Hartman revealed "I tried to reflect on my own subconscious feelings that caused me to make the music that I do. It was like stirring up the bottom of a kettle. The basis of this album was to use tones and shades in certain patterns so the door to a listener's subconscious would be opened. Everything moves too fast and people don't identify with their subconscious every day. Things happened to you when you were 10 or 20; they went into your subconscious."

Insisting that the album was not New Age, he stated:

During the recording of the album, Hartman felt himself unlocking his own subconscious after only writing a bit of material. "I became frightened, to the point I was going to stop doing it. I was unlocking my own subconscious. And the first two or three pieces I listened to I felt were planets away from fulfilling my concept. Little by little, it began to flow." Once he was half-way through writing the project, Hartman noted:

Hartman added, "I've begun to record contemporary vocal songs again - dance, rhythmic things I like to sing about. I feel a sense of freedom, after delving into this whole other area. I realize all you need to do is do it. I think we all restrict ourselves in our lives from doing some things. We have choices and alternatives.[7]

In Spin magazine in November 1989, Hartman was quoted as saying, "The music is meant to slow down the pace enough so that you begin to sense a little bit of who you are. The world is moving too fast today and getting so tangled up, what with Beijing, crack, AIDS... all of that. I think we need to be able to at least be in touch with ourselves to be able to handle it."

On creating the music, Hartman said:

Hartman dedicated the album to his sister Kathy Hartman, and this was because of her eyes, and how he felt she was still seeking her inner self. After the album was released, Hartman would give talks at colleges on the subject.[10] In an interview, Edgar Winter, a former musical collaborator of Hartman's, said that the album "marked a new evolutionary step in Dan's writing. It is pure music of the spirit with no commercial intentions - meditative, peaceful, and serene. For anyone who hasn't heard it, this CD reveals an entirely new and different side of Dan. I know it came straight from his heart and was a beautiful parting gift to us all."[11]

Recording[edit]

Shortly before the album's recording, Hartman moved from the Schoolhouse, which he rented, and bought his own house, built on multi-levels, on the banks of the Saugatuck River in Westport. Dan used the small studio at the rear of the house to write and produce the New Green Clear Blue album and also lived there until his passing in 1994.[3]

Release[edit]

The album was issued via Private Music in America and Europe on vinyl, CD and cassette. The independent label was a company of Peter Baumann who was also involved in the album's creation. His label Private Music was used to offer mainstream artists a private creative space for more intimate and experimental projects.[12] The vinyl release was in Europe only. Today the album remains out-of-print and has not been issued digitally.[13][14]

Likely due to the nature of the album, no singles were released from New Green Clear Blue. The title track, however, did later appear on the BMG various artists compilation Best Of New Age, released in the UK in 1994.[15]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Dan Hartman.

No. Title Length
1. "Sigh of Relief" 4:35
2. "Romance" 5:13
3. "New Green/Clear Blue" 5:06
4. "The Swan" 4:56
5. "Beautiful Mist" 5:27
6. "Alpha Waves" 5:44
7. "Adrift in a Red Sky" 6:26
8. "Scaramanga" 4:08
9. "Soviet Nights" 4:27
10. "Hope of No End" 4:39
11. "Home" 5:23

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Q Magazine 4/5 stars[5]
Bondegezou mixed[5]
The Virgin Encyclopedia of 70s Music 2/4 stars[16]

In a review in Q Magazine, Johnny Black wrote:

On 31 March 1997, Henry Potts of Bondegezou wrote:

Personnel[edit]

  • Dan Hartman - Producer, Performer, Engineer, Writer
  • Danny Goldberg - Management
  • Amanda Stone, Andrew Derrick - Design
  • Rod Hui - Mixing (tracks 1, 11)
  • Peter Baumann - Mixing (track 8), Noises (Ambient Treatment) (track 4)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.allmusic.com/album/new-green-clear-blue-mw0000653443
  2. ^ "Dan Hartman Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  3. ^ a b "Dan Hartman - Solo Career". Creaser.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. 1979-02-24. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  4. ^ Billboard - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. 1994-04-09. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Dan Hartman- New Green Clear Blue". Creaser.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  6. ^ "Memories of Dan Hartman". Creaser.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  7. ^ a b c https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=943&dat=19890307&id=gGkLAAAAIBAJ&sjid=OlMDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6768,567004
  8. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ujVVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vj0NAAAAIBAJ&pg=6685,5139919&dq=dan+hartman+new+green+clear+blue&hl=en
  9. ^ SPIN - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  10. ^ "Memories of Dan Hartman". Creaser.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  11. ^ "Memories of Dan Hartman". Creaser.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  12. ^ Dreamer. "Just Another Garden: Dan Hartman - New Green Clear Blue (1989)". Justanothergarden.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  13. ^ "Dan Hartman - New Green Clear Blue at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  14. ^ "New Green / Clear Blue: Dan Hartman: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  15. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Various-Best-Of-New-Age/release/1114445
  16. ^ The Virgin encyclopedia of 70s music - Colin Larkin - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  17. ^ Henry Potts. "Album review: New Green/clear blue". Bondegezou.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-19.