Love is Bitter – Lover is Sweet

SINGLE: Created back on March 23, 1983 which was reviewed by Warner Bros. executives as a potential hit single for the time. Captures the heart of all love relationships and what they are about in a new style pop form of the day. / Click Here to Learn More!

Product Information

I was living in North Hollywood, California at the time working at Gibraltar Savings and Loan as a bank teller. I shared expenses with a college friend I met at Loyola University. We both loved music. My friend Kevin L. Norwood worked for the American Song Festival back in those days, while I was learning how to write and arrange songs in a new style I had created; a sound I always had heard deep inside me, but never had the money or equipment to produce the colors and rhythms.

One day, as I sat in my bedroom in our studio apartment in North Hollywood, I got the inspiration for this song that combined Jazz and Blues concepts with Rock rhythms to create a coloration to a new song I entitled “Love is Bitter, Love is Sweet”. The subject for the lyrics had nothing to do with sex actually, but had to do with all the types of friendships and love relationships I had experienced in life, up until that moment in writing the new song.

I pretty much cranked out the lyrics in a few days, as well as the chord structures. Then I started to get ideas for the arrangement using a double compression recording technique for my 4 track recording system, as I ping ponged the layers together beyond the four track capability of the master mix. This allowed me to get very close to studio quality resolution using modest equipment. I’ve never been rich in my life, so I’ve always had to work harder for everything and use my cleverness and technical learning to challenge me to do greater things, even with my engineering ability.

Right from the start, I thought of a gal I had heard sing, who I thought would be able to deliver this song. I had met her years previous through my friend Kevin Norwood. Kevin, along with doing computer engineering work, has been building an acting career for himself over the years. He has finally earned some modest credits on IMDB hoping for a break like most actors do, who want to make a worthwhile living at their craft. We both wanted to make it in the entertainment industry, when we were younger, but it just never came together for either of us. Still, while living together as room mates, we learned much about each other other’s backgrounds and helped each other to overcome the hurts of our past, while even trying to collaborate our styles into the music pursuits we both loved. I learned a lot about Mowtown, jazz and blues from Kevin Norwood, while he learned more about my culture. It was an interesting friendship in those days, but eventually ended after a few years, given we both were moving in different venues of thought that needed to go their own way, so we could each become who we each wanted to be eventually.

The gal singing the song in this recording was Joani Sturgis. I was first introduced to Joani while playing Phantom of the Opera at Magic Mountain. When I had the final arrangement ready for “Love is Bitter, Love is Sweet”, I made a date with her to record the song at another friends apartment by the name of Dan Kimbel, who owned a four track system.

I worked with Joani, as her to be producer, while we did 36 takes of her vocal. With each take, I would coach her more and more to help her understand the lyrics, so she could deliver the meaning better with each recording. When we reached take number 36, magic took place in the chemistry of it all. So I had her do one more take before calling it a day. We used up most of the afternoon talking the whole thing out while attempting each recording. When we finally got it right, Dan called out from the adjacent room; “All right girl! I knew you could finally get it right!” We then hooked up the four track to their stereo system to hear the final mix and it sounded simply great! I was well pleased with Joani’s performance too. I knew she could pull it off!

Later on, Joani made a connection with a friend, who made an appointment with a Warner Brother Records executive at the time. Joani had been struggling to get noticed by the record companies too in those days. We all were struggling to make it. She put four songs on a cassette tape to take with her to that meeting. The second song on the tape was the one we had done entitled “Love is Bitter, Love is Sweet”. When the executive heard the whole tape, without saying a word, he rewound the tape and fast forwarded to the second song, which was the one I had written for her to sing.

He played my song again and again. When he was done; the conversation went something like this Joani told me:

“Who wrote this second song on your tape?” Exec

“My friend Kevin Montague did.” Joani

“Was this done in a 24 track studio?” Exec

“No. It was done on a 4 track machine” Joani

“Oh, no! It couldn’t have been! You don’t get this kind of sound on a 4 track!” Exec

“Well, along with being a musical genius, my friend Kevin is also an engineering genius as well” Joani

“This is a hit he girl!” The Exec said softly to Joani who was sitting across from his desk.

From there, negotiations started to secure the song we had done together. The recording survived through the decades and is now available on CDbaby, under my artist page; Kevin F. Montague. It still sounds good today, though not in a stereo mix. The fidelity quality is still very good and so is the arrangement, but more importantly, so are the lyrics which speak of the universals we all go through in our attempts to love those in our life, who mean so much to each of us from moment to moment in our journey through life.

I hope you enjoy this musical endeavor of mine, as well as high lights of the story and will support me, by purchasing it and asking your friends to buy it as well.

© Kevin F. Montague ● Bluefire Music Enterprises 1983 – 2012
All Rights Reserved Internationally

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