Back in the summer of 1989, my friend Christian Beach and I were in a misguided — but well-intentioned — synthesizer-based rap outfit called TMC+The New Generation that was the brainchild of a rapper from Asbury Park, NJ. I’ve often described this band as something like Depeche Mode-meets-Run DMC…but not in a good way.
Of course, this wasn’t for a lack of trying — or a lack of talent. We were just too young to know any better. I had just graduated from high school and Christian was still there. But even back then, it was easy to see a ton of musical talent in Christian that just needed time to fully develop (and today he is a really talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist).
Anyway, that summer of 1989 was probably our most productive time writing songs for TMC. One of those songs was called “Domination.” The night before a rehearsal, I had written most — if not all — of the lyrics for the track and told Christian about it. He then said he had been playing around with a synth-bass line that fit the lyrics I had written perfectly.
As we often did, once we got the foundation and structure of a song together, we would record a rough live version of it so we could listen to it away from rehearsals and think of ways to improve the song. Fortunately, that means a copy of an early version of the song exists, which you can listen to below.
A year or so ago, I was listening to the original version of “Domination” and thought about reworking it a bit and making it a bit more modern. But the 80s techno quality is really a big part of the song so I wasn’t sure how to go about it.
Well, during the past month or so, I’ve been slowly but surely finding bits of time here and there to work on a new version and now feel ready to present what is sort of a “Domination 2.0″…with the possibility of subsequent “Domination 2.x” revisions or perhaps even a “Domination 3.x” to follow that.
So, for your listening pleasure, here is the original recording (with some vocals added recently for improved vocal depth) followed by the 2010 version of “Domination.” Enjoy.
Domination (Original w/ 2010 vocal overlay)
By the way, that female-sounding vocal in the 2010 version is actually me. I used the “male-to-female” vocal transformer effect in GarageBand to do that. I did it as a joke at first, but I liked the contrast in the vocal quality (even though it’s not the cleanest of effects) so I kept it in.
Oh, for one more treat, below is a video of us performing “Domination” at the long-defunct Green Parrot in Neptune, NJ…this is chock full of my forgetting lyrics in the first verse, stepping on and pulling out the microphone cord and — by mid-song — just wanting the song to end so I could return to the relative safety behind my keyboards. And all of that doesn’t even mention my hair, which was a complete disaster on its own.