“Handle With Care” was recorded quickly without much embellishment. All the songs were laid down pretty much as we did them on stage. But that is not the story with “Sailing On Fantasies”.
On the first album all songs were written by Jon and me. But on the second album, Ken submitted two and Paul had one. And layers upon layers of music were added over many months in the studio. It wasn’t the most cost effective way to do it, but after laying down a track and letting it “percolate” we would come up with ideas on how to improve the arrangement.
This song is still one of my favorites (am I saying that about all of them???) because it really came together in the studio. As I have said before, my bass line was inspired by Ken’s hero, Todd Rundgren, and his song “Couldn’t I Just Tell You”. It also goes WAY back to the days when us bass players were copying The Night People and their version of “Hey, Joe” and its frenetic bass line.
This arrangement includes a lot of harmony guitar parts, synthesizer as well as strings and horns (added by Robert Parker) and lots of vocal harmonies that bring it all together making it a recording that is very remarkable. For those of you keeping notes, I used the Fender Jazz bass for this “Ken song” and the Hofner on “Rock and Roll Game”.
If I haven’t mentioned it before, I was fortunate enough to play with two drummers who really knew how to play along with bass. To me that is one of the magical pieces to this song; the way Paul “orchestrated” some of his drum fills with the bass line.