Silent Crossing album notes:
Produced by Jessie Jacobson & Jarrett Lesko
Tracks 11-12: Jessie Jacobson & Ken Jordan
Mixed by Jessie Jacobson & Jarrett Lesko
Tracks 1-4: Mixed by Frankie Blue Sposato & Second Language
Track 11-12: Engineered & Mixed by Ken Jordan & Jessie Jacobson
Mastered by Sonja Brenna
All songs recorded on AKAI 12-track analog tape machine in 1988-1989 except We Stumble, State Of Mind, Heaven’s Gate, Believe & Remember (Surrender) in 1987. Tomorrow and Land Of The Living were recorded on 24-track ADAT in 1992 at Power Trip Studio, West Hollywood, CA. Tracks 1-4 mixed at Control Center studio, 1988.
Jessie Jacobson’s notes on this album:
We couldn’t afford or finagle studio time throughout most of 1988-1989. We had one productive session at Tony Berg’s Zeitgeist studio in January of 1988 laying down basic tracks for When Les Was More and new arrangements of Believe and Heaven’s Gate. But Tony was too occupied with paying projects to offer us any further recording time.
Luckily, towards the end of 1987, Jarrett purchased an AKAI 12-track recorder. It was an odd duck with a built-in mixer that recorded on a proprietary Beta-like format but unlike the 4-track and 8-track home recorders we’d used up until then for our demos, the tape was thick and the sound was excellent.
It was a real game changer for home recording and we put it to good use immediately, recording the versions of We Stumble, Believe, Heaven’s Gate, State Of Mind, and Remember (Surrender) on this CD.
For the first time we achieved release-quality recordings on our own and were pretty fucking pleased with ourselves.
David ‘Spiggy’ Miller, guitarist extraordinaire, played with Second Language from September 1987 through July 1988 and features on two songs on this CD (State Of Mind and Believe). He also co-wrote What More Do You Want, Swing Time, and Deep while with the band.
Following the abortive Zeitgeist sessions, we focused on incorporating Spiggy into the band while booking shows and composing new material. By late June, we began new 12-track recordings and laid down the majority of the songs on this CD. Sadly, Spiggy left the band and Los Angeles in July and the songs were completed without his participation.
During early to mid-1989, Jim Novak was our guest guitarist for live shows, followed by Dan Nolton during the fall. Richie Owens joined the band briefly at the end of that year. We were all enthusiastic and hoping for a new beginning.
Instead it was the end.
Second Language split up at the start of 1990 and stayed apart for over a year. We then began recording and playing live again in 1991 (as Signal 2 Noise) with Katriina Houtari joining on keyboards along with guest vocalists Kira Vollman, Toni Zeto and Freida Woody and guitarist Dan Nolton for a series of gigs.
Jarrett, Brian and myself officially reformed Second Language in 1992, recording four songs in the new recording studio Ken Jordan (Crystal Method) and I shared for the next year or so. Tomorrow is on Silent Crossing and a remake of Land Of The Living is featured as a bonus track. The other two songs from these sessions can be found on the 1996 Second Language CD release, WrongSpeak.
Uncertain Terms [version 2] was written in 1987 and is a completely different song than version 1 (featured on the Youth Is Not For Pleasure album) except for the chorus, which was written in 1984.
Land Of The Living [version 2] and State Of Mind both appear in the major motion picture Burn Your Maps released in 2019.
Welcome To Paradise [version 1] is the same basic track as version 2 (featured on the Shadow Across The Moon album) except without the overdubs that were later added by Richie Owens in 1989.
Tomorrow was written in 1991.
Land Of The Living [version 2] was written primarily in 1985 except for the bridge which was written in 1981 (the lyrics/chords were from an earlier 2L song, e=mc2, a demo of which is featured on the Souvenirs [Revisited] album) with a new melody added in 1992.
Remember (Surrender) is a rough mix of a 12-track recording from 1987.
The title of Curtains…I is an anagram for Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division, about whom this song was written in 1982, apart from the music for the chorus which was added in 1988.
The two tracks at the end of the CD, Silent Crosstalk (an outtake of Silent Crossing) and When More Was Less (an outtake of When Les Was More) are included strictly for the sake of silliness.
The original preferred title for this album was Without A Net, in reference to the band having produced all these recordings by themselves at home and in rehearsal rooms (except for Tomorrow and Land Of The Living [version 2]) but since both the Grateful Dead and Van Halen had used that title for live albums, we opted to go with Silent Crossing.
Listening back from thirty years’ distance, I feel that these tracks hold up well as the album that we would have released at that time and are representative of the band Second Language had become during 1987-1989 and 1992. We're hoping it's to your liking.