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Obscurities (2008)

13 previously unheard studio recordings …
from as long ago as 1977 to as recently as 2008!



reveals never-before-heard Orleans studio recordings!

Webster defines “obscure” as “shrouded or hidden; not clearly seen; relatively unknown; not prominent or famous” …

… but NOwhere does it say that “obscurities” can’t be “totally freakin’ cool!

If you’re one of those Orleans fans who proudly proclaims, “I’ve got everything those guys ever did!” … or even if you’re not … get ready for a treat —

13 previously unheard studio recordings … from as long ago as 1977 to as recently as 2008!

From the cyber-desk of Lance Hoppen

Lance & Larry – 1980

   Just when you thought we must have surely run out of archives to plunder for another Orleans CD, my bro Larry and I dug down deep for whatever it might be we were overlooking … and came up with this collection of Obscurities.

   Unlike our Still the One: Live – 30th Anniversary Retrospective, which mined it’s gems from our personal vaults of concert performances, Obscurities gets its juice from our secret stash of ALL STUDIO CUTS! But where did they come from?

   Well, 1/3 of these are well-produced, highly fleshed-out “demos”  (demonstration recordings) of songs that did NOT wind up on any Orleans album. That doesn’t mean they’re not great tunes … it just means that, at the time, we had too much material and something had to give … so these tunes got passed over.

Wells, RA, Lance, Larry, Bob – 1979

   On the other hand, another 1/3 of these tunes DID make it to Orleans albums … after they were recut as “masters”. Why?

   A common axiom in the music biz is “don’t fall in love with a demo”. Usually, demos are not up to the stringent audio quality standards required to be put on a finished product and, therefore, really need to be re-done. But sometimes a demo can capture a certain magic that may be lost in the translation, no matter how good the “master recording” comes out. These 4 cuts have that “thang”!

   The last 1/3 of this collection were done for Larry’s and my solo projects … and, as a special treat, we even included one BRAND NEW MASTER RECORDING for you!

   But a sound byte is worth a thousand words, so let’s take a quick walk through what you can expect to hear when you get your copy of Obscurities  —

   The first 2 demos come from ’77, as Larry, Wells Kelly and I regrouped after John Hall’s departure. Slippin’ Away made it to the Forever album, while You’ve Been Runnin’ found a home on the (also obscure) 1980 Orleans album (with the pencil sketch cover). 

   Larry and I carried on after Bob Leinbach, R.A. Martin and Wells left for greener pastures in ’81, cutting a mixture of Larry’s tunes (I  Wanna Be In Love) and some that we got from John (Don’t Break the Code and You’re Mine — which later became the single from our Grown Up Children album)

   Upon our reunion with John in ’85, we got busy preparing for our Nashville debut with tunes like Open Up Your Heart and The Great Divide (which finally resurfaced on 1996’s Ride CD).

   Circa 1990, Larry cut tunes for his solo project (Play It By Heart, I Found Somebody, KellyUnSettling Down) with some help from Bob and me.

   Finally, Start From Where You Are comes from a batch of tunes written with my bud, Shawn Gallaway.

   Just to top it off, Larry, Charlie Morgan and I cut The Moment in 2008, in collaboration with two of the writers.

Michael Bonagura, Larry, Lance, Gary "Bud" Smith, Charlie
Slippin' Away
You've Been Runnin'
The Moment
You're Mine
Don't Break The Code
I Wanna Be In Love
The Great Divide
Open Up Your Heart
Start From Where You Are
Play It By Heart
I Found Somebody
UnSettling Down

   Now no Orleans collection is truly complete without adding a copy of Obscurities to it! Go ahead! Knock yourself out!

Don’t want a physical CD? Digital downloads / streaming are also available.

   As always, our Thanks and Gratitude go out to YOU for your continued appreciation and support over the years. Without you, we couldn’t be Still Havin’ Fun!!!

   Best wishes for wherever your path may lead you,

   Lance Hoppen … on behalf of the entire Orleans ground crew!