From the press sheet:
FINALLY ON COMPACT DISC
By mid November RKCS recording (NL) will release the LP Western Justice as a Compact disc. The project was recorded in 1974 by American JACK RIELEY and the then 18 years old Dutchman MACHIEL BOTMAN. This conceptalbum, at the time of release described as rockbook (LP and Diary) was issued with great critical acclaim, but failed to make substantial commercial impact. Most likely its message then was too complex. However through the years the LP developed itself as a true collector's item.
WHAT WAS (AND STILL IS) THE MESSAGE OF WESTERN JUSTICE?
The essence of Western Justice is that it does not reflect the political, but much more the social events and emotions during an imaginary change in climate. Continuing dryness in the Western World (America & Europe) does cause that international relations are shifting and that the balance of power has turned to the Third World (Africa & Asia), which still has access to natural resources. The social events and emotions are reflected by someone somewhere in the Western World in a diary and songpoems, whereby especially in the songs themes such as happiness and sorrow, hate and love, hope and despair are expressed.
BACKGROUND OF THOSE INVOLVED IN CREATING WESTERN JUSTICE
The diary was written by ex-journalist and ex-manager of The Beach Boys' Jack Rieley. He wrote a.o. lyrics to outstanding Beach Boys albums such as "Surf's Up" and "Holland". Together with Machiel Botman he also wrote the eleven songpoems. The album was recorded in 1974 in The Netherlands and mixing was done in the Abbey Road studio's in London. Machiel and, to a lesser extent, Jack did all lead vocals. John Leckie (of Pink Floyd, Lennon & Ono and Simpleminds fame) did all engineering. A group of outstanding Dutch rockmusicians laid down the basic tracks. More than 100 musicians participated in the project with Eddie Jobson (Roxy Music) guestappearing on electric violin and synthesizers.
WHY A RE-ISSUE ON CD?
The vision expressed in Western Justice is still very much alive today. It continues to be a unique way to make clear both in a dry (the diary) and dramatic way (the songs), that also in the new millennium the controversy between rich and poor is just going on and on and is no longer limited to natural resources only, but includes economy, lifestyle and religion. In many areas the gap has further widened, despite efforts by a variety of institutions and individuals.
PACKAGING AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION
Packaging for the CD is similar to the LP concept. A 24 page booklet containing the diary, lyrics and photography by Harm Botman plus a 6 page folder are included in the jewelbox. The original recording has been remastered through K-stereo TM by Bobkatz. The sound is more transparent than on the analogue master, instruments have gained in clarity and the mix offers more details without changing the original balance.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ORIGINATORS?
Jack Rieley nowadays is vice-chairman of an IT company in the USA. After Western Justice he did produce a few more artists , but above all became legendary as lyricist for some outstanding Beach Boys recordings. Machiel Botman, now 47 years old, developed a career as art photographer with exhibitions throughout the world. A selection from his work is published in his book "Heartbeat" (Volute 1994). In spring 2003 a new book "Rainchild" will appear. Machiel still plays guitar and writes songs. " I dream backwards and forwards in a kind of definitive song, that I do forget again". After completing Western Justice, he lived for some time in Los Angeles extending his friendship with the late Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys, whom he met in The Netherlands during their "Holland" recording sessions.
Western Justice the CD will be marketed through RKCS recording and distributed
by Plexus (NL).
Delft (NL) November 2002Quotes from other publications: