In the midst of a crowded and chaotic backstage scene, following the second of our four nights at the Palladium, a few quiet words of agreement became the unlikely conception for this album. Prior to this, it had been our announced intention to record and release a second live album, but an unlooked-for charge of ambition and enthusiasm caused a last-minute resolution to throw caution out the window! (onto 52nd St.), and dive headlong into the making of a studio elpee instead. The reasons for this are difficult to put on paper, being somewhat instinctive, but all of us had been feeling very positive, and our Research and Development Dept. (sound check jams) had been very spirited and interesting, so it was felt that the creative hiatus provided by a live album was not really necessary at present, and it would be more timely and more satisfying to embark on the adventure of a new studio album. Right!
... Dateline: London, June 4, 1980.
It is never too late to change plans, but not so with arrangements! Thus we went ahead with the live tapings we had planned, recording our five shows at the Hammersmith Odeon, as well as dates from Glasgow, Manchester, and Newcastle. Then we would record some shows in this upcoming tour, and put together a live set that would represent a wider scope of our concerts, musically, temporally, and geographically. This is no bad thing, and should prove to be a good move, unless we change our minds again, in which case we could combine three tours, or four, or...
... Dateline: Toronto, July 28, 1980.
An intense thunderstorm raged outside all day long, while indoors a storm of a different kind was brewing. In the studios of Phase One, two complete sets of equipment crammed the room, and two complete bands filled the air with a Wagnerian tumult, as Max Webster and ourselves united to record a song for their album, called "Battlescar." This could only be a very unique and enjoyable experience, attempting something on such a scale as this, and I think the result will testify to its success. This day also afforded Pye Dubois (Max's lyricist) the opportunity to present us with a song of his, humbly suggesting that it might be suitable for us, if we were interested. Having been long-time admirers of Pye's work, we were indeed interested, and it eventually became "Tom Sawyer," and it is interesting that an identifiable Max influence crept into the music, by way of Pye's lyrical input.