The Liverpool Sound College is another one of those Paul McCartney side projects. Musically, it doesn't go as far from the norm as one might think. It does share one characteristic with the first Fireman release, "Strawberries, Oceans, Ships, Forests" in that despite the fact that each track has a separate title and artist, the entire album could be considered several different mixes of the same song. What I mean is many of the same samples appear in different songs and the artist distinctions between tracks don't seem to make much sense.
I'm not sure how many people realize that the third Fireman Album is actually the fourth collaboration between Paul McCartney and Youth. Martin Glover, also known as Youth, was the original bass player in the band Killing Joke. Youth is one of those people who wants to take consciousness to the next level as a member of the "Society For The Reformation Of Ancient Enchantment." Youth gets full credit for the track entitled "real gone dub made in manifest in the vortex of the eternal now" on the Liverpool Sound Collage. If that doesn't take society to the next level, I don't know what will. The graphic below is from an animation on Youth's web site.
A central feature on most of the tracks is a snippet of dialog from a 1965 Beatles session for the George Harrison song "Think For Yourself." It reportedly was recorded by George Martin for possible inclusion on the Beatles Christmas disc, but nothing from the session saw the light of day until the brief portion of Yellow Submarine when Young Fred asks the Beatles to sing a snatch of a tune in order to wake the Lord Mayor who had been bonked.
The Liverpool Sound Collage project came about because Paul McCartney was asked to provide a musical piece for an exhibition of Peter Blake's works at the Tate Gallery in Liverpool. Blake of course was the artist who designed the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Another thing that Blake had in common with the Beatles was an apparent fascination with Lewis Carroll and "Alice in Wonderland." Blake did an entire collection based on Alice.
The fact that it was in tribute to an artist didn't stop Paul from designing his own cover for the CD. Owing a bit to his friend and artistic influence Richard Hamilton (creator of the White Album collage poster) Paul produced a simple collage for the front cover. The cover has been used in quite a few Rotten Apple videos. The most salient features are some photos and a drawing lined up in the form of a cross.
The bottom of the cross features a small photograph of a girl and a small version of the drawing on the back cover.
In the center of the cross are two very small photos. One appears to be a hallway with a light at the end and the other appears to be a person lying on the floor. If one was in a heightened state of suggestibility, I can see these pictures being interpreted as foreboding.
The left and right extensions of the cross include a horned animal on the left and a dog-like creature on the right. There is something odd about the dog's face. It could be covered with snow or there could be something projected on it.
There is a similar effect in a YouTube video called "The Mask" by BlllShepherd (a likely Iamaphoney alias).
At the top of the cross is a picture of a man making a funny face. I believe it is a picture of Jerry Lewis.
I don't know if the Beatles were Jerry Lewis fans or not, although both John and Ringo appeared on his Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. But I do know that the Beatles owe a debt to Jerry Lewis. Because before the Beatles used the technique on "Rain," Jerry Lewis used backwards recording in his 1962 movie, "The Errand Boy." Watch Kathleen Freeman's character when she comes out of a car wash in a convertible. When you play it backwards it sounds like Jerry had simply recorded a phone conversation and turned it around for this scene.
Follow this link for a video showing the scene with backwards speech as well as the animation from Youth's web site.
The most accessible track from the Liverpool Sound College is "Free Now." Iamaphoney fans will recognize some samples from Rotten Apple videos.
The Liverpool Sound Collage probably deserved more recognition than it got, if for no other reason than its accessible weirdness. (Thanks to the person who helped me complete this post)