Damn, this is fun. I got exactly what you're looking for.
But damn, I forgot I had that version on Youtube. It is:
- too fast (thank you, studio engineer who managed to convince me that "It really can't be any slower than this")
- sung with zero emotion in my voice, probably because I was nervous singing in front of several people
- played sloppily and without embellishments, probably because I had to play too fast
- mixed poorly, which is sad because this was recorded in a very nice studio with very nice people's help
So, lo and behold: click here for the newest version
. It has:
- HARMONIZING BACKGROUND VOCALS!!!! Even better: I mixed them myself and I find them beautiful. My favorite part is where the harmonica starts; the backing vocals transition from "ooo" to "aaa" (insert lewd joke here) at the same time and really come alive.
- less reverb on the lead vocals, and the lead vocals are louder too
- slower tempo (I think I may have even played this without a metronome, entirely winging it while recording the guitar instead)
- nicer, more spontaneous guitar playing
- better technique in the guitar playing, probably because I ditched the pick and started strumming with my nails instead
This version was removed from Children of the Angel With a Broken Wing sort of last-minute, mainly because my brother convinced me that it was out of place. The whole album is kind of a show-case for my ability to record full band experiences by myself, so this song's extremely simple arrangement just didn't fit in well. Additionally, the album's overall sentiment is already sad enough without this song on it.
Fun fact, by the way: the 6/8 part of Pull the Lever uses the same chords as the verses of Leysin. I had originally intended Leysin to become a song in three parts, namely:
- Leysin (Winter), the version I linked in this post.
- Leysin (Summer), an even slower and shorter version on the piano, with sentimental lyrics that talk about "where did my snow go?"
- Epiloog, which was going to wrap up the album as a summary of all the theme. It was an extra slow version (I think it was about 6'30") with lyrics in Limburgs, intermezzos on the ocarina, all vocals in a high falsetto. Finally the last two lines were in Vietnamese (roughly translating to"finally I am free") and English ("Long live liberty"). I'll have to check at home if I actually still have this version -- I'm afraid I might have thrown it away. The sad reality was that this was a good attempt at something beautiful, but the outcome was rather boring.
Pull the Lever is the fourth version that I made from scratch, and it became good enough once I added the guitar solo (also taken from another old song called "Shepherd") and the outro (also taken from an old unnamed song) to it. I think my best quality in songwriting is my ability to throw away and combine different ideas. I'm pretty well versed at "killing my darlings".
I am still saving all these versions for a potential future project though.