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Tierra del Fuego

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Tierra del Fuego is one of those songs that took a long time to mature…

Lyric & Chorus

The song started with a lyric from Joel Rockman, who recalls: “In my geography studies at school we covered South America. I always thought ”Tierra del Fuego” was a very romantic name and decided to write a lyric about it.”

Most of the original lines made it in the final song, but together we restructured it to a more clearly defined verse-chorus structure and later changed some lines to better fit the music.

The lyric did inspire a Latin feel, Spanish guitars, percussions, love, passion… and I very quickly came up with the chorus melody/musical hook for “Tierra del Fuego”.

Very early on, I sampled the drum/percussion part from Toto’s “Africa” to help me establish the “feel” and direction of the music (the sample was later removed and replaced by all-original parts).

While the chorus came together quickly, I got stuck for the verse and could not find a suitable part.  The song got shelved…

Verse & Structure

A couple of years later, I dusted off the original idea for “Tierra del Fuego” and somehow I found the verse, just by sitting at the keyboard and singing the lines.  The song structure flowed naturally from there.

Recording

The track was recorded at my home, with Ben Treeby on rhythm guitars. 

I had lots of ideas for Spanish guitar licks throughout and ended up playing the whole thing on the keyboard, with a patch from my trusted Roland XV-3080 (as you can see from the midi session capture below and on YouTube).  I think it came out really well and most listeners probably wouldn’t this isn’t an actual guitar playing!

I also programmed the brass parts and we recorded them at my friend’s Viceroy.

For the vocals, we were very lucky to get PJ Lequerica, who was perfect for the song.  I had worked on a couple of tracks with PJ previously while in New York.  The vocals were recorded at the New York studio of my friend Harold Stefan, and the stems sent back to me for mixing with the backing tracks.

Final Mix

I redid the mix from scratch for the “Back In The Groove” album.

One of the main things I re-did was play all original drum/percussion parts, trying to emulate the parts from Toto’s “Africa” but without any of the original samples.  That was an interesting and difficult challenge.  First because the style of playing is very different from the pop-rock style I am most used to.  Second because, let’s face it: it doesn’t get any better than Jeff Porcaro, Lenny Castro and Joe Porcaro!  Given that I would never be able to do as well as those guys, I think the result came out alright…

I also added some new synth pad parts to build up the song, and some sound effects for added excitement. 

Jon Astley provided the final mastering sheen, as he did with all tracks on the album.

TIERRA DEL FUEGO

Words by Joel Rockman & A. Robin / Music by A. Robin
Vocals by PJ Lequerica
Produced by SuperCool-Guy

© 2012 – All rights reserved

Enchanted isle
Embraced by the sea
Magical wonderland
You’re calling out to me 

Lightning will flash
Reflect in your eyes 

Chorus:

Tierra del Fuego
Burning inside
Burning right inside of me (Right inside of me)
Tierra del Fuego
My passion’s on fire (Flames leap up)
Flames leap up
They go higher 

When we make love
Stars shine above
Stirring the passion below
The whole world is turned to fire 

Lightning will flash
Reflect in your eyes 

Chorus:

Tierra del Fuego…
(Burning right inside of me) 

[Repeat chorus] 

Bridge:

Out of the sky
This heavenly fire
Brought down to Earth just for me
Just for me

Chorus:

Tierra del Fuego… 
(Burning right inside of me)

[Repeat chorus]

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