Taller Than - the 'lost' album salvation project!

by Mike Ross in Brighton, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 8th February 2021 we successfully raised £4,195 with 105 supporters in 35 days

In 1998 I recorded an album which was never completed. 23 years later I've recovered the master tapes and now I need YOUR help to save them!

by Mike Ross in Brighton, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

The original target will provide enough funding to cover the costs of production and manufacture only. 

If I were able to raise additional money then I would divide it equally between myself and the other members of Taller Than.  We never made any money from the original recording despite putting in a lot of our own cash and we're all still self employed musicians currently in a lot of hardship due to the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on our industry so the extra cash would be gratefully received.


In 1998 my band Taller Than recorded a 12 track album which, for various reasons, was never mixed or properly finished.   For over twenty years the original 2"master tapes were hidden away and I'd long since given up any hope of finding the time or the finances to complete the project. 

These masters are now in a serious risk of becoming unplayable as old tape is susceptible to moisture penetration which can ruin them.  

There is however a process that restores these tapes to workable condition, allowing them to be played one last time while the audio is transferred to a digital file format.  Once that's done the original tracks can be edited, mixed and mastered allowing me to finally realise the vision of producing a finished end product.

The goal of my project is to raise sufficient funding to cover the costs of the tape restoration, editing, mixing, mastering, artwork design and physical production of a final deluxe package which will include a vinyl album with accompanying CD as well as a unique collection of items such as photographs, reproductions of the original tape track sheets, studio invoices and more.

Along with much of the rest of the world the music industry has been plunged into crises due to the global pandemic.  It's not just musicians that have been affected, everyone that works with or in music have had their livelihoods put in jeopardy due to the lack of live and studio work.  This project will allow me to support grassroots creative professionals such as producers, engineers and graphic artists as well as let me deliver a unique artefact to my fans and supporters.

Here are the separate steps that need to be undertaken to complete the project

Tape Restoration & Digital Transfer - A process which requires 'baking' the tapes at a precise temperature and time in order to reduce the moisture content and stabilise the ferrous oxide on the tape before they can be transferred to digital 'wav' files.  These steps are fairly straightforward as there is an established process for them.

Editing - Restoration and repair of the audio tracks once they've been been baked and transferred.   This could be a simple or complex job depending on what we find on the tapes once they're digitised.  It  will be incredibly exciting to hear the individual tracks for the first time since before the new millennium however it is common for there to be some 'print through' or bleed on old tape which may require extensive editing or rebuilding of certain parts of the audio.  

Mixing & Mastering - Here's the fun part - actually listening to and producing final mixes of the songs and then mastering them so they can be sent for manufacture onto vinyl and CD.

Artwork Production - commissioning new bespoke cover art for the record, then positioning this artwork on printing templates for manufacture.  This stage will also include replication of original assets such as tape track sheets, original studio invoice and photographs for inclusion in the final package.

Physical Manufacture - The project target is to pre-sell and deliver a minimum of 100 vinyl/CD packages to pledgers.

To hear an in-depth discussion of the origins of the project check out this interview of Mike by journalist and long time Taller Than fan Paul White.

You can see a video discussion of some of the memorabilia and other items available to pledgers here.

All items pre-ordered (including memorabilia) can be signed by Mike on request, just add the details to your pledge and it will be done!

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£35 or more

54 of 100 claimed

Taller Than Deluxe Vinyl+CD & Extras Album Package

One coloured 12" vinyl copy of the Taller Than album with original artwork, one CD in a wallet plus an A4 envelope consisting of colour photographs, detailed track listing, lyric sheets, reproductions of the original 2" tape sheets etc.

£15 or more

13 of 50 claimed

Taller Than 'Lay It Bare' CD

12 track CD in full colour Aqueous Semigloss printed wallet with artwork by Aaron Gardner. This reward is for a CD in wallet only, it doesn't come with any of the additional bonus printed items in the featured Vinyl/CD package....

£15 or more

6 of 12 claimed

Handwritten lyric sheet

One of twelve only (one for each track on the album) handwritten by Mike with sketching etc and a personal message to each purchaser

£20 or more

Taller Than 'Lay It Bare' album artwork T-shirt

Gildan heavy weight cotton shirt with exclusive 'Easter Island' album cover design by Aaron Gardner. Orange by default but other colours can be made to if you prefer. We'll contact everyone that orders a shirt after the campaign end date to collect size info -they're available in all sizes so that's S, M, L, XL & 2XL

£30 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Guitar Lesson with Mike

Pick any one of your favourite songs by Mike and he'll teach you how to play it! Lesson will be via Zoom and last for maximum 30 minutes.

£50 or more

3 of 4 claimed

12" Vinyl Test Pressing

One of 5 manufacturers test pressings of the album. FYI these are usually fully working however they come in a plain white sleeve without any titles.

£75 or more

2 of 5 claimed

Solo Live Stream

One livestream where Mike will play solo acoustic versions of Taller Than songs as well as chat about the band and the process of restoring and releasing this album. At least 45 minutes long!

£100 or more

0 of 1 claimed

NOBELS TR-X Tremolo FX Pedal

One Nobels TR-X tremolo pedal for guitar, as used by Mike live and in the studio with Taller Than both on guitar and Fender Rhodes piano. The pedal is in full working order and comes with the original box.

£15 or more

3 of 3 claimed

'Taller Than' era Mike Ross guitar slide

One of three unique brass slides custom made and used by Mike from the late 90's to mid 2000's.

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Mike Ross RHR 'Leviathan' acoustic guitar strings

One full set of strings removed from Mike's 1955 Gibson LG-1 acoustic guitar. These are the strings heard on the track 'Leviathan' from the RHR album Mahogany Drift, as well as the track 'None Of Your Business' from Mike's solo album 'The Clovis Limit Pt.2'.

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Mike Ross Clovis Limit Pt2 acoustic guitar strings

One full set of strings removed from Mike's 1995 Gibson Gospel acoustic guitar. These are the strings heard on every track from TCL2 to feature acoustic guitar including Thanks A Lot, Hammer The Loser, and Unforgiven.

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

'Bandito' Black Guitar Strap

'Bandito' extra wide and long black leather guitar strap from Mike's Les Paul, used extensively during the Taller Than era.

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Levys transparent vinyl guitar strap XL

one extra long guitar strap used a lot by Mike on his Les Paul during the latter days of Taller Than.

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Embroidered Levy's Black Leather Guitar Strap

One black leather strap with suede back, embroidered with flame motif and with customised XXL leather piece. Used towards the end of the Taller Than days by Mike.

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Black Leather Guitar strap XXL

Mikes original wide black leather strap used from the early days of the band, has modified XXL back piece. Mike's favourite black leather strap!

£30 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Mike's USAF short sleeved blue dress shirt

Worn a lot onstage by Mike during the early days of the band. Size Small.

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