Lie Down In The Grass - 30th Anniversary Liner Notes
How to Purchase
Mp3 and Mp4 files are available at all your fine digital retailers such as iTunes and Amazon. The anniversary edition will not be available on Spotify until sometime in 2015 (if at all). These are offered at a discount of $9.99 for twenty songs.
No vinyl or CDs are available for this project. However, knowing that many longtime listeners prefer hi-resolution files, we have created a hi-res bundle available at
Please feel free to burn your own CD from these high quality files.
For vinyl collectors, we have a very limited quantity of the original 10 song version and the A&M version. In addition we have 12" Vinyl "Lie Down in the Grass" singles. If interested, please contact email@example.com for pricing and purchase information.
Lie Down In the Grass 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
If you landed here, then it’s likely you’re interested in Charlie Peacock’s new 3Oth Anniversary, commemorative edition of LIE DOWN IN THE GRASS (released 12/9/14).
The new re-mastered release contains twenty songs, including the original recordings, bonus cuts, and 2014 remixed masters from Nashville mix engineer Richie Biggs (Chris Cornell, The Civil Wars, The Lone Bellow). See track listing and notes below.
Peacock created the music for his debut 1984 solo release in 1983 and finished mixing and mastering the spring of 1984 with a release soon after. Sangre Productions, a company founded by Mary Neely and administrated by Jan Eric Volz, funded the project. The production company created the Exit Records imprint (home to The 77s, Vector, and Steve Scott), with distribution via Word Records first, then A&M Records, and finally WEA/Island Records in its last few years of existence. According to Peacock, “I think it was actually Word Records that funded the record, as I believe Mary and her husband Louis had worked out some sort of arrangement with then Word Records’ president, Stan Moser. I think we spent $20,000 on it, including mixing with Larry Hirsch at Paramount and mastering with John Golden at K-Disc.”
There are two versions of this release, the Exit/Word version and the A&M version (released in 1985 through a December ‘84 pact with Exit/Word). They are identical except that the A&M version has two previously included songs removed and two new songs added (“Love Doesn’t Get Better” and “Young In Heart”). Initially, Missing Persons keyboardist Chuck Wild was slated to produce these versions but Peacock did not like the direction and scrapped it. As with the original release, Peacock produced the two new songs. With the new version on A&M Records and a music video set to release, Peacock secured a music publishing deal with April/Blackwood and CBS Songs (signed by Deirdre O'Hara and Doug Minnick), management with Bill Graham Mgmt. (Arnie Pustilnick, Mick Brigden), and a booking agent (John Huie and Ian Copeland at Frontier Booking International). Peacock was immediately put on the road as an opener for the UK bands, The Fixx and General Public, along with USA acts Missing Persons, Let’s Active, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The album charted on the College Music Journal charts but did not break the Billboard charts. According to Peacock, “I don’t remember the cumulative album sales being more than 25,000.”
Nevertheless, Lie Down In the Grass, made a significant contribution to the contemporary Christian music genre (despite Peacock solely promoting the album to mainstream pop audiences). Lie Down In the Grass found traction with a small group of advocates in what was then called CCM. First with the original distributor Word Records in Waco, Texas led by Stan Moser and Jeff Moseley. Secondly, Peacock found progressive media advocates in John Styll, Brian Quincy Newcomb, Bruce Brown, and Dan Russell (a magazine publisher/promoter who went on to road-manage for U2 and manage Black Rebel Motorcyle Club).
In the June 1984 edition of Contemporary Christian Music magazine, Lie Down In the Grass received a favorable review, excerpted below:
In this powerful solo debut . . . Charlie Peacock forays into musical territory until now unexplored by Christian musicians . . . a truly relevant and totally contemporary artistic statement – not merely trendy, but trendsetting. Lie Down In the Grass is a truly daring venture for Exit, and one which I believe will not go unrewarded.
Evan Cater, writing for the industry bible All Music Guide added his take on Peacock’s debut: “When Lie Down In the Grass appeared in 1984, the contemporary Christian music industry hadn't really ever seen anything like it. It immediately established newcomer Charlie Peacock as a songwriter of unusual creativity and intelligence with a willingness to go closer to the cutting edge than just about anybody else in the industry.”
Peacock was well received in northern California and on the touring circuit, but not everyone in the Christian community warmed to Peacock’s artistic vision. Though the blogger later enthusiastically retracted it, this recent reflection typifies the more baffled response to Peacock and his debut recording.
“When I first saw this album cover, I have to admit, it didn't fit my idea of what a "Christian" album should be. Listening to the album didn't change my mind much, honestly, and I put it away without any more thought.” – Diversity-Sam.blogspot.com
In 2004, twenty years beyond its original release, writer and personal friend of Peacock, took this look back:
“Charlie’s jazz-influenced, new wave EXIT debut, Lie
Down In the Grass,
was hip without desperately wanting to be. It was original. It was weighted
toward the prow, leaning into the cultural conversation. Lyrically, it seemed
to represent a faith that was worn very humanly, both in the secular marketplace
and in the Christian subculture. People inside and outside the church found
something that resonated with them. The rest of us took a long look at this odd
bird, scratched our heads and managed a profound, “Oh.” The old defensiveness
suddenly looked a lot less defensible when viewed against this new paradigm of
honest, cultural engagement. His early career was marked by the creation of art
that was emotional, compelling and varied and by a conscious attempt to
dismantle the barrier between artist and audience.
– Douglas McKelvey for Contemporary Christian Music magazine.
Several key people are responsible for helping make Charlie Peacock’s Lie Down In the Grass a reality. Beginning in 1982, musician/painter Jimmy Abegg single-handedly championed Peacock to Mary Neely and Exit Records. After Peacock recorded Mannequin Virtue with the Exit band Vector (produced by Alpha Band member Steven Soles), Neely tapped Peacock for a solo record and hired him to produce the 77s classic, All Fall Down.
Peacock, “I got some invaluable help making that record. I’m thinking
specifically of Erik Kleven and Eric Heilman on bass, Mike Roe and Jimmy Abegg
on guitars, Bongo Bob Smith and Jim Caselli on percussion, Steve Griffith on
bass, toms, and backing vocals, Mike Butera on tenor sax and Larry Lunetta on
trumpet. Daryl Zachman did a stellar job engineering and Larry Hirsch mixed the
whole thing at Paramount – a classic Hollywood studio owned by Brian Brolin,
the brother of actor James Brolin. The actor Harrison Ford actually built some
of the studio. When I was working there, Clint Eastwood and his girlfriend
Sandra Locke stopped by to give Brian a parrot.”
For a full list of credits to the original recording in 1984 and the 1985 version released on A&M Records, see URL below:
For a the best
online access to lyrics use the URL below:
Charlie Peacock’s essay published at GodPeoplePlace.com 11/29/14
This year (2014) is the 30th anniversary of the
release of my first solo album – Lie Down In The Grass. We are days away
from a commemorative digital release of a deluxe version (12/9/14) and my mind
is brimming with thoughts. Most obvious is the speed at which time collects and
moves on. Less expected is the near absence of sentimentality or any longing for
what is often named, the good old days. Though very happy it's even an
option to celebrate this debut recording from the past, I'm more grateful for
the privilege of still looking forward. As I sang on No Man’s Land from 2012: “I’m
swimming in the blessing, not waiting ‘round to die.”
I was twenty-seven years old and living in Sacramento when I
wrote the music for this recording. I had a little bungalow on 57th
Street with my wife Andi, our daughter Molly (6) and son Sam (3). Most was
written in that home, or at my 8 Track studio setup at Double Vision
across from KROY. My new Memorymoog was my primary writing instrument.
Rhythm-wise, I began with a borrowed Oberheim DMX drum machine, then
purchased the LinnDrum LM-2. We were two years into a radical life-change
inspired by the Jesus of the gospel accounts. He reportedly said, “Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” And so we did,
experiencing a promise as trustworthy as the sunrise.
The music fit with the time. Though people often cite Thomas
Dolby, Thompson Twins, and Eurythmics as popular antecedents and
contemporaries, I was more inspired by other less known sources. Lie Down In
The Grass would not have been possible without the version of the Charlie
Peacock Group best-known by Sacramentans (1981-82), and producer/co-writer
Stephen Holsapple’s encouragement. The group’s recordings are bundled in an
album titled The Last Vestiges of Honor. Together we ran
several of the harmonic experiments that would be put to good use in my solo
debut. I was also intentionally trying to work into my new, more pop sound,
what I’d learned from esoteric sources like Carla Bley’s Social Studies and Nick Mason’s Fictitious Sports, in which Carla
Bley also had a role. Secondly, I had two very talented peers in the persons of
and Larry Tagg. We often played each other our music in progress, and as is
said, iron sharpened iron. Lastly, if there were a contemporary influence
greater than all others, I would point you to the Scottish artist, Roddy Frame.
His 1983 Aztec Camera recording titled High Land, Hard Rain meant a lot to
Prior to the spring of 1982, and my surprising encounter
with the efficacy of Jesus, I was what is termed, a seeker. In the 1981
recording “What They Like” I sang, “I’m
looking for a critical mind of the spiritual kind.” My search was rewarded. I
had avoided Jesus for as long as possible. I had rightly understood burdensome
religion, but wrongly understood Jesus. I had pegged the notion of becoming a
Christian as mostly about giving up freedom for salvation – some sort of pact
with God where you stop doing stupid stuff and get heaven in return. As I found
out, this is not what it means to be a student-follower of Jesus. Do people
believe it is? Even those who say they are Christians? Sadly, yes. Gratefully,
I have only known increasing freedom.
Lyrically, Lie Down In The Grass represents my first baby
steps at describing what I was seeing on the dusty road of following after this
teacher and his world-changing claims. I didn't know anything about what
constituted a so-called Christian song in the thoughts of other followers of
Jesus. Honestly, chalk it up to hubris, but it didn’t enter my mind that I
might need to know. Early on in 1982 I’d purchased two albums at Berean Books,
a Christian bookstore in Sacramento. Not caring for them at all, I didn’t
purchase any more music from the Christian music industry until Amy Grant’s
excellent Lead Me On in 1988.
Reading through the lyrics of Lie Down In The Grass in
2014 I see the simple thoughts of a very young follower. It’s to be expected.
What is unusual though, is that there's no mention of Jesus. There are two
mentions of God – one in general, the other specific to the Word of God. What
can be plainly seen, is the very early working out of a theology of God, people
and place. The title cut begins with people and place – my Williamson
grandparent’s home in Tierra Buena, California – specifically the view out
their screen door. The voice of God comes to us in specific places, in the
daylight and in our dreams. At their home, and at my Miller great-grandparent’s
home on Jefferson Road I was able to experience unfettered play outdoors,
unaccompanied by adults. In the tierra buena, the good earth, the bent grass,
rye and mustard thrived. With my eyes puffed and tearing-up from allergies, I
would run through the tall grasses till out of breath. Then fall back into
them and rest – the collect of blade upon blade having the power to catch,
cushion, and comfort me. I would jump up just to do it again. Running, falling,
trusting. Running, falling, trusting. Always an adventure, always trustworthy.
fifty plus years later, and thirty from the debut of Lie Down In The Grass, everything and
nothing has changed. Despite an entirely different world, it’s all still
trust-fall. I’m looking forward to the future, trusting, swimming in the
blessing, not waiting ‘round to die.
Reflections on Lie Down In the Grass
by Michael Roe
this kind of skill and imagination loose on the premises, we were certain that
the album would make its mark with whoever happened to come in contact with it.
We were not wrong in that assumption.”
Believe it or not, we are nearly 31 years into this thing now, as
tracking for Lie Down began, I think, in the fall of 1983. But 31 doesn’t
sound as rounded off as 30 for marketing purposes.
Regarding “Young In Heart” and “Love Doesn’t Get Better”, I was always
opposed to the addition of those tracks to the A&M release of the album, as
they were not part of the original sessions. I understand why A&M
wanted this, but I was unhappy with the decision. Is that Daryla Griser
singing backup vocals on the chorus of “Young In Heart?”
Sure sounds like it. And “Young In Heart” was my introduction to the great Lance Taber, who played electric guitar with me on the track. He has remained a lifelong friend.
In 1983, the 80’s British Invasion was in full swing – everything
from one-shot novelty a-go-go pop silliness, to doom and gloom, and/or bright
and sunny electric guitar jangle, along with a fairly pervasive Tamla/Motown
revival going on in England at the same time. In the midst of all this
came Aztec Camera’s High Land, Hard Rain
album, which featured a little more acoustic guitar than most of the other acts
from the British Isles. Charlie seemed to like that, along with the
simplicity and lack of clutter and fussiness in the production. While not
exactly forming the entire musical template for Lie Down, the quiet influence
of ‘High Land’ seemed to give Charlie a new, gentler way of approaching things
in the studio during the making of Lie
Down In the Grass.
It was from that influence that Charlie invited me in, acoustic
guitar in hand, to keep that subtle Aztec Camera vibe going throughout the
project. But after awhile, I found myself in the control room sitting
across from Jimmy Abegg with both of us holding Stratocasters and Charlie
standing above us calling the various musical shots. We got to stretch
out and play some pretty cool stuff that drew from every electric guitar
influence I can think of, including Duane Eddy twang, Hawaiian, blues, jazz,
Dave Edmunds and even a little bit of surf music. None of it was forced.
It all felt so natural. We had a wonderful time playing off of each
other, and I learned a lot from Chuck, especially how to avoid the obvious in
my playing. I would occasionally come up with a line or part and he would
forbid me from playing it. Why, I would protest, “It’s the perfect
part for right there.” Chuck would retort, “That’s exactly why I don’t
want you to play it.” This would frustrate me at first, but I eventually
discerned that he was after something more original, something not so hackneyed
The song “Lost In Translation” is a case in point. It began with Jimmy Abegg playing an aggressive 'Big Country meets the Wild West' riff. Eventually, Charlie became irritated with Jimmy’s part and stripped the entire track back to a much more introspective approach. I played every single guitar on the track, but felt guilty the entire time because Jimmy’s incendiary part had been obliterated. So, Jimmy was brought back in to play the banjo! I still felt like something at the core had been, indeed, ‘lost in translation’, and suggested that we re-introduce Jimmy’s wild part at the end of the song. Charlie agreed, and the song now ends with Jimmy’s original aggressive riff, which was a perfect way to get out of the tune. I was so grateful that Chuck was the kind of producer that was willing to hear you out if you felt very strongly about something.
On the closing tune “Who Is Not Afraid”, I remembered a technique
that Simon & Garfunkel had used for background vocals on their song “The
Only Living Boy In New York” from the Bridge
Over Troubled Water album. It consisted of singing a long ‘ahhh’
sound at the top of your lungs and layering it several times, then backing the
voices way down in the mix. I spelled out the idea to Charlie. He liked
it and Steve Griffith and I were given our marching orders. After several
takes, Steve and I began to hyperventilate, but we hung in there until the
desired effect had been achieved. It was a magical sound that left all of
us exhilarated for days. Sure enough, the mixdown engineer buried our
voices so far down in the mix that the impact of the effect was lost, but I
shall never forget the highs that we all experienced when recording those
vocals. It was as if we could reach for the stars with any idea that
anyone on the sessions came up with, and Chuck would indulge it just to find
out if we could take the project one step further musically. With this
kind of skill and imagination loose on the premises, we were certain that the
album would make its mark with whoever happened to come in contact with it.
We were not wrong in that assumption.
After the Lie Down album was completed, I was fortunate to have
another project lined up with Chuck at the helm, the All Fall Down album by my group The 77s. It was as if we
didn’t stop recording when Lie Down was finished. We merely picked up
where we left off, and that feeling led to a similarly successful artistic
achievement for All Fall Down because
myself, Charlie and engineer Daryl Zachman remained in the same head and heart
space that we had already been in for Lie Down. The results were equally
as rewarding and long lasting, and I have been forever grateful to Chuck for
It was an honor to be a part of the sessions for Lie Down. It
was a challenge to come up with something truly original in the 1980’s, but I
know of no other album from that period that sounds anything like Lie Down In
30th Anniversary Edition Track Listing
Lie Down in the Grass
It’s Gone, It’s Over
Lost in Translation
One, Two, Three (That’s Okay)
Whole Lot Different (Whole Lot the Same)
Till You Caught My Eye
Turned on an Attitude
Who Is Not Afraid
Young in Heart
Love Doesn’t Get Better
Lie Down in the Grass (A&M Version)
Lie Down in the Grass (Island Version)
Lie Down in the Grass (2014 Mix)
Lie Down in the Grass (Bourgeois Tagg Version)
My Marguerite (2014 Mix)
Guilty (2014 Mix)
Young In Heart (2014 Mix)
Love Doesn’t Get Better (2014 Mix)
Charlie's Notes on Track Listing
The first ten songs are as they appear on the original vinyl recording from 1984. Next are the two songs added when the recording was re-released by A&M Records in 1985. Next up are four different versions of the song "Lie Down In The Grass." This includes a unique version offered on the A&M release, a completely reworked version on the 1986 self-titled release on Island Records, a new 2014 release by mixer Richie Biggs, and a live version from my 1980s counterparts, Bourgeois Tagg. The band would often perform the song in concert. I wish I knew the origin of this recording - perhaps someone will hear it and remember.
"My Marguerite" and "Guilty" are never-before-released bonus cuts from the 1980s era performed by the Charlie Peacock Group lineup of Bruce Spencer, drums; Darryl C. Anders, bass; John Weber, keyboards; Jon Skinner, tenor saxophone; Jimmy Abegg, guitar, and Vince Ebo, backing vocalist. It's also very possible that vocalists Clarice Jones and Shelley Burns contributed. Clarice and Shelley often performed with us - including a Gavin Convention gig at the Fillmore with Bourgeois Tagg.
Two lineups participated in the national touring that surrounded the Lie Down in the Grass releases. The first being Mike Roe (guitar), Bruce Spencer (drums), Erik Kleven (bass), and Bongo Bob Smith (percussion). The second included Michael Miller (guitar), Kurt Wortman (drums), Geno Lopes (bass), and Bongo Bob Smith (percussion). Aaron Smith (drums) also played from time to time, along with bassist Eric Heilman. Duane Temme often road-managed us and kept things going.
Finally, the 30th Anniversary Edition closes with two fresh Richie Biggs mixes of "Young In Heart" and "Love Doesn't Get Better."
I want to give special mention to Bongo Bob Smith who championed me and this music during the 1980s. Bongo was the first to take the song "Lie Down in the Grass" to Bonnie Simmons at Bill Graham Mgmt. in San Francisco. As a result, I was hired to write a couple of songs/tracks for Santana that management could have in their back pocket, just in case something more commercial and contemporary was needed for Santana's next recording. Fast forward to 2014, this just seems silly, and thankfully were never used. Nevertheless, Bob's introduction did result in Bill Graham managing me for two years, and I'm grateful to managers Mick Brigden and Arnie Pustilnik for their enthusiasm and kindness. Many thanks to John Huie (and the late Ian Copeland) at Frontier Booking International who took a chance on me and put me out on the road. Doug Minnick took me into CBS Songs and got me my first publishing deal, and for that I'll always be grateful. It's impossible to reflect on this period of my life without including thanks and gratitude to Mary Neely at Exit Records. Mary saw something in me that fanned the flame of her advocacy and support, and she never wavered. Close friends and creative partners like Mike Roe, Jimmy Abegg, Steve Griffith, Aaron Smith, and Darryl Zachman were critical to this period of work. For anyone I've overlooked, please accept my sincere apologies - gently let me know and I'll correct this document.
In closing, I want to thank my wife Andi Ashworth. It is accurate to say that without her none of this would have happened. When there was very little hope to be had, she held on to the belief that one day we could be a healthier family. And so, Andi took one last chance on me and together we found our way out of the darkness into the light of God's love and a renewed love for each other. Then she created a home for Molly and Sam and me where we could flourish - where the music could flourish. And so it has, for the last thirty years.