"With Or Without You"
Jim Fusco's first album, "With or Without You," started as a concept. Jim wanted to make an album of songs sung from two points of view: being with someone and being without someone! The result is presented here.
The fifteen songs here are the absolute first released recordings from Jim. He didn't know how to play the guitar yet, and just barely knew some piano that he taught to himself. Jim used MIDI keyboard programming to play the hard parts he just couldn't play yet (without messing up). The entire album was recorded on a Fostex 4-track mixer, and some songs, like the "Best Of..." starter "You Don't Know (The Way That I Feel)," have only keyboard, drums and vocals. But, the songs sound complete, nonetheless.
Jim began recording the album on New Year's Eve 2000 with the title track, "With or Without You". Though, Jim had completed many midi files of his backing tracks earlier, "With or Without You" (the song) had the first live instruments laid-down on tape. This album features some interesting elements, including playing the piano riff to "With or Without You" in the opening track and then playing the same tune on the real song later in the album. A few years later, Jim would be inspired again by hearing Brian Wilson's SMiLE album, which does the same thing.
You have to remember that these songs come from the mind of a 16 year old. Many of these songs, including the lyrics for "Graduation", came from experiences Jim had when he was even younger. While just a Junior in high school, Jim was already writing about lost love. Looking back, it's kind of humorous to think that Jim hadn't really lost anyone at that point! But, when you're a "thinker", as Jim called himself, you plan a little farther ahead than others your age...
Listen to the Entire Album Online!
Unfortunately, the album is out of print, but the sound clips