Picture sleeve for the U.K. vinyl release of the Posies' "Dream All Day" single.
The Posies had their genesis in a collaboration between core members Jon Auer (guitar, vocals) and Ken Stringfellow (guitar, vocals) that began in late 1986 when Ken was a student at the University of Washington. They began to perform together as an acoustic duo during the summer of 1987 when Ken was home in Bellingham. In late 1987 and early 1988, Stringfellow drove home on weekends to join Auer in recording a demo at Auer’s family’s home studio. Although their intention was to record a demo with the intention of using it to recruit other band members, the demos were so good that they became the Posies’ first self-released album, “Failure” (1988). Interest in the group increased as cassette copies of the album circulated, and soon Mike Musberger (drums) and Rick Roberts (bass) joined, allowing the band to play their first live shows in Seattle and Bellingham. “Failure” was re-released on vinyl in late 1988 by independent label PopLlama. The band subsequently signed with Geffen subsidiary DGC Records. The band released its second album, “Dear 23”, on DGC in August 1990. After an extensive U.S. tour, the band returned to Washington in late 1991 to record a third album; the band scrapped the sessions when they decided Rick Roberts’ songs did not fit the band and scrapped the sessions. Roberts was asked to leave around this time. The remaining three members developed new songs, and eventually their third album, “Frosting on the Beater”, was released in April 1993. The first single from the album was the leadoff track, “Dream All Day”. This is today’s featured single.
“Dream All Day” starts off with distorted guitar chords, which leads to a melodic tune that is an admirable slice of power pop. Although the song only employs five chords, the structure of the song is somewhat complex, with the speed of the riff changing often. And there is the lyrical content, terse yet eloquent in its own way: “I’ve got a lot of thoughts/Got a lot of plans/I lost a lot of sleep/Trying to understand/I could dream all day”. About 1 minute and 58 seconds into the track, there is a brief but intense guitar solo during the instrumental break. The vocals on the song are excellent, and the harmonization between Auer and Stringfellow is compelling. “Dream All Day” may not be the high water mark of the Posies, but it is a well-crafted song and certainly one of their better songs.
The second song on this single, “How She Lied By Living”, has a haunting minor-key melody, in which the protagonist tells about a woman that lied, and admonishes here during the chorus: “You told me, you told me you loved life/Don’t tell me, don’t tell me you loved life/Don’t tell me you loved life”. The drumming in this song is more distinct than on “Dream All Day”, and the rhythm section plays a more prominent role here. The melody, repeated almost monotonously during the instrumental break about 1 minute and 25 seconds into the song, gives the song a dark feel. Overall, “How She Lied By Living” is a solid track, and worthy of inclusion on “Frosting”.
The single (catalog #: GFS50) was issued on DGC Records in the United States and Geffen in the U.K. The single was issued with a picture sleeve (shown here is the picture sleeve for the U.K. vinyl release). Although most of the album was recorded by the trio of Auer, Stringfellow and Musberger, Dave Fox joined the band on bass during the last recording sessions for the album. Fox would leave the band in 1994. During a subsequent European tour, Musberger had a falling-out with Auer and Stringfellow and left the band. In late 1994, Brian Young took over on drums and Joe Howard took over on bass. This lineup recorded their fourth album, “Amazing Disgrace” (1996). After touring the U.S. and Europe, the band members occupied themselves with solo projects, leading to rumors that the Posies were finished. In fact, they did re-record a dozen older songs, with the intention of making it their swan song. The resulting album, “Success”, was released in February 1998. During the subsequent tour, a live album, “Alive Before the Iceberg” (2000) was recorded. After a period of inactivity, Auer and Stringfellow recruited a new rhythm section: Darius Minwalla (drums) and Matt Harris (bass). This lineup recorded “Every Kind of Light” (2005) and “Blood/Candy” (2010).