Gotta Be ...
I wrote back to him and said, "As for how I pick material, it's mostly instinct. I just have a reaction to certain songs and feel like I should try them. Others are found through trial and error. Mostly, since we're recording with existing tracks, it comes down to finding tunes that are in a good key for me."
As I've mentioned before, I'm in love with the soundtrack from Good Night, and Good Luck. And Gotta Be This or That was the first song that I zeroed in on when I listened to the album the first time through. I've tried other cuts, recorded other cuts, but this was the one that started it all.
It's also the first one I recorded with Brian when we resumed our recording relationship last year and I was astonished at the playback. I asked him if he'd done anything to the vocal. "Nope," he said. "That's you."
Wild. The last time I was in the booth (a month ago today, actually), we polished up a few tracks, including this one. Brian, in addition to being a recording genius, is a very good director. I couldn't get the timing of one of the lines, and he could hear why.
"It's not 'It's gotta be,' " he said. "It's 'scottabe.' " Sure enough, the next time through, I sang "scottabe," and it fit perfectly.
There are still things I'd polish in this cut, notes where I could be stronger as I hold them, but some are fond of it the way it is. After hearing my four tracks, English Teacher Dave wrote to say this cut will be included on this year's anniversary CD for his wife, an annual gift, the 21st Century version of the mix tape. I'm tremendously touched to be part of her present.
And so, without further ado, I give you my cover of "Gotta Be This or That."
And if you need it, the direct URL is