14 Songs1993 (Sire/Reprise)
Produced by Matt Wallace and Paul Westerberg
Knockin’ On Mine | First Glimmer | World Class Fad | Runaway Wind | Dice Behind Your Shades | Even Here We Are | Silver Naked Ladies | A Few Minutes of Silence | Someone I Once Knew | Black Eyed Susan | Things | Something Is Me | Mannequin Shop | Down Love
Paul’s first solo record, “14 Songs” was released in June 1993. Ian McLagan, keyboardist for the Faces, contributed to the album. Paul wrote liner notes for the 2004 Faces’ box set “Five Guys Walk into a Bar…”. Josh Freese also played on the record, the beginning of a 20+ year history of working with Paul.
In an interview with Robert Hilburn for the L.A. Times (with the lengthy title of “An Untroubled Troubadour: Songwriter Paul Westerberg returns with ’14 Songs’ about insecurities and desires–after battling his own“), Paul talked about the music that excited him as a teenager:
There was lots….the Rolling Stones, the Faces, lots of Motown things, the sound of Ray Charles’ voice. But the music that spoke directly to me was the aggression of punk. It reflected the restlessness that I was feeling. I didn’t want to get a damn job. I didn’t want to go to school. I loved old rock ‘n’ roll, but I didn’t know how to play it. Then the punks came along and said you don’t have to know how….you just have to mean it.
He also talked about “Things” in detail:
Q: “Things” on the new album is one of the most tender songs you’ve ever written. It’s about not being able to communicate your feelings to someone until the day you say goodby to her. Listening to it, you feel it is absolutely autobiographical. Is that just an illusion?
A: It’s no illusion. “Things” is one of the songs I had to coax myself into putting on the album. I didn’t want any of that confessional stuff. But I was in the car one day with (Replacements guitarist) Slim Dunlop. He said he had a song, but he didn’t want to put it on his record because it told too much. And I was going, “Man, that’s the one you gotta put on the record.” And as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew I had to do the same thing.
Q: What’s the story behind the song?
A: It’s sort of a summation of my life. I feel like I’m always leaving something. It could be looked upon as my relationship with people or my relationship with the band. It’s a way of saying, “I don’t belong to you. I belong to what I do.” My marriage is over, so there’s undeniable threads there.
“14 Songs” was nominated for a Grammy…for Best Record Packaging.
Art director Kim Champagne: “We decided to re-create the book* on the cover of the regular package, so we used the same typography and some of the same photos. The idea was to make something very intimate because Paul Westerberg is a very no-frills, very humble and simple guy. We didn’t want it to be too froufrou or overdesigned, so we used inexpensive materials and not a lot of color. But we did use green on the binding because it’s Paul’s favorite color. Paul and I went on a field trip to bookstores, where we looked at book covers and pulled some things that had the right attitude. Frank Ockenfels did most of the photography, but I took the photograph on the disc myself. I chose it because it had a nice mood to it.”
*A ‘book’ version of “14 Songs” was sent out for promotion and included an interview with Paul, liner notes and each page was numbered 14.
- “Seein Her”, “Man Without Ties”, “Dice Behind Your Shades (festicle version)” – B-Sides of “Knocking on Mine” CD promo single
- “”Can’t Hardly Wait”, “Left of the Dial”, “Another Girl, Another Planet” (Live tracks from the Whiskey A Go Go 8/93) – B-Sides of “World Class Fad” CD single (UK Import)
- “Dyslexic Heart”, “Waiting for Somebody”, “Answering Machine” (“Answering Machine” is a live track from the Whiskey A Go Go) – B-Sides of “World Class Fad” CD single (UK Import)
- “14 Songs” was originally released on CD. In 2014, it was released on 180 gram vinyl by Runt.
“World Class Fad” (directed by Zach Snyder)
“Runaway Wind” (Directed by Matt Mahurin)