The 1975 Live From Real World Studios // 7" vinyl "All I Need To Hear" & "I Like America & America Likes Me"

In September 2022, in support of their fifth studio album Being Funny In A Foreign Language, The 1975 recorded a live version of one of their new tracks, "All I Need To Hear" at Real World Studios in Wiltshire, England. This is the version that was featured in the band's music video for the song, in the same room where the rest of the album was primarily recorded. I love that this version of the single finally had a physical release on a white 7" vinyl record. 

This vinyl was a limited exclusive release on Dirty Hit's website in December 2023. I love the simple design of the vinyl with everything being all white, with an emphasis on the typography on the front and back cover, as well as on the center label. It was such an unexpected release that I have loved playing ever since I got this as a Christmas gift from my dad!

In my record collection this was actually my first 7" vinyl I ever got from The 1975 too! I have all of their albums on vinyl, some of them being among my very first and most treasured in my collection, but surprisingly I didn't have any singles until now. Their record label, Dirty Hit, always releases the best pressings of their music and I always look forward to seeing what they make next. I can always count on the section of The 1975's vinyl in my collection to be ever-growing! 

The original studio recording of "All I Need To Hear" that features on the full album was done in only one take. "It's difficult to replicate that - it's defined by the inconsistencies, the things we got wrong," Matty Healy said in his Spotify commentary. The version that features on Side A of this vinyl is quite similar to the original version in the way that it was recorded in one take in a very loose and stripped back way. There are a few differences between the two in terms of Matty's vocal inflections, as well as the live instrumentals. Both versions are equally beautiful, and I absolutely love the sincerity and emotion in his voice. 

I absolutely love the lyric; "'Cause I don't need music in my ears, I don't need the crowds and the cheers, I've been told it so many times before, but hearing it from you means so much more...just tell me you love me, that's all that I need to hear". 

"Thinking objectively as a songwriter, 'All I Need to Hear' is maybe one of my best songs," Matty told Apple Music in 2022. "I was in a big Paul Simon phase, and I was kind of trying to do something similar to what he did on 'Still Crazy [After All These Years].' He can be as verbose as me, but that song was really, really tight. Almost lullaby-esque. I wanted to write something that was earnest and sincere and didn’t require me, specifically, to deliver it. I almost hope it will be covered by someone else, and that will become the definitive version." In an interview with Pitchfork, he also said his intention behind writing this song is that he wanted to make something that "sounds like a cover". He continued, "As a joke, George was like, 'I don't think you fuckin' wrote that.' It's my favorite thing he's ever said to me."

I had such an amazing experience seeing The 1975 live on their Still At Their Very Best Tour in New York City last November and getting to hear this song live was such a special experience. During this song, Matty's dad, Tim Healy, came on stage and performed "All I Need To Hear" for the crowd, which was such a special moment that doesn't happen too often. Looking back on that quote of Matty's intention behind this song being one that he hopes other artists can make into their own is so cool to read in hindsight after seeing that performance live. 

The song on Side B of this vinyl was recorded completely on a whim in the studio after they finished the live version of "All I Need To Hear". The song is called "I Like America & America Likes Me" and was featured on their 2018 album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships This new version offers a completely new perspective on the original recording, completely shifting the tone and heightened emotions that are so prevalent in Matty's vocal performance. The two songs on this vinyl are essentially opposites in terms of subject matter, but they are tied together by their shared earnestness and sincerity. 

At the beginning of the video released alongside the Live From Real World Studios EP they wrote, "Following the live session of 'All I Need To Hear', the camera team are preparing to wrap but Matty wants to try and record one more song. With nothing prepared ahead of time, the band starts workshopping an improvised arrangement of 'I Like America & America Likes Me'. Fifteen minutes later, they are ready to play. Matty's voice is hoarse and cracked from recording the last song. There will only be an opportunity for one take."

This song is truly like no other and so unique and bold in the message they are conveying in it. Much like "All I Need To Hear", the original studio version is not polished by any means and is kind of perfect within its own imperfections. This version recorded at Real World Studios holds a similar energy, except this time with even more urgency and heavy emotions conveyed throughout. The song was slowed down quite a bit, but I love that Matty's vocals are still heavily autotuned as an artistic choice. The blend of the soft live instrumentals and his altered voice creates such a captivating dichotomy. This new arrangement is so moving and always gives me goosebumps when I listen to it. 

"I Like America & America Likes Me" reminds me of another song on their 2018 album called "Love It If We Made It". I wrote a lot about that song in my review of the Still...At Their Very Best Tour, which was so crazy and life changing for me to finally hear live. I never heard "I Like America & America Likes Me" live, but my feelings for the two are very similar. There is such a pain to it, in a very specific way that I never heard expressed before in music aside from these two songs. "I Like America & America Likes Me" really puts into words so much of the fears that the youth of America hold in a completely honest way that holds nothing back. I never heard many of those feelings expressed and understood so directly in popular media like this before. It is so direct and thought provoking, creating a sharp commentary on American gun violence, as well as the crushing Opioid epidemic. "Kids don't want rifles, they want Supreme, no gun required, oh, will this help me lay down?" he sings. It was originally written and released at the height of the March For Our Lives Movement in 2018 and serves as such a unique snapshot of the time of which is written. Matty has also been very open about his own struggles with addiction, so you can really hear the pain in his voice, both then and now, when he is singing some of the heavier lyrics from this song. Matty also repeatedly screams the words, "Would you please listen? We can see what's missing" over and over to gain the attention of the listener to believe in the change that is possible. It is such a powerful and gut-wrenching performance.

Thanks for reading! I have so many really cool vinyl pressings from The 1975 that I look forward to sharing soon! If you are interested in reading more about the band, check out my review of Being Funny In A Foreign Language and a review of their debut album in honor of its tenth anniversary. As I said, I also had an amazing experience seeing them live on their Still...At Their Very Best Tour in November 2023, which I wrote all about here too. 

 I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

All photos are my own!

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