Now The Truth Can Be Told

[Image: 'Now The Truth Can Be Told' Front Cover]

© 1994 Sparrow Records
CD, Cassette


This 1994 double-disc compilation spanning Steve's career was originally slated to have unreleased Chagall Guevara songs on it. Early track listings provided prior to the album's release listed "Halcyon Days" and "A Bullet's Worth A Thousand Words", which have since been confirmed to be among Chagall's unreleased material. In addition, those early listings showed a wildly different track order, and included "Meat The Press", which was ultimately dropped in the final release.

Track Listing

Disc 1

  1. I Want To Be A Clone (2:31)
  2. Whatcha Gonna Do When Your Number's Up? (4:15)
  3. Whatever Happened To Sin? (3:11)
  4. Bad Rap (Who You Tryin' To Kid, Kid?) (3:02)
  5. Meltdown (At Madame Tussaud's) (4:27)
  6. Sin For A Season (4:14)
  7. Guilty By Association (3:23)
  8. Hero (3:42)
  9. Am I In Sync? (4:25)
  10. Baby Doe (3:54)
  11. This Disco (Used To Be A Cute Cathedral) (4:03)
  12. To Forgive (3:52)
  13. Drive, He Said (4:24)
  14. I Just Wanna Know (4:39)
  15. On The Fritz (3:58)
  16. Lifeboat (4:29)

Disc 2

  1. We Don't Need No Colour Code (3:19)
  2. You Don't Owe Me Nothing (3:43)
  3. Under The Blood (3:40)
  4. Bouquet (3:51)
  5. I Blew Up The Clinic Real Good (4:12)
  6. Jim Morrison's Grave (4:27)
  7. Innocence Lost (5:02)
  8. What Is The Measure Of Your Success? (4:39)
  9. Since I Gave Up Hope I Feel A Lot Better (3:26)
  10. Svengali (4:30)
  11. A Principled Man (3:26)
  12. Harder To Believe Than Not To (4:33)
  13. Murder In The Big House (3:47)
  14. Escher's World (4:15)
  15. Violent Blue (4:04)
  16. Winter Wonderland (2:02)
  17. Dream In Black And White (2:54)
  18. Shark Sandwich (2:58)

About The Album

From Cornerstone 1994 Press Conference, The Phantom Tollbooth, July 2nd, 1994:

... I just had to do the liner notes for a boxed set that Sparrow's doing. I just am not sure that's such a good idea to do a boxed set based on five or six records or something like that. I mean I guess if you guys are really interested it might be worth listening to once, but I don't think I would spend money on it. [audience laughs]

But the one thing I had to do was--(just kidding of course.) [audience laughs] The one thing I had to do in that was go back and write song-by-song rememberances and liner notes and all that stuff. (This was going somewhere, where was this going? Oh yeah.) So part of the thing was I have to go back and of course listen to the old songs, some of which you get pleasantly surprised, and sometimes you think, "what in the world was I thinking?" Sometimes you just think, "why did I do this thing as a woman? What was the thought behind this?" [audience laughs]


... My idea on the boxed set, when I first set down with Sparrow and they said "we want to do this," and I said, "well, let's talk, let's be reasonable here, you sure this such a good idea?"

So we came up with a plan, maybe we'll call it Now The Truth Can Be Told, and we'll just take everything, all the old demos and songs that have never been recorded. So I went back and got all that stuff together and sat down with Peter York, who Charlie knows well, and we started listening to these tapes in Peter's office. Peter commented later to some of the people at the record company that he'd never seen me that obviously uncomfortable in all the time he's known me. Literally I broke out in a sweat, and I just kept shifting in my chair, and it was just a very, very painful experience, and that was--I think, I don't even know if we ended up--I just looked at the cover on [Upward Bound] and just thought, "I can't do this."

So we ended up using like one half of one old demo, and I even faded it before the last verse because it was just too hard to listen to.

From Now The Truth Can Be Told Liner Notes & Song-By-Song Essays, Now The Truth Can Be Told Insert Booklet, August 23rd, 1994:

There are actually three things in life that are inevitable for those of us with multi-record deals: death, taxes, and repackaging. It is my silent fear that a compilation of this type may cause premature again in one so young, but I thought the same when I first caught wind of a rumoured "Steve Taylor Tribute" album and immediately called my doctor to see if he was keeping any secrets. (I should report that, having now heard the I Predict A Clone collection, I like most of the new versions better than the originals, which makes the timing of this anthology particularly painful.)

If the truth can indeed be told, I suppose the act of listening to each track and writing a remembrance or two of things past may bring back mixed emotions: sighs of relief and satisfaction ("my, this one's aged well."), minor embarrassments ("that snare sound used to be hip, right?"), even morbid fascination ("whatever possessed me to perform an entire song as a woman?").

On second thought, this could turn out to be a lot like going to the dentist: prolonged x-rays, muffled voices mumbling second opinions, and the occasional sound in the background of someone screaming. Let the drilling commence.

From Steve Taylor: No More Clowning Around. Sort Of, Syndicate Magazine, October 1994:

Of the two-disc retrospective, which includes material from I Want To Be A Clone, Meltdown, On The Fritz, Limelight, I Predict: 1990 and the band project Chagall Guevara, Taylor says the theory ended up being a lot more than the reality. "The original idea was to go back and put a bunch of demos on the album. But when we pulled them out and listened to them, it was the most painful half hour of my life. It's funny--the recorded stuff is turning out to be better than I remember, but the unreleased stuff is much, much worse than I imagined. Fans will be glad these things never made it to the box set. Trust me, I'm doing them a favor."

One compromise was the unreleased "Dream In Black & White" and the curiosity called "Shark Salad," a montage of old demos from songs that were later recorded. Otherwise, the box serves well to give historical perspective. "All of those things were mastered for vinyl, so it was very nice going back through. It was a pleasant surprise listening to some of it. I won't say it all holds up beautifully, but sonically it holds up pretty well."