What's the story behind Isn't Wasn't Ain't?
People are never satisfied. In March 1999, we finally gave into years of fan requests and re-released our out-of-print cassette from 1994, "Radical History Tour," on CD. By April 1999, fans were already asking when we were going to re-release more out-of-print cassettes on CD! Actually, we'd produced a series of four studio cassettes in the old days (not counting numerous "live" cassettes), and "Radical History Tour" was the last and the best in the series. As it is, "Radical History Tour" has its share of warts, but we know it's very popular with our fans. We get requests for the lyrics all the time.
We held off on re-releasing any more old material until 2003, the tenth anniversary of the release of "Isn't Wasn't Ain't (in the Bible)," the last cassette we released before "Radical History Tour" and our first professionally mass-produced cassette (1,000 whole copies in July 1993, followed by numerous homemade copies when the originals ran out.) It was significantly better than the cassettes we had released before it, but not as good as "Radical History Tour," which came out a year later in August 1994. Our goal has always been to make each successive album better than the one before it, and many of you have noticed that. Consequently, we were hesitant to re-release "Isn't Wasn't Ain't" on CD, because we didn't want it to be the first taste of ApologetiX for a new listener. However, we also knew that many fans already had everything else we'd released and were eager for more.
By the time November 2003 rolled around, we realized that our "Adam Up" CD wouldn't be in stores until most of the Christmas shopping season was over. Many fans and their families were hoping to give and/or receive a new ApologetiX CD for a Christmas gift. So we remastered a limited-edition CD version of "Isn't Wasn't Ain't" for our fan club members. The response was overwhelming! A lot more fans have the CD than the original cassette! Since it was a limited edition CD, though, it also went out of print. However, in February 2005, we released "Isn't Wasn't Ain't (Director's Cut)."
The "Isn't Wasn't Ain't (Director's Cut)" CD features 20 tracks in all (The 2003 CD had only 18). In order to fit the project on CD (cassettes can run longer than CDs, which are limited to 80 minutes), we deleted the three parodies from the original which have since been re-done with new titles and/or lyrics on later CDs and replaced them with two tracks that were on the original "Radical History Tour" cassette but didn't fit on the CD. We'd seen those two tracks floating around on the Internet, so we knew they were popular with our fans, so we figured we might as well make them available on CD.
In addition to lead singer/lyricist J. Jackson and lead guitarist/producer Karl Messner, the musicians on "Isn't Wasn't Ain't" were Andy Sparks, rhythm guitar; Steve Kayner, bass; and Keith Harrold, drums. Background vocalists included J., Karl, Andy, Jeff Pakula, Jo Ann Herdt and Dana Spallinger.
Here's what's on the "Isn't Wasn't Ain't (Director's Cut)" CD, also known by the members of ApologetiX as "IWA":
Isn't Wasn't Ain't ("Livin' Lovin' Maid" by Led Zeppelin)
David and Goliath ("Paperback Writer" by the Beatles)
Lions ("Signs" by Five Man Electrical Band and Tesla)
Patients ("Patience" by Guns n' Roses)
Help Me, Rhoda ("Help Me, Rhonda" by the Beach Boys)
That Daughter ("Black Water" by the Doobie Brothers)
Little Esther ("Little Sister" by Elvis Presley)
Don't Try ("Don't Cry" by Guns n' Roses)
I Found the Answer There ("I Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles)
Be Like David Was ("Feel Like Makin' Love" by Bad Company)
Ain't That a Miracle ("Pink Houses" by John Cougar Mellencamp)
Faith Pt. 2 ("Faith" by George Michael)
Christians Doin' Music ("Listen to the Music" by the Doobie Brothers)
What is and Will Forever Be ("What is What Should Never Be" by Led Zeppelin)
Matthew 9 ("I Feel Fine" by the Beatles)
He Really Got Mad ("You Really Got Me" by the Kinks and Van Halen)
"Mrs. Protestant" ("Mrs. Robinson" by Simon & Garfunkel) and
"God, I Like About You" ("What I Like About You" by the Romantics)
Love Ain't Nothin' ("Long Train Running" by the Doobie Brothers) NOTE: This track was originally on the "Radical History Tour" cassette
Verynice City ("Paradise City" by Guns n' Roses) NOTE: This track was originally on the "Radical History Tour" cassette
As mentioned above, several songs on the original "Isn't Wasn't Ain't" cassette didn't make it onto the reissue CD. Three of them were overhauled, rewritten and re-recorded on later CDs. They were:
"Your Way to Heaven" ("Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin), which eventually became "Narrow Way to Heaven" on "Jesus Christ Morningstar" in 1998.
"Trust in the Lord" ("Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night), which eventually became "Boy Tell the World" on "Adam Up" in 2003. "More Than Works" was rewritten and re-recorded for "Apol-acoustiX" in 2005.
And, yes, fans have already asked when we're going to re-release the even-more-primitive cassettes that came out before "isn't Wasn't Ain't." We told you people were never satisfied!