The third song on Remember Two Things is “Recently.” This is the only “studio” album this song shows up on, even though it’s a live version, so I will treat it like it is its first appearance on a studio album.
Song Meaning: Despite rumors of other meanings (see link), it’s mostly about a woman (Julia Gray) getting a man (Dave) to break out of his shell.
Total Play Count: 510
Album Ranking: 5/10
“Recently” is one of those songs that has become a “live gem,” that isn’t played all too much, and seeing as it never officially made an album via recording studio, it is all the more satisfying to hear played live.
Considering this was only the third song every created by DMB, it has all the characteristics that make up the early works of the band. The songs lyrics clearly show the song is about a relationship of sorts that draws attention to the speaker (i.e. Dave). Now, Dave has never fully confirmed what the song is about, but rumors have flown around about it involving a black girlfriend from the 8th grade, but there is no proof.
This music of this song is what really makes it fun. It has a somewhat of a Paul Simon feel to it with the guitar and violin-picking intro. It’s a very mellow song that has a lulling saxophone part barely playing underneath the song. Eventually, Dave breaks the song into a quicker pace with the line, “She comes to me, I watch her drink, I watch her comb her hair.”
After the song breaks open, there is a lot of repetition with the lyrics, but the solos come into play, as well as a more full sound from the accompanying instruments. The back and forth of the dynamics makes it a fun song.
My favorite part of this version, and, well any version, is the combined solos followed by the stop-notes played after each. We have LeRoi on the sax (hit), Dave on the guitar (hit hit), LeRoi on the sax (hit hit hit), and Boyd on the violin (hit hit hit hit) followed by a hoe-down outro with a killer drum beat by Carter and another killer piece from LeRoi to lead right into a few my lyrics from Dave and the end of the song.
With this version of “Recently,” there is not as much expansion upon the parts, but it is still a clean and fun version. As the third song on their first album, The Dave Matthews Band definitely has a good showing for what they are all about.
I think another thing that really sticks out about not only this song, but other earlier songs by DMB, is the simplicity of their instruments. Currently, Carter Beauford has about 47 pieces to his drum set, LeRoi (and Jeff) have about 10+ wind instruments, Stefan has 2 or 3 bass guitars, Boyd has a sweet electric violin, and Dave has about 3 or 4 different guitars he uses. The early stuff, though, has the simple feel to it that older equipment has. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just something to note.
Taking all into consideration, I love this song. It has the essentials to show what a great, original Dave Matthews Band song is, and while it gets better with age, it is still great in its most pure form.
Next Song: “Satellite”