bruce tunkel 

There is a Window – The Red House (1986)

This was the first Red House debut album, released on vinyl only in 1986. The band had done a few releases prior to this, cassette EP's (when we were called "Toys" and "In Color", and a Red House vinyl single. TIAW was recorded painstakingly in my parent's basement in Linden, NJ on a Fostex A8 8-track reel-to-reel recorder. We initially attempted live recordings. While these came out ok, we decided to spend an entire summer carefully working on drum sounds (haha). We tried EVERYTHING. While the results were certainly "indie" in quality, I learned a ton about recording.

Anyway, armed with mediocre (at best) recording gear and unshakable belief in ourselves, we released this 16 track record. It was intended to get us some press and radio play. Somehow, it succeeded wildly. We got into heavy rotation on WHTG, and began performing frequently at The Green Parrot in Neptune, NJ. Soon after, the record was featured on the cover of CMJ (college music journal), which was unprecedented for an indie release. Record companies began calling almost daily to find out about the band.
Eventually, the band signed with SBK records. More on that later...
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Tracklist/Lyrics

RAIN

SEE THE PICTURE
FROZEN MEMORIES
BUT NOT LIKE ICE
MORE LIKE RAIN

WILD, WILD RAIN
THE PROMISE OF THE RAIN
WILD, WILD RAIN
THE PLEASURE AND THE PAIN
OF THE RAIN

YOU HAD
SUCH SENSITIVITY
BUT NOT LIKE WARMTH
IT WAS MORE LIKE RAIN

WILD, WILD RAIN
THE PROMISE OF THE RAIN
WILD, WILD RAIN
THE BLESSING AND THE CURSE
OF THE RAIN

©1986 Bruce Tunkel
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KILLER UNDER SKY

WATCHING EVERY STEP I TAKE TODAY
SO I DON’T FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS
AND I KNOW HE’S NOT SO FAR AWAY
ALWAYS READY TO ATTACK
HE’S A KILLER UNDER THE SKY

MAKING MY WAY THROUGH THE CROWDED STREET
LOOKING IN TWO THOUSAND EYES
THEN I CRASHED INTO REALITY
EACH AND EVERYONE IS BLIND
TO THE KILLER UNDER THE SKY

NOW THE SUN IS BEATING DOWN SO HARD
I WAIT FOR HIM TO GIVE HIMSELF AWAY
AND AS THE SUN GOES IN BEHIND A CLOUD
I’M STARING IN YOUR FACE
HE’S A KILLER UNDER THE SKY

©1986 Bruce Tunkel/Robert Nicol
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BREAKAWAY

SUDDENLY I AM A FREIGHT TRAIN
MOVING AT DIZZYING SPEED
MOVING TOWARDS YOU
YOU MOVING TOWARDS ME
AND NOW WE MEET
SILENTLY TODAY
FOR A LAST EMBRACE
THEN WE BREAK AWAY

I FOUND YOU IN THE BACK OF MY ROOM
I FOUND YOU HIDING IN MY DRAWERS
WHEN I ASK YOU FOR YOUR NAME
YOU TELL ME THAT YOU ARE NO MORE
AND NOW WE MEET
SILENTLY TODAY
FOR A LAST EMBRACE
THEN WE BREAK AWAY

©1986 Bruce Tunkel
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ISOLATION

I DREAM OF A HOME
WHERE I CAN BE ALONE
ISOLATION

I DREAM OF A HOME
THAT I CALL MY OWN
ISOLATION

WHEN I’M THERE
I WILL NOT HAVE TO CARE
ISOLATION

WHEN I’M THERE
EVERYTHING IS FAIR
ISOLATION

I DREAM IT IN MY BED
IT’S BORN INSIDE MY HEAD
I GET IT IN MY BED
I’LL GET IT WHEN I’M DEAD
ISOLATION

©1986 Bruce Tunkel
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CHANCES

DID YOU KNOW
IT’S JUST A MATTER OF TIME
YOU’RE FALLING APART
YOU’VE BEEN SHOWING THE SIGNS
YOU RUN IN THE NIGHT
FINDING IT HARDER TO STAY
YOU FOLLOW THE LIGHT
BUT STILL YOU’RE LOSING YOUR WAY

YOU HAD A CHANCE
YOU DIDN’T WANT TO DANCE
YOU THREW IT ALL AWAY

YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF CHANCES
CAUSE YOU’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME
YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF CHANCES
YOU’VE GOT ONE LAST CHANCE TO CHANGE YOUR MIND

CAN YOU SEE
THAT IT WAS NO ACCIDENT
IT’S NO TRAGEDY
FALL DOWN AND GET BACK UP AGAIN
YOU DON’T NEED AN EXCUSE
THERE’S NO LIES AS LONG AS YOU TRY
SO WHAT IS THE USE
SO FAR YOU’VE SEEMED TO SURVIVE

YOU HAD A CHANCE
YOU DIDN’T WANT TO DANCE
YOU THREW IT ALL AWAY

YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF CHANCES
CAUSE YOU’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME
YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF CHANCES
YOU’VE GOT ONE LAST CHANCE TO CHANGE YOUR MIND

YOU WANT IT, YOU DOUBT IT
DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT
IT GETS SO DARK SOMETIMES
THE LIGHTS TURN ON AND BURN YOUR EYES

YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF CHANCES
CAUSE YOU’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME
YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF CHANCES
YOU’VE GOT ONE LAST CHANCE TO CHANGE YOUR MIND

©1986 Bruce Tunkel/Robert Nicol
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THE STATE I’M IN

I FORGOT HOW TO SLEEP
CRAWLING UNDER MY BED
THERE’S A BAD MOVIE PLAYING
INSIDE MY HEAD
THERE’S A BIG HOLE IN THE WALL
WHERE THE WALL USED TO BE
IT HOLDS OF MY DOUBTS STARING BACK AT ME
A BIG WIND FINALLY CAME AND IT BLEW DOWN MY HOUSE
I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TIME TO GET OUT
IN THE STATE I’M IN

NOW YOU SAY YOU’VE GOT TROUBLES
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FEARS
AT LEAST YOU GOT SOMETHING TO SHOW
FOR ALL THE YEARS
THERE’S A MAN IN THE CORNER
HE’S THERE WATCHING ME BREATHE
WHILE I’M LYING HERE HOLDING MY BREATH
TIL HE LEAVES
COULD THIS BE HOW IT FEELS AT THE END OF THE LINE
ONLY ME AND THE SOUND OF THE CLOCK KILLING TIME
IN THE STATE I’M IN

©1986 Bruce Tunkel/Robert Nicol
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THROUGH THE RAILS

THERE WAS A MAN WHO STOLE A TRAIN
HE SHOVELED COAL AND BLEW OFF STEAM
HE WAIVED TO ALL THE PASSING PEOPLE
STOPPED HIS TRAIN AT EVERY STATION
HE HELPED HIS PASSENGERS ABOARD
SMILED WITH PRIDE AND HE TIPPED HIS HAT
CHECKED HIS HAMILTON AND THOUGHT
HOME IS STILL A LONG WAY AWAY

WHEN THE HAMMER FELL IN PROMENTORY
EVERYONE AGREED
BUT IT SENT VIBRATIONS THROUGH THE RAILS
TO MEN OF WEALTH AND GREED
A MAN WHO STOLE A TRAIN ONCE SAID
IT HAPPENS EVERY DAY
ONCE A LINK IS SET IN MOTION
HOME IS STILL A LONG WAY AWAY

HE KEPT HIS CHILDREN HOME SAFE AND WARM
HE TOLD THEM TALES OF GANDY DANCERS
AND MEN WHO RODE THE IRON HORSE
HE PROMISED THEM ONE DAY THEY WOULD RIDE
WHEN THE FLYING SCOT PASSES BY

THERE WAS A MAN WHO STOLE A TRAIN
HE SHOVELED COAL AND BLEW OFF STEAM
HE WAIVED TO ALL THE PASSING PEOPLE
STOPPED HIS TRAIN AT EVERY STATION
HE HELPED HIS PASSENGERS ABOARD
SMILED WITH PRIDE AND HE TIPPED HIS HAT
CHECKED HIS HAMILTON AND THOUGHT
HOME IS STILL A LONG WAY AWAY

©1986 Ronald Baumann
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TAKE ME AWAY

HOW COULD I FAINT OR ACT SURPRISED
WHEN THE TV NEWS WAS IN BLACK AND WHITE
EXCEPT FOR THE RED EYED WOMAN
WHO LOST HER FIGHT TO SAVE HER CHANCE
TAKE ME AWAY FROM HERE
TAKE ME AWAY FROM ALL THIS
TAKE ME AWAY

THERE’S A SHAKEUP ON THE RAILROAD TRACKS
ABOARD THE 5 O’CLOCK B TRAIN
A MAN WHO LOST HIS CHANCE IN LIFE
WAS SHARING ALL HIS PAIN
TAKE ME AWAY FROM HERE
TAKE ME AWAY FROM ALL THIS
TAKE ME AWAY

©1986 Bruce Tunkel
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FARMLIFE

THE RAIN DIDN’T FALL ALL YEAR
THE CROPS AIN’T GROWIN’
WE GOT A ROOSTER FOR A SON
YOU KNOW THIS FARM LIFE AIN’T NO FUN

MY WIFE LOOKS WORSE THAN THE SCARECROW
MY WIFE IS SUCH A TOAD
SHE SHOOTS AT ME WITH HER GUN
YOU KNOW THIS FARM LIFE AIN’T NO FUN

MY NEIGHBOR PUT FERTILIZER DOWN
IT’S STINKIN’ UP THE TOWN
WHENEVER I SMELL IT I GOTTA RUN
YOU KNOW THIS FARM LIFE AIN’T NO FUN

©1986 Bruce Tunkel
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THIS NIGHTMARE

IT’S SUCH A PURPLE SKY
THE WIND’S BLOWING OVERHEAD
LEFT ALL MY STUFF BEHIND
EXCEPT A WATCH WITHOUT ITS HANDS
SO ARE YOU GONNA BE MY FRIEND
OR ARE YOU JUST GONNA SIT THERE
WAKE ME UP WHEN WE’RE ALMOST THERE
PLEASE WAKE ME UP OUT OF THIS NIGHTMARE

WELL WHO BURNED THAT BUILDING DOWN
HEY, WHO PUT THIS TREE IN THAT PLACE
IS SOMEONE UP THERE LOOKING DOWN
AS THE SNOW AND THE ICE HIT MY FACE
HOW CAN SOMEPLACE THAT I HOLD SO DEAR
MAKE ME THINK WHEN WILL I GET OUT OF HERE
WAKE ME UP WHEN WE’RE ALMOST THERE
PLEASE WAKE ME UP OUT OF THIS NIGHTMARE

©1986 Bruce Tunkel/Robert Nicol
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PRAY

I SAW A MAN PARK HIS CAR ON THE STREET
HE GOT TO THE SIDEWALK AND FELL TO HIS KNEES
SILENT IN PRAYER TO THE GOD OF THE METER
HE'S HAVING A WORD WITH HIS SPIRITUAL LEADER

GO ON AND PRAY

THAT GUY IN THE LAKE, WELL HE'S BEEN THERE FOR DAYS
HE'S SPEAKING IN TONGUES, NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HE'S SAYING
THE WORK OF THE LORD IS NEVER DONE
I WANNA KEEP ON SWIMMING UNTIL I AM FORGIVEN

GO ON AND PRAY

©1986 Ronald Baumann/Robert Nicol
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BURN

TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW
OR A SECRET I CAN’T SELL
CAUSE IF I HIDE INSIDE THIS LOVE
THEN I’LL BE HIDING FROM MYSELF
AND I DON’T WANT TO BURN

HAVE YOU EVER FELT THE PAIN
OF YEARS STUCK IN THE RAIN
IS THIS WHAT WE’VE WAITED FOR
HAS THIS STRUGGLE BEEN IN VAIN
AND I DON’T WANT TO BURN

©1986 Bruce Tunkel/Robert Nicol
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BLIND

THE HOWLING WIND
MAY NOT BREAK YOUR DOOR
AND THE WINDOWS YOU INSTALLED
MAY PROTECT YOU TOO
BUT LIKE THE EMPEROR ONCE SAID
IT HANGS OVER YOUR HEAD
AND THE FACES OF YOUR BROTHERS
WILL HAUNT YOU

YOU TAPED YOUR EYES
YOU TAPED THEM SHUT
BUT STILL YOU THINK
THAT YOU SEE THE TRUTH
THE WALLS OF YOUR ROOM
ARE FADED AND PALE
BUT STILL YOU THINK
THAT THEY ARE BLUE

THE HOWLING WIND
MAY NOT BREAK YOUR DOOR
AND THE WINDOWS YOU INSTALLED
MAY PROTECT YOU TOO
BUT LIKE THE EMPEROR ONCE SAID
IT HANGS OVER YOUR HEAD
AND THE FACES OF YOUR BROTHERS
WILL HAUNT YOU

©1986 Bruce Tunkel/Robert Nicol
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A ROOFTOP (SHEDS THE RAIN)

STARING IN
THROUGH CURTAINS TORN
A DEEP DARK SHELL
A STORY TO TELL
AND NO ONE’S HOME
THIS PLACE IS NOW MY PAST
ALMOST HIDDEN BY
THE LONG TALL GRASS

A ROOFTOP SHEDS THE RAIN
BUT IT DOESN’T ALWAYS STOP THE PAIN

YOU CAN’T TELL
FROM YOUR SEAT ON THE WALL
BUT JUST LOOK UP CLOSE
AND YOU’LL SEE THE FLAWS
CAUSE FROM A DISTANCE
IT’S EASY TO MISJUDGE
BUT IF YOU WERE IN MY SHOES
YOU COULD NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH

A ROOFTOP SHEDS THE RAIN
BUT IT DOESN’T ALWAYS STOP THE PAIN

©1986 Bruce Tunkel/Robert Nicol
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NO YA SHOULDN’T

NO YA SHOULDN’T PUT YOUR HANDS UP
NO YA SHOULDN’T LEAVE YOUR FLY DOWN
DON’T GET CAUGHT IN BETWEEN THE LINES
DON’T FOLLOW THE TRAFFIC SIGNS

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO
NO YA SHOULDN’T

TUCK YOUR SHIRT IN IF YOU DON’T WANT TO
OR POKE YOUR EYES OUT
WELL YOU SHOULDN’T TAKE UP SPACE
DON’T HIDE YOUR FACE WITHOUT ANY TRACE

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO
NO YA SHOULDN’T

NO YA SHOULDN’T PREACH ON TV
NO YA SHOULDN’T TAKE THEIR MONEY
IF YOU TAKE ME FOR SUCH A FOOL
WELL YA, NO YA SHOULDN’T

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO
NO YA SHOULDN’T

©1986 Bruce Tunkel/Robert Nicol
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SAY GOODBYE

ONLY A STRANGER NOW
THOUGH YOU REMEMBER MY NAME
SECRET LIFE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN
AND TIME HAS SWEPT YOU AWAY
JUST AS WE’D FELT WE’D GOT IT MADE
EVERYTHING BEGAN TO CHANGE
MAYBE YOU THOUGHT I’D READ YOUR MIND
BUT YOU DID NOT EVER SAY GOODBYE

DID IT HAVE TO END
DID YOU KNOW IT IN YOUR HEART
WE COULD ALWAYS GET THE RULES TO BEND
THOSE SAME RULES TORE US APART
NOW THAT YOU’RE GONE I MUST TELL YOU
OH MY FRIEND I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU
MAYBE YOU THOUGHT THAT I’D READ YOUR MIND
BUT YOU DID NOT EVER SAY GOODBYE

©1986 Bruce Tunkel/Robert Nicol
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bruce@brucetunkel.com
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