“It’s really a small number, it’s like one of out of 50 I’d guess,” Gurley said. “We’re tight as friends. We really enjoy playing together....We know that no matter what we do, this is probably the best thing we’ll ever do.”
That best thing wouldn’t have happened without producer Ken Scott. One of the handful of engineers who worked with The Beatles, Scott had produced David Bowie, Supertramp and Devo when he introduced himself to Dada.
“He came up to us after a show and said, ‘I’d like to record you guys,” Gurley said. “But you’ll have to sign something that says if this helps you get a record deal, I get to do the record.’ For us it was ‘Hell yeah, Ken Scott.’”
The recordings the band did with Scott led to a deal with I.R.S. Records and “Puzzle,” which became a hit right out of the box.
Even so, Gurley said, Dada is lucky it came along when record companies were still record companies.
“I really like the fact that we came up at a time when there were A&R guys and record companies that would develop a band,” Gurley said. “They would take a baby band, remember that term, and let you develop. I like the days when there was a record company behind you. It was cool.”
The days of artist development and support for multiple albums are long gone, wiped out as downloading changed the music business and major record labels shifted to trying to get big hits from its acts immediately and no longer had the patience or resources to let acts develop an audience.
Gurley doesn’t have much sympathy for the record industry.
“They kind of screwed up,” he said. “They saw it coming and didn’t do anything about it. Film and television were real comfortable about it. I know for a fact people at the record companies said, ‘People aren’t going to buy records off their computers.’ They were cocky and they paid for it.”