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Lana Del Ray AKA Lizzy Grant - Post-Release Discussion Thread + Poll

Lana Del Ray AKA Lizzy Grant  

46 members have voted

  1. 1. What are your favourite tracks from Lana Del Ray AKA Lizzy Grant?

    • Kill Kill
      20
    • Queen of the Gas Station
      14
    • Oh Say Can You See
      18
    • Gramma (Blue Ribbon Sparkler Trailer Heaven)
      14
    • For K Part 2
      15
    • Jump
      16
    • Mermaid Motel
      17
    • Raise Me Up (Mississippi South)
      15
    • Pawn Shop Blues
      25
    • Brite Lites
      10
    • Put Me in a Movie (Little Girls)
      17
    • Smarty
      13
    • Yayo
      27


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Welcome to the Lana Del Ray post-release thread, a place to collect information on, discuss, and appreciate Lana’s 2010 debut album! 

 

album-lana_del_ray_a.k.a._lizzy_grant-10

 

Tracklist:

1. Kill Kill

2. Queen of the Gas Station

3. Oh Say Can You See

4. Gramma (Blue Ribbon Sparkler Trailer Heaven)

5. For K, Pt. 2

6. Jump

7. Mermaid Motel

8. Raise Me Up (Mississippi South)

9. Pawn Shop Blues

10. Brite Lites

11. Put Me in a Movie

12. Smarty

13. Yayo 

 

While Lana Del Ray (commonly known as AKA) wasn’t Lana’s first studio album -- that honor goes to Sirens -- it was her debut on a record label, and her first album to be sold commercially. AKA’s history was turbulent, which probably owes to much of the mystery and misinformation that surrounds the album today:

 

Spoiler

 

The beginnings of AKA can be traced as far back as mid-2006, when Lizzy wrote the first track for the album, “Pawn Shop Blues.” Her performance of this song in a songwriting competition caught the attention of one of the contest’s judges, Van Wilson, who doubled as a talent scout for 5 Points Records. By 2007, under the tutelage of 5 Points owner David Nichtern, Lizzy was signed on for a multi-record contract with the label.

 

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Drawing upon Lizzy’s wealth of self-written (and often home-recorded) songs, early recordings for the album, which carried the working title God Bless America, were conducted with Lizzy’s then-boyfriend Steven Mertens (also known as Steven Saint and Relax27). While his contributions were ultimately scrapped, significant elements of his production were retained in the final record, creating a sound Lizzy termed “surf noir.” After Mertens’ departure, Lizzy sought out producers with the use of an ever-evolving demo tape entitled No Kung Fu, which included songs recorded with Mertens and other 2007 session tracks. Soon, she was paired with respected producer David Kahne, with whom she recorded the album during nightly sessions at the end of 2007 (additionally writing two new tracks, “Gramma” and “Smarty,” in-studio with Kahne).

 

 

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By February 2008, final masters were complete, and the album’s running order was as follows:

 

Spoiler

 

1. For K, Pt. 2

2. Gramma (Blue Ribbon Sparkler Trailer Heaven)

3. Jump

4. Yayo

5. Put Me in a Movie

6. Oh Say Can You See

7. Pawn Shop Blues

8. Queen of the Gas Station

9. Kill Kill

10. Raise Me Up (Mississippi South)

11. Smarty

12. Brite Lites

13. Mermaid Motel

 

 

Release of the album, provisionally titled Nevada, was set for February 14, 2009, and to generate interest, a three-track EP entitled Kill Kill was released on October 21, 2008. Featuring the title track, “Yayo,” and “Gramma,” along with a cover shot by sister Chuck Grant (who would additionally shoot the final AKA cover), the EP met with positive reviews, and was highlighted by iTunes.

 

kill-kill-ep.jpg

 

However, despite the building hype for the full-length album, 5 Points was forced to shelve the album, possibly due to limited funds, until an eventual and exclusively digital release through iTunes on January 4, 2010. At this point, Lizzy had been experimenting with various stage names for some time, and requested that the album title be changed to reflect her new moniker, Lana Del Ray, along with a change in tracklist order. Thus, the album was retitled Lana Del Ray, with a subtitle of A.K.A. Lizzy Grant, to ensure consumers and critics would recognize Lana as the same artist that had developed a considerable presence on the New York live scene and who’d released the well-liked Kill Kill.

 

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However, the delay in Lana Del Ray’s release managed to kill much of the buzz surrounding the debut, and it met with little fanfare upon release. Within three months, 5 Points had pulled the album for purchase, and its obscurity was sealed when Lana bought the rights to the album prior to her major-label debut in 2012. Rumors of re-release and re-recording have abounded over the years, with Lana expressing interest and even registering assumedly reworked versions of AKA tracks (“Gas Station,” “Mermaid Hotel,” “Smartie”), but the only moves in this direction were the appearance of a re-recorded “Yayo” on the 2012 EP Paradise (which has continued to appear in live shows since), and the 2021 release of a 2017-shot music video for “Pawn Shop Blues'' by Chuck. Lana has continued to acknowledge the album on occasion through the intervening years, through snippets sung for fans and fleeting nods on livestreams, but altogether Lana Del Ray remains an unjustly obscure footnote in Lana’s career.

 

fATGl3xm.jpg

 

 

As noted above, the formation of AKA brought about many demos and outtakes that didn’t make the final cut, including Lizzy’s collaborations with producer Steven Mertens. Below is a helpful guide to the AKA demos, along with information on unused tracks recorded with both Mertens and David Kahne:

 

Spoiler

 

Kill Kill

 

Spoiler

 

The Ocean - 3:51 demo, found on a 2007 three-track CD-R burned by Lizzy. This demo, produced by Steven Mertens but sounding nearly identical to David Kahne’s final in the choruses, features an extra second verse (“Fresh from the shore/Blonde hair is wide/The ocean makes me cry”) that explains the track’s working title, along with softer, sparser production during the verses. Despite the inclusion of the “ocean” line, Lizzy still hand-wrote the title as “Kill Kill” on the CD-R.

 

Unmastered mix - an unmastered draft of the finished album track also circulates, amusingly stylized (probably by Lizzy herself) as **Kill Kill** in the ID3 tags, as well as being credited to “Miss America.” 

 

 

Queen of the Gas Station

 

Spoiler

 

Acoustic demo - 3:12 home-recorded demo, featuring Lizzy on guitar and multi-tracked vocals. Features extra lyrics following the lines “Preferably with smoking inside/If you can swing it:” “Maybe with a post office attached to it/With chickens running in and out of it/Saw one like that in New Mexico/Route 66.” These lyrics would also appear in both studio demos of the song. 

 

Mertens demo - 3:37 demo, leaked under the title “Queen.” Production is similar but far from identical to the album version, and as mentioned previously, the extra lyrics (“Maybe with a post office attached to it…”) are retained.

 

Kahne demo - 4:34 demo, with extremely similar production to the album version, albeit with the aforementioned extra lyrics, and a considerably extended instrumental outro of about a minute.

 

 

 

Oh Say Can You See

 

Spoiler

O Say Can U See - 4:37 live take, accompanied by members of the Phenomena. This demo stems from a January 14, 2007 session at Studio 356, and was recorded along with takes of unreleased tracks “Disco” and “Let My Hair Down.” Lyrically, the song is the same, although the production is much sparser and the title is stylized as “O Say Can U See.” 

 

Gramma (Blue Ribbon Sparkler Trailer Heaven)

 

Spoiler

Early mixes - two early mixes of “Gramma” exist, pulled from the archives of David Kahne’s website. Subtitled “Mix 3” and “Mix 5,” they bear only marginal differences to the album version.

 

For K, Pt. 2

 

Spoiler

 

Rehab (Mix 1/2/3) - Produced by Paolo de Gregorio, this 3:36 demo was recorded on January 25, 2007. Two marginally different early mixes exist, with the various mixes appearing on Lizzy Grant and the Phenomena’s ReverbNation account (under the title “for k part 2”), and on the self-compiled mixtape The Phenomena of Lizzy Grant, on which two separate mixes are present, stylized as “Rahab” and “Rahab II”.

 

Studio 356 take - This 4:54 live take was recorded with members of the Phenomena at Studio 356 on February 28, 2007, along with versions of unreleased track “Get Drunk” and “Raise Me Up.” Like many of the other Studio 356 tracks, the sound of this demo is much more rock-inspired than the album version. 

 

“Bedroom” demo - This 4:32 demo was recorded on August 14, 2007, alongside demos of unreleased tracks “Disco,” “Get Drunk,” and future album track “Raise Me Up,” apparently in the bedroom of one of Lizzy’s friends. It features only Lizzy’s vocals and acoustic guitar accompaniment, which may also be hers. 

 

 

Jump

 

Spoiler

No Kung Fu demo - appearing as part of the No Kung Fu demo tape, this 2:54 demo features less complex production than the final, but is lyrically identical. The producer of this version is unknown, but can be assumed to be either Steven Mertens or Arthur Lynn.

 

Mermaid Motel

 

Spoiler

Mertens demo - the sole demo of “Mermaid Motel” runs 6:20 and is a Steven Mertens production. Little to none of the sound of this demo was retained for the album version, with a slower tempo, surf guitars, and less tonal shift between the verses and chorus. Additionally, there are numerous lyrical shifts and additions, including ad-libbed backing vocals, the slightly different line “God bless the universe/God bless the ocean/God bless the blue/And God like them mean,” and an excised verse that follows the second chorus: “All I wanna do is lie on chandeliers/I’ve been beautiful for more than a thousand years/All I wanna do is lie on chandeliers/And stare at you, baby/Smile you to tears.” Lastly, the ID3 tags on the leaked file indicate that the demo was part of the No Kung Fu demo tape, and a date of September 6, 2007 was attached, which may indicate a possible recording date. 

 

Raise Me Up (Mississippi South)

 

Spoiler

 

Studio 356 takes - three live takes, of various length (all near four minutes), were recorded with members of the Phenomena at Studio 356 on February 28, 2007, alongside takes of “For K, Pt. 2” and unreleased track “Get Drunk.” Lyrically, they are nearly identical to the album version, but have a more rock-inspired sound, like many of the songs from these sessions. 

 

“Bedroom” demo - Recorded on August 14, 2007 in the bedroom of a friend of Lizzy’s alongside demos of “For K, Pt. 2” and unreleased tracks “Disco” and “Get Drunk,” this 3:22 demo features no significant lyrical changes, but is purely acoustic, with Lizzy on vocals and possibly guitar. 

 

Early mix - An early mix of the album version, found in the archives of David Kahne’s website and titled “Rayse,” bears marginal differences to the album version. 

 

 

Pawn Shop Blues

 

Spoiler

Bread and Oranges - This 3:05 demo, thought to be produced by Jonathan Jones (who is also thought to be responsible for unreleased tracks “Fordham Road” and “Money Hunny”), features Lizzy on acoustic guitar and vocals, and was probably recorded in 2006. It appeared alongside the other Jones tracks on Lizzy’s Myspace account around August 2006, and was retitled “Pawn Shop Blues” by the following month, as well as appearing on the self-compiled mixtape The Phenomena of Lizzy Grant

 

Brite Lites

 

Spoiler

 

Rehearsal - A 3:30 live rehearsal, recorded with The Rich Whores, features a heavily rock-influenced sound, and a similar, distinctive guitar line to the one heard in the July 9, 2007 live recording of “Brite Lites.” 

 

No Kung Fu demo - Stemming from the original No Kung Fu demo tape leak, this 3:05 demo features Lizzy on vocals and an unknown musician on acoustic guitar, with virtually identical lyrics to the final. 

 

Mertens demo - This 3:00 demo, produced by Steven Mertens, bears an entirely different, desert-rock influenced sound from the final, club-inspired track. Additional lyrics are present after the first chorus: “They named me Lana Rey Loreen (x3)/From when I was a beauty queen.” 

 

 

Put Me in a Movie

 

Spoiler

 

Acoustic demo - Claimed to be the first recording of the song, this 3:38 demo was probably home-recorded in 2007 and features Lizzy’s multi-tracked vocals, along with her acoustic guitar. An entirely different second verse is present, with the lyrics: “And I will lie, like a child/Smile in your mouth/And you will thank the Lord above/Such a pretty (?).” 

 

Ruby - Present on the tracklist of the original No Kung Fu demo tape leak, this demo was produced by Steven Mertens, and is lyrically the same as the final, with a significantly similar sound. The track appeared again, this time titled “Ruby,” per Lizzy’s own writing, on a 2007 CD-R, alongside “The Ocean” and “Roller Dirby.” 

 

Early mix - Labelled with the alternate title “Little Girls,” this early mix of the album version is notable for the inclusion of an entirely unique line in the bridge: “Feels like sugar in me,” repeated twice. This line, though excised from the final track, later appears spliced into the self-recorded concept demo “4th of July.” 

 

 

Smarty

 

Spoiler

No demos or alternate mixes of “Smarty” are known to exist, which may be due to the fact that it was written in-studio during the recording sessions, rather than having been written prior, as is the case for most of the album.

 

Yayo

 

Spoiler

 

Rehearsal -  A 2007 live rehearsal, recorded with the Rich Whores and with a duration of 4:38, presents a radically different arrangement of “Yayo,” similar to the “rock” version performed live with the same band. Missing is the “Hello, heaven…” bridge, but the recording is lyrically the same otherwise.

 

No Kung Fu demo - This 4:19 demo surfaced as part of the original No Kung Fu demo tape leak, and like much of that collection, features Lizzy on vocals, accompanied by acoustic guitar. It’s lyrically similar to the final version, but like the Rich Whores rehearsal, lacks the “Hello, heaven…” bridge. 

 

Concept demo - This 2007 self-recorded demo runs 5:10, and features Lizzy on multi-tracked vocals and acoustic guitar. Unlike other demos of the song, it includes the “Hello, heaven…” bridge. 

 

 

In addition to these demos of album tracks, several songs were recorded by Lizzy with both Steven Mertens and David Kahne that didn’t make the album. Whether these tracks were ever considered for the album is unknown, but it can be ascertained that they were recorded within the same window as other AKA tracks, between 2007 and 2009:

 

Spoiler

 

Mertens:

  • Pin Up Galore
    • + Roller Dirby (alt. version)
  • Trash Magic
    • Three versions
  • Wayamaya

All of the above have leaked, no unleaked Mertens titles are known.

 

Kahne:

  • Axl Rose Husband (studio version)
  • Ben (studio version)
  • Bounce
  • Coconut and Key Lime Pie
  • High
  • C-Note
  • Jimmy Gnecco (studio version)
  • Lemonade Motorcycle Heaven
  • Me & My Boyfriend (studio version)
  • Slow Gin Fizz (unleaked version)
  • Reflec
  • White Pontiac Heaven (studio version)

Of these titles, only Kahne’s version of C-Note (aka Hundred Dollar Bill) has leaked, although some of these titles exist and circulate in other versions. It’s worth noting that at least some of the above Kahne tracks were recorded after AKA sessions had wrapped in 2007, so were likely never considered for the album, but are still significant in their proximity to the album’s recording.

 

 

 

Lana’s promotion of her music during the AKA era included interviews, frequent live performances, and perhaps most distinctively, the creation of self-assembled music videos for most of the tracks on the album, much like the “Video Games” visuals that would propel her to stardom in 2011. Below are a selection of these videos, plus relevant fan creations: 

 

Spoiler

 

Interviews
 

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live performances

 

Spoiler

See the Early Shows section for a list of all pre-2010 live performances, plus videos and audio!

 

Music videos

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

Similar homemade music videos are rumored to exist for "Queen of the Gas Station" and "Smarty," but remain unleaked, along with additional versions of the "Kill Kill" video. The remaining three album tracks ("Oh Say Can You See," "For K, Pt. 2," and "Raise Me Up") are not rumored to have videos, but more videos from this era have leaked, including videos for "Methamphetamines" and early demos of "Diet Mountain Dew."

 

 

 

Fan videos

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

^ By @Lana De Los Reyes 

 

 

^ By @TheBoss

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, here are some helpful links for further info and exploration of AKA:

 

 

 

TCZUvOq.png


ZCSX004.jpg

 

* all that's real to me is trailer parks & beaches Marilyn & Jesus * platinum & peaches, honey *

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people thst are close to LDR are always in the photo/music industry

 

That's true to a point, but I don't know how it relates to Lana Del Ray:creep:

Keep in mind, this is a thread for discussion of Lana Del Ray, the album-- not Lana Del Rey, the person, in general  :hooker:


ZCSX004.jpg

 

* all that's real to me is trailer parks & beaches Marilyn & Jesus * platinum & peaches, honey *

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Are there threads for paradise and btd?

 

Uh, I'm honestly not sure! I'm not as interested in reading about those albums, so I haven't looked, truthfully  :creep:


ZCSX004.jpg

 

* all that's real to me is trailer parks & beaches Marilyn & Jesus * platinum & peaches, honey *

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That's true to a point, but I don't know how it relates to Lana Del Ray:creep:

Keep in mind, this is a thread for discussion of Lana Del Ray, the album-- not Lana Del Rey, the person, in general  :hooker:

because Steven was her ex-boyfriend. and shut up

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because Steven was her ex-boyfriend. and shut up

 

I'm sensing some negativity, no? Let's keep this civil and on-topic, okay?  :kiss:


ZCSX004.jpg

 

* all that's real to me is trailer parks & beaches Marilyn & Jesus * platinum & peaches, honey *

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How many sales did it have? Like 30000 or around 1000


                                                                     lana-del-rey-just-for-life-anatomy-nss-m

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Do we know exactly how long did it stay on iTunes and Amazon music? Aka release day till the day it was pulled?

 

This Rolling Stone article (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/lana-del-rey-to-re-release-first-album-20120127) claims it was "shelved two months after its debut on iTunes". 


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* all that's real to me is trailer parks & beaches Marilyn & Jesus * platinum & peaches, honey *

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More info:

 

  • She was signed by musician/producer/5 Points owner David Nichtern to a multi-record deal in 2007, while she was a senior at Fordham University.
  • To release the Album they needed an all-in budget of $50,000

 

 

I'll add this to the OP, under a spoiler! thanks! 


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* all that's real to me is trailer parks & beaches Marilyn & Jesus * platinum & peaches, honey *

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I really love Mertens' work that we've heard. His style is actually a great match with LDR. I'm dying to know if he produced versions of Kill Kill and Smarty, and if any other tracks almost made the album. The Brite Lites demo is very intriguing. :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana:

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im glad AKA flopped. wouldnt have masterpieces like BTD or UV.

 

Imagine the music she would've made if AKA had taken off, though...  :flutter:


ZCSX004.jpg

 

* all that's real to me is trailer parks & beaches Marilyn & Jesus * platinum & peaches, honey *

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I really love Mertens' work that we've heard. His style is actually a great match with LDR. I'm dying to know if he produced versions of Kill Kill and Smarty, and if any other tracks almost made the album. The Brite Lites demo is very intriguing. :deadbanana: :deadbanana: :deadbanana:

 

I agree! Ever since finding out from @@Eclipse that two of my favorite Lana tracks, Trash Magic and Pin Up Galore, were produced by Steven, I've been dying to hear what production he gave to AKA, as it's my favorite album! It'll be a match made in heaven  :legend:

 

And, I don't believe there would be a version of Smarty-- I'm pretty sure that was one of the two tracks, along with Gramma, that Lana and David wrote in-studio. 


ZCSX004.jpg

 

* all that's real to me is trailer parks & beaches Marilyn & Jesus * platinum & peaches, honey *

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Don't think you mentioned that she briefly considered re-releasing it, then changed her mind. That is she did, in fact, have the rights to re-release it whenever she wanted too, but then elected not to.

 


 

"In January 2012, upon the release of her major-label album, Born to Die, Del Rey stated to the BBC that she recently bought back the rights of the album and was planning on re-releasing it in the Summer of 2012."

 

She remarked that "it was pretty good" (i.e., the 2nd article, wikipedia references for my quote, has that statement).

 

I'm sad she doesn't have it on catalog, but respect her decision to keep it suppressed, if that's what she really wants to do. Although I do wish she were more like Tyler the Creator and just release it on her website (i.e., I got Bastard at oddfuture.com, which if that was an illegal download, it sure fooled me). 

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