Tracked over a few days in the summer of 1979, the Arlis! session is the first truly professional-sounding Titan recording. It was made possible by two major upgrades at Chapman: a designated drum room and state-of-the-art 16-track soundboard. Arlis! made quick use of the extra eight tracks, slathering layers of vocals, handclaps, and tambourines over the stadium-ready drum sound. “No Way Baby,” “I Wanna Be,” and “Good Friends” were cranked out in rapid succession, with the first two ticketed for 45 revolutions per minute and the third banked for a project taking shape in the distance. A few months later, Arlis Dwee Peach returned for a photo shoot. Stenciled on the back of his Gremlin were the words “It’s All Pop!” The shoot started at the back of his car and ended in front of the Hollywood Bar. From these contact sheets and another dimly lit roll, Sorrells crafted the sleeve art, a collage of Arlis! and his newly formed Boy Wonders in various states of rock un-decadence. The single flopped out in July of 1980 in a textured peach sleeve bearing a new Titan logo inspired by New York’s Jimboco label. But not even their new slanted “i” could save the label from the lukewarm response that the Arlis! 45 received. By the time Arlis! got back in the studio to cut another handful of glossy pop songs, Titan was on their proverbial last reel of tape, hanging on to stay afloat as the bank account was going dry and unsold records were surrounding them in their 700-square-foot office.

Arlis! Appears on: