Lost Gems: Vertical Horizon – Glass Waltz

Most people remember 90’s band Vertical Horizon for their 1999 chart-topper “Everything You Want”. It was a a prime slice of pop rock, and their album of the same name was chock full of tracks with memorable hooks and big emotional choruses.

Being that it was still the 90’s/early 2000s, I was in music piracy mode, downloading the majority of songs from that album (sorry VH). While putting all the group’s songs on my hard drive, I came across “Glass Waltz”. The quality of the track’s sound wasn’t on par with the other tracks on the album, but man it was a beautiful song. Moving in waltz time, the track had a smooth flow as it paid tribute to a couple making the best of it together, even though both of the lovers are clearly struggling with their own flaws and aspirations:

‘Cause he wasn’t that smart and she wasn’t so strong
But they went through the motions as if they belonged
Playing their parts in this travelling show
And they haven’t got too far to go

At the time, I thought I had maybe just downloaded a crappy early version of the track, prior to it being recorded for the album (I found this happened a lot in the early days of piracy, with demo versions proliferating on the net). So it was with much surprise that I learned this stunning song was not included on the band’s debut album.

I would later discover that the track was part of some early demos recorded by the band, like around 1997, and that “Glass Waltz” was actually written by the band’s guitarist at the time (who would later leave the band). Perhaps this is the reason it wasn’t included in their debut studio album, but it’s still a song that should be heard by any fans of the band. While there has never been an official release of the song, the demo has continue to spread around on YouTube, and a decent version of it can be heard below.

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