Producer Dave вЂRaveвЂ™ Ogilvie was responsible for the latter track, which cops a move he used on Marilyn MansonвЂ™s вЂњBeautiful PeopleвЂќ with three drummers (Casselman, Ramsay and Shane Wilson) playing at once – much to RamsayвЂ™s delight. Oddly enough, Ramsay also wanted DisneyвЂ™s in-house genius Alan (Little Mermaid) Mencken to twiddle the knobs for the climactic version of вЂњMasterpiece TheatreвЂќ, but admits, вЂњitвЂ™s a pretty tall order to get an Academy Award winner to come and work on your record.вЂќ Still, the album is certainly not diminished by the few things Ramsay didnвЂ™t get. вЂњBeside YouвЂќ is a panoramic exercise in big emotions, with a dash of the Dream AcademyвЂ™s вЂњLife In a Northern TownвЂќ. Some enterprising men even reared their own livestock or poultry; though this option was really only open to support units serving behind the lines. Soldiers also procured their own food for Christmas with friends clubbing together to visit local markets or trade with civilians for turkeys, geese, hens, rabbits and even goats. And once the world gets a load of this Masterpiece, Mencken, Pharrell Williams, Phil SpectorвЂ¦ you name it. ItвЂ™s like trying to explain вЂBohemian RhapsodyвЂ™ to somebody who has only heard Kanye West and Katy Perry.вЂќ Ramsay agrees. Additional presents for serving soldiers included chocolate and soap courtesy of the Italian Touring Club. вЂњHeвЂ™s just worked with so many great artists which makes his well of tricks and ideas so vast,вЂќ he says. With these songs, it made sense to stretch out a little more.вЂќ On вЂњCross My HeartвЂќ and вЂњCelebrity StatusвЂќ, the band conjures up a kind of perfect pop crossover. The stories and characters were frequently changed to reflect the nature of Army life in the Balkans. In the crunchy вЂњAll to MyselfвЂќ, the power ballad вЂњLover DearestвЂќ, and the strident вЂњGood to YouвЂќ (in which he duets with Kate Voegele), Ramsay pulls out the kind of honeyed vocals more attuned to modern RnB than white, adolescent rock. вЂњI always had that aspect in my voice but the first record just didnвЂ™t have songs that were conducive to me singing that way,вЂќ he states. At these dinners it was traditional for officers to wait on the men and the commanding officer usually put in an appearance to wish everyone the compliments of the season. вЂњJosh is really about capturing the emotion and power which isnвЂ™t surprising considering all the feeling in the writing,вЂќ he says. Adopting Brian WilsonвЂ™s notion of the вЂpocket symphonyвЂ™ and then running with it, the three distinct versions of вЂњMasterpiece TheatreвЂќ dotted across the record feature an almost perfect balance between the vocal theatrics of Queen and the more hymnal qualities of the Beach Boys. Josh Ramsay вЂ” insert the sounds of a million teenage girls swooning here вЂ” is the lead singer in the band Marianas Trench, whose show I caught last Thursday. вЂњYou know in the climax of a musical, thereвЂ™s always that medley at the end, and I thought that would be cool on a rock record,вЂќ explains Ramsay, вЂњbut it turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. True to RamsayвЂ™s quest for вЂњmore diversity on this albumвЂќ – not to mention the indulgence of his record label – Rave was just one of four prominent guest producers eventually roped into Masterpiece Theatre. вЂњI feel really fortunate to have worked with all those guys,вЂќ Ramsay says, вЂњcoz they all bring really unique things. I wrote it in the studio as we recorded it, and it took about three weeks.вЂќ After a beat, he adds, вЂњBut really it took me two years because it draws from all the songs on the whole album.вЂќ Bassist Mike Ayley readily admits, вЂњI donвЂ™t think any of the three вЂMasterpiece TheatreвЂ™ songs could have gone on Fix Me had they been written at the time. The latter produced musical revues and pantomimes, often to a very professional standard even in the wilds of Mesopotamia or the Balkans. In many units, officers clubbed together to provide Christmas dinner for the men under their command. Securing sufficient food could prove a major procurement exercise involving an inventive combination of purchasing, requisitioning and pilfering. Deadpan, I raised my hands in surrender, turned away, and tried not to rip a stomach muscle in an effort to contain my giggles.