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Spectropop V#0163

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 10/10/98

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       Volume #0163                     October 10, 1998   
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                       Order Yours Today                   
    
    
    
    Subject: Ballroom CD
    Sent: 10/09/98 12:44 pm
    Received: 10/10/98 1:08 am
    From: Dan Murphy, daniXXXX@XXXa.com
    To: Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    
    I got a surprise in the mail today... my copy of "Preparing for 
    the Millennium". I ordered it from the UK and it arrived a lot 
    sooner than I expected. This is an excellent disc! It features 
    twenty-three tracks, a running time of over an hour, and copious 
    liner notes.
    
    I've only once listened to it all the way through, so I just have 
    a few comments: There are a few tracks that later found their way 
    to Millennium/Sagittarius LPs, and the versions here seem a little
    bit less "textured", which I think makes the quality of the vocals 
    and their arrangements even more evident. It also helps showcase 
    the strength of the material.
    
    You'll hear a sort of psychedelic approach to "Baby Please Don't 
    Go", followed by a "demo" version of "Another Time" that is a real
    highlight. This is Curt B. himself on vocals, right? He sounds 
    great. The track "Magic Time" is a virtual definition of "sunshine
    pop".
    
    And hey, the last track is a Nilsson cover ("Best Friend")!
    It's said that there is even more Boettcher-related material still
    unreleased. I hope this disc sells plenty of copies so that the "
    powers that be" give serious consideration to further such 
    releases. It's also a good thing to see Curt Boettcher get further
    recognition (even if belated) for his work.
    
    Buy it - you won't regret it.
    
    Dan Murphy
    
    
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    Subject:     Hook, Line & Sinker
    Sent:        10/10/98 1:55 am
    Received:    10/10/98 1:08 am
    From:        Jamie LePage, le_page_XXXX@XXXties.com
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    The hook. I don't know where the expression originated from; if 
    anyone knows please share that bit of trivia with us.
    
    It is not a universally accepted term, that much I do know. 
    Sometimes I mention "hooks" and get a puzzled look. An easy way 
    to describe a hook is to say it is something that is "catchy."  
    Hook - catchy - it works! So under this ten cent definition, 
    anything can be a hook: a drum fill (as in Bob Gaudio's Dawn), 
    a guitar riff (as in Satisfaction), a time signature (as in 
    Take Five), a certain "sound" (as in the solo on Zip a Dee by 
    Bob B. Soxx), a percussive accent (as in that great slap on 
    Ronettes' How Does It Feel), a spoken phrase (as in "By the 
    way where'd you meet him?"), a lyric and of course, a melody 
    line (choose your own examples).
    
    I was discussing this with a fellow Spectropop lister a few  
    evenings ago over a bottle of Napa Cab after Jack's post first  
    appeared in an earlier digest. We concluded that the more hooks  
    there are, the catchier a record is. Are hooks premeditated? 
    Hey, hey Paula, you can bet yer Brill they are, or at least 
    they should be. It would be pretty stupid to leave it to 
    chance. Yes, I know hooks sometimes appear out of nowhere  
    during a session (we hear that happening during Pet Sounds  
    sessions, for example), but even then there is more often than 
    not a conscious decision to leave it in. I am sure that 
    occasionally hooks accidentally ended up on records, and  I 
    guess we can thank god for those.
    
    There are obvious techniques used in creating hooks, and the 
    greatest producers and writers of the Spectropop era were 
    masters at it. Using an instrumental melody or BG vocal line in 
    between lead vocal lines is a good one, a repeated chorus that 
    start a 4th or 5th above the verses is another, lyrical 
    variations on common phrases work great as hooks (e.g., Stop in 
    the Name of Love). A little fill that keeps popping up in 
    the same place is also very effective (the drum break in Be My 
    Baby). 
    
    So, using this very broad definition of "hook," it stands to 
    reason that much uninteresting music lacks hooks. But here's the 
    rub. Most insipid pop music is filled with hooks. Claudia 
    earlier commented negatively about a few bubblegum records. 
    While I too am not all that keen on much of that genre, I do 
    understand the craftsmanship that went into those records. 
    Bordering on banal? I have to agree much does. Simon Says by 
    Kasanetz & Katz pales next to There's Got To Be a Word by Anders 
    & Poncia for instance.
    
    The conclusion? Great Pop Music has the hooks, but hooks alone 
    do not a great pop record make. 
    
    In the 60's, everyone was making three minute pop records 
    crafted for the teenager market. No one was thinking beyond the 
    first life cycle of the single. George Martin has lamented that 
    if he had known people would still be listening to the Beatles 
    records thirty years after the fact he would have taken a bit 
    more care in constructing them. I am sure no one imagined that 
    the Motown masters would become pop icons as used in film after 
    film after film. So many of these great pop records of the 60's 
    continue to shine through decades later and excite contemporary 
    listeners with their inventive (or at least creative) sound, a 
    fact not overlooked by the current hip hop producers I might 
    add. In an issue of Billboard some time ago there was a 
    spotlight on reissues, and one of the reissue label chiefs said 
    something like: While the 50's and the 70's basically have a 
    nostalgic appeal, the 60's appeal transcends nostalgia...quoted 
    by musicians from one era to the next as a major influence, it 
    remains valid music even today. 
    
    For me, it's simple. Ronnie sang oowee baby, and I fell for it 
    hook, line and sinker.
    --
    le_page_XXXX@XXXties.com
    RodeoDrive/5030
    n.p. Jelly Jungle (of Orange Marmalade) The Lemon Pipers
    
    
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    Subject:     JAY TRAINOR
    Sent:        10/09/98 12:48 pm
    Received:    10/10/98 1:08 am
    From:        CLAUDIA CUNNINGHAM, TPXXXX@XXX.net
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    Regarding Jay and the Americans:
    Yes, there were two Jays. The first who sang lead on their debut 
    song, "She Cried" was Jay Trainor. The second, Jay Black, did all 
    the other hits such as "Cara Mia", "Walking in the Rain" and the 
    others. As a bit of trivia, I live in the Albany, NY area and was 
    informed that at least as of a couple of years ago, Jay Trainor 
    was a cameraman at Channel 13 in Albany, a far cry from his glory 
    days as the lead singer of a very popular band. Black, with his 
    impressive operatic style, tours on the oldies circuit these days.
    A great, great band...part and parcel of the magic of the mid 
    Sixties music scene. Claudia
    
    
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    Subject:     Jay & the Americans technique
    Sent:        10/09/98 1:55 pm
    Received:    10/10/98 1:08 am
    From:        Jamie LePage, le_page_XXXX@XXXties.com
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    Thanks, Javed. Two Jays in one. I guess Howard Kirshenbaum is 
    a less likely name for an aspiring rock and roll star than is 
    Jay Black. Howard Kirshenbaum was his real name, wasn't it? 
    Or am I confusing Howie Kane and Jay Black or what?  
    
    She Cried by the first Jay is great, still, I prefer the Shangri-
    Las version. Their monotone "She cried" BG vocals are really fun.
    
    btw, Jay & the Americans' 64 Top Ten US chart hit "Come a Little 
    Bit Closer" is a fave. I like Marty Robbins El Paso too; that 
    whole in a bordertown cantina keep the spirits high fell in love 
    with a pretty little senorita thing. Very Tex-Mex!
    --
    le_page_XXXX@XXXties.com
    RodeoDrive/5030
    n.p. Royal Flush - Terry Melcher
    
    
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    Subject:     Re: Leslie Gore "Look of Love"
    Sent:        10/09/98 10:18 am
    Received:    10/10/98 1:08 am
    From:        Marc Wielage, XXXX@XXXtrax.com
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    CC:          Mark Landwehr, mslXXXX@XXXbs.com
    
    Mark (Philles Phanatic) Landwehr <mslXXXX@XXXbs.com> asked on the
    Spectropop List:
    
    >Speaking of "Leader" & stereo, has anyone found a stereo copy of
    >Lesley Gore's "Look of Love" in the "single-mix" form? The cut on
    >her LPs is different, the background singers starting on a low
    >note after the "ba-boom, ba-boom" drum intro instead of on a high
    >note.
    >>----------------snip----------------<
    
    To my knowledge, there's only three versions of this song out 
    there on CD:
    
    1) the original mono single mix, which runs about 2:00 and has the
    added background vocals and sleigh bells [only on the "Growin' Up 
    Too Fast: The Girl Group Anthology" on Mercury, as far as I know]
    
    2) the stereo album version, which runs about 2:06 (since it's not
    sped-up) and lacks the above background vocals and sleigh bells [on 
    CDs like "The Golden Hits of Lesley Gore" on Mercury, which is 
    marred by a bad speed variation at the head]
    
    3) the stereo single mix, which is just a stereo version of #1 
    above [on CDs like the Bear family compilation and "It's My Party:
    The Mercury Anthology"].
    
    I'm not aware of a version with the differences you cite. Can you 
    provide some more details?
    
    
    --MFW
    
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    -= Marc Wielage      |   "The computerized authority     =-
    -= MusicTrax, LLC    |       on rock, pop, & soul."      =-
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    Subject:     Leslie Gore "Look of Love"
    Sent:        10/10/98 4:47 am
    Received:    10/10/98 10:04 am
    From:        Jeffrey Glenn, jeffrey_glXXXX@XXXil.com
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    >Speaking of "Leader" & stereo, has anyone found a stereo copy of 
    >Lesley Gore's "Look of Love" in the "single-mix" form? The cut on 
    >her LPs is different, the background singers starting on a low 
    >note after the "ba-boom, ba-boom" drum intro instead of on a high 
    >note. This and "Maybe I Know" are my favorites from her...
    >
    >Mark (Philles Phanatic)
    
    
    You're in luck, Mark.  The stereo mix of the 45 version of "Look Of 
    Love" is available on the 2-CD Leslie Gore set IT'S MY PARTY: THE 
    MERCURY ANTHOLOGY.  It came out in 1996 and should be easy to find.  And 
    yes, I have to agree with you that this and "Maybe I Know" are my 
    favorite LG tracks, although you'd have to throw "What Am I Gonna Do 
    With You" in there also.
    
    Jeff
    
    np: The Modern Jazz Quartet - UNDER THE JASMINE TREE
    
    
    
    
    
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    Subject:     Red-Bird CD/the Shangs/Lesley Gore
    Sent:        10/09/98 1:11 pm
    Received:    10/10/98 1:08 am
    From:        Billy G. Spradlin, bilXXXX@XXXre.net
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    >"Leader of the Pack" has the missing second-verse line, as you all
    >have stated. I didn't care for the vocals being all in one channel 
    >(the Mercury LP has them split), but the motorcycle sfx going from
    >one channel to another was super! And, the fade-out continues for a
    >second or two after the screeching-tire sfx subsides.
    
    I didn't like the background vocals tossed off on the left channel,
    and they seemed a little bit buried in the remix. While the stereo 
    remix has much more clarity, it doesn't have quite pack the "punch"
    of the mono mix, probably because it doesn't have the "hot" valve 
    and tape compression of the original.
    
    Another thing I noticed about the stereo remix (when listening 
    very loud on headphones!) is that those were multi-overdubbed 
    pianos creating that droning backing track! From all the poor 
    quality mono versions I had always thought that those were guitars.
    I guess Shadow didn't have the big budget to create a huge sound 
    using 30-40 musicians so he overdubbed lots of pianos with lots of 
    reverb to create his own "Wall of Sound". I also enjoyed the 
    extra-long fade, and I always wondered how they got that 
    screeching bike burnout sound to last over 15 seconds!
    
    Another great remix is "The Boy From New York City" by the Ad Libs.
    If you ever heard the original stereo mix (I have it on a 
    Canadian budget "Good Time Music" oldies LP from the 70's) it 
    sounds like the engineer had some fun mixing this into stereo and 
    the background vocals jump all around from the left to right to 
    center, similar to the crazy stereo mix of the Rascals "Good Lovin"!
    This remix has the background vocals nicely mixed on the right 
    channel. All the remixes sound great, and If I was running my own 
    oldies station, I'd use these songs instead of the old mono 
    versions in a heartbeat.
    
    I would love to see Taragon put together a best of Shangs album 
    with all remixes, even though there seems to be MANY Shangs 
    collections out all over the world. I would love to hear "Never 
    Again" (great song!!!) and "Right Now and Not Later" in true 
    stereo.
    
    >Speaking of "Leader" & stereo, has anyone found a stereo copy of 
    >Lesley Gore's "Look of Love" in the "single-mix" form? The cut on
    >her LPs is different, the background singers starting on a low 
    >note after the "ba-boom, ba-boom" drum intro instead of on a high 
    >note. This and "Maybe I Know" are my favorites from her...
    
    It's on the Mercury Records 2-fer "Lesley Gore-Its My Party" 
    collection that came out last year. It's the same stereo mix that 
    appeared on the original "Golden Hits" LP. For some weird reason 
    they used a earlier version on the "Golden Hits" CD that didn't 
    have any sleigh bells, handclaps, background vocals and the 
    cranked-up compression!
    
    One of my favorite Lesley tracks is "I Died Inside" which appeared
    on her "Girl Talk" album, and was written by Ms. Gore herself. 
    Great song, but I have never found it on any CD! Anyone know where
    I can find it?
    
    Billy G. Spradlin 
    
    
    Billy G. Spradlin        
    29 Rim Road              Homepage: http://www.tyler.net/wildbill
    
    
    
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