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Spectropop V#0019

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 11/21/97

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           Volume #0019                                 11/21/97
    Subject:     45 and LP differences
    Sent:        11/21/97 1:48 AM
    Received:    11/21/97 8:03 AM
    From:        Doc Rock, docroXXX@XXXXXXom
    To:          Spectropop  List,
    I hate remixes that lose the spirit of the 45.
    I can't speak for the Monkees, but with Jan & Dean, Jan mixed the mono 
    recordings, but left the stereo up to the engineer to do after Jan left.  
    Jan & Bones Howe and Stan Ross told me that.
    As for CDs, well, some guy who was born after the recordings were 
    originally made is very likely to mix them differently.  For example, 
    lead vocals were often buried in the mix in the '60s, but in later 
    decades, they were up front.  A young guy used to the later style may mix 
    them in the wrong style.
    With Jan & Dean, such elements as final vocal parts and sound effects 
    were added in the last stage, when the master pressing was being made.  
    No tracks were left, and another generation of dubs would be too many.  
    So, those final elements were never on tape.  Never.
         -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Bacharach/David in Discoveries
    Sent:        11/21/97 1:40 AM
    Received:    11/21/97 8:03 AM
    From:        David Marsteller,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    In case you haven't spotted it yet, there's a nice article on Burt 
    Bacharach and Hal David in the current (December) Discoveries. It's also 
    got a discography...
    np: Maxine Brown-Oh No, Not My Baby
    /**   "Reach out and grab a fistful of now"                            **/
    /**                                             Thornetta Davis        **/
    /**      David Marsteller                       **/
         -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Re: Roy Wood
    Sent:        11/21/97 5:11 AM
    Received:    11/21/97 8:03 AM
    From:        David Bash, BashXXX@XXXXXXm
    To:          Spectropop  List,
    << From:        David Marsteller,
     Before we leave the subject of recordings that try to recapture the  
     Spector sound, I thought I'd mention Roy Wood. A number of his  
     Wizzard-era recordings seem to be aiming for a 'wall of sound'.  
     Sometimes, it comes off as a 'wall of mud', but that's beside the point. 
     Or maybe not. ;) >>
    Hi Dave,
    While I agree that some of Wood's productions are a bit muddy, I'd like 
    to make two points: 1) His production values are very unique and the 
    muddy milieu, for whatever reason, helps emphasize certain instruments 
    which are mixed above the mud.  Since many of his chord changes are 
    created by these instruments, it makes for a very appealing style!  I 
    love it when his crystalline guitar or oboe lines are counterbalanced by 
    a very muddy drum or wood block sound!  2) Not all of his Spector 
    influenced songs are produced this way.  Listen to "This Is The Story Of 
    My Love (Baby)" from the Eddy and the Falcons album.  It has a very 
    clear, wall of sound production, and is probably one of my 15 favorite 
    songs of all time.
    Spectropop Rules!!!!!
    Take Care,
         -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Re: Valleri
    Sent:        11/21/97 2:07 AM
    Received:    11/21/97 8:03 AM
    From:        Jeff Glenn,
    To:          Spectropop List,
            Reply to:   RE>Spectropop V#0018
    Big Leonard wrote:
    Actually the orginal Boyce/Hart produced version of "Valleri" that was 
    used on two episodes in the first season of "The Monkees" was not 
    released on record at the time.  Several DJ's taped the song off the 
    television and started playing it on the air, resulting in it becoming a 
    turntable hit in several markets (or maybe in this case a tape recorder 
    hit).  It was over a year later that the song was rerecorded for release 
    (with production credit going to the Monkees), and of course this is the 
    version that became the big national hit (their last Top 5, if I'm not 
    And I would guess that studio players are featured on both versions; it's 
    just that the musicianship is much tighter on the second version (a 
    similar situation to that of the two versions of "Words").
    And Leonard, what two CD's with "Lightning Strikes" are you referring to?
    And anyone who wants radio versions of several great 60's/70's pop tunes 
    should check out the two new DICK BARTLEY'S COLLECTOR'S ESSENTIALS: ON 
    THE RADIO volumes; they're full of original mono 45 mixes/edits, stereo 
    remixes made to match the original radio versions, etc.
    Jeffrey Glenn
         -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     19th Nervous Breakdown
    Sent:        11/21/97 2:30 AM
    Received:    11/21/97 8:03 AM
    From:        Jeff Glenn,
    To:          Spectropop List,
            Reply to:   RE>Spectropop V#0018
    Doc Roc wrote:
    Don't know about that one, but the local classic rock station here in 
    L.A. (Arrow 93.1 FM, KCBS) plays a true stereo mix of the Stones' "19th 
    Nervous Breakdown."  I called the station to find out from what disc/tape 
    they were playing this, and was told that it was created by one of the 
    station's engineers (Yeah, right!  I guess we now know what Dave 
    Hassinger's doing these days).
    My question is does anyone know from whence this stereo mix came (and 
    it's actually a very good sounding mix, better than some of the others 
    from that same period, like "Mother's Little Helper," which pretty much 
    sucks in stereo!).  This could very well be a radio station only disc, 
    but who knows?
    Any info would be greatly appreciated.
    Jeffrey Glenn
    P.S.  This appears to be the same mix as on the DARTFORD RENEGADES boot 
    CD, but in perfect sound quality (unlike the boot).
         -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     re-recording/remixing/remastering
    Sent:        11/21/97 1:10 AM
    Received:    11/21/97 8:03 AM
    From:        dave prokopy,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Leonard Hyde, bXXX@XXXXXXt writes:
    > 1. Where did the music that is behind "each time things start to happen 
    > again..." et al, come from? Did the original mix have any music there? 
    > Was it on the master tapes and Brian killed it during the final mix? Or, 
    > did somebody at Capitol create that bed by splicing tape together? 
    it's there on the original instrumental track - you can listen to the 
    (bootleg) session tape from the instrumental sessions to confirm this.  
    there's even an alternate vocal version (originally on bootleg, but also 
    on disc 3 of the new box set) that has the instrumental intact during 
    THIS section, but mixed out during the first repeat of the "i guess i 
    just wasn't made for these times" refrain at the end.  (brian's vocal is 
    also treated rather heavy-handedly with tape echo on this alternate 
    when brian mixed the eventually-released mono version, he mixed out the 
    instrumental track during the "each time things start to happen again" 
    section, mixing it back up for "sometimes i feel very sad."  again, this 
    is similar to how he mixed out the instrumental track during "sloop john 
    b." - it's there on the original multitrack, it's just mixed out of the 
    mono mix.
    > 2. The original version had no echo on Brian's voice. The stereo mix is 
    > loaded with echo.
    there's plenty of reverb on brian's vocal on the mono mix.  one of my 
    favorite moments on the mono mix is the rather deep, hollow-sounding echo 
    just on the word "for" in the line "no one wants to help me look FOR 
    places".  the problem is, the same amount of reverb sounds a LOT louder 
    and noticable in stereo than it does in mono.  if you "collapsed" the new 
    stereo mix down to mono, it'd probably sound very similar to the original 
    > Sorry, but by my standards, adding stuff that WASN'T there constitutes 
    > rerecording, as opposed to remixing and remastering.
    well, effects like echo and reverb are almost always added during the 
    mixing stage, so the simple act of remixing itself (if you add ANY 
    effects, even in an attempt to replicate an earlier mix) is technically 
    "re-recording."  those are 1996 electrons moving through 1996 wires, 
    producing 1996 sound waves travelling in a 1996 echo chamber or digital 
    effects processor, being recorded with 1996 microphones onto a 1996 
    digital tape.  so, yes, technically you're adding "new" stuff to a 
    thirty-year-old recording.
    as for trying to remain faithful to brian's original mix, i think linett 
    had to strike a balance.  remember, again, brian mixed _pet sounds_ VERY 
    quickly, on equipment he really wasn't SUPPOSED to be using for mixing 
    (reference the "EQ" article about the box set from last year).  had he 
    had more time and the correct equipment, i'm sure he would have been more 
    careful, and the original mix would have sounded differently.  so, thirty 
    years later, linett had to walk the line between mixing the album the way 
    brian DID mix the album, as well as mixing the album the way brian 
    probably WOULD have mixed it, had he had the chance to do it properly.  
    so linett made the call (ostensibly with brian's approval, although this 
    is debatable) to do stuff like mixing out the "camera" conversation from 
    "here today," and dropping out one of mike's vocals for a few seconds 
    from the same song because of a mistake mike made.
    at any rate, i don't think anyone involved with the box set ever wanted 
    the new stereo mix to be the "definitive" mix - after all, that's why 
    they included a remastered version of the MONO mix as a "bonus."  the 
    stereo mix was just an attempt to give listeners an alternate way to 
    listen to the album.
    > One of my pet peeves is remasterers adding their own sensibilities to old 
    > recordings in the process.
    i think we need to make a distinction here.  you use several examples to 
    demonstrate this statement, and not all are really "remastering."  some 
    of the examples were actual re-recordings - starting totally from 
    scratch, not using ANY of the original material.  this was done quite a 
    bit in the sixties.  another example is the distinction between the two 
    versions of "be true to your school" and "help me, r[h]onda."  those are 
    then there's remixing, as was done with the _PS_ box, or with the recent 
    reissues by the who and the byrds.  as with the _PS_ set, there's got to 
    be a balance between remaining faithful to the originals, as well as 
    correcting mistakes with the original mixes.  and it's VERY hard to 
    create a NEW mix of something and have it sound EXACTLY like the original 
    - especially if you're dealing with stuff that was recorded several 
    DECADES earlier, on recording equipment that is woefully primative by 
    current standards.
    remastering is something entirely different.  it's really hard - 
    especially when working with monaural mixes - to affect the sound TOO 
    much when remastering, unless you use the entirely wrong set of tapes 
    (nth generation dubs that were supposed to be used for LP mastering, 
    instead of the first generation banded master tapes).  that's not to say 
    that it can't be done, and i know people will have plenty of examples of 
    horrendous mastering jobs over the years.  but if a mastering job is done 
    CORRECTLY - using the absolute first generation tapes, with minimal EQ 
    fiddling - things will sound pretty much as they were intended.  now, 
    whether that's how people REMEMBER hearing them is a different case.  for 
    example, the new simon and garfunkel box set contains material that was 
    remixed from the original multitracks (basically, the stuff from their 
    first three albums), as well as stuff remastered from the original 
    first-generation stereo mixdown tapes (the last two albums).  this is the 
    first time the first generation tapes have been used, literally, since 
    these albums were originally released in the sixties, and all subsequent 
    issues (on vinyl and CD) have used multi-generational safety copy dubs.  
    and people have been so USED to the sound of those sub- par tapes that 
    the ORIGINAL tapes actually sound quite different to most people!
         -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Versions of "Valleri"...
    Sent:        11/21/97 5:08 AM
    Received:    11/21/97 8:03 AM
    From:        Mark Easter, MCE1XXX@XXXXXXm
    In a message dated 97-11-20 15:01:11 EST, Big L writes:
    << Sometimes, and this is rare, album versions that came out later were   
    superior to the 45. The best example I can think of is the Monkees   
    "Valleri." The original 45 was an amatuerish, garage band sounding   
    attempt. It was only a hit in a few places. Then, the album comes out,   
    with the better version (can anybody say "studio musicians?") and the   
    song is released again, becoming one of their best hits.  >>
    This is incorrect... the version of Valleri you speak of as being 
    "amateurish" was actually unreleased on disc until 1990 on the "Missing 
    Links Volume 2" CD.  Some radio stations *did* play a "taped off the air" 
    version from the 1967 "Captain Crocodile" episode, where this earlier 
    Boyce/Hart produced version was first used, but it was never issued as a 
    single.  The "better" version (which I would happen to disagree with, but 
    that's another matter) was released as a single in March 1968, with its 
    first LP appearance on The Birds, the Bees and the Monkees being one 
    month later.
         -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Re: You Baby vs. You Baby
    Sent:        11/21/97 2:51 PM
    Received:    11/21/97 2:53 AM
    From:        Jamie LePage,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Darian Sahanaja wrote:
    >>From:        Jeffrey Glenn,
    >>...n.p.: "You Baby" by Linda Scott (from TOUCH THE WALL OF 
    >>SOUND VOL. 3) - Would it be blasphemous to propose that 
    >>this version is better (and more Spector-like) than the 
    >>Spector-produced Ronettes original?
    >Definitely more grandiose. Both are great for different reasons. The 
    >Ronettes version features one of the best, if not downright sexiest 
    >performance  Ronnie's ever delivered,...
    Thanks for saying that Darian. I adore Veronica's vocal. When she sings 
    "You're gonna see there's a lifetime of love in me" I BELIEVE it!!! and 
    the "uh" at the end of each chorus in the fade is a high point in the 
    Ronettes recorded legacy.
    >... but Linda takes the vocal melody to 
    >new and interesting heights. 
    Yes, it's a much tougher vocal "youuuuu bebe"
    >I must agree though that if I had to decide 
    >which version would make a better single 45, it would have to be the 
    Apparently Phil Spector agreed with you :-). (As an aside, it is amazing 
    how many phenomenal Philles recordings remained in the vaults for more 
    than a decade before Spector finally issued them, Everything Under the 
    Sun and I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine to name just two.)
    My comments on the Linda Scott version are a bit less enthusiastic than 
    Jeffrey's though. While I enjoy the record immensely, I think the Spector 
    version has it all over the Weiss/Glover (who?) version. First of all, I 
    feel the slower tempo of the Ronettes version is more fitting. Secondly, 
    the percussion in the Spector version, right from the top of the track, 
    perfectly illustrates Spector's genius. Glockenspiel, hand claps, 
    tambourine, finger cymbals, shaker and maybe even wood blocks all 
    drenched in glorious Gold Star reverb. Whew! Thirdly, gotta hand it to 
    the players. Although I have never seen the session sheet for this date, 
    the fills sure sound like Hal Blaine to me, and note that Spector holds 
    Blaine back, keeping the tension by letting the percussion carry the 
    choruses all the way to the tag. Then, Blaine is let loose to blast 
    cannon-like fills - a welcome release that helps keep the intensity of 
    the track through the fade. In the Weiss/Glover version, the drummer is 
    playing snare on every quarter note (an effect which I love, btw), and 
    he's adding fills from the very first chorus. The fills themselves are 
    respectable, but just don't "quite" have the finesse or hipness of 
    Blaine's typical work. The sax solo on the Spector version rules. 
    Finally, kudos to Larry Levine for his masterful blend of the 
    instruments. I've already mentioned the wonderful percussion on Spector's 
    version, but the hand claps on the Weiss/Glover version, particularly 
    during the "B section" of the verses sound like the fake hand claps of 
    the old Roland drum machines to my ears. Too hot and too dry. There are 
    many subtleties in the Spector version which are lacking in the 
    Weiss/Glover version. But don't get me wrong! I really like the Linda 
    Scott record too.
    >Being a consultant for the "Touch the Wall Of Sound" series...
    WOW!!! Darian, these are among my favorite GG comps ever!!! I had no idea 
    you were involved. You rule! Where's your credit? (Thanks a lot, Chu!)
    >-Linda Scott and the Zombies on the same page. . .I've died and gone to 
    You and I both. When Spectropop first started, I expected interesting 
    topics would come up, but I Never Dreamed discussion would reach the 
    level it has in such a short time. Besides the knowledgeable fans whose 
    posts are most appreciated, we have record company people, oldies radio 
    pros, authors, journalists, recording engineers, professional musicians 
    and consultants (a music publisher too) on the list. Just wanted to 
    express thanks again to all for sharing your enthusiasm and knowledge. 
         -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------

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