__________________________________________________________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ S P E C T R O P O P __________ __________ __________ __________________________________________________________ Volume #0358 December 18, 1999 __________________________________________________________ Explanatory notes for the interested and informed ListenerSubject: James Marcus Smith/Jack Nitszche/Phil Spector Received: 12/18/99 1:28 am From: jake tassell, xwsf.taxxxxxin.net To: Spectropop List, spectxxxxxities.com Dear Lindsay I made some incredibly strange records with PJ Proby somewhere in the dark dark days of the Eighties. I think it would require me to have a long sit down and an uncomfortable think for at least a week before I put pen to paper on that episode, so I'm closing that account for now. As far as I know, and anyone's welcome to contradict me on this point, Proby made only two tracks with Jack Nitszche - 'I Can't Make It Alone' and 'You Make Me Feel Like Someone'. The former an obvious Righteous Brothers elephant-drag through the miseries and the latter a similarly 'Righteous' type track though with more of a nod toward the flavour of a contemporaneous soul-ballad style, a la - Ray Pollard's superb epic road-ballad 'The Drifter' (though don't ask me which one came first - I'm no expert - all I truthfully care about is whether a record has the ability to manually blow my socks off). 'YMMFLS' also has a very nice unusual piano figure and a good string arrangement. PJ Proby had, and I kid you not, still has, one of the most stunning voices committed to record, but I think some singers work with the Wall Of Sound treatment and some don't. Maybe it's just one of those 'chemical' things. On the Proby/Nitszche stuff, the gargantuan W.O.S. production offensive is pitted against Proby's mighty Herculean warbling (must've looked great on paper) but the convergent parts just seem to cancel each other out - it's as if somehow the two opposing factions end up flat on their backs gasping for breath on the floor! I think the Nitszchean sound-flood wins by a margin but it's not exactly The Rhine overflowing - more like a dank soggy pudden. Sorry, I don't mean to trash your favourite record, this is after all - only my opinion. If you like it that's fine, I kind of like it, but it has points of failure that make you realize what an absolute master Spector was - but no! - I'm not going to write yet another slavering 70,000 word eulogie to 'River Deep Mountain High' - I Refuse!!! But I will say this - from the listeners' point of view at the very least; the hyberbole about Spector and Richard Wagner was right - nowhere else in 20th Century music can you find the dynamic levels of deep psychological trauma and high voltage emotional intensity that are present in RDMH - and those almighty resonances didn't get there by themselves, if you know what I mean. That's why it has historically been impossible for Phil Spector to 'get along' like other producers - It's the question that makes The Excelsiors among us, be they sportsmen, painters, musicians or military leaders;- victims of their own genius, and that question is - what does one do for an encore!? Speaking as someone who at various times has attempted it in various studios, the Wall Of Sound thing is a heftily tricky thing to master (I got close - but I didn't win a cigar), it requires a phenomenal amount of sonic and psychological awareness, a truckload of diamond hard focus, superhuman tirelessness - and that's just for starters. You really have to know what you're doing with that stuff. It's not just a question of; put the usual components in, multiply by a thousand and drown in an enormous vat of echo - as anyone who has heard Rodney Bingenheimer's accidentally comical assault on 'And Then I Kissed Her' will testify. It really takes a lot of talent and a lot of hard work to make that stuff sing, but most of all, and this is the scary part: - there's something really psychologically taxing about it - which is probably the real reason why nobody does it anymore - Spector!!! Wilson!!! - A Warning From History!!! Back to the subject of Proby/Nitszche, I don't know anything about different mixes. Does anyone out there know why I've got two completely different sounding mixes of I and T.T.'s 'I'll Never Need More Than This'? Thanks once again to Michael G Marvin for the update on Gold Star tech. spec. Top Regards to All Spectorists Jake Tassell --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: P.J. Proby Received: 12/18/99 1:28 am From: Jamie LePage, le_pagxxxxxities.com To: Spectropop List, spectxxxxxities.com Lindsay Martin, lindsay_mxxxxxsnet.com.au wrote: >The interesting thing is that Version (2) seems to be the >same track, but it has some vocals missing: the single has >Proby doing some response-style embellishments which make >it sound even more like the Righteous Brothers. > >I wonder whether anyone has any anecdotal information or >idea about how this came about... > >Perhaps the reissue on CD is at fault: could the additional >vocals be on a track that just got lost when it was >remastered or whatever they did to it? It could very well be, as you guessed, a remix for the CD. If so, the vocal overdub you mention may have been recorded "live" during a reduction mix. This problem crops up from time to time, and there is little that can be done about it except to either use the original mix or remix without the missing part. One often cited example of this is Pet Sounds, where certain vocals on the original mono mix do not exist on the multi-tracks. Despite a very concerted effort to make the 90's stereo mix of Pet Sounds true to the original version, there were a couple of places where it simply was not possible. Another way this happens is when an album track is beefed up for single release. I believe (correct me if I am wrong here, Brad) that the Beach Boys' "Little Saint Nick" is an example of this. Lesley Gore's "Look of Love" is another. Yet another way this can happen is when the original mono mix is not simply L+R, but an entirely separate mix. Case in point is the missing "life of ease" line in virtually every stereo pressing of the song "Yellow Submarine". The line was on the original mono single and mono Revolver album, but never on a stereo album (ironically the flawed mix is the version most everyone has). This has finally been rectified on the recent Yellow Submarine Songtrack CD, but there you get a brand spanking new 1999 stereo mix. >The CD is called "Man With A Mission" after Proby's >biggest Australian hit, a stunning rearrangement of Donny >Brooks's "Mission Bell" (whoever arranged it is a genius). I love that song. Danny Kirwin did a nice version of it too on Fleetwood Mac's post-Peter Green album Kiln House. The only record I have by Proby is his S/T album (Liberty LRP-3421). This album appears to have been recorded entirely in England, with Ron Richards producing. The album has the Brooks' cover you mentioned, and the arranger credit lists Johnny Scott. George Martin contributes a couple of arrangements to the album too, including the most widely known (in U.S.) Proby recording "That Means a Lot" (sans the killer "can't you see" line that is on McCartney's demo - another strange one to add to the list of George Martin oddities). Hope this helps. All the best, Jamie --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Cher Received: 12/18/99 1:28 am From: Sheila Burgel, pxxxxxrport.net To: Spectropop List, spectxxxxxities.com Hello all! It's been awhile since I've posted on Spectropop. College has kept me under the books and away from Goldmine and girl group 45's for the past semester. So now that I'm on vacation, I can delve back into my favorite hobby- record collecting! Anyway, I've come to you all with a question regarding Cher. I was never too fond of her as an artist (the Bonnie Jo Mason and Cherilyn records were her only recordings that piqued my interest). But....I recently saw her VH1 "Behind the Music" special, and heard some tunes by her (sixties era) that were just divine!! And now I must get my hands on those recordings! So, I'm wondering if any of you can recommend some of Cher's sixties records because I really have no idea where to start. And VH1 didn't mention any of the titles of her early songs. Any Cher 45's that I MUST purchase? Is there a quality CD compilation available? Any recommendations would be helpful! Thanks, Sheila B. --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Four Seasons MONO Received: 12/18/99 1:28 am From: Paul Urbahns, Pauluxxxxxcom To: Spectropop List, spectxxxxxities.com Billy G wrote: >I have the original Philips 45 and the mono mix sounds >much better. I have noticed that many Seasons 66-69 >recordings vary greatly in sound quality. Some sound great >but others are super-flat sounding and hissy. My only >guesses are that Crewe changed studios (that had noisier >equipment), changed to a different tape brand that hasn't >aged well over the years, or those tapes got lost or >destroyed and all that Bill Inglot and company could find >were second/third generation safety copies for the 3 CD >set........Who Knows? I am no expert but I have had a few contacts in the business over the years. I mentioned the 4 Seasons material to Bill Inglot once when he called me on another subject. He said there are no multi-track master tapes. So any future issues will probably be the same as the original albums. He did memtion that the Four Seasons told him some of the "Edition Of Gold" stereo remixes were done very fast. Apparently, when the Four Seasons got the rights to their material from the record companies they asked for the 45 and album masters and that's what they got. Same is true with Freddy Cannon when he obtained his Swan material when they went out of business. Sometimes an artist will ask for their "masters" in lieu of back royalities. So what they usually get is album and mono 45 masters. That's better than nothing, but you can't go back to remix anything to fix previous mistakes. Billy G. continues: >I would love to see ACE or Rhino put together a Mono-Only >compilation of the Seasons hits, because in many cases >they sound much better than the stereo LP mixes. I guess >theres no real market for it since there's many Seasons >hits collections available. Rhino has gotten mono mania lately so just mention it to them. They even call their Cds Rhino-fonic sound which I will not purchase; I haven't bought a Rhino CD since I got burned on a Booker T hits set which was almost 100 percent mono. I have no problem with people issuing mono CDs but I wish companies would be honest and mark them as such. Paul W. Urbahns Lost And Found --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Male Victorians, and other curiosities Received: 12/18/99 1:28 am From: Ian Chapman, iaxxxxx.net To: Spectropop List, spectxxxxxities.com Kingsley wrote:- > > The recent postings about the lovely Liberty Victorians > reminded me of a different record by another bunch of > Victorians. On Reprise 0434 you will find "Baby Toys"/ "I > saw My Girl". Both sides are marked as Produced by Nick > Massi Productions Inc. and I'm pretty sure date from just > after Nick left The Four Seasons. "Baby Toys" is a perfect > 65/6 Philips Seasons sound. > I'll echo Kingsley's recommendation of this record, which is also interesting in that it is an earlier version of the Toys' song. The Victorians' lists only Decilis/Layton as writers, whereas the Toys' adds Linzer and Randell to the line-up. Althought the basic melody is the same, the lyrics are very different. These guy Victorians seem to have had a longer career than their girl-group counterparts. They had an earlier release on the Hercules label with a Charlie Calello-produced 45, "C'Mon Dream"/"Catrina". "C'Mon Dream" is great - intro has a Del Shannon-type shrill organ sound, and the track really moves along. The guys still sound a little like the 4 Seasons I guess, but less so - no falsetto. Of interest too, is that the song was written by Chris Andrews - the UK songwriter who later wrote Sandie Shaw's hits. I guess the song crossed the Atlantic via Bob Crewe, who got to know a few Brit writers, most notably Jagger & Richards. Bob, again with Calello, also produced a great version of "C'Mon Dream" for his brother Tom on Bell - but I'm off on a tangent......... I also have what I'd guess is a late-60s 45 by the Victorians (it's in stereo, on the Arnold J. label), doing a fine version of "Move In A Little Closer Baby". This one is produced by Arnold Capitanelli, who happens to be billed as co-writer of the song - so do we assume the Victorians' is the original version, before those by Mama Cass/Harmony Grass? I do recall seeing an album by the group from around this period, too. Finally, I have a Bang discography that has a Victorians single listed, but I've never heard it - anyone any info on that one? Ian --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Kenny Laguna disc Received: 12/18/99 1:28 am From: Marc Miller, mxxxxx.com To: Spectropop List, spectxxxxxities.com Hi - Coming next month from Blackheart/Mercury/Uni is a 22- track disc of songs written by Kenny Laguna, including songs by Darlene/Blossoms, Bill Medley, Tony Orlando & Wind, 02 by Moose & The Pelicans, and Little Roger & The Goosebumps "Stairway to Gilligan's Island". Cool! Marc --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Only Hal Blaine on drums, various Received: 12/18/99 1:28 am From: Carol Kaye, caroxxxxxhlink.net To: Spectropop List, spectxxxxxities.com >The percussion that Frost played was two >empty Coca-Cola cans! Richie did NOT play drums on any Brian Wilson date at all - only Hal Blaine on drums....Richie is a nice guy, fair solid drummer but not capable of playing the mighty drum parts that Hal (or Earl, or even Sharkey Hall, Paul Humprey, John Guerin, I could name many others) did and I know he was not on drums on that particular date at all. It was customary for everyone to get "doubles" on record dates with Brian and a few other people we worked for too, especially our group of the recording "clique", double-scale it was, didn't matter if they played "two instruments" or not. On the musicians contracts, they sometimes made mistakes with the instrumentation, something that Russ Wapensky has cleared up with tons of interviews with us studio musicians /arrangers etc.....Russ's studio musician credit book is about done, will be out in 2000. His work will be the final sayso in all this - right from the Musicians' Union contracts as well as verbal in-person interviews from dozens of us studio musicians who were there, etc. for authenticity. The Wapensky book will be coming out on Greenwood Press. He's been held up a little trying to close the gaps on such issues as the missing Glen Campbell contracts, some of Phil's contracts which weren't filled out right, etc. He's the ONLY one we musicians/arrangers/composers and the Musicians' Union people etal. all trust in this endeavor, a responsible non-ego dogmatic documenter who cares about our credits and is not out for himself at all. He wants to get it right and that's why he's taking extra time meticulously. Kieron Tyler said: >Charles Blackwell ('60s arranger, started for Joe Meek, >then did loads of great girl records (inc. Francoise Hardy) >and stuff like PJ Proby, then produced in his own right) I worked with Bumps Blackwell's brother, Charlie Blackwell , wonderful drummer in the late 50s, wonder if this is the same person. I never saw him much after 1959 as I worked for so many different people after that. Charlie was a great person, fine drummer. Michael Marvin, in re: Gold Star Studios. Dave Gold and Stan Ross had sold their studios, and you're right, a few months later (with the new owner), Gold Star burned down. I spoke to both Dave and Stan about this at a breakfast quite a few months ago. Yes they did sell it, and they even said that the fire with the new owner was "suspicious" in origin, but nothing ever came of the investigation into it. They felt badly about the fire, as it was an historical building, and they rue the time now that they sold it. It is now a parking lot of a little shoppette there...I spent a lot of years recording at Gold Star....we all feel badly about this loss, it was a fun good studio to record at, lots of memories, lots of wild times, and the people there made it GOOD. Carol Kaye http://www.carolkaye.com/ --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Palmer & Frost Received: 12/18/99 1:28 am From: Frank Youngwerth, xxxxxcom To: Spectropop List, spectxxxxxities.com Maybe someone got the (mistaken) idea Earl and Ritchie worked in tandem from the credits on Righteous Bros. LPs like Back to Back (Philles 4009), where their names are listed together as the album's drummers. (Carol is listed for both guitar and bass on this one!) Frank Youngwerth --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Re: Drummers Received: 12/18/99 1:28 am From: Brad Elliott, suxxxxxonline.net To: Spectropop List, spectxxxxxities.com Carol Kaye wrote: > Here's the > names of other drummers back then who were doing the work > besides Earl and Hal: > > Besides Earl Palmer and Hal Blaine -- Sharkey Hall, Jesse > Sailes, Jack Sperling, Frankie Capp, John Guerin, Paul > Humphrey, Ron Tutt, Alvin Stoller, Ed Greene, Louie > Bellson, Irv Cotler, Shelly Manne, Mel Lewis, Jackie Mills, > Harold Jones, Panama Francis. These were the 1st and 2nd > call drummers. Carol, what do you know about a drummer named Nick Martinis. His name shows up on a few PET SOUNDS and SMILE-era Beach Boys session sheets, but I've never heard of him otherwise. Was he another occasional player like Richie Frost? Brad --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: my post on the Four Seasons Received: 12/18/99 1:28 am From: WASE RADIO,xxxxxt.org To: Spectropop List, spectxxxxxities.com To Billy G. Spradlin: To clarify my post on the Four Seasons, The Edizione D'Oro edition of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" was awful. Any subsequent reissues of that song such as on the Private Stock double album or the 3 cd set sounds fine. I used to have that single too and it did sound noticeable louder because of the mono mix. The song "Rag Doll" was reportedly recorded at a demo studio. In the beginning The Four Seasons recorded most of their earlier hits at Stea Phillips. Pure speculation here, but they may have recorded some of their later stuff at Mirasound studios, because that's where the Bob Crewe Generation recorded "Music To Watch Girls By" and the subsequent album. Michael G. Marvin WASE radio --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- End
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