________________________________________________________________________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ S P E C T R O P O P ______________ ______________ ______________ ________________________________________________________________________ Explanatory notes for the interested and informed Listener ------------------------------------------------------------------------ There are 8 messages in this issue of Spectropop. Topics in this Digest Number 142: 1. Cabinessence and Smile sessions From: "Kingsley Abbott" 2. Re: Richard Williams From: Ted T. 3. Curt Boettcher/ Millennium Liner Notes From: chris 4. Connie Stevens From: "Ian Chapman" 5. Chiffons vs. Chiffons From: John Clemente 6. Phil Spectors Christmas Album From: Paul Urbahns 7. Re: Phil Spector Boxed Set From: RobtWicker 8. A Fine, Fine Discovery From: LePageWeb ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Message: 1 Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2001 20:57:56 +0100 From: "Kingsley Abbott" Subject: Cabinessence and Smile sessions Toby wrote that Cabinessence sessions didn't begin until later in 1966, but I have to pick up on this because I know 100% that they were in the can BEFORE Pet Sounds was issued. The reason I can be so sure?? Simple...when Bruce J arrived in the UK in mid May 1966 to publicise PS just as it was issued in the States, I spoke to him and he sung all the parts of it to me. He explained who sang which line, who did which harmony etc. Tracks were always recorded first, with vocals following on, so I am totally sure this is right. I also spoke about all this time at length to Bruce again recently, and we spoke about exactly this point. We dated the "Cabinessence" sessions (not that the name was used at that point, it was "Grand Coolie dam") to within the first two weeks of May. Another recent interview (Record Collector March 2001) with Al J also confirms that several smile songs were worked on alongside PS ones. Carol's dates may also confirm some overlap. For instance, I know for sure that Brian was toying with H&V in late 1965, cos he played it on the family piano to Tony Asher at the Rovells house when he and Tony were writing PS together. Tony's memory is very clear on this. Things were bursting out of Brian so fast during that period that there was bound to be loads of overlap. The dates that Toby has, possibly from "The Smile File", have always been very incomplete. I do agree though that there is little to connect PS with Smile material, apart >from 'genius at work' stretching all known boundries!! BTW I do like a lot of Smile!! Its just that other bits of it simply don't ring my particular chimes... Sorry about the 'expensive boots' bit. Yes that is older history now with the advent of wonderful downloads, but a lot of fans did shell out a lot of money for them earlier! Kingsley Abbott --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 2 Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2001 19:09:05 -0800 From: Ted T. Subject: Re: Richard Williams Thanks much to Kingsley Abbott and Peter Lerner for the info that Spector biographer Richard Williams is now focusing his talent on sports at the UK's Guardian daily newspaper. Thanks also to Martin Roberts for clueing us to the book "Long Distance Call", a newly published collection of Richard's past writing. For those unfamiliar with RW, let me say that he ranks among the top music researchers and writers of his generation, very much into R&B, rock and, later, jazz. He has interviewed many, many important figures in music, and his writing has always been incisive, sincere and convincing. So much so that one of his colleagues aptly acknowledged that in England, RW stood way in front of the rest and was a kind of "Moses the law-giver" among British music critics. In the US, Richard was not that well known, but the great Lester Bangs was one of his admirers, and noted in print that Richard was one of the best music scholars and writers anywhere. Among the artists Richard focused on with admiration are - Spector, - Brian Wilson, - Gil Evans, - Coltrane, - Lucio Battisti (late, enigmatic and fabulously talented Italian rock singer/songwriter/producer -- I think I'm the one who signaled Battisti's work to Richard back in the seventies) - the dozens of one-shot writers, singers, groups and producers who somehow managed, if only once, to put some inexplicable magic into the grooves of a 45. I've already ordered "Long Distance Call"thru Amazon, and I'd recommend it sight unseen to anyone thirsty for uncommonly good facts and insights on modern music. From the tiny image of the new book's cover on Amazon (looks like a photo of Chet Baker) I would guess that it is a mixed bag of goodies on all kinds of music. [ Ed. Note: Read the Bobby Sheen obituary written by Richard Williams for the Guardian, December 21, 2000. http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,3604,414131,00.html ] --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 3 Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2001 11:52:40 +0900 From: chris Subject: Curt Boettcher/ Millennium Liner Notes Does anyone out there know where I can get copies of the liner notes from the Japanese versions of "Misty Mirage" and Sandy Salisbury's album, "Sandy"? I bought these on Poptones before I knew of the Japanese versions. If anyone has seen the Poptones versions, the liner notes leave much to be desired. I am also looking for a copy of the liner notes from the Rev-Ola reissue of the Millennium's Begin. I only have the Sony Special Products version from 1990. Any info would be greatly appreciated. --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 4 Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 03:36:43 +0100 From: "Ian Chapman" Subject: Connie Stevens >Jack Madani wrote:- > Subject: Connie Stevens > Cuts like Why'd You Wanna Make Me Cry, Little Miss > Understood, Now That You've Gone, and even a groovy > version of the classic They're Jealous Of Me, all scream > spectropop pedigree (those drum fills sure do sound like > Hal Blaine, and the echo on the tracks have a very > familiar ring). Are there more of these? They're > terrific. Well, Jack, you didn't mention the one that is for me the ultimate girl-group track by Connie, the fabulous "A Girl Never Knows". It's a Sloan/Barri song with David Gates in full-on Spectorish mode, with mega-castanets and strings and a very cute and memorable melody. Lou Adler is credited as co-producer, but this track is *so* Dave Gates, I'm guessing that's just in the executive sense (do you recall Lou being there Carole?) It was originally issued back to back with "They're Jealous Of Me" - what a two-sider! Japanese Warners issued a pristine "Best of Connie Stevens" comp in 1990, all from original master tapes, but it may be deleted by now (WPCP-3535 if you want to try). It really did that silky voice justice, and had all the titles Jack mentions above, including "In My Room", "Little Miss Understood", plus the ultra-breathy, how-did-it get-past-the-censors "I Couldn't Say No" (wr. Goffin/Ripp/King) and ended with a later Tim Hardin track, "It'll Never Happen Again". Tragically, "A Girl Never Knows" was conspicuous by its absence. Other Connie titles falling into the girl-group net would be her version of Lesley Gore's "All Of My Life", and another Dave Gates job, "Something Beautiful" - which I found slightly disappointing when I finally tracked it down, knowing and loving his Margaret Mandolph version as I do. I'd hoped for the same driving beat, but he went for a fluffier approach with Connie, and in fairness, it does suit her style. Finally, another curiosity is a one-off single for MGM, post Warners, entitled "Cinderella Could Have Saved Us All" from '68, an attempt at something a little more profound. Connie also cut a handful of tracks for Bell in the early 70s. Ian --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 5 Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 00:52:21 -0500 From: John Clemente Subject: Chiffons vs. Chiffons Hello All, For years I thought that The Chiffons' "Tonight's The Night" on Big Deal, "No More Tomorrows" on Wildcat and "Doctor of Hearts/After Last Night" on Reprise were recordings by the Laurie group because that is what was always reported in print. After purchasing and listening to copies of these songs, I had to say to myself that the voices on these recordings didn't sound like either Judy Craig or Sylvia Peterson, the two leads for The Chiffons. Maybe there was an outside chance that one of the other members led the songs, but the harmony was not tight enough or distinct enough to be the celebrated Chiffons. In 1992, when I sang with The Echelons, we opened for The Chiffons at a Rock & Roll show at Bergen Tech HS in Hackensack, NJ. After meeting Judy Craig and Pat Bennett, I asked them about the recordings. The first thing Pat said was, "Does it sound like us?" I explained my thinking as I stated above. She replied "absolutely not". "He's So Fine" was the NY Chiffons' first recording. In fact, they never sang for any other label except Laurie and its Rust subsidiary (as The Four Pennies). The B.T. Puppy single and LP were the result of The Tokens releasing the masters (which they owned) on B.T. Puppy (which they also owned) Likewise for the Buddah single, where they had a production deal. The labels for the recordings by the other group, which pre-date "He's So Fine" were California labels, but I've also heard a rumor that the group may have been from Boston. John Clemente --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 6 Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 15:30:38 EST From: Paul Urbahns Subject: Phil Spectors Christmas Album In a message dated 3/30/01 Toby wrote: > I play Spector's Xmas record all over the year, not > just in December! What about you guys? > I do also and in the summer months the neighbors think I'm crazy. Paul Urbahns --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 7 Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 22:38:18 EST From: RobtWicker Subject: Re: Phil Spector Boxed Set I rarely contribute to this newsletter, but I make sure to read each issue. Thanks to everyone's input that makes it worth reading. With the recent discussion of the PS CD box, I had to bring up the topic of the LP version of this set. The sound on the LPs, in my opinion is superior to the CDs. In fact, it almost sounds as if the box was mastered specifically for these LPs, not for CD. You can hear, make that distinguish, Darlene's sister (Edna) on "Wait Til My Bobby Gets Home". It sounds like someone is tapping drumsticks on their knees on "Da Doo Ron Ron", something I never heard before. The horns on "Why Don't They Let Us Fall In Love" are crisp and clear. Listening to "Walking In The Rain" on this version shows why Larry Levine won an grammy for it - the rain is mixed so perfectly into the background. Everything sounds so crisp and new on the LPs, I can clearly hear instruments I never knew were there before. I am glad I got the LPs first and then picked up the CDs later. Anyway, that's just my opinion. By the way, LP #3 is pressed off-center in the original release. It took 4 months to get it replaced, but ABKCO did send a replacement if you noticed it and called to complain. It's just a shame the 3 Best Ofs did not get a vinyl release... On another topic, does anyone know how many MONO versions of "Love Is All We Have To Give" - LP183 white label promo issued in stereo sleeve - were pressed? Was River Deep... also promotionally pressed in mono? --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 8 Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 05:27:21 -0000 From: LePageWeb Subject: A Fine, Fine Discovery Phil wrote: > Curiosity aroused, I compared some versions of "A Fine > Fine Boy" to discover that the orginal 45 is actually > different from the CD box-set, which appears to be the 70s > PSI version with a harsher EQ and a noise reduction filter. I was hoping someone was going to do that! Thanks. The "PSI edit" we are talking about here originally appeared on Phil Spector Wall of Sound Vol.4 "Yesterday's Hits - Today", right? > ...the first chorus has been substituted by the second > chorus edited in its place, possibly because it has a > slightly stronger percussion balance. Exactly where does the edit begin? > The giveaway is the tracking on Darlene's vocal, which is > spot-on on the 45 going into the first chorus. Yeah, I think so too, but I can't tell exactly where the splice occurs. Darlene's vocal line "cause he's got a..." during the measure just preceding the chorus is double tracked and the tracking is slightly off. I think it might be a case of less-than-perfect vocal tracking rather than a poor edit. Whaddya think? And as far as the "why", consider this: perhaps during the less-compressed PSI mastering, the BGs on the first chorus were judged to be slightly too soft to effectively do the "lead". So even though they were balanced well when Darlene was singing, when they carried the main melody while Darlene "laid out" (i.e., during the "mine, mine, mine" and "fine, fine, fine" lines of the first chorus) it felt like something was missing, so the second chorus was copied and flown in where the first chorus was. Just another possibility, but you gotta wonder about the PSI mastering which was done in England. With certain tracks miscredited and others bearing errors in the liner notes, one wonders how personally involved Spector was in the process. By replacing the first chorus with a copy of the second, Darlene's wailing "yeah, yeah" is now in every chorus and thus "becomes" the melody rather than a gospel-like ad-lib used to build excitement as the record progresses. In other words, the edit has caused the lyric and melody to literally change from "I know he's fine, fine fine" to "I know he's yeah yeah". I think the edit kills the original intent. In any event the change affects the progression of the record dramatically. There is a typical-for-Spector "embellish from start to finish" on the 45 version that the edited version doesn't quite have. Sort of, if you will, like having Hal Blaine add fills in every chorus. Or having the string lines playing through first verse. It wasn't Phil's way and it makes you wonder how that edit originally occurred. You also gotta wonder how it has replaced the original mix as the definitive version (*back* to mono indeed!). Look at this excerpt from the Larry Levine piece on the message board (my asterisks for emphasis): -- [regarding] Phil Spector's Back To Mono (Abkco Records) box set "All of the analog-to-digital transfers, sequencing and equalizing of the ***original masters*** ...involved transferring the ***original masters*** to Sony PCM 1630 digital. To preserve the ***authenticity of the recordings*** (some over thirty years old), an Ampex 351 tape machine, the model the original material was recorded on, was used for playback during the transfer process. Most of the 25 to 30-year-old masters, also a bit dusty, were originally recorded in either full-track mono or 2-track mono on Ampex tape." -- Does this mean the PSI era edit was done on the original mono master??? Highly unlikely (the 2nd chorus was copied in any event). So, I guess the original master was not used when the box set was mastered. Either that or else a digital edit was done to replicate the PSI edit, but that too seems unlikely. If the answer to both is no, it means the PSI edit was done on completely different tape and (probably) different equipment, and this would have been obvious to everyone during the Back to Mono mastering - it means someone made a deliberate decision to use the PSI edit on the Back to Mono box. Perhaps the original mono master couldn't be found. Perhaps some twenty years after the PSI edit was done there was a creative decision that it was indeed superior to the original. It's very strange. May you never hear Darlene sing "Let me tell ya..." again. When I think about all that has been said about recording variations in Beatles and Beach Boys fandom, I guess there's a lot more we can similarly discover about Spector's recordings. Today was one of those lucky days, I guess, for which I am indebted to the original poster and everyone that followed up. Thanks! All the best, Jamie n.p. "(He's a) Quiet Guy" from The Best of Darlene Love (Marginal CD MAR 074) --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- End
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