Tuesday, November 20, 2012

End

Dear friends,

Thank you for your enthusiasm and support. It's been a complete surprise that this project was allowed to live online with no interference from the label or band. However, all good things must come to an end. The Extra Track crew has made a joint decision to deactivate all the download links, effective immediately.

You may still be able to find the audio online, if you approach fan sites, newsgroups, or torrent sites. The entries for each single will remain here as a sort of Wiki about The Smiths' singles.

We hope you enjoy the hours of work we put into this project. You'll be hearing from us again.

Sincerely,
Drew Crumbaugh
Jeb Edwards

PS: Please don't email us and beg for links because you missed the window. The answer is no.

PS 2: During the link removal process a couple of entries showed as new posts rather than updated. That's why Sheila Take A Bow and Girlfriend In A Coma appear out of order.

ET(aatb) 19: RTT197 "Girlfriend In A Coma"


[Link removed 20 November 2012] (34 MB)

"Girlfriend In A Coma"
Rough Trade RTT197
Produced by Morrissey and Marr, engineered by Stephen Street
* Produced by Grant Showbiz, remixed by Stephen Street
August 1987

Tracks:

1 Girlfriend In A Coma
2 Work Is A Four-Letter Word *
3 I Keep Mine Hidden *
4 Work Is A Four-Letter Word (7" edit) *
5 Girlfriend In A Coma (demo)

Sources:

1-3 from "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" (Line [Germany] LICD9.00440J, Fall 1987)
4 edited from 2 by Analog Loyalist
5 from Unreleased Demos & Instrumentals (unofficial LP December 2010)

Restoration:

Gentle EQ as needed, a smidgen of tasteful noise reduction if required, and very cautious, gentle peak limiting.

Artwork for this, and every other release we'll be featuring, was sourced from the amazing Vulgar Picture treasure trove of sleeve artwork scans (with permission).

Notes:

Spring 1987 saw the band, with Stephen Street, retreat to the idyllic Bath countryside to record what was to be their swan-song LP "Strangeways, Here We Come". Apparently the album sessions were pictures of camraderie; all accounts say that the sessions themselves would never be portents of the fractures that the band would sustain just months later.

So it was that "Girlfriend In A Coma" was chosen to be the lead single for the LP. A beautiful, jaunty, acoustic-tinged number, it wasn't quite the "Smiths are back!" moment that "Bigmouth" was a year earlier, but it did foreshadow to a degree the direction Johnny Marr wanted the band to take going forward.

Then, Marr had a rethink and eventually wanted to take a break from the pressures of no management (or management stifled by Morrissey, depending on who you believe). By his account, he didn't want to break up the band, just take some time away from it all and regroup later on with a more concrete plan for the future. Morrissey, however, sensing discontent, ordered the band back to the studio to record B-sides for the upcoming singles. So, with the band at soundman Grant Showbiz's studio in London, they set to tape the tracks that really told Marr that the end was near. Morrissey wanted the band to cover Cilia Black, so they did "Work Is A Four-Letter Word" which Marr hated (though the recording is professional, as you would expect). The session also produced the final Morrissey/Marr original composition, "I Keep Mine Hidden" - a jaunty music hall ditty that Morrissey claimed was his favorite Smiths track of all time (why...?). It sounds nothing like previous Smiths tracks, and I doubt this direction is what Marr intended had the band not split shortly thereafter.

The 12" of "Girlfriend" had the full-length "Work Is...", while the 7" featured an early fade version. We have both here.

As with "Sheila Take A Bow", we decided to bonus this post with the first version of "Girlfriend" recorded in January 1987, during the Street "Sheila" sessions. Much more reggae-influenced than the final version, about the only thing that survived from this session was the majority of Morrissey's lyric/melody, and Andy Rourke's bass (surprisingly, close inspection of the final version's bass track reveals the reggae pattern prominent in the demo recording, which I never noticed before hearing the demo). Just like with the Porter "Sheila", the demo "Girlfriend" we have here is from a newly-sourced high-resolution transfer from bootleg vinyl, with all evidence of vinyl in the lineage gone. It's another track that could be lifted from this blog and released by Rhino.

- Analog Loyalist

ET(aatb) 18: RTT196 "Sheila Take A Bow"


[Link removed 20 November 2012] (39 MB)

"Sheila Take A Bow"
Rough Trade RTT196
Produced by Morrissey and Marr, engineered by Stephen Street
* Produced by John Porter for the BBC
** Produced by John Porter
April 1987


Tracks:

1 Sheila Take A Bow
2 Is It Really So Strange? *
3 Sweet And Tender Hooligan *

4 Sheila Take A Bow (John Porter reject) **

Sources:

1-3 from "Sheila Take A Bow" (Line [Germany] LICD9.00308L, Spring 1987)
4 from Unreleased Demos & Instrumentals (unofficial LP December 2010)

Restoration:

Gentle EQ as needed, a smidgen of tasteful noise reduction if required, and very cautious, gentle peak limiting.

Artwork for this, and every other release we'll be featuring, was sourced from the amazing Vulgar Picture treasure trove of sleeve artwork scans (with permission).

Notes:

December 1986 and January 1987 saw the band repair to the studio to gin up tracks for future singles and demo ideas for the then-forthcoming LP sessions later that spring.

"Sheila Take A Bow" was first recorded zingily (new word!) with John Porter, with guitar lines zinging and eeping and twanging all across the stereo field. Less stompily glam than the released Stephen Street version, this variant was rejected for unknown reasons and presumably binned. It was to be Porter's last recording session with the band.

They regrouped with Street to attempt "Sheila" again. Lifting the odd Porter-played guitar line from the Porter recording - to his chagrin, not because he wouldn't have allowed it but because they never asked - Street and the boys returned to the T.Rex "Panic"-style glam attack, with great success. Porter's zing is replaced by Street's stomp, for lack of a better term. I guess you could say they threw their homework into the fire, binning the Porter recording.

Oddly, despite having completed versions of the two selected B-sides in the can from studio sessions dating back to spring 1986 with Craig Gannon on second guitar, the band chose to feature recordings made for John Peel in December 1986, at BBC Maida Vale 4, as the B-sides. Not having heard the studio version of "Sweet and Tender Hooligan" (recorded during the May 1986 "Panic" sessions), I can't say if they made the right decision by using the Peel "SaTH", but the Beeb take is a pretty nice rocker. The studio take of "Is It Really So Strange?" - recorded during the June 1986 "Ask" sessions - did finally see unofficial release on the double LP bootleg Unreleased Demos & Instrumentals in December 2010. I think using the Peel take was the right call here; while the structure, melody and lyric is in place on the abandoned studio recording, the drums sound like guide drums (almost Linn-like) and the overall recording lacks the sonic impact and shine the Peel recording gave it. The cynic in me also wonders if they kept the with-Gannon studio versions in-house so as to not give Gannon the pleasure (and royalties?) of credits on further Smiths releases.

While we've given the world a listen to the Porter "Sheila" via the petition started by yours truly, the thought was it was only fair to bring it into this single too. So, our special bonus is the Porter version, superbly tarted up from bootleg vinyl to the point that the vinyl lineage is undetectable. Please note that this version presented here supersedes all previous releases of this track; I obtained a high-definition transfer from a new source and that transfer - in all ways - bettered that which was used to prepare the other blog's (re)mastering of the bootleg LP. (Watch the other blog for an updated, re-remastered posting of the set in its entirety, from this new high-definition transfer.)

- Analog Loyalist


Friday, June 8, 2012

Pete R. Smiths Box

Extra Track fan Pete R. has previously created a box set of all the Joy Division and New Order singles from Recycle (4 photos, starting here). He recently completed his own Smiths box taken from the work posted here. This thing is gorgeous - check it out.

The cover star is Jeanne Moreau.

Pete R. Smiths Box Pete R. Smiths Box Pete R. Smiths Box Pete R. Smiths Box Pete R. Smiths Box Pete R. Smiths Box

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

ET(aatb): That's a wrap.

That's it, folks. At times challenging but mostly a joy while trawling through the songs (and the mastering), this project is complete. Every Smiths Rough Trade single, with a few curveballs thrown in. One of the joys of doing this has been in the excruciating detail I went through while mastering the audio; I learned a lot over the course of the endeavour and if anything, my appreciation of the music has increased which I'd not believed possible.

I want to thank our readers, those who provided needed behind-the-scenes support and encouragement, and those who helped source material for this project. Thanks to Flavio over at vulgarpicture.com for the artwork.

This blog will remain active/available for as long as Google and Mediafire allow it; I will also promise to update previous postings if new sources for "questionable" material present themselves (such as the Peel tracks taken from bootlegs). So keep scanning those tapes!

In the meantime I will continue to blog over at The Power of Independent Trucking, and will look to continue my involvement in this exciting and surprisingly popular Recycle project with our next gig, REMcycle :)

-Analog Loyalist

----------------

Many thanks to Mr. AL for remaining patient with me through long periods of down-time because I couldn't get motivated to finish artwork.

There will be long-promised updates over at New Order/Joy Division Recycle, and you can keep up with me through my own website or through Facebook.

The next Recycle project from myself and Bruce Bartlett will be Force Is Machine: Nitzer Ebb 1984-1995.

- Jeb

ET(aatb) 21: RTT200 "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me"


[Link removed 20 November 2012] (66 MB)

"Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me"
Rough Trade RTT200
Produced by Morrissey and Marr, engineered by Stephen Street
* Produced by John Porter for the BBC
December 1987

Tracks:

1 Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
2 Rusholme Ruffians *
3 Nowhere Fast *
4 William, It Was Really Nothing *
5 How Soon Is Now? *
6 Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (single edit)

Sources:

1 from "Strangeways, Here We Come" (ROUGH CD106, September 1987)
2-4 from "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" (RTT 200CD, December 1987)
5 from some unknown lossless bootleg (ha!)
6 edited from 1 by Analog Loyalist

Restoration:

Gentle EQ as needed, a smidgen of tasteful noise reduction if required, and very cautious, gentle peak limiting.

Artwork for this, and every other release we'll be featuring, was sourced from the amazing Vulgar Picture treasure trove of sleeve artwork scans (with permission).

Notes:

And the book was finally written on the Smiths, as far as contemporary releases went. The last official, planned single from the band was one of the most desolate tracks in their catalog, the beautiful "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me". Except in this case it wasn't just another false alarm, the band truly was over. The single release stripped out the extended intro segment to go bang into the body of the song, which we also present here.

The B-sides were selected from the band's June 1984 Peel session, one that wasn't as exciting as their other sessions but a good one nonetheless. Oddly, "Nowhere Fast" as released by Rough Trade here is mono, while the actual broadcast version is full stereo. I've not been able to source a quality lossless stereo version of this track, so we unfortunately don't get the whole stereo effect here.

"How Soon Is Now?" was also done for this session, but per Johnny Marr the session version simply consisted of the band bringing in the multitracks from the original recording and re-jiggering them for the session. I think maybe Morrissey re-sung the lyric, and not all the guitars are present here, but besides that it's not super different from the "studio" version. I used the best lossless version I could locate, as it was not released with the other tracks on the 12"; if anyone can locate a better version that's not from a BBC digital stream capture and is without DJ talking over the intro/outtro please let us know.

- Analog Loyalist

Sunday, March 11, 2012

ET(aatb) 20: RTT198 "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"



[Link removed 20 November 2012] (57 MB)

"I Started Something I Couldn't Finish"
Rough Trade RTT198
Produced by Morrissey and Marr, engineered by Stephen Street
* Produced by Troy Tate
** Recorded by Grant Showbiz
November 1987

Tracks:

1 I Started Something I Couldn't Finish
2 Pretty Girls Make Graves *
3 Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (live) **
4 What's The World (live) **
5 Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before

Sources:

1, 5 from "Strangeways, Here We Come" (ROUGH CD106, September 1987)
2-3 from Stop Me (Victor [Japan] VDP-28025, Fall 1987)
4 from "Sweet And Tender Hooligan" (Reprise (USA) 9 43525-2, May 1995)

Restoration:

Gentle EQ as needed, a smidgen of tasteful noise reduction if required, and very cautious, gentle peak limiting.

Artwork for this, and every other release we'll be featuring, was sourced from the amazing Vulgar Picture treasure trove of sleeve artwork scans (with permission).

Notes:

The band was no more. Johnny Marr had left for Los Angeles, the remaining Smiths tried carrying on with replacement guitarists for a couple seconds, and then the band was put to rest. Morrissey was amidst recording sessions for his debut solo LP, yet there was still a Smiths record to promote. With no new tracks in the can (ha! Just see the various demos that saw release in 2010...) to use as B-sides, the single was filled out with selected live recordings and alternate session takes.

The A-side itself was a last-minute substitute for the obvious single candidate "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", which was pulled from the schedule in the UK at the last minute due to concerns about bombings/murder references in the lyric. Other territories kept "Stop Me..." as the single, as planned - hence our inclusion of "Stop Me..." on this set too.

"I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" is one of the least interesting Smiths single A-sides; it's not a bad track, it's just not great. It's almost Smiths-by-numbers, though interestingly enough the well-paced drum stomp is rooted to an audible Linn drum. I guess the most interesting bit is the fade-out where you hear Morrissey calling out to Stephen Street about the vocal take...

The live "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" was performed only once, at the band's final UK gig ever, in December 1987. It was challenging to master as it's quite noisy; I think people will be pleased with the results. Oddly, Morrissey sings a third verse here not present on the studio version. Johnny plays like he has three hands.

"What's the World" is a James cover, performed during the band's brief Scottish tour in fall 1985. An odd choice for a B-side, it was featured only on the cassette single release in the UK. In the USA, Sire/Reprise felt the need to promote the 1995 Singles compilation LP with a subset of rarities, so the label released "Sweet and Tender Hooligan" as a CD and 12" single in the US backed with the two "Girlfriend" B-sides, and "What's the World" taken from an actual UK cassette single as the label couldn't locate a master.

Most interesting is the Troy Tate abandoned debut LP session version of "Pretty Girls Make Graves". It's got a unique clip-clop pseudofolk canter to the rhythm, and according to Simon Goddard in the wonderful book The Smiths: The Songs That Saved Your Life was released as an overdue fulfillment of a promise by Geoff Travis to the cellist who played on the track.

"Stop Me..." is one of the classics in the catalog: urgent guitars, strident lyrics, just a stunner. Marr returns to his old trick - first done on "This Charming Man" - of bashing his guitar strings with a knife. It was the obvious choice for the single and a shame it didn't get to serve that role in the UK.

- Analog Loyalist