Sunday, October 31, 2010

ET(aatb) 02: RTT136A Reel Around The Fountain (withdrawn Troy Tate single)

[Link removed 20 November 2012] (45 MB)

[Link removed 20 November 2012] (Warners-sourced Tate "Reel Around The Fountain)

"Reel Around The Fountain"
Rough Trade RTT136 (-A for this blog)
Produced by Troy Tate
Summer 1983 (not released)


0 Reel Around The Fountain **new pristine Warners source** --- see below

1 Reel Around The Fountain
2 Jeane
3 Accept Yourself
4 Wonderful Woman


0 from the new double LP bootleg featuring unreleased mixes/demos, sourced from Warner Strategic Marketing product

1, 3-4 from a tape containing the alleged "Final Mixes" of the abandoned Troy Tate 1st LP sessions
2 from
"This Charming Man" WEA YZ0001CD1, 1992


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).


Summer 1983 saw the band repair to Elephant Studios, Wapping with Teardrop Explodes guitarist Troy Tate handling production duties of that "critical" first LP. As any fan knows, this session ultimately was abandoned, with the recordings scrapped and restarted with John Porter in Manchester that fall.
While the Tate project was still active, the plan was for the Smiths' 2nd single to be the Tate recording of "Reel Around The Fountain", backed by "Jeane". (Some think they were planning on releasing one of the BBC session versions of "RATF" as the single; however, Simon Goddard, in the wonderful book Songs That Saved Your Life, states otherwise - that it was the Tate recording that was planned for use. I trust Goddard on this one.) This got as far as the test pressing stage, at which point Johnny had come up with "This Charming Man" and Rough Trade decided that "TCM" would be the 2nd single instead.

Print ads were placed promoting the Tate "Reel Around The Fountain" single release, and as far as can be determined, the actual single was to be a 7" only. We are using the Tate recordings of "Accept Yourself" and "Wonderful Woman" as the extra tracks, to give an idea of what a Tate 12" would be like using the same songs ultimately used for the "TCM" 12" (coming up later on the blog).

This is a great fake single. I love the rawness of the Tate recordings; Tate managed to capture Mike Joyce's drums like no other producer did - besides the odd BBC session - in the band's entire recording career. They thunder! They boom! The band, in my humble opinion, committed a great error in binning the Tate recordings. We can only hope that someone, somewhere, decides to un-bin these and officially release them, in pristine condition. Until then....

******** UPDATE ********

Late December 2010 saw a surprise "release" of a double LP vinyl bootleg entirely comprised of unreleased, sometimes unmixed, rough takes, monitor mixes, etc from various Smiths sessions dating from the initial Troy Tate summer 1983 debut LP sessions, to the final album sessions with Stephen Street in spring 1987. Among this material was the final, as far as Warners knew, mix done by Tate of "Reel Around The Fountain". Needless to say a pristine, spectacular stereo transfer of this was sourced and used here.

I probably shouldn't, because it only raises expectations of a full release of the entire Tate session knowing Warners has it in this quality, but here's the mythical Track 0 (zeroth track?) as it really should replace entirely our original Track 1. You've never heard Tate's "Reel Around The Fountain" in this quality, and if I hadn't mentioned its lineage from vinyl, one would think I nicked the Warners half-inch master and went from there.

Mr and Ms Warners, may we have the rest of this session too, please? It would make an excellent Christmas 2011 gift, just like the one a couple weeks ago!

ET(aatb) 01: RT131 Hand In Glove

[Link removed 20 November 2012] (28.9 MB)

"Hand In Glove"
Rough Trade RT131
Produced by The Smiths
May 1983


1 Hand In Glove (original single version)
2 Handsome Devil (live)
3 Hand In Glove (live at Brixton Ace 29 June 1983)


1 from
Hatful of Hollow Rough Trade CD ROUGHCD76
2 from
Handsome Devils WEA France promo CD PRO 2005 _ 2, 1992
3 from "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" WEA YZ0003CD1, 1992


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).


The Smiths' calling card. Thundering out of the gate with one of the band's most "wall-of-sound" tracks, this record sounded nothing of its time in comparison to other 1983 records. Recorded with Joe Moss' money at Stockport's legendary Strawberry Studios (while the band was still seeking a record deal), and with the band handling basic production duties, Rough Trade released this on spec when handed a copy of the finished record. As they only recorded "Hand In Glove" at Strawberry, they dug into their not-very-deep vault for the B-side, a stomping take on "Handsome Devil" recorded live at the Hacienda in February 1983.

Morrissey was still bemoaning this record's relative chart failure a year after release, begging gig-going punters to keep buying it.

The Smiths never sounded this raw again. While I never used to rate "Hand In Glove" (though always loved "Handsome Devil"), I have developed a growing fondness for this take ever since having to (repeatedly) audition it while working on the audio segment of this endeavour. I think this was the perfect first release for this band - immediately sounding the consummate studio band on the A-side, and a storming live entity on the flip.

The bonus track here, "Hand In Glove" recorded live at the Brixton Ace, was initially a radio promo track sent out by Rough Trade on cassette in late summer 1983, and finally saw official release on the long-deleted WEA "There Is A Light..." CD single in 1992. Not necessarily a stellar version or recording, nonetheless it's a key track in the archives and for that reason belongs here.

You will have to forgive me if you are looking for meaningful insight on Morrissey's lyrics, for these or any other tracks we may be featuring. I was always drawn to this band by Johnny Marr's guitars, and Andy Rourke's unparalleled bass work. I always thought the Moz as a bit of a character, never reading anything more into his lyrics than just that, they being lyrics because the band didn't want to only record instrumentals. So in discussing the songs, I'll tend to stick to what I can speak of best, usually the music.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Tap tap - is this thing on?


Things are still very much ongoing. The audio is ready to roll, the artwork's been sourced, we're in the last stages of the bundling process. Expect the first post imminently.

Do readers want a roadmap of our intended project, or do people just wish to be surprised about what we'll post?