Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ET(aatb) 05: RTT130 "Hand In Glove" - The Sandie Shaw Single



[Link removed 20 November 2012] (35 MB)
"Hand In Glove" - The Sandie Shaw Single
Rough Trade RTT130
Produced by John Porter
February/March 1984

Tracks:

1 Hand In Glove
2 I Don't Owe You Anything
3 Jeane
4 Hand In Glove (rare alternate mix)

Sources:

1-3 from
"There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" (WEA YZ0003CD2, October 1992)
4 from
The Smiths (Tokuma Japan 35JC-102, September 1984)

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:

Allow me to preface this with two basic incontrovertible facts: 1) I am not English, and 2) I am not a fan of 1960s English bubblegum pop.

To me - a Yank in the frozen tundra of the Great Lakes - this single is frankly an oddity in an otherwise nearly blemish-free catalog. I have no idea of the cultural import this single had at the time; were Brits driven to the record stores in teeming mad droves at the news a faded Sixties pop diva was replacing Morrissey on a 12"? I'm trying to think of an American analogue to this: Perhaps if Cher had quit, or dropped out of the limelight, after "I Got You Babe" and then 30 years later fronted Green Day for a single. Regardless, to me, this record has always had a big question mark superimposed on top of it. I frankly didn't get it when I first heard it, and I still don't get it now.

That said... Marr goes poppy on these new arrangements, and I have to say his simple, breezy take on "Jeane" perhaps is the quintessential backing for this song. When I reach for the acoustic to strum Marr, I often return to this arrangement. I don't think the "Hand In Glove" musical re-statement is better or worse than the classic; it's different, and Marr had to do something to match the tune (and also that for "I Don't Owe You Anything") to Shaw's vocals.

Track 4 came from an unnamed co-conspirator, ripped from a copy of the relatively (very) rare original September 1984 Japanese CD pressing of the debut LP; it along with three other tracks were unique bonus tracks on this CD. I do not believe this mix is available anywhere else; if anything, it's even more Marr-riffic than the common mix.

English readers, please enlighten me as to why I should give a Shaw for the existence of this record.

ET(aatb) 04: RTT146 "What Difference Does It Make?"



[Link removed 20 November 2012] (43 MB)
"What Difference Does It Make?"
Rough Trade RTT146
Produced by John Porter
January 1984

Tracks:

1 What Difference Does It Make?
2 Back To The Old House
3 These Things Take Time
4 What Difference Does It Make? (7 inch edit)
5 What Difference Does It Make? (Troy Tate abandoned version)

Sources:

1-3 from
"What Difference Does It Make?" RTT146CD, 1988
4 edited from same
5 from a tape containing the alleged "Final Mixes" of the abandoned Troy Tate 1st LP sessions

Restoration:

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

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

Notes:

This, the band's third single, delved a bit deeper into their songwriting history for the title track. While the prior "This Charming Man" was a relatively brand-new song at the time it was released as a single, "What Difference Does It Make?" was amongst the first batch of songs Morrissey and Marr composed together, back in late 1982.

Featuring an immediate, grabbing guitar motif, this track was recorded initially for John Peel (and obtainable on
Hatful Of Hollow), and then subsequently re-recorded both by Troy Tate (for the abandoned first LP sessions), and finally John Porter (what we have here as the A-side, and, later, as featured on their debut LP). The Peel version is more of a stomper, with a loose, heavy groove laid down by Mike Joyce. Most "experts" on the Smiths prefer the Peel version, and I count myself firmly in that camp. It just has more "oomph", more power, it's just a better take on the song. The Porter/A-side version, featured here, is just "eh". I don't think the groove was quite captured in this take, and the guitars sound strangely neutered.

But, it is what it is.

The B-side tracks are infintely more interesting. "Back To The Old House" is a re-worked, re-arranged variant on the acoustic
Hatful Of Hollow/BBC session version, and "These Things Take Time" most definitely should have wormed its way into the debut LP tracklisting. I know that I'm the most inept that ever slept, indeed.

We've chosen to bonus this single with a Tate recording of the title track. It's not as crystalline as the Tate "Reel Around The Fountain" single fantasy, but it's an interesting, and welcomed, re-interpretation of the song. It's notably in a different key than the Porter version, and Marr chirps right along on a harmonica in rhythm with his own guitar track.

It's hard to spice up conversation about this single. I've never really rated it as a stunner in the band's catalog, but there you are. Far more interesting are the various cover combinations, with the Terrence Stamp sleeve, then the Morrissey faux-Stamp sleeve, then Stamp with the band's name, Morrissey with the band's name, etc and etc and etc. I'll let our co-host, if he so chooses, carry on with that part of the discussion...

Update from 50 Pound Note - ugh, I simply cannot seem to get through the artwork for one of these singles without a typo slipping through. It's annoying. The RTT number on the CD face was incorrect, so you may grab the fixed one here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mastered stereo Demos & Outtakes posted over at the other blog...

 The Power of Independent Trucking - mastered stereo rip *a MUST have*

60-80% of the tracks show no evidence of vinyl lineage. The others it's been minimized as much as possible.

Until we get our hands on the Warner Strategic Marketing CDs these came from, it's the best we're going to get. Download and enjoy!

Please note that punters may choose between Tate/Warners "Reel Around The Fountain" takes - the version posted here yesterday, vs. the version posted in the set over at the other blog just now, for their own RTT136-A sets as each has a slightly different EQ profile. I myself prefer the one in the demo set because I just finished mastering it tonight to match the overall tonal quality of the demo set in its entirety, but others may prefer the one posted yesterday. Up to you! Or you can put both in your RTT136-A bundle - it's your choice!

My co-host and I expect our regularly-scheduled programming to resume in imminent fashion.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

RTT136-a Reel Around The Fountain NEW VERSION

I've mastered the Warners-sourced Troy Tate final mix of "Reel Around The Fountain", bagged and tagged it for the blog, and updated the original post with the link to the new version.

I suggest discarding the previous Track 01 and dropping this in its place. This version sounds direct from Warners master half-inch tape. (I am keeping the original link alive with the now-redundant version in place, for cataloging purposes, but new listeners need to grab both the original zip file and the new version of Track 01.)

This should give punters an idea as to the quality of the recent Demos/Outtakes 2xLP bootleg, and what can be wrung out of it with patience and platinum ears.

Onward we go.

Monday, January 3, 2011

News! followup - part II

Friends of the program have ripped another copy of the recent 2xLP bootleg featuring the now-famed studio outtakes and premix/unmixed recordings... and it's full glorious stereo.

Watch the other blog for possible cleanup postings, and with this new transfer, upcoming posts here may reflect/include some of these new findings.

One thing I'm now deeply considering is updating the RTT136-A fileset with this new transfer of the Tate "Reel Around The Fountain" final mix. It clearly supersedes our previous source and despite other speculation to the contrary (I still refuse to accept that, given the confirmed existence of RT-pressed test pressings featuring the Peel version of the track as the A-side, RT would pay the Beeb licensing fees for a still-minor band's 2nd single without an LP out as well), I remain convinced the final in-the-shops version of the withdrawn RATF single would have been Tate's recording.