Sunday, April 11, 2010

Originals and cover versions

From Facebook, Donald Stuart said; "Ray can you please tell me what's the big deal if a record lasts 3min 2 secs when it's supposed to be 3min 5 secs. Alex was monking about this on Sat but I just cant see what's the big deal .Do people phone you in and complain about this. Do they sit with stop watches when listening to you."

No, as you suspect, listeners do not phone and comment on duration of tunes on the radio, unless they perceive you are cutting their favourite song short. However you do get phone calls asking why don't you play the original version instead of 'that re-recording'. And that is part of what Alex and other collectors are on about. Duration is a clue as to whether a track is the original off the original master or an indication of sloppy work by record companies in going to their vaults for reissues.

Some listeners are not aware that the under resourced record labels can supposedly 'reissue' songs by having a surviving member of a band to front some studio musicians to capitalise on the nostalgia market and by careful choice of words pretend that it is the original that you used to groove and move to. Major labels have been known for sloppy work in perhaps sending a junior to the vault to reissue a hit and they select the wrong take.

Not only that, upsetting for the fussy collector, is when the label remixes the reissue and comes up with a different sound than the collector used to hear on vinyl. I think Alex bought about 10 CDs trying to get the original mix version of Les Baxter - Quiet Village. I think in the end he cleaned up a 45 to get that balance of beach sounds and guitar along with the other instruments.

Most listeners would not notice but there are enough that do, so a Radio Station should try and play the originals to satisfy both camps so long as you don't have to chase your tail too much. Some callers can be mistaken about what was the original and have been listening to a remake, others have supplied the original and then phoned to suggest we are not playing the orginal. Then we advise they drink filtered water.

Maybe I should tell the story of adjusting the listeners to the original of 'In The Mood', after someone mentioned the version Today FM was playing DID NOT have Glenn Miller on trombone.

Tuesday 13 April, Don replied on Facebook,
Thanks for the info Ray. Now I understand.Come to think of it I must have a bundle of Lps, tapes. and cds that I know are not the originals.The worst are the live recordings when the singers change the words and alter parts of the tune. Cheers Don