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(TV) More notes on reissues (MM)

Oh, here's the bombshell (for me) from the liner notes: Tom originally wanted Rudy van Gelder to record _MM_! That would have been interesting. Also some fascinating anecdotes about working with Andy Johns.

Prove It and Torn Curtain: maybe it's a factor of the headphones I'm listening to this on (the stereo speakers are showing their cheapness and age), but I'm finding that Fred's playing is revealed in all its brilliant essential nature. Maybe it was the flatwound strings not being accurately reproduced on my system all those years, but for whatever reason, Fred and Billy really get the much-deserved spotlight on these tunes.

Anyway, now the reissues have me looking at speakers.

See No Evil (Alternate): LOTS of Lloyd playing all over this thing, really loose and hot, not unlike some of his recent shredding shows. I'm glad they didn't use this one on the album, but I'm really happy it's a bonus track. Double-tracked Tom vocal on the chorus! Lloyd is nothing if not consistent--this is the same solo as the more familiar. Slightly different lyrics in the end section ("going crazy with the one you love"), and a loose ending.

Friction (Alternate): More reverby. Much more reverb on Tom's guitar, and a lot of rubbery vibrato. Creepy and unsettling. Very live feel. Tom kicks in the vibrato pedal after "telescopes." The opening of the solo is similar, but doesn't have the same bite as the more familiar version, but it does heat up in the third and fourth bars. Way more aggressive in the last chorus, too.

Marquee Moon (Alternate): Largely the same as the one we know, but different guitar accents behind the second "life in the hive" section, *very* different Richard solo. Much more abrupt transition to the section for Tom's solo, which starts similarly, but is clearly different--more melodic beginning, as opposed to the dramatic pedal tone we're familiar with. It's a great alternate take on these ideas. The climax is identical, however, and it (along with that abrupt transition) makes me wonder if this was edited together. The piano seems more prominent in the mix during the parallel climbing section. The cascade section, too, seems either identical or very close, but immediately afterwards, it's clearly different, with a different texture on the climactic downbeat, and some distorted guitar in the rest before the riff starts up again, and there's more piano after the final verse.

O Mi Amore: I wish there were vocals on this. The (excellent) liner notes say this is from the Adventure sessions, btw. Ouch--some wrong notes on the riff after the breakdown. OK, I see why they left it off. Sounds like Richard decided to lay out after that. With just the chordal part, it's exceedingly cool garage rock, and then right before the end, Billy works his magic.

More to come, as I've just popped Adventure in.
Maurice Rickard
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