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Re: (TV) My comments on the reissues

why do i feel like the "static" will someday be
Obbard's "rosebud" moment.  

--- "Philip P. Obbard" <pobbard@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Maurice has already done a great job describing
> these reissues.
> Overall, I can't say I'm disappointed about
> *anything*, and I'm pleasantly
> surprised by a *lot*.
> For starters, I think the packaging is really nicely
> done. I had originally
> imagined that Rhino would do something like the
> jewel-case-in-a-cardboard-sleeve that they had used
> for the reissues of LOADED
> or FOREVER CHANGES, both of which I find cumbersome
> and easy to damage. I also
> often have mixed feelings about "digipaks", but I
> like the mini-LP feel of
> these. Unlike a lot of non-standard CD packaging, I
> had no problem getting the
> CD or booklet out of, or back into, the sleeves. 
> I am glad to see the printed lyrics restored. As a
> bonus, the lyrics to "Little
> Johnny Jewel" are included for MM and "Adventure"
> for ADVENTURE! The CDs
> themselves are printed with a design lifted from the
> old Elektra LPs, a nice
> touch common to Rhino reissues.
> I happily take back my insinuation, made several
> months ago, that Alan Licht
> shouldn't be writing the liner notes. I was wrong!
> He's done a good job with
> both reissues, producing a comfortable mix of
> recording, songwriting, and
> historical details. It's also good to see so much
> new commentary from Richard
> Lloyd and the elusive Mr. Verlaine about the writing
> and recording of each
> album (nothing from Ficca and Smith, though, as far
> as I remember - I don't
> have the discs with me right now). The story about
> Andy Johns setting up the
> drums is hilarious. I thoroughly enjoyed reading
> both booklets (and learned
> quite a few things I never knew before).
> Andy Zax (who helped produce the reissues) was
> accurate in calling the sonic
> upgrade over the previous CD versions "drastic".
> Both CDs sound a lot fuller
> and sharper than their predecessors, even without
> headphones. Of the two, I'd
> say ADVENTURE is the most noticeably improved,
> perhaps because the original CD
> issue sounded so flat. The new CD is brighter and
> the stereo separation is much
> wider. MARQUEE MOON is also improved, although the
> original CD wasn't as flat
> to begin with so the improvement isn't nearly as
> dramatic. However, to my
> surprise, the noisy static I've always complained
> about in "Venus" (in the
> right channel around 0:17) and "Friction" (in the
> right channel around
> 4:07-4:09) is *still* present on the remaster! So
> either Rhino couldn't remove
> this static or didn't know it was there.
> Interestingly, it's also audible in
> the alternate version of "Friction", leading me to
> believe it might be a
> problem with the original multitrack tape(s). I'll
> have to pull out my vinyl
> copy and see if the static is there, too, or if it's
> the result of damage along
> the way. The static is slightly less prominent on
> the new MARQUEE MOON CD, but
> it's definitely still there. It's my only
> disappointment with the reissues (and
> a pretty minor one at that).
> I still maintain that the last half of "The Dream's
> Dream" is a movie
> soundtrack just waiting for the right film.
> Maurice already did a great job describing the bonus
> tracks. I'd like to add a
> bit on the MARQUEE MOON "alternates". I think "See
> No Evil" is pretty
> disposable - it just sounds like Richard playing
> along with the regular track.
> For me, the only interesting part is Tom's
> double-track vocals during the
> chorus. Richard's alternate solo in "Marquee Moon"
> is quite cool. But my
> favorite is easily "Friction", which has a
> completely different feel from the
> LP version. The guitar carrying the melody is pushed
> way back in the mix, with
> a considerable amount of echo added. Same for the
> lead vocal. This has the
> effect of emphasizing the rhythm section. The rhythm
> guitar parts are rougher,
> giving the track a more garage-y feel (and making it
> even more dynamic than the
> LP version). Like Maurice said, it's "creepy and
> unsettling". I'd call it the
> equal of the LP version if they hadn't dropped my
> favorite guitar bit (around
> 3:13, under the "stop this head motion, set the
> sails" lyric).
> Most importantly amongst MARQUEE MOON's bonus
> tracks, "Little Johnny Jewel"
> sounds great - its best ever. For once, it's nice to
> hear this *not* from vinyl
> (no offense, Keith). It's got more depth than I am
> used to hearing. The
> beginning sounds as it *might* -- just *might* -- be
> clipped. I can't be sure;
> it might be because I'm comparing it to my old copy
> from vinyl which included
> the rattling drum kit audible on the 1979 Ork 12"
> single. Anyhow, given its
> history (with the master tape once thrown-away,
> apparently, and then recovered)
> it's amazing this track even exists on tape. I'm
> grateful that it has finally
> given it the exposure it deserves. 
> Maybe someday we'll get an official release of the
> rest of the songs from the
> session that yielded "LJJ", from August 1975. They
> are on the DOUBLE EXPOSURE
> CD, but I'd love to hear them with a sonic upgrade
> similar to the one we have
> now for "LJJ" (and have them play at the right
> speed, unlike DOUBLE EXPOSURE).
> As for "Untitled Instrumental", aka "Oh Mi Amore",
> it's a pretty ramshackle,
> tinny, out-of-tune performance. But it's fun to hear
> - shame they never
> completed "Oh Mi Amore" for either LP.
> The ADVENTURE bonus tracks are pretty much beyond
> criticism - as far as I am
> concerned, Rhino picked exactly the right tracks for
> inclusion and made them
> sound beautiful. The one track I wasn't familiar
> with before this reissue, the
> lengthy "Ain't That Nothin'" run-through, is a lot
> more interesting and
> engaging than I had expected. 
> When these reissues were first announced, I figured
> I was so picky when it came
> to Television that almost anything Rhino did would
> disappoint me in some way -
> the same way I've been disappointed (to some degree
> or another) with previous
> Television-related releases like THE MILLER'S TALE,
> the 1994 DREAMTIME reissue,
> the TOM VERLAINE and FLASHLIGHT reissues, etc. But
> honestly, there really isn't
> an item here I can criticism - nothing even
> approaching show-stopper territory,
> anyhow. Rhino has done a beautiful job in the
> all-important sonics, in finding
> bonus material from a band that unfortunately didn't
> record much while they
> were with Elektra, and in packaging these discs in a
> manner befitting their
> historic and artistic importance. I'm almost always
> impressed with Rhino's
> reissues, and this time is no exception. I've waited
> years for these reissues,
> and it was worth the wait.
> I'm sure I'll have more thoughts as I get to spend
> more time listening. And as
> soon as my copy of LIVE AT THE OLD WALDORF arrives!
> --Philip
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