Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The least we can do is wave to each other

After having listened to the Shel Talmy mix of TLWCD for the past ten days, and having the remastered version accompanying my evening power walk for the last two days, I've got this classic album very much on my mind. In that spirit, I would like to offer some random comments
  1. In my opinion, the Shel Talmy mix of 'Out of my book' is better than John Anthony's version. First of all, the vocal is in the middle of the stereo as opposed to being on one side (which was a really strange decision). Secondly, in the middle bit, I can hear what sounds like a harpsichord - I've never heard this in the original. But otherwise, the ST mix is worse than the JA mix: vocals, bass and drums are clearer, but the saxes and flutes are mixed much lower. 'Darkness' especially loses most of its power. There are also a few glitches in 'After the flood', but otherwise this sounds fairly like the official version.

  2. In 'The book', mention is made of Nic Potter playing electric guitar in 'Whatever would Robert have said" in a last minute addition. To my mind, the final result sounds as if this were planned from the beginning . I've never heard any discussion of the fact that the electric guitar also plays centre stage at the end of 'After the flood' - indeed, David Jackson is nowhere to be heard and it's the guitar which plays the solo. It's conceivable that initially DJ played a solo but was mixed out when NP's part was deemed better, but still....

  3. The sequencing of TLWCD bears more than a slight resemblance to the sequencing of another record released a few months before, also with a similarly cumbersome title, 'The court of the crimson king'. Both albums start out with sound effects (wind, a pipe organ) followed by a very strong song; the second track is very gentle, and the third is strong again, but in a different manner to the opening track. The first half of the second side differs, but the final track is another blowout. The same gross structure appears on 'H to He'. Maybe this was a common idea, maybe it was the best idea available, but it does appear to be more than coincidental.
[SO: 3078; 2,11,29]

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