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#63860 - Sun, 17 Oct 2010 05:31:00 White China - why it lost out as a single
robak Offline
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Hi, just doing some research for a future article and came across this gem from Midge back in 1984, solving a puzzle I've long wondered about. Which Lament track replaced White China as a single?

So, was it...

One Small Day?
Dancing with Tears in My Eyes?
Lament?

“We all thought it was an album track, it was too obvious to us in a way, it was instantly dismissed as a single, but all the European territories wanted us to put out Dancing. We wanted to release White China, which would have meant two videos, two budgets, two storyboards, and with the tour coming up we didn’t have the time”.

And it seems American "rawk" radio couldn't decide between One Small Day and Dancing, so it seems that's why the 12" over there had both those tracks (remixed) on it smile

Great stuff, although that still leaves me (at least) wondering as to which single off Quartet usurped Serenade at the last minute. Any ideas?

Rob

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#63861 - Sun, 17 Oct 2010 23:08:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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The quote seems fairly clear that the band wanted to release White China but all the European territories went for Dancing. The decision was taken to release it in the UK too to avoid having to promote two different singles in different territories.

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#63862 - Mon, 18 Oct 2010 02:51:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
1.Outside Offline
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er, yes.

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#63863 - Mon, 18 Oct 2010 03:53:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
robak Offline
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Ah, sorry there, just my little tease. The quotes crystal clear alright, hence my posting it. Thought I'd hold back on the proof for a few lines by putting a little question before it to build up the suspense smile

Of the three singles, I think I'd have plumped (as a guess) for Dancing as its replacement, as it were, had I not come across this quote.

And you can kind of see why the band went for White China on the recent Best Of rather than Serenade, as that would have meant five tracks from one album (Quartet) on that CD, whereas this way Lament got a more equal share smile Of course, I'd like to have seen Serenade there too, but you can't have everything smile

So what replaced Serenade, then?

Reap the Wild Wind?
Hymn?
Visions in Blue?
We Came to Dance?

Reap the Wild Wind seems like a very deliberate choice for a different sounding opening single - much as One Small Day was a different sounding trail for Lament - so I'd have to guess it was Hymn or Visions in Blue if pushed, especially as We Came to Dance seemed to have been set as a single fairly early prior to its release; I recall Radio 1 doing a very early trail for it, but playing the album version surprisingly.

Thoughts?

Rob

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#63864 - Mon, 18 Oct 2010 16:11:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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Personally I'm glad they didn't release 'White China'. I don't care much for 'Dancing' these days but, casting my mind back to my youth, remember being quite taken with it back in 84. It certainly seemed to catch the mood of the time. Non-Utravox fans I know, who were also youths at the time, all remember 'Dancing' too and seem to view it as a significant track from their youth. I really don't think White China would have made that kind of impact and would have been all but forgotten by now. IMO, 'Dancing' was definitely the right choice. If it had been the first single off the album, it might also have gone to No. 1. Pure conjecture, of course.

On 'Serenade', I'm wondering if it lost out to WCTD? Serenade is my favourite track off the album but I'm not sure it would have worked as a single.

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#63865 - Mon, 18 Oct 2010 22:16:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
Mark Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1.Outside:
On 'Serenade', I'm wondering if it lost out to WCTD? Serenade is my favourite track off the album but I'm not sure it would have worked as a single.
It's funny really, "Serenade" is the one track I liked the least on "Quartet" and I surprised to find an extended version of it on the "Extended" CD a few years back, I still don't like it.

As for "White China", I loved that track because it had that electronic sizzle Ultravox had been going away from and the kind of music I was listening to at the time had. I never really got on with "One Small Day" to the extent that until one of the recent round of reissues I thought it was the transition between Lament and the pink thing, after "Love's Great Adventure".

Anyway, back to the original point, I would have thought it lost out to "Dancing" and I suspect that chart history shows that was probably a good choice in the end.

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#63866 - Tue, 19 Oct 2010 05:15:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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DWTIME was too repetative in my view- with the 'live version' only just being saved by the key change and Midges guitar solo at the end.

The 'live version' of White China from Set Movements however,was superb and worked much better than the pedestrian studio version.And wouldn't have made any impression as a single.

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#63867 - Tue, 19 Oct 2010 06:41:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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Quote:
Originally posted by MickF:
DWTIME was too repetative in my view- with the 'live version' only just being saved by the key change and Midges guitar solo at the end.
Love the live version - the key change works great. smile

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#63868 - Tue, 19 Oct 2010 20:42:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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Personally I think White China should have been released as a single in place of Lament. I like Lament but never thought it would make a good single. White China to me sounded like an obvious single and I was surprised it never was.

As for Serenade,I don't think it could have faired any less well than WCTD.

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#63869 - Wed, 20 Oct 2010 03:56:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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Interesting discussion. I don't think any of my 'favourite' tracks from any of the albums were the singles, though my favourites can change round a bit! Probably:
Vienna - New Europeans
RIE - We Stand Alone
Quartet - Serenade
Lament - Man of 2 Worlds
Uvox - can't remember!!
Agree that the 2009/10 live versions of some tracks would make it near to the top (the live version of I remember... is probably my top track...at the moment)
White China has always left me a bit cold.

What makes a commercial single is another matter.
Good job even Ultravox fanatics are all different.

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#63870 - Wed, 20 Oct 2010 08:24:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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Ah, well if we're talking songs that never were singles but could have been, I was always disappointed that they didn't stick their neck out and try I Remember as the third and final single off Rage in Eden. I think it would have worked better, as We Stand Alone would have been a bit too long to work as single without a crop somewhere in it (like on The Thin Wall), which in this case would have been a great shame.

Not that I don't like the long violin solo in The Thin Wall, by the way, it's just that having heard the single first - with that lovely additional 'swoop' at the edit point - it just always seems to me that's how the song should be smile

Rob

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#63871 - Wed, 20 Oct 2010 15:55:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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Quote:
Originally posted by robak:

Not that I don't like the long violin solo in The Thin Wall, by the way, it's just that having heard the single first - with that lovely additional 'swoop' at the edit point - it just always seems to me that's how the song should be smile
IMO, 'The Thin Wall' is the only track that has an equally good single version. I too absolutely love the album version but the single version does add another angle to the song.

The other single versions, where edited, seem to have simply been edited 'where possible' without regard for the overall effect. For me it's a bit like the cutting of Samson's hair - the strength is lost by some injudicious snipping. For example, for 'The Voice' single version lacks the gravitas and drama of the album version.

I don't think that generally you can simple lop bits off a track and create something that's equally valid. Nobody would suggest lopping a few bits off a sculpture. Tracks like 'The Voice' are entire entities in themselves; pieces of art. Hacking away at them results in a greater reduction than simply shortening the length.

However, like I said, they (whoever did the editing) did get it right with 'The Thin Wall'.

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#63872 - Thu, 21 Oct 2010 04:24:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
robak Offline
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Very true, but for me it's always been a necessary evil, as - with exceptions (Vienna, for instance) - longer singles rarely work as well. But actually, even apart from The Thin Wall, I always thought that most of the Ultravox edits were carefully thought out. I mean, they could have left the lovely Voice fade out in, but how many DJ's would have played it? Apart from longtime supporter Peter Powell, not many I'd wager smile

The only jarring edit, and I can see why they opted not to include it on their recent best of, was All Stood Still - which I suspect might have been requested rather quickly to help promote their Crystal Palace Bowl show, as the two were advertised together.

And as with The Thin wall, there are many songs by other people where the single version I heard first seems to hit the nail on the head better - Ashes to Ashes, the hit version of Quiet Life (the original one was ridiculuous, simply fading it out 3/4 of the way through the song) and Cardiac Arrest... okay, I'm being mischevious with that last one, because it actually continues for another minute or so on the single, whereas on the album it just grinds to a halt with the slow heart beat effect trailing off, not nearly as effectively.

But I'm sure if I had time, I could come up with some appalling edit examples too wink

Rob

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#63873 - Thu, 21 Oct 2010 04:48:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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i always loved the song White China from the Lament album myself , & i never could understand why it was never a single in the u.k. back in 1984 , even though it was put on the best of compliation last year folks .

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#63874 - Fri, 22 Oct 2010 04:22:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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I did read or hear something once that some one had commented that White China sounded too much like Blue Monday which is why it wasn't put out as a single. That may be apocraphal though- and I hae nothing to support it.

As for Edits, The Voice was cut terribly - as was We came to Dance. In fact on the latter they cut the best bit! As for the other edited versions I don't think the integrity of the songs were harmed- and actually the edited version of Visions in Blue is better- I find that the break on the album version goes on a little too long.

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#63875 - Fri, 22 Oct 2010 04:30:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
robak Offline
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True, I did feel for Warren when the spoken section was removed from We Came to Dance, but when it was played in full ahead of release on Radio 1, it did sound a little odd in a single's context. But perhaps we're simply wishing that Ultravox had been a little braver still and further challenged the orthodoxy of what makes a (great) single smile

Food for thought.

Rob

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#63876 - Fri, 22 Oct 2010 04:31:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
Si_W Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Becca:
I did read or hear something once that some one had commented that White China sounded too much like Blue Monday which is why it wasn't put out as a single. That may be apocraphal though- and I hae nothing to support it.
Think this is mentioned in the Midge autobiography...

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#63877 - Fri, 22 Oct 2010 04:34:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
robak Offline
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Well, no more so than Overlook sounding like Don't You Want Me smile

Rob

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#63878 - Fri, 22 Oct 2010 04:38:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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Quote:
Originally posted by robak:
perhaps we're simply wishing that Ultravox had been a little braver still and further challenged the orthodoxy of what makes a (great) single smile
With 'We Came to Dance' that orthodoxy was never under any threat...

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#63879 - Sun, 24 Oct 2010 23:32:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
stufarq Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by robak:
All Stood Still - which I suspect might have been requested rather quickly to help promote their Crystal Palace Bowl show, as the two were advertised together.
I'd have thought it was more about getting another single out to capitalise on the success of Vienna.

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#63880 - Mon, 25 Oct 2010 08:25:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
robak Offline
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Absolutely, and after the success of Vienna as a single, it would have given them added momentum, so to be able to tie it into a live show was an added bonus smile

Rob

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#63881 - Tue, 26 Oct 2010 18:45:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
Becca_dup1 Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by robak:
Absolutely, and after the success of Vienna as a single, it would have given them added momentum, so to be able to tie it into a live show was an added bonus smile

Rob
One thing that bothers me about ASS if it hasn't been re-mixed or re-recorded for single release why does it sound so bloody different on both single and 12" versions?

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#63882 - Tue, 26 Oct 2010 20:49:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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Quote:
Originally posted by Becca:
[QUOTE]ASS - why does it sound so bloody different?
No idea Becca confused2
Having said that tho Mrs, my ASS sounds different at times, depending on the strength of curry I have eaten earlier in the day. shocked

White China - Well, the debate rumbles on I guess. smile

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#63883 - Wed, 27 Oct 2010 00:58:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
Joby Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CONNY'S PIG:
White China - Well, the debate rumbles on I guess.
A bit like your All Stood Still, eh piggie?

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#63884 - Wed, 27 Oct 2010 03:52:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
Donuts Offline
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When I bought the Lament album One Small Day was the only single at that time. I was expecting White China or Man Of Two Worlds to be the next release and was very surprised when they released Dancing, which was my least favourite track on an excellent album.

However, it turned out to be their most successful single apart from Vienna so someone knew what they were doing.

I don't think White China would have had much of an impact as a single but I still believe Man Of Two Worlds would have been a much better follow up to Dancing's success than Lament.

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#63885 - Wed, 27 Oct 2010 08:37:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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Hmmmm, I really love Man of Two Worlds, but as a single? Not for me. So, besides passing over White China, they went for the three songs I'd expected to see as singles (and did anyone else ever used to play picking future singles off a new album, or was it just me?).

And funnily enough, bar the fabulous Billy-fest coda, I wasn't overly keen on Dancing either when I first devoured the album either.

As for the edit and remix of All Stood Still, it always sounded to me like a second generation tape had been used, as it just sounds duller than the album version. It's also noticeable that the backing vocal retorts are far less audible too towards the middle/end of the song.

Rob

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#63886 - Wed, 27 Oct 2010 16:33:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
CONNY'S PIG Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joby:
Quote:
Originally posted by CONNY'S PIG:
[b]White China - Well, the debate rumbles on I guess.
A bit like your All Stood Still, eh piggie? [/b]
biglaugh

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#63887 - Wed, 27 Oct 2010 20:11:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
Rob Harris Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by robak:
As for the edit and remix of All Stood Still, it always sounded to me like a second generation tape had been used, as it just sounds duller than the album version. It's also noticeable that the backing vocal retorts are far less audible too towards the middle/end of the song.
I'm not sure that I fully understand what your driving at here. The single edit of All Stood Still will always sound different to the album version of All Stood Still - if only because of the different media being utilised - seven inch vinyl at 45 RPM against twelve inch vinyl at 33 1/3 RPM.

The same will inevitably hold true for the extended version of All Stood Still as it appeared on twelve inch vinyl at 45 RPM.

These are, in effect, three different tracks which have been assembled using the same selection of core components. It's really not surprising that they don't all sound alike as they would've been created (and mixed / re-mixed) for three similar (yet significantly different) formats.

Rob

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#63888 - Mon, 01 Nov 2010 00:44:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
stufarq Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by robak:
Absolutely, and after the success of Vienna as a single, it would have given them added momentum, so to be able to tie it into a live show was an added bonus smile

Rob
Oh, I see what you mean now. Yes.

Quote:
Originally posted by Rob Harris:
The single edit of [b]All Stood Still will always sound different to the album version of All Stood Still - if only because of the different media being utilised - seven inch vinyl at 45 RPM against twelve inch vinyl at 33 1/3 RPM.

The same will inevitably hold true for the extended version of All Stood Still as it appeared on twelve inch vinyl at 45 RPM.

These are, in effect, three different tracks which have been assembled using the same selection of core components. It's really not surprising that they don't all sound alike as they would've been created (and mixed / re-mixed) for three similar (yet significantly different) formats.

Rob [/b]
Surely all three would have been cut from the same master tape after mixing etc was finished. They're the same track cut on to three different acetates. Any differences in sound would be down to variations in cutting, tape/vinyl speed, or quality of the vinyl.

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#63889 - Mon, 01 Nov 2010 02:42:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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Ah, that was exactly what I was getting at Rob. Sorry, didn't see your reply before now. Yes, different elements would doubtless cause a difference to the final versions... as we've seen on alternative versions of songs by other artists before now, of course smile

Rob

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#63890 - Sat, 06 Nov 2010 03:29:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
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Interesting point Rob... however the arguement comes of the wheels a bit when the different versions are played back on the same medium- CD or Download. And they still sound different!

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#63891 - Sat, 06 Nov 2010 19:28:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
Rob Harris Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Becca:
Interesting point Rob... however the arguement comes of the wheels a bit when the different versions are played back on the same medium- CD or Download. And they still sound different!
But the master tapes for these tracks (I assume that you're referring to All Stood Still) would most likely have been created in different studios at different times. And they would have doubtless been mixed / mastered with a bias towards the (original) format on which each particular version was going to be released upon.

Moreover, the condition of these tapes would've inevitably varied over the years (even if they had been kept in the same storage facility) which would affect the way in which they sound. This would also have determined the manner in which these tapes were transferred to a digital medium.

The process of transferring tapes would itself have taken place over a period of time, and the results would've been mastered / remastered by different people in different studios.

It would be more amazing if they did all sound the same.

Rob

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#63892 - Sat, 06 Nov 2010 20:29:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
Becca_dup1 Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rob Harris:
Quote:
Originally posted by Becca:
[b] Interesting point Rob... however the arguement comes of the wheels a bit when the different versions are played back on the same medium- CD or Download. And they still sound different!
But the master tapes for these tracks (I assume that you're referring to All Stood Still) would most likely have been created in different studios at different times. And they would have doubtless been mixed / mastered with a bias towards the (original) format on which each particular version was going to be released upon.

Moreover, the condition of these tapes would've inevitably varied over the years (even if they had been kept in the same storage facility) which would affect the way in which they sound. This would also have determined the manner in which these tapes were transferred to a digital medium.

The process of transferring tapes would itself have taken place over a period of time, and the results would've been mastered / remastered by different people in different studios.

It would be more amazing if they did all sound the same.

Rob [/b]
I hear what you say Rob, but I still disagree.

Take we Came to Dance for example - which would have gone through similar processes to ASS- there is an Album version, a single version and an Extended 12" version. Yet they all sound like they were based on the same source recordings; the Vocals, the bass tracks and the production all sound identical. However the difference between the Album version and the single versions of ASS are prounced. The vocals sound raspier, the synth bass has more umph, and the tempo seems subtley increased- not technical terms I know- but thats how it sounds.

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#63893 - Sat, 06 Nov 2010 21:52:00 Re: White China - why it lost out as a single
Rob Harris Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Becca:
Quote:
Originally posted by Rob Harris:
[b]
Quote:
Originally posted by Becca:
[b] Interesting point Rob... however the arguement comes of the wheels a bit when the different versions are played back on the same medium- CD or Download. And they still sound different!
But the master tapes for these tracks (I assume that you're referring to All Stood Still) would most likely have been created in different studios at different times. And they would have doubtless been mixed / mastered with a bias towards the (original) format on which each particular version was going to be released upon.

Moreover, the condition of these tapes would've inevitably varied over the years (even if they had been kept in the same storage facility) which would affect the way in which they sound. This would also have determined the manner in which these tapes were transferred to a digital medium.

The process of transferring tapes would itself have taken place over a period of time, and the results would've been mastered / remastered by different people in different studios.

It would be more amazing if they did all sound the same.

Rob [/b]
I hear what you say Rob, but I still disagree.

Take we Came to Dance for example - which would have gone through similar processes to ASS- there is an Album version, a single version and an Extended 12" version. Yet they all sound like they were based on the same source recordings; the Vocals, the bass tracks and the production all sound identical. However the difference between the Album version and the single versions of ASS are prounced. The vocals sound raspier, the synth bass has more umph, and the tempo seems subtley increased- not technical terms I know- but thats how it sounds. [/b]
I think that we're at cross-purposes here...

My original reply was in response to what Robak posted earlier in this thread, specifically; As for the edit and remix of All Stood Still, it always sounded to me like a second generation tape had been used, as it just sounds duller than the album version. It's also noticeable that the backing vocal retorts are far less audible too towards the middle/end of the song.

No mention was made about the vocals sounding raspier, the synth bass having more umph, and / or the tempo seeming to be subtley increased. So my answer only related to Robak 's observation that it sounded as though a second generation tape had been used.

Your first two points indicate that a different 'performance' could have been used. And it's possible that the tempo could've been speeded up for the single edit - after all this was a single as opposed to an album track. Warren has mentioned on more than a few occasions that tracks played live are sometimes a little 'faster' than their studio counterparts - and there's no reason why that rationale couldn't have been employed in this instance.

Rob

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