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Simplicity works for me...

05 Oct 10 - 03:49 PM (#3000376)
Subject: Simplicity works for me...
From: buddhuu

Probably because I'm a bit simple.

I was listening to Andy Irvine's new abum 'Abocurragh' today. I like it very much. There are some great songs on it, but there's not a single track that I don't prefer to hear Andy perform live and solo just with a bouzouki or mandola.

Take George Papavgeris's heartbreaking song 'Emptyhanded'... Andy does a very fine version live: he really feels it, but somehow the fully arranged version on the recording, IMHO, loses something. It's a nice arrangement, but it's just not the same.

It's like the songs Planxty did with Bill Whelan on keyboards. It was an exercise in lily-gilding.

And how about the Fleetwood Mac version of 'Need Your Love So Bad'? Am I the only one who hates the strings in the background? A beautiful, simple slow blues with fecking orchestral strings stuck in it. Actually, I probably am the only person who hates the strings on that otherwise sublime record!

I don't know if it's a minimalist tendency in me, or if it's that some things just seem inappropriate or a bad fit - violins in an electric blues, or electronic keyboards in an otherwise acoustic and trad-inspired line-up.

I've kind of lost sight of what I had in mind when I started this post, but having typed so much I'm going to post it anyway.

And did I mention how bloody brilliant I think George Papavgeris's 'Emptyhanded' is? I'm a cynical old twat who avoids displays of emotion. I hate calculated sentimentalism, and I chuckled when Bambi's mother got the bullet. But that song chokes me every time.


05 Oct 10 - 04:58 PM (#3000422)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: Will Fly

And how about the Fleetwood Mac version of 'Need Your Love So Bad'? Am I the only one who hates the strings in the background? A beautiful, simple slow blues with fecking orchestral strings stuck in it. Actually, I probably am the only person who hates the strings on that otherwise sublime record!

If you can get yourself a copy of The Complete Fleetwood Mac 6-CD box set, you'll get all the original Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac studio cuts - including several versions of the classic tracks - including "I Need Your Love so Bad" without the strings and with organ. You'll be able to compare and contrast!

If you can't find it, PM me...


05 Oct 10 - 05:03 PM (#3000425)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: Will Fly

Just played the stringless version of "I Need Your Love So Bad" - the organ part is far more appropriate to the song than the dubbed strings, as you say. And Peter Green's guitar solos are mind-blowing.


05 Oct 10 - 05:05 PM (#3000429)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: buddhuu

Bloody hell, Will. I had no idea that version existed!

I've got a mate who's a Peter Green fanatic. Paradoxically, he's also one of the few people with whom I haven't argued about the (allegedly) superfluous string part! I'll ask him if he's got it.

Ta for the tip. :-)


05 Oct 10 - 05:12 PM (#3000430)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: Will Fly

The box set contains these versions of the song:

1. Live at the BBC
2. Need Your Love So Bad [Take 3]
3. Need Your Love So Bad [USA Version]
4. Need Your Love So Bad [Version #1] [Take 1,2 & 3]
5. Need Your Love So Bad [Version #2] [Remake] [Take 2]
6. Need Your Love So Badly [Version #2] [Take 1 & 2]

Version #1 takes and the BBC session are excellent - stringless. Needless to say, the remake and the US version have the orchestra.


05 Oct 10 - 05:15 PM (#3000432)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: buddhuu

Just phoned my mate. He hasn't got the box set. Bugger.

As a consolation, I did get to argue with him about the strings for the first time. (He likes them.)


05 Oct 10 - 05:18 PM (#3000434)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: Will Fly

PM me your email address. Interestingly, Gary Moore also uses strings on his 8 minute homage to PG on the album "Blues For Greeny".


05 Oct 10 - 05:25 PM (#3000441)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: buddhuu

You see, I really don't know why they felt the need for them. The FM version has a nice vocal and the most beauuuuuuuutiful gutar playing. Why add padding to that?


05 Oct 10 - 05:41 PM (#3000448)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: buddhuu

By magic, I have just heard NYLSB sans strings.

I just knew they were surplus to requirement!

Superb. ;-)


05 Oct 10 - 05:48 PM (#3000455)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: Joe_F

So also (IMO) with Stan Rogers and Tom Lehrer.


05 Oct 10 - 05:51 PM (#3000458)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: Wesley S

I agree that often the least produced recordings are the best produced ones. Late in the '60's it seemed like all the good songwriters from the folk scare felt compelled to add things like harpsicords and krumhorns in order to screw up perfectly good songs. I wish someone would release Phil Ochs "Pleasures of the Harbor" stripped down to just one guitar and a voice. That one was a prime example. But that's just my opinion.


05 Oct 10 - 07:57 PM (#3000580)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: Nick

Will

I haven't heard the Need your love but can imagine. I'm not sure where but I have an 8 minute live Peter Green playing 'The Stumble' (must be a John Mayall album I'd guess) which has so many more levels than the recorded one on A Hard Road.

Clapton (who I used to like a lot) was much better live than recorded on album. I always thought they chose the safest cuts. I have much better playing than on his main stream albums from various things like Radio One and others. (Perhaps my favourite thing was at a Royal Albert Hall concert years ago where he played 'Ain't nobody's business' as an encore to a piano accompaniment and then shifted his gears up each time he played a solo - not on an album anywhere but so much better.

Albert Collins. Wow. Still the best player I ever saw live. Three or four notes and the place took off. Saw him with Buddy Guy, Robert Kray, Clapton and Jimmy Ray Vaughan and just astounding to me.

Live always seems to work better and has more flexibility and life to it. I saw Sally Barker with her Joni Mitchell Project a while back and I loved the live but found the CD a bit pedestrian.


05 Oct 10 - 08:04 PM (#3000586)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: Nick

And John Martyn and Danny Thompson

And Judy Collins

Once you know that you like someone it's hard not to want them just to do it a bit different and a bit better (?) and add to what they have already done that you loved and just add to it. Recorded music can only ever be the same - live music can always go somewhere else and that thrill is it for me.

There is curiously something quite disappointing to go and see someone who sounds too much like their cd


05 Oct 10 - 08:09 PM (#3000589)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: Steve Shaw

I sort of agree about simplicity. Or I did until I got out my copy of No Roses...and then my copy of Anthems In Eden...


06 Oct 10 - 07:31 AM (#3000837)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: Will Fly

Nick - very true. The only thing that disappoints sometimes is where the live performance is lacklustre when compared with the recorded one. I've had the misfortune (just now and then luckily) to have seen somebody I respected musically in, shall we say, a "tired and emotional" state!

As far as the Fleeetwood Mac track which helped to trigger this thread is concerned, my guess is that the stringless version perhaps is more appealing to the blues purist, but that Blue Horizon Records guessed - perhaps rightly - that the version with strings would reach a wider audience and make more money. Just a theory.


06 Oct 10 - 09:02 PM (#3001458)
Subject: RE: Simplicity works for me...
From: McGrath of Harlow

If there are no strings, how can there be a guitar solo?