Matt Monro - The George Martin Years CD (& appreciation thread) *

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by vzok, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I thought I was au fait with the basic issues but where did The Greatest come in? Was this simply the first outing for the Stereo single versions of Russia and Softly which subsequently appeared on the Singer's Singer?
     
  2. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Copyright or not, the version on The Magic of Matt Monro is different. Not merely because the latter is in a mono and the Complete Singles version is in stereo and beautifully remastered bringing out 100% more detail IMO. The final bars are different in the nice messy car crash ending to the song in both tracks which clearly points to a different take..
     
  3. Great Music Lover

    Great Music Lover Member

    Location:
    UK
  4. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    That's the "I have Dreamed" album version
     
  5. Great Music Lover

    Great Music Lover Member

    Location:
    UK
    Watch out for the BBC Radio 2 Programme - Don Black where he salutes Matt Monro within the programme which is scheduled for next Sunday at 11:00pm. As far as I can tell, Don will do a weekly spot on Matt. I do not have any other info at the moment but the programme will be available on the iPlayer the following day and will be worth having a listen.
     
    Norman Day likes this.
  6. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Never understood this "spending your time trying to be someone else" obsession some have. There has never been anyone who can touch Matt's voice, nobody who is even close to his sound, including his own son Matt Jnr - Michele's late half brother Mitchell sounded more like Matt, but he never sang professionally and we have only one song recorded for fun in a booth at Disney to prove it (Mitchell - a pilot died some years ago at the same age as Matt was). What's worse is when people issue CD's of themselves singing Matt's songs with the same arrangements (often played on keyboards). Why? If i want to hear Matt's songs I'll listen to Matt singing them. I do listen to lots of different music by the way. I'm involved with Matt's estate and adore his singing, but i'm not a total obsessive! (Despite what you may think from this thread!)

    Michele has often been sent mad by "Tributes" who want to be endorsed by the Monro's. As you can imagine she refuses to endorse anybody.
     
    Norman Day and adriatikfan like this.
  7. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    The same old stories (often wrong or wildly inaccurate) again. At least he knows that were it not for Matt he would probably never have made it in the business. He plays one Matt song per week and often something obvious.
     
  8. vzok

    vzok Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    He often repeats the songs too.
     
    RMoore likes this.
  9. Great Music Lover

    Great Music Lover Member

    Location:
    UK
    Mmmm. Looks like I should not have bothered posting the info I received. I wasn’t aware of the programme and maybe others were not either, but I think recent responses will have probably put people off from listening.
     
    Norman Day likes this.
  10. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Don't feel bad. I just support the Monro family in their lack of support for Mr Black if you see what I mean!
     
    Norman Day likes this.
  11. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Right, as promised. From Russia With Love – From recording to remix.

    The story starts on 1st September 1963 when Matt & Johnnie Spence convened at Abbey Road studios to record two songs. “Here and Now” and the first ever Bond theme with a vocal “From Russia With Love”

    Here and Now was relatively straightforward and (at the time I wrote the sessionography) thought to have been a live recording. However when researching the Alternate Monro, I discovered that Matt had overdubbed his vocal on to a pre-recorded backing track – This is not something he would have wanted to do. He much preferred to sing live and if he was forced to overdub he would not use headphones, much preferring a monitor speaker. The only reason I can work out is that the make-up of the orchestra was different for the two tracks. “Here and Now” being Big Band, “From Russia”, traditional orchestra. Both Matt and Johnnie were booked for Summer Season and It’s highly likely that it was difficult to get a date when both were available for long enough. So Johnnie recorded the big band track at an earlier session – probably earlier in the day before Matt could get to the studio and then OD’d the vocal at the end of the session once the orchestra had left. The session tape had two tracks of orchestra (in stereo) and one vocal track

    Second on the list was “From Russia” and this WAS recorded live with the orchestra – at least initially! Twelve takes were recorded with Track 1 with the main orchestra and track 3 live acoustic piano for better balance between both during mix down. (This is one of the rare occasions that Matt’s backing tracks were recorded without a consideration for stereo). Track 2 was Matt’s live vocal. Take 12 was marked best, but George Martin was not satisfied. Working to a deadline, Matt & Johnnie would be called back to see what could be done. This happened on 3rd September and paperwork states that Johnnie’s fare from summer season in Blackpool was paid on top of his session fee. They saw no need to pay for another orchestral session so worked with the best orchestral take – no 12. This was the only material that would survive from the 1st Sept session on the master take. Firstly the Piano was replaced using wound up piano (recorded half speed and down an octave). This would allow repeated notes to be played quicker and a more “Russian” sound. It’s hard to know exactly who played the Piano but George is heard on the multitrack talking to engineer Stuart Eltham from the studio floor so either he played or worked with Johnnie. This was recorded in sections. The original Mono & Stereo mixes contain a mixing mistake which sound like gobbledygook spoken by mice, but is actually George Martin asking for Stuart to run the tape back. This was finally fixed in my 2011 Remix.

    Then it turned to the vocals. Track 2 was wiped with a new take and for the first time Track 4 also had a vocal track. How these were recorded and how many takes isn’t clear.

    The mono mix (also used in the movies) used a “comped” vocal, something that wouldn’t happen again for over 10 years. Different sections of vocal from tracks 2 & 4 were compiled to create a master vocal whilst mixing. This was once again due to the short turn around required for the finished song. Shortly after the session was mixed and gone to press for the single, Liberty records were issuing John Barry’s score on LP and requested a stereo mix. This was created by an unknown EMI engineer and used only the vocal from track 2.

    Fast forward to 2009 and I’m working on Complete Singles and intend to use Stereo wherever possible. In 2008 a tape listing from the archive showed the 4 track session tape was available so I took the opportunity to ask for this to be copied and sent to me for re-mix so a stereo version using the correct vocals could be created. I then got the message that the tape was no longer in the archive (along the session reels for My Love & Devotion and Tahiti). I was then sent on a wild goose chase sent from pillar to post to track the tape down, including Sony records, Sony & Columbia Pictures and even the James bond archive. Nobody knew what had happened just a note on the system for all missing tapes “Sent to MGM”.

    I was forced to go with the original Mono mix, a 2nd Gen “My Love & Devotion” and Mono Tahiti.

    At the same time as putting Singles together I worked on “The Greatest” and decided to use the original stereo mix for that LP (copying the panning of the orchestra at the start of the song – see below)

    About three months later I suddenly got a message saying the tapes had been found. They had never left the archive, some software glitch had marked them as removed and this was only uncovered during an audit. Too late for Singles, I set to work matching the single vocal and creating a slightly more agreeable Stereo mix – the original being vocal centre, wound up piano on Left and orchestra on the right and the vocal relatively dry (a later remaster pans the orchestra to the centre until the word “From”). My mix recreated the ambient sound of the orchestra on the original wiped piano track, and using EQ split the tambourine so it could be panned slightly differently to the rest of the orchestral track. The tracks were also panned slightly differently and reverb (to match the mono mix) added to the vocal. This was first released on The Singer’s Singer and is the version used ever since.

    So in short

    Original Mono single – Mix of vocals from tracks 2 & 4.

    Original Stereo Mix – Vocal from track 2 only

    2011 Stereo Remix - Mix of vocals from tracks 2 & 4. This matches the Mono mix.

    Hope that explains things!
     
  12. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident

    Wow! Thankyou again!!!!!

    What I'm loving about this thread is that the detail we are receiving (and being so fortunate to receive) is sending me back to the music time and time again with a renewed enthusiasm and enjoyment of Matt's skill and artistry.

    Best Wishes,
    David
     
    Norman Day likes this.
  13. Great Music Lover

    Great Music Lover Member

    Location:
    UK
    Unfortunately Richard, I don’t, as being a "newbie" on this thread, I have no idea if there is a problem between the estate and Don Black and if there is, what it is. I saw reference the other day to a record with a title. .....Sings Don Black and then received notification about the show where it mentioned Don Black and a new show that also encompasses Matt Monro, so naturally assumed that others might be interested in knowing about it.

    On a different topic, have just ordered the book with the session details as I am always fascinated by recording sessions of an artist.
     
  14. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Brilliant, thanks! I love background detail like that.

    So the version on The Greatest is the recommended remastering of the Original Stereo 'album' Mix?

    Curious about 'a later remaster pans the orchestra to the centre until the word “From”' - that would actually be a remix wouldn't it? If so, was it ever used?

    ...btw at what time point do we get the mice on the original mixes?

    Now what about Softly as I Leave You? :) First time in Stereo?
     
  15. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Well I have bought The Greatest as I should in the first place.

    My understanding is that apart from it being a fine bunch of songs, there are four tracks of special interest:

    Unchained Melody
    I'll Never Fall in Love again
    From Russia with Love
    Softly as I Leave you

    Any others?

    Also there is further confusion in the track labelling. Some tracks are affixed with '2010 Digital Remaster' as I would expect, a few have '2004 Digital Remaster' and quite a few have no indication at all. Could you give us the booklet info as you generously supplied for other releases you have worked on?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018 at 4:19 AM
  16. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Ignore all the "remastered" dates on that set. All done by EMI not bothering to check their info. All tracks are remastered 2011, I know, I did them! There is the Stereo "This is the Life" on their and a few other remastered album tracks, will get to those when I reach Capitol & EMI.

    As a "Greatest Hits" I don't think I did any notes for this one.
     
  17. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    No, not a remix as it simply took the standard stereo version and panned the orchestra to the centre rather than leaving it all to one side (with nothing but tape hiss on the other, which is how it was originally released). had they gone back to the multitrack to facilitate this I would say it was a remix, however they didn't just panned the stereo mix momentarily. I copied this on my remaster simply as the orchestra coming from one speaker alone was jarring.

    I'll have to find the timings for the mice. You'll need to listen closely.Warning: once you know it's there you will always know!
     
    Norman Day likes this.
  18. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Softly was first released in stereo in 1964 and appeared that way everywhere from then until Singles Collection. Difference is the point where they edit between takes, this is only a few seconds. The mix was live to mono & stereo so there are no mix differences.
     
    Norman Day likes this.
  19. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    I mentioned it earlier in the thread. But no problem
     
  20. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Thanks Richard - its a good album. Mastered after Singles (2010) and before Singer's Singer (later in 2011) and George (2016) then?
     
  21. vzok

    vzok Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    If the squeaking mice sound was due to speech being accidentally recorded and sped up with the piano, how were you able to remove it?
     
  22. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    So does En Español, the 29 track compilation, contain all the Spanish tracks that you remastered?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018 at 12:30 PM
  23. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Almost correct. Actually remastered alongside Singles.
     
  24. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Can you post a link? I don't know one with 29 tracks, only one with 14. In any case i only mastered half of the Two fer, and I can't recommend that as I don't like it!
     
  25. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    As the piano wasn't playing at that point it was easily mixed out.
     
    vzok likes this.

Share This Page