Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed Original Mix question

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Gorilla, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    While I do miss the (added during mixing) harmonies in "Evening", I still prefer the remix for the album generally; the original (of which I have needledrops of two different LPs, and listened to one on 'phones last night) is opaque and murky, and the remix is a Godsend. While I usually have sympathy for the historical revisionist argument, here they actually had Tony Clark supervising the new mix - making sure that the right sort of echo chamber was used, etc. - and, apart from those missing vocals, is stunning.

    An interesting question, though; if the original 2-track master was "worn out", where did they get the original album versions of "Tuesday Afternoon" and "Nights/Late Lament" used on Time Traveller?
     
  2. dprokopy

    dprokopy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Near Seattle, WA
    I personally think the "worn out" story is a red herring. Sure, it was a popular album, and clearly lots and lots of pressings were made from the original tapes. But there were more popular albums out there (Beatles, anyone?) whose master tapes are, as far as we know, in prestine condition.

    My guess is the group and/or Clark just wanted an excuse to remix the album because they were unhappy with the sound of the original.
     
  3. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, CA
    ...and wanted to leave out supporting vocal parts the second time around?
     
  4. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    Well, if they wanted to remix they would have had no choice!
     
  5. dprokopy

    dprokopy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Near Seattle, WA
    Exactly, that was my point earlier - if the vocals had been added during the original mixdown, they wouldn't have been able to include them on a remix.
     
  6. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Well we know that master tapes from other popular selling artists such as Jefferson Starship and The Byrds were pretty much shot by the 1990's - flaking oxide, stretched leaders and splices, etc. I imagine 'how' the tapes were stored over time has more to do with this that how many times they were spooled up. But that is an interesting point.
     
  7. dprokopy

    dprokopy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Near Seattle, WA
    By the 1990's, sure. But the remix for DOFP was done in the (early) Seventies, only a few years after the original had come out. I can't imagine it would have worn out that badly that quickly, even for an album that popular.
     
  8. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    1978 was the re-mix according to the sources I've seen. Yeah its hard to know what the story is on the master. Most vinyl copies out there are going to be the original - as mine all are. So now I'm wondering if there are late pressings which have the re-mix - the time period is right. I have the original release CD for that. The re-mix on vinyl might be kind of scarce, which begs the question (for me that is) of what MOFI used for the their vinyl release.
     
  9. dprokopy

    dprokopy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Near Seattle, WA
    Read back through this very thread (circa page 4). The remix was apparently actually done in 1973, but it wasn't used until the MFSL vinyl pressing in 1977, and on all vinyl and CD pressings thereafter.

    Apparently the original mix was used on the cassette versions at least through the 80's, though...
     
    fortherecord likes this.
  10. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, CA
    My point was why would they figure an incomplete remix missing important vocal parts (and more) would be preferable to the fully overdubbed mix they already had (if it wasn't actually damaged)?
     
  11. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    When I did my search for a clean original-mix LP to make a needle-drop from, I probably checked out a few dozen LPs (most at Bop City or whatever that big used-record store on Ballard Ave. is called); a fair number were the remix. One of the ways to tell was if it said Polygram anywhere on the LP cover; the taint of modernity warns one off. :D

    Anyway, my point being that it's not terribly hard for an LP collector to get the '67 mix on vinyl, at least in Ballard! A clean version of that LP, that's another question.
     
  12. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    Another difference noted is the much louder piano doubling the sweeping Mellotron/strings line (Bb-D-G, F-A-G, Bb-D-E, Bb-E-D) in "Sunset"...

    I do like the more enigmatic, Midsummer Night's Dream quality to the '67 mix. And the additional vocals in "Evening" really do improve that already stellar track. But when I put on my '90 Deram CD immediately after, I saw that there was no way I could have the '67 as my "main" DOFP disc. The remix sweeps several layers of cobwebs and (yes) murk away, letting one (for example) hear clearly the 12-string guitar in "Evening"* (in fact I can see how, on some systems, the remix could sound bright). In the original mix, nearly everything on the band track sounds like a blanket has been thrown over - almost like the dreaded NoNoise applied too enthusiastically. If anything, this mix lessens the band's presence in the show vs. the orchestra. Of course, YMMV depending on the state of the LP you're needle-dropping from, and the setup and quality of your 'table, cartridge, phono pre, etc.


    *Have you noticed that this arpeggiated riff recurs several times in prog-rock over the next few years? Two examples I can think of: Robert Fripp in "Court Of The Crimson King", Greg Lake in "The Sage".
     
  13. 4_everyman

    4_everyman The Sexual Intellectual

    In Ballard...at Bop City? About six months ago, I visited that store and looked at EVERY copy he had of DOFP. I was looking for one with "G. Kong" in the dead wax. I'm sure there were at least 30 copies of that album...maybe more. None of them with GK's, though. :sigh:

    I looked through at least as many copies of In Search Of The Lost Chord, also for GK versions. No luck with that, either. That place is insane...especially the basement. :yikes:
     
  14. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    I went through all those Days LPs (I counted about 36), finally settling on an import copy they had. Lots of ticks 'n' pops, unfortunately, but I think I nabbed the cleanest one. Who is G. Kong, when he's not at home?

    Re: Bop City; all those old LP covers have soaked up several decades' worth of Seattle humidity - that place smells mouldy.

    Thank goodness I'm (usually) a CD guy! All I have to worry about is smashed jewel boxes. :D
     
  15. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    When was that? Every 3 or 4 months over the last couple years I've been through there - especially downstairs - and combed through many artists stacks, looking for UK & German pressings. Don't recall an import DOFP but maybe I wasn't looking for one. I have some clean UK & German pressings of that one. The best US pressings (orig. mix) of this album I've found are stamped 'Sterling'.....also the one with the tiny date that Sung & I mentioned (I think earlier in this thread). Even so, these are not quite as clear & smooth as a good German pressing, which is itself not quite as sweet as a UK. A real hard LP to find on a US pressing with quiet vinyl. Those early London/Derams are especially noisy. Of all the records too...:confused:

    The original mix does have a certain murk to the rhythm tracks even where the vocals and over dubbed instruments come out clear.

    If you're looking for the best sounding Moody's vinyl its worth it to just buy them from UK sellers, they don't go for much. The postage is the largest cost typically. Once I heard these I wouldn't go back to the US mastering style. (Except Seventh Sojourn with the Sterling mark, which is decent considering they probably used a second or third gen. tape.)
     
  16. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    Oh, probably sometime last year, I'm not sure; all those DOFP LPs are (were?) in the basement. An experience I'm not keen to repeat! Anyway, the whole needle-dropping experience confirmed me as a CD-mix guy, as regards Days.
     
  17. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    While this comment seems to have sunk without a trace, I'd argue that with a good tape deck this is a viable option. I did a transfer on a Nakamichi deck, and IMO it sounds better than my vinyl copies. Certainly a more natural sound than the slightly odd Bell Sound EQ on many pressings.

    As for the tapes for the original mix falling apart, it's worth pointing out that 1) a few of those mixes were used on the box set, and 2) according to Bill Levenson, the tapes are fine.
     
    Dodoz likes this.
  18. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    The reason it sunk without a trace is because a minty UK LP pressing is "the" way to go, no Bell pressing required. A cassette transfer is a nice why to be able to tell what one is missing in the later mix.
     
  19. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    Given the lack of certainty about the date of the remix sessions, I suppose nobody here knows what studio the remix was done in?

    I'm guessing Decca, because the reverbs seem to have that magic. Anybody know for sure?

    Keepin' these DoFP threads alive :D,
     
  20. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    <bump>
     
  21. The remixed version is perfectly acceptable to me for side one of the album, plus Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?), but for the songs after it: (Evening) Time to Get Away, The Sun Set, Twilight Time, and Nights in White Satin, the original mix wins in every way.

    The missing harmonies and the third "Evening time to get away", the missing piano on The Sun Set, the different vocals on Twilight Time, and the repositioning of the band's entrance and overall different sound on Nights in White Satin, are all changes that should never have been made.

    Also, the original LP (at least the pressing I have) seems to neglect mentioning that (Evening) Time to Get Away is part of The Afternoon, was the CD issue the first time it was mentioned in the track list (and on the front cover)?
     
  22. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member

    Is there an original mix on CD? If not, which pressing is the best...
     
  23. Currently, Nights in White Satin is the only original mix track available on CD (on The Story of the Moody Blues...LEGEND OF A BAND, The Moody Blues Anthology, Time Traveller, Playlist Plus)

    one way to tell the difference between the 2 mixes on CD is the time. The original mix runs 7:40, the remix runs 7:25.

    and the original mix of Nights in White Satin also has a drop-out in the left speaker at 2:01
     
  24. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    My dream project, were I a software billionaire or such: borrow the 4-track multis of this album, book an old London studio (w. real echo chambers), engage (if t'were possible) yer actual Moody Blues to re-create the missing "Evening" vocals, and re-mix the thing yet again in a way truer to the original spirit.

    But without murk.
     
  25. musicman9999

    musicman9999 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hoschton, GA
    jjm905

    I believe Tuesday Afternoon on Time Traveller + Playlist Plus is the original mix, too.

    Bill
     

Share This Page