Allan Holdsworth - Velvet Darkness

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Mook, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. Mook

    Mook Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I didn't realise this album had been reissued with bonus tracks in 2017 (by Talking Elephant), just picked it up for £7 on Amazon.

    Can't wait to get this now.

    Velvet Darkness - Wikipedia

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Mook

    Mook Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I really should consider starting a thread about the White Album instead of all this jazz fusion nonsense.
     
  3. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    Location:
    NYC
    His only solo album that I like.

    I hope this issue doesn't use the same wrongly EQ'd tracks as the U.S. Epic CD, which is where the bonus tracks first appeared. That the bonuses are included here makes me suspicious, since they're not on the Japanese King CDs, and the album tracks are EQ'd correctly there.
     
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  4. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    Not sure if I want to hunt down a bonus track version, but interesting album, even if Holdsworth hated it. The closest one of his solo albums came to sounding like a 70's mainstream fusion album (e.g. Mahavishnu, RTF).
     
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  5. Mook

    Mook Forum Resident Thread Starter

    What are the EQ problems? I'll report back once the CD arrives.
     
  6. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    Location:
    NYC
    The bass guitar sounded really thin, but it also sounded weird. Like it had been processed or filtered somehow. I wish I could explain it better than that. The album sounded to me like it could have been remixed, but I don't think it actually was. I think that impression was a result of the wrong EQ.
     
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  7. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    Location:
    NYC
    Since nobody has corrected my last post, I will.

    According to Discogs, the Epic CD WAS remixed - by Mark Wilder at CBS studios! I'll be damned... I must not have looked at the credits when I had the CD, and it certainly wasn't marketed as a remix. But that sure explains the bass guitar sounding different, although it doesn't explain it sounding WRONG. Which it did IMO. There could be other mixing differences, but I don't recall anything else sticking out to me other than the bass guitar sounding too low in the instrumental balance, though I had attributed that to being a side effect of the weird bass EQ.

    Anyway, again, I hope this new CD isn't a clone of that one.
     
  8. stax o' wax

    stax o' wax Forum Resident

    Location:
    The West
    Bonus tracks!......
    you got my attention.
     
  9. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    Location:
    NYC
    They're just alternate takes. I know that some people disagree with me about alternate takes, but I think they're worthless as bonus tracks.
     
  10. Crimson jon

    Crimson jon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston
    I love floppyhat and wish. They are great examples of fusions soft acoustic side and its rocking side.
     
  11. stax o' wax

    stax o' wax Forum Resident

    Location:
    The West
    Yeah I was hoping for material I had never heard.
     
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  12. Mook

    Mook Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The CD has arrived today.

    I'll have a listen tonight & report back.
     
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  13. PIGGIES

    PIGGIES Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    You'll enjoy it - I promise :)
     
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  14. BwanaBob

    BwanaBob Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Are these the same "bonus" tracks as the first red bordered CTI release? I think there were 2 or 3 alternate takes on that one.
     
  15. Mook

    Mook Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I suspect so, track listing for the 2017 reissue below:-

    Track Listings
    Disc: 1
    1. Good Clean Filth
    2. Floppy Hat
    3. Wish
    4. Kinder
    5. Velvet Darkness
    6. Karzie Key
    7. Last May
    8. Gattox
    9. Good Clean Filth (alternate Take)
    10. Kinder (Alternate Take)
    11. Velvet Darkness (alternate Take)
    12. Karzie Key (alternate Take)
    13. Gattox (alternate Take)
     
  16. jamo spingal

    jamo spingal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edinburgh
    When I was a boy my mate had the LP. I think it was hard to come by even then. We asked him about it one of the times we met, and he genuinely hated it and was pissed off he couldn’t do anything about it. Vague memories but was mainly because he thought crappy practice run throughs had been recorded and released ?
     
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  17. Mook

    Mook Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yeah, as far as I can make out it's because he thought it was a rehearsal which had been recorded & released as an album.

    Thing is though, even if it is a rehearsal - look at that line up of musicians, I'd be more than happy to buy their rehearsal tape.
     
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  18. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    Location:
    NYC
    That CD with the red border was the U.S. Epic release that I mentioned earlier, and yes, the bonus tracks are the same.

    Can't disagree with that logic :), but I'm not so sure I buy that "rehearsal" explanation. Would a rehearsal have been recorded, let alone MULTITRACKED?
     
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  19. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    My guess is Holdsworth wasn't into the standard CTI style of recording entire albums in one, maybe two days.
     
  20. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    Location:
    NYC
    That makes sense; I just wonder why he didn't come out and say so and leave it at that? Or simply say that he thought the album could have been better? That would have been simple and to the point.

    I mean, I find it very hard (not impossible, but very hard) to believe that CTI would release performances or recordings which they agreed were subpar.

    If anything, I bet there's more than we'll ever know to the story, and the result was that Allan REALLY soured on CTI and, in turn, the album. That could explain why he felt a need to be more scathing about it.
     
  21. ytserush

    ytserush Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast US
    That's the one I have. Is the recent one any different?
     
  22. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    Location:
    NYC
    We're trying to figure that out.

    The more I think about it, the more I think it's likely that this will be the inferior Epic remix. I imagine that Talking Elephant must have licensed the album from Sony, who would be the current owner of the rights, I believe. And surely, the remix would be what they have available, since it was done by CBS. Coupled with the same bonus tracks as the Epic CD, I just can't see the superior original mix being on this new reissue.

    But we should know soon! :)
     
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  23. PIGGIES

    PIGGIES Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    If it is a rehearsal, then it's a great one :)
     
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  24. Mook

    Mook Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ok, so I had the chance to listen to it last night but unfortunately it was very quiet as the kids were in bed.

    I suspect that the inferior mix has been used here, the first track in particular suffers from having absolutely no bottom end at all. It sounds like Johnson's effects could be part of the problem here as the bass is certainly stronger on other tracks but the EQ did sound a bit off. The information on the back of the CD case also suggests that this was a Sony mix from 1990(?), I'll need to double check this date tonight.

    One thing I will say though is that the music is amazing, it's almost a sister album to Believe it by Tony Williams, same band but with Walden on drums & there's definitely a funkier feel about it. Some amazing acoustic guitar & violin playing from Holdsworth also, certainly worth the £7 I paid for it & I'm looking forward to cranking it up when I get the house to myself at some point.
     
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  25. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    Location:
    NYC
    Unfortunately, I'm sorry to say that everything you've just written clinches it. It's a clone of the Epic CD.
    The good news is that, if you like the album enough, I know of three Japanese CD issues which all have the original mix. And the most recent of them (circa 2000) has never been too hard to track down. I even STILL see sealed copies on ebay from time to time.

    There's even a new Japanese Blu-Spec reissue which I bet is the same.

    :agree:
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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