Dave Dexter, Capitol and the Beatles

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Bill, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    To be fair, Dexter didn't apply a lot of reverb to all The Beatles albums. The main 'reverb' album is The Beatles' Second Album, with sessions from five separate blocks of sessions, some twin track, some four track- the reverb was liberally applied to make them all sound more similar and eq was applied to the early tracks to give them a bit more 'life'. On the other hand, Meet, Beatles 65, Something New, VI, Early, Help! and the standard Rubber Soul have very few tracks that are different to the Parlophone ones other than sometimes being second gen for West Coast, boosted a little in volume etc. The most egregious 'fixes' are the duophonic mixes, and most of all, the folded to mono version of duophonic. But having said that, I find I Want to Hold Your Hand in duophonic much superior to the terrible true stereo mixes, even on the remixed '1', it has the power of the original single instead of the incomprehensible boost in volume of the lead guitar. But Ticket to Ride in 'mono' on the Capitol Help! album is a disgrace.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  2. thrivingonariff

    thrivingonariff Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    He's adapted your intent for the pro-Capitol SHMF market.
     
  3. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    I wonder what 'mumbling' John's talking about here. Maybe the 'I'm Looking Through You' guitar shuffling.

    So there is some indication that he later found the whole Capitol bit - or facets of it - 'interesting', in retrospect on his own part.

    I can see that, but it was out of their hands to some degree after the tapes left the building. Of course Capitol 'deviated' from putting out the UK albums as-were. The UK and elsewhere still got the UK albums intact (most places).

    It wasn't Capitol's job to showcase the Beatles' 'artistic intent' (album-wise) down to a T - otherwise it would be in the contract. Who knows if they even had copies of UK albums. And Capitol wasn't about to wait the seven to eight months in 1964 or 1965 that it took for new Beatles UK albums to be made in order to make their own Capitol album(s) - that simply wasn't going to happen. Sit on their hands for seven or eight months and wait for the Beatles to deliver an album? They weren't in the business of helping the Beatles gestate their creativity - unless we count the Hollywood Bowl recordings as lending some hand. They were in the business of marketing what Beatles recordings were in the can to the American market. And they succeeded.

    Beatlemania was a hungry beast.
     
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  4. ShockControl

    ShockControl Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    All of the Ken Thorne tracks are in true stereo on my copy of the LP. Do you know if they were folded for the mono version?
     
  5. Easy-E

    Easy-E Forum Resident


    I had this in the early 80's - Dutch issue

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. PRW94

    PRW94 Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southeast
    This is what people who insist on looking at this through 2019 eyes don't understand. Unless you were Sinatra and owned your own record company, artists were the hired help back then. That's one of the things the Beatles changed.
     
  7. PRW94

    PRW94 Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southeast
    Today for my CDs in the car for my work commute I grabbed the Dexterized (extra reverb) U.S. Rubber Soul, Second Album and Yesterday and Today. Good stuff. :D
     
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  8. jjh1959

    jjh1959 Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Charles, MO
    I'm not arguing about the quality or the cheapness. It IS why it happened. I'm not defending the practice; that's just the way it was; Capitol by contract could do what they felt served them best.

    Yes, but they didn't. Under their Parlophone contract, they provided what the company wanted, under their producer's direction, who also was the head of Parlphone. I'm glad they did.

    What red herrings? You said EMI never issued fake stereo or duophonic. They did. All I know is what you said. No grasping.

    I didn't make that comparison. "No other choice"? Didn't they have the choice of including the mono mixes of those songs on the stereo LP, instead of creating fake stereo? Did I miss the edict that that musn't happen? Ironically, Capitol of Canada had several instances of issuing mono tracks along with stereo on their compilations.

    I know the multis were destroyed. But again how is that "no choice" when a choice existed of just using the mono mixes?

    I know why it was fake stereo. Again, why not have the second half in mono? They also had the choice of mixing the stereo first half in a more narrow stereo to make it a less drastic difference.

    I don't know how the period of the conversation matters exactly, but the point is by this time, true stereo versions of those tracks existed, and had been specifically mixed for stereo for the German MMT in 1971. Your argument is that they didn't want to upset English fans in 1976 by including stereo tracks? I doubt there would have been an outrage, assuming anybody noticed.

    My main point is that the whole argument of artistic intent or record company procedures then are somewhat pointless. It was an ever-changing thing that happened as the Beatles and other groups developed more interest in those issues, gained more commercial clout to change them to their benefit, and saw a transition of the industry as a whole. We don't have to like that it was that way; it doesn't mean those were the best decisions made. I can certainly think it was stupid or bad business practices, but that doesn't change anything.

    I didn't.
     
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  9. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    Regarding this - in the past-tense this was certainly true. Nowadays with the 1987 remixes for the Stereo Help! and Rubber Soul out there as the 'core' versions of those albums, it is now somewhat less true. John Lennon wasn't alive to approve of those remixes, and I'm not sure he would have liked or approved them. Had he lived, I believe JL would have been hand-ons involved in any reissue/revamp campaign of Beatles albums - and would have been concerned where any remixing of 'core' albums went - especially those which contained some of his very best career work. He didn't completely trust George Martin's aesthetic sensibilities, as we know.

    The irony is that the stereo Rubber Soul found on the Capitol Albums, vol. 2 is more representative of a Rubber Soul album that someone would have heard in, say, February, 1966, than the Stereo UK version that is found on The Original Studio Recordings (aka, the Stereo Box 2009 remasters).
     
  10. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    And what contract would that be?
     
  11. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Actually, Love Me Do and PS I Love You weren't even recorded on twin-track, but were recorded to mono only.
     
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  12. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    The contract that allowed Capitol to make 11-song Beatles albums.

    You'd have to go back to the January 1, 1956 Matrix Exchange Agreement (with subsequent renewals/amendments) between Capitol and EMI to find any 'repackaging' language, as it applies.
     
  13. A well respected man

    A well respected man Some Mother's Son

    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    Sorry, I don't agree at all. Cutting out four songs (even important ones like Nowhere Man) and adding two from Help! is a more radical change than the remix George Martin did in 1987, where he just centered slightly some elements in a few songs and added reverb in others.
     
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  14. Chip TRG

    Chip TRG Forum Resident

    The repeated misconception is that, as an above poster said, Capitol "used a liberal amount of Duophonic". They actually didn't.

    Between MEET THE BEATLES and YESTERDAY AND TODAY, there are all of twelve cuts that we're treated to Duophonic. Just twelve.

    I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND
    THIS BOY
    YES IT IS
    I FEEL FINE
    SHE'S A WOMAN.

    At the time of the Capitol LP releases, did stereo mixes of these cuts exist yet?

    SHE LOVES YOU & I'LL GET YOU obviously can't exist in stereo.

    Capitol has no excuse for YOU CAN'T DO THAT and TICKET TO RIDE as stereo mixes existed.

    And of course, the three REVOLVER cuts, while initially issued in DP, were quickly swapped out on subsequent masterings.

    I didn't include LOVE ME DO and PS I LOVE YOU on The Early Beatles because I seem to recall these being simple high/low fake stereo, but correct me if I'm wrong. Remember...Duophonic is fake stereo but not all fake stereo is duophonic.

    While a dozen cuts is a fair amount, it's still a frequent unfair misconception that Capitol was drenching everything in the DP process. They weren't.
     
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  15. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Yes to all five.

    While an unreleased stereo mix of YCDT had been prepared before the release of Second Album, the stereo master was not mixed until June.

    Those two used EMI's fake stereo versions.
     
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  16. BEAThoven

    BEAThoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I guess at this point I should just drop out... You keep explaining to me "why" Capitol made some decisions and how we can't change anything. You say you're just defending the practice... All that is just ancillary -- almost straw man-like, over and over -- to the point that I've been making in numerous posts...

    For clarity, again:

    I know why Capitol had reasons for issuing the product that way in the 1960s.
    I know these Capitol products sold millions of copies and the US fans ate them up.
    I know Capitol was working "legally" within the tenets of their contract.

    My point is -- one last time --
    • Looking at these products with a very analytical "2019" eye, I feel they are complete bull****.
    • To me, they appear crass and cheap and there was no real reason to use duophonic mixes and fold-downs of duophonic mixes.
    • An album called "Rubber Soul" was programmed to start with "Drive My Car" intentionally -- that's what the band and the producer planned -- and I prefer it that way.
    • The US "Help" LP is a complete mess.
    • The US "Revolver" LP -- one of the Beatles most-important ground-breaking LPs -- was hobbled by Capitol Records.
    • If the EMI contract was not negotiated in 1967, and the Beatles did not demand the clause that prevented this practice by Capitol be added, these type of LPs would have been happening through the end of their career.
    Again, I know and understand the reasons why Capitol did all this, and I know they all sold millions, and the US fans have great nostalgia for them.

    It's just that looking back at these products with an objective eye from a 2019 perspective, I think these products are horrible.
     
  17. jtiner

    jtiner Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maine
    I'm 99% sure they prepared the stereo album reel then just folded it for mono (including the Duophonic Ticket To Ride created for the stereo reel). It may be that the Thorne tracks played a part in that decision - if in fact Capitol went to a great deal of effort to assemble those tracks from the stereo elements they had (as described by DD Jr.), then they probably decided it was easiest to fold since they didn't have mono score elements anyway. That's assuming they only had stereo score elements...
     
  18. PRW94

    PRW94 Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southeast
    Devil's advocate question ... why even bring a 2019 perspective to this? It's not going to change what happened, or anyone's minds who love these albums.

    And I repeat, I only love 2 of them and really like another. The rest of them, I fail to see where the situation surrounding them reaches the level that people need to expend brain cells arguing about it.

    And I'll touch again on something that was mentioned earlier in the thread, which I agree with. Dave Dexter may be akin to John Wilkes Booth and L.H. Oswald in Beatledom, but if he had literally urinated and defecated on the Beatles' master tapes, his historical status in the overall music world, which encompasses more than rock, would still be secure.
     
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  19. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    It seems clear that what he finds interesting is the use of some alternate mixes and studio chatter on the Capitol records, not the cutting and resequencing of albums or application of reverb.

    I don't disagree with any of the above. The point of my post was simply to refute the argument that the Capitol records did not deviate from the Beatles' artistic intent, as had been suggested by another poster here. They did deviate from the artistic intent of the band, for (as you note) entirely commercial reasons. Whether or not one likes the results, they do not represent how the band wanted their work presented.
     
  20. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I think everyone here understands that. But there are people here who have tried to argue that the Parlophone and Capitol albums are equal in terms of artistic intent, and that simply is untrue.
     
  21. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    My guess is that John would object more to the cutting and resequencing of albums than he would to a remix that for the most part is not substantially different than the original. But of course I'm just guessing. The ideal of course would be to have the original mix in its correct UK sequence as the primary version of this album.
     
  22. BEAThoven

    BEAThoven Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Because that's what we do here at the SHF -- we talk about trivial aspects of the Beatles career over and over again because, quite frankly, BeatlesGeeks like to analyze the arcane over and over again.

    But, seriously, the Beatles are "historical" now, so it's great to analyze the events of the past with a more objective eye.

    For example, when I was a kid in the '70s, I loved the "The Beatles Story" LP because I thought it was the real audio document of their story and I liked the interviews with them. I have some nostalgia for it, but in 2019, I can objectively admit it was a bulls*** release. Would you recommend anyone to pay, say, $50 for a new vinyl reissue of this double LP that doesn't even clock in at 50 minutes? Would you recommend anyone to pick it up for the important information it contains?

    Even though I've been a BeatlesGeek since the '70s, many of the dedicated and articulate folks here have really got me thinking sometimes with their perspectives and insights. I actually have been enlightened in many cases. I think the discussions are healthy actually along with being endless entertainment.
     
  23. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    The use of digital reverb is a deal killer, for me, and the vocals on RS were made too loud for my tastes. I can't listen to those mixes. There wasn't enough 'wrong' with the '65 mixes to replace them, imo.

    Even Giles Martin questioned their being pushed along as the 'core'/'canon' Stereo representations of those two albums instead of the '65 Stereos. He says his father didn't even remember remixing them! (George Martin had called them 'wooly'? Is that another way of saying, 'I'm losing my hearing'...?)

    Giles Martin: Rubber Soul and Help! were remixed by my dad in 1988 or '87 for CD. And when we did "Love", we got to do Yesterday, and I couldn't understand why there were so much echo and reverb on the voice 'cause it was very non-Beatles. And it was only when I came back and I was listening to the remasters I asked "how come this is the case?" and they said "well we are remastering the eighties versions of [Rubber Soul and Help!]" and I said "why aren't we remastering the originals, we should remaster what came out then [in 1965]?"

    And they said "Well, your father wouldn't be very happy with us not remastering the versions he did in the eighties."
    So I spoke to my dad and I asked "Do you mind if they remaster the sixties version?" and he went "I don't even remember doing them in the eighties!"
    --
    Allan Rouse in an interview with Record Collector: "The remasters were based on the master-tapes, with the exception of two albums: George Martin's 1987 mixes of Help! and Rubber Soul. People are questioning why we used those. George Martin is the fifth Beatle. He chose to do it. You can argue with him, but I'm not going to."

    So there you have it! The stereo remasters are the 1987 remixes out of the involved remastering engineers' misguided respect for Sir George!

    The Daily Beatle: The 1987 CD mixes
     
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  24. ShockControl

    ShockControl Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    That would make sense. The stereo on the Help! suite from The Film Music of Ken Thorne Vol. 2 sounds like they used primarily overhead mics with minimal close miking, so the mono mix for the film may have been something close to a fold for practical purposes.
     
  25. PRW94

    PRW94 Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southeast
    Fair enough. And this thread has gotten heated and passionate but not out of hand.

    My only issue is not just analyzing but saying point blank "this is what should've been done 55 years ago," not understanding the complete landscape change that the Beatles wrought from about the second half of 1965 on.

    At the point in time they hit, they weren't a historic phenomenon, they were considered by "the suits" to be a bunch of jerky long-haired yobs from the sticks of England who everybody expected to be back in England playing in clubs or maybe even pumping petrol or something within a year. They may have had artistic intentions in mind, "the suits" on both sides of the Atlantic probably didn't give six cacas about that, they wanted to milk the cash cow until it was out of milk and then go on to something else. Again, unless you were Sinatra and owned your own record company, at that point in time, no artist got to set the terms.

    It turned out differently and changed the world. Nobody had a crystal ball to tell them that.

    I'll say again, I prefer the U.S. Rubber Soul to the British version. I've made numerous mixes of my own using that tracklist, adding Nowhere Man after You Won't See Me and We Can Work it Out after Girl to get 14 songs, using both UK and US and mono and stereo versions of the music. I'm only talking about my ears. And how my ears respond probably is colored by the fact that Drive My Car is one of my least favorite Beatle songs. (Donning Kevlar to say that.) And that I've Just Seen a Face is one of my favorite Beatle songs, I don't think it was a throwaway. I don't think It's Only Love was, either, although Lennon supposedly hated it. Other groups would sell their souls for a throwaway like that; the Smithereens did a cover of it that killed.

    I'll say again, if I had to save one Beatle album from a fire, it would be Second Album because IMO it's their best early rock record.

    I'll say again, I like Yesterday and Today although I prefer the UK Revolver to it.

    The rest of them are meh and I wouldn't pay 50 cents for a pristine copy of The Beatles Story, that was a total cash grab.
     
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