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Ernest (for some reason he always called Scruggs Ernest), you're a fine banjo player, but you ain't a bit funny - Uncle Dave Macon to Earl Scruggs, from Rutherford County Historical Society Publication No. 35 by Charles Wolfe

Author Topic: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version  (Read 3176 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2011, 05:03:16 AM »
Oh no, please not again!  :D
I do sympathize. Unfortunately it goes back far longer to the late 60s/early70s with we Brits synchronizing each album track with each 78 as well as mucking about with variable speed turntables. It was either Blues Unlimited or Blues World that published the "findings".
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 05:06:45 AM by Bunker Hill »


Offline Stuart

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2011, 08:19:01 AM »
Hi Harry:

It's not that it's a topic that isn't or wasn't worth discussing--whether it's specifically about RJ, or any or all recordings for that matter--it's just that many of us have just lost patience with the slop and tergiversation that seems to creep in and eventually dominate many of the threads.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 08:20:30 AM by Stuart »

Offline oddenda

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2011, 04:36:02 PM »
GET A LIFE!

pbl

Offline Stumblin

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2011, 04:45:44 PM »
Please, not again...
I refer you to Willie Mae Powell's reaction to hearing a voice from her past. The point being that she recognised the voice.
If it was speeded up, she wouldn't have been able to recognise Robert's voice. We all sound like Pinky & Perky speeded up. Did P&P record any Blues?

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2011, 01:47:42 AM »
We all sound like Pinky & Perky speeded up. Did P&P record any Blues?
"Well I woke up this morning, with pork chops on my mind"
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Michael Cardenas

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2011, 02:39:35 AM »
Oh no, please not again!  :D
I do sympathize. Unfortunately it goes back far longer to the late 60s/early70s with we Brits synchronizing each album track with each 78 as well as mucking about with variable speed turntables. It was either Blues Unlimited or Blues World that published the "findings".
Agreed. Guitarists have been slowing down this stuff to catch a whiff for nearly half a century. I think somewhere along the line they just got used to hearing a slower tone the way they try to learn it. Arguably the guitar when slowed down sounds appropriate, whatever that means. The vocals are the giveaway though, when slowed down I personally don't think the singing sounds appropriate at all. And even if the guitar slower sounds like a tolerable pitch, rhythmically more often than not I can't hear the guy playing so drag-ass.
LISTEN TO BLUES MUSIC

Offline muso2007

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2011, 07:25:05 AM »
I was just checking over a compilation the other day, before release.

One Muddy Waters track from 1979 needed speeding up a semitone.

One other track, a jazz band from 1962 needed slowing down a semitone.

If I hadn't noticed the problem. it would have been released as it was.

These things are still happening, even in 2011.....






Offline Stumblin

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2011, 03:08:04 PM »
One Muddy Waters track from 1979 needed speeding up a semitone.
One other track, a jazz band from 1962 needed slowing down a semitone.
Why?

Offline muso2007

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2011, 01:19:34 AM »
One Muddy Waters track from 1979 needed speeding up a semitone.
One other track, a jazz band from 1962 needed slowing down a semitone.
Why?

Because they were playing at the wrong speeds. Why else ?
The MUddy Waters was playing in the key of B when it should have been C.
The other one, St Louis Blues was playing in Db/Gb when it should have been C/F.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2011, 02:19:45 AM »
To paraphrase Stumblin - so what?!
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline dj

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2011, 03:42:01 AM »
Quote
The Muddy Waters was playing in the key of B when it should have been C.
The other one, St Louis Blues was playing in Db/Gb when it should have been C/F.

That raises two interesting questions:

1: Why were they playing at that speed?  Was there a conscious decision at the time the original record was cut to change the playing speed, or was there a mistake in the recording process or in the original or modern mastering process?  If the altered speed was the result of a conscious artistic decision, then by all means keep it.  If it was just a mistake somewhere along the line, well, if it was a modern mistake then by all means fix it.  If it was a mistake at the time of recording or mastering and if the mistake was carried over to a record that was released at the time, then to correct or not is a judgement call that will be guaranteed to make 50% of the intended audience unhappy!

2:  How did you know what keys the recordings should have been in?   

Offline muso2007

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Re: Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers, Slower Version
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2011, 11:38:25 AM »
To paraphrase Stumblin - so what?!

I was just giving an example of how you can find yourself listening to songs at the wrong speeds, even in 2011.
These particular tracks had not been released before, as far as I know. There must have been a mistake at the recording or transfer stages.
Once I had checked the keys of the recording, I rang up one of the musicians who performed on each of the recordings, and he confirmed the actual keys they played in.  Interestingly, when I played him a slowed down version he said he was also happier with the way his voice sounded in the announcement at the start.

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