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Author Topic: Alt Takes Unissued?  (Read 744 times)

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Offline CF

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Alt Takes Unissued?
« on: October 13, 2012, 06:19:44 PM »
I've noticed that even Document's Complete collections do not often offer some of the alt takes of tunes as listed in B&GR.
For example, B&GR says Big Bill Broonzy recorded two takes each of 'Tadpole Blues' & 'Bow Leg Blues' in April 1930. Only one take of 'Tadpole' is present on
the 1st Document volume (DOC5050) & there's no 'Bow Leg Blues' at all. The JSP 'All The Classic Sides' has one take of 'Tadpole' & 'Bow Leg' each . . . so does that mean there is possibly a couple unissued-on-CD takes there? Also, in March of 1932, B&GR lists Bill as having recorded 2 takes of 'Worrying You Off My Mind No 1'. Both the Document & JSP sets only contain one take of the song.
If these takes exist it would be nice to see them issued on CD in some form. Document could do an 'Alternate Take' series er something. Are these covered in the Too LATE series I wonder? Anybody know anything about this type of thing?   
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline dj

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Re: Alt Takes Unissued?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2012, 11:35:40 AM »
Bunker Hill would undoubtedly have more insight into Document's issues than I, but I think it's safe to say that if Johnny Parth was issuing the complete works of an artist, the only reason alternate takes would be missing is if he couldn't get his hands on a copy.  A lot of stuff that was unavailable at the time of the original issue of an artists complete works came out in the Too Late Too Late series, but I think that series has been moribund since the current owners took over from Parth.   

Offline banjochris

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Re: Alt Takes Unissued?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 10:09:45 AM »
What dj said, plus just because an alternate take was recorded doesn't mean it was issued, and also many times alternate takes turn out to be identical when you listen to them -- sometimes the companies would number a safety copy as a second take, even though it was just a dub of the original take. Vocalion, I believe it was, would sometimes run two recording machines at the same time for a safety copy, resulting in matrix numbers that looked something like C-1425/26. On the Document issues there will occasionally be a note at the bottom of the discographical info saying something like "Matrix No. 14335-1 and -3 are identical."

Quite a few alternate takes and previously missing sides are covered in the Document TOO LATE series; for instance a Bo Carter record missing from the Document complete set (New Auto Blues/Backache Blues), a bunch of Blind Blake, Blind Lemon and Papa Charlie Jackson alternates, etc. etc.

Offline CF

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Re: Alt Takes Unissued?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 10:57:20 AM »
That helps a lot guys, I was assuming listed takes in B&GR were ones that existed & were discerned by collectors. Good to know that we do have most of what is actually out there available to listen to in some form. Tefteller is kind of continuing on with Document's TOO LATE series I guess.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline banjochris

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Re: Alt Takes Unissued?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 01:50:25 PM »
Yes, it can be a bit frustrating with the alternate takes in B&GR -- I think much of the information came from record company ledgers, which may have a ton of mistakes in them themselves. Sometimes you'll get lucky and B&GR will mention that an unissued take has been issued on LP or CD. B&GR also doesn't mention (nor does Tony Russell's equally essential Country Music Records for old-time and hillbilly) if the record has actually been found. I think there are quite a few Big Bills that have been found on one label, say Perfect, but haven't been found on Banner or Romeo, where they may have been issued with a different B-side or a different take, etc.

Another example, I believe that the only playable copy (at least at one time) of Willie Brown's Future/M&O existed on Crown only, not Paramount, and of course King Solomon Hill had alternate takes of Paramount titles issued on the Crown label.

With the Too Late series, I get the impression that some collectors were unaware that they had takes that were different than the "usual" re-issued take and may have only realized that fact once the other take(s) were issued on CD. So no doubt these things will continue to "trickle in" to the right folks as time goes by and we'll get to hear them eventually...

 


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