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Author Topic: Issued Takes  (Read 2124 times)

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Offline CF

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  • Posts: 876
Issued Takes
« on: September 29, 2008, 07:10:48 AM »
I'm confused as to prewar record company's practices for issuing songs with several recorded takes. If side A is coupled with side B, were the alternate takes of side A both issued? Meaning that some copies of the record would have take 1 of side A & some with take 2?
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline oddenda

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Re: Issued Takes
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2008, 06:51:03 AM »
cheapfeet -

Confusion is acceptable. Alternative takes of a tune were issued for a number of reasons. Among them are: 1.) Stupidity or by mistake; 2.) Worn out metal "parts", either from high sales that necessitate greater pressings than "normal", or accidental damage to one "part" of a pairing; 3.) Alternative takes were often used on different labels, sometimes under a pseudonym. 4.) Test pressings of "extra" takes get taken out for a variety of reasons and end up in the hands of folks like us (and you know what THAT leads to!). I'm sure that y'all can come up with some more, but running a record company is not rocket science and shit happens! Essentially, there is no rhyme or reason, really, merely excuses!! Nice, for us, that there are surviving alternates, though... often tells us much about whether or not a piece was set in performance concrete by the artist.

Back in the acoustic day, especially cylinders, multiple recordings were done at once, with a performer doing a vast number of "takes" in succession in front of a bank of recording horns... god help them if they had a hit! As mass production techniques eased into record manufacture, it became possible to produce multiple copies of the same take rather than re-record the same song over again. Ain't technology grand?!

yrs,
     Peter B.

Offline CF

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  • Posts: 876
Re: Issued Takes
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2008, 09:58:19 AM »
Thanks for replying Peter, I forgot I asked this question!
I was asking more HOW these takes were issued than WHY. Your reference to test pressings is very interesting. I was under the impression that test pressings were fairly rare, is that the case?
Let me use an example:
Blind Lemon recorded 'Got The Blues' in Chicago in 1926 & was issued on 78 with 'Long Lonesome Blues' [PM 12354]. B&GR lists two takes [2471-1,-2]. One of the takes seem to have turned up  somewhat recently & can be found on Document's 'Too Late Vol.11'. Where did this take come from?
Was it a discovered test pressing or was it issued on a copy of PM12354? If these two takes were both issued on PM12354 are they distinguished on the label by a take number [-1 or -2] or was it discovered aurally?
 ::)

Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline oddenda

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  • Posts: 597
Re: Issued Takes
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2008, 03:19:29 AM »
cheapfeet -

          The answer is YES! That should take care of your queries!!

          Seriously, though, there seems to be no rhyme or reason for alternative takes survival, other than pure dumb luck,and/or circumstance. And the things I've already mentioned. As I mentioned, it happened from time to time when a side was licensedto another label, or placed on a subsidiary label, that a different take was used by accident... or on purpose. See, from this far away from those points in time, we just don't know. It's amazing that what has survived managed to survive at all! It was meant to be short-term popular music, with a definite SHORT half-life. Popular music is, by its very nature, mainly transitory in nature. Yesterday's hits are quickly forgotten: who hums "Pac Man Fever" today? That was a GREAT pop production, but a short-lived novelty, as are most pop records. It is such as W.E. who preserve and covet past efforts, efforts that were not intended to last. Lucky us!

          As for the Lemon, any of the things I've mentioned could be involved - I'm sure that other members/readers can come up with more examples/reasons than I. "How" and "Why" are the same thing this far away in time from the source. And those involved probably couldn't answer you, either! It was a BUSINESS, not an art form to them.

yrs,
     Peter B.

Offline CF

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  • Posts: 876
Re: Issued Takes
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2008, 06:16:40 AM »
Ah, I see, utter f**king confusion! Thanks Peter!
BTW I just wanted to say what a pleasure it has been to have you hanging around here.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

 


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