Addendum to my re-recordings article
[A short addendum to my article in Slate about re-recordings. There was no room to fit this in the published article.]
Spotify is so sloppy in distinguishing (or rather, not distinguishing) between originals and re-recordings that it often changes the version of a song that a particular link points to. (This may also be true of other online music services, but I haven’t checked.)
Because it can be so hard to find the original version of a song among the dozen or more copies floating around on Spotify, I created a playlist containing ’60s and ’70s songs that I knew to be originals, sometimes after having to check many different instances of each song. Occasionally, clicking on one of those tracks, I find that the song is not the original. What this means is that the actual MP3 file pointed to by the link has changed, and it has changed to a file containing a re-recording. Coincidentally, this happened to me just today when I was listening to Del Shannon’s “Runaway” (as discussed in my article).
Apart from everything else, this illustrates the danger of keeping music that you care about in the “Cloud.” If you don’t own an actual, physical copy of the song—whether on vinyl, CD, or MP3—there’s no guarantee that it will always be there.
A little while back, I was compiling a playlist of ’60s hits in Spotify. The song I started with was “This Diamond Ring,” a 1965 single by Gary Lewis and the Playboys. About 20 instances of the song showed up when I searched for it—some of them on Gary Lewis best-of collections, some on compilations like ’60s Jukebox Hits and 60 Hits of the 60s. Clicking on one at random, I soon noticed that something was off. The vocals sounded strange—was that even Gary Lewis singing? And the snare drum was a very upfront, ’80s-style THWACK, a sound created using “gated reverb,” a studio effect that didn’t exist in the ’60s.
(Continue reading the article in Slate)
Coming on Sunday, May 12: “People Who Only Need a Beat,” with Irwin Chusid, Evan “Funk” Davies, and Dave Mandl
Three of WFMU’s Hoof & Mouth* rhythm-keepers—Dave Mandl, Evan “Funk” Davies, and Irwin Chusid—will celebrate rim shots, ruffs, rolls, and paradiddles with a three-hour drum throwdown on Sunday, May 12, from 9 p.m. to midnight (Eastern time). Each will in turn feature tracks showcasing some of their favorite percussionists. You’ll hear Art Blakey, Keith Moon, Bev Bevan, Mitch Mitchell, Bonzo, Max Roach, Bill Bruford, Chris Cutler, Aynsley Dunbar, Dave King, and lots of unsung drummers whose names you probably won’t recognize. Phil Collins, even.
Hear WFMU at 91.1 FM in the NYC area, or http://wfmu.org
(* The Hoof & Mouth Sinfonia is WFMU’s world-renowned house band.)
Twitter birthday cake, from my lovely wife and daughter.
English Kills (Manhattan in background).