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Pete Atkin >> News >> Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
(Message started by: Jon Philpot on Today at 08:19)

Title: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Jon Philpot on Today at 08:19
I see preliminary details of the first of the re-releases have now been posted on the Demon website
http://www.demonmusicgroup.co.uk/Product.aspx?ProductID=4339

Here is the track list:
1   The Master Of The Revels
2   Touch Has A Memory
3   Have You Got A Biro I Can Borrow?
4   Sunrise
5   Frangipanni Was Her Flower
6   The Rider To The World's End
7   The Luck Of The Draw
8   The Original Original Honky Tonk Night Train Blues
9   Girl On The Rain
10   Tonight Your Love Is Over
11   You Can't Expect To Be Remembered
12   Laughing Boy
13   Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger
14   All I Ever Did
15   Be Careful When They Offer You The Moon
16   A Man Who's Been Around
17   Have You Got A Biro I Can Borrow? (Bonus Demo)
18   Touch Has A Memory (Bonus Demo)
19   Sunrise (Bonus Demo)
20   The Luck Of The Draw (Bonus Demo)
21   Girl On The Train (Bonus Demo)
22   You Can't Expect To Be Remembered (Bonus Demo)
23   Laughing Boy (Bonus Demo)
24   All I Ever Did (Bonus Demo)

No release date specified yet

Jon

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on Today at 10:50
"Genre: Rock and Pop" -- Yes!

http://www.peteatkin.com/images/edselfrontbotbs200.jpg (http://www.peteatkin.com/images/edselfrontbotbs800.jpg)

Happy Christmas to All!

Steve

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by bobtaylor on 26.12.08 at 10:32
What splendid news! I look forward to the release of this and the other forthcoming releases.
Bob.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Chris Smith on 03.01.09 at 12:27
Driving Through Mythical America  Demon Edsel EDSS1030

http://www.demonmusicgroup.co.uk/Product.aspx?ProductID=4343

Track List  

01   Sunlight Gate
02   The Pearl-Driller
03   No Dice
04   The Flowers And The Wine
05   Where Have They All Gone?
06   The Prince Of Acquitaine
07   Thief In The Night
08   Driving Through Mythical America
09   The Faded Mansion On The Hill
10   Practical Man
11   Lady Of A Day
12   Practical Man (Bonus Demo)


Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Al on 03.01.09 at 18:34
Are these albums actually on sale yet? I couldn't see anywhere on the Demon website to buy the CD's.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 03.01.09 at 18:48
Hi Al -- nice to have you with us.

No, not on sale yet. Provisional release dates are in the February/March period. Pete went into more detail in his latest newsletter, reproduced here (http://www.peteatkin.com/mv/newsletter.php?#MV0804).

Steve

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Al on 03.01.09 at 18:55
Thanks, Steve.

It will be good to be able to buy Pete's albums at reasonable prices; ebay prices have been way too high! Looking forward to getting King At Nightfall on CD at long last!

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 06.01.09 at 23:32
Not long to wait now -- the first two (single) CDs are scheduled for release on February 2nd, with the remainder (2 double CDs) on March 2nd.

I've placed copies of the Edsel promotional sales sheets for the first two albums on the Smash Flops (http://www.peteatkin.com/pa.htm) home page.

Steve

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Val_Jennings on 09.01.09 at 17:22
Hello everybody

Val Jennings at Edsel here. Please excuse this shocking example of doorstep selling, but I'd be failing myself if I didn't alert all the Midnight Voices to the fact that the Edsel editions of "Beware.." and "Driving..." are now available for pre-order on both Amazon at £6.79 and HMV.com at £6.99. Here are the links, should you want to paste them into your browser:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beware-Beautiful-Pete-Atkin/dp/B001NOMONI/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1231521260&sr=8-12      

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Driving-Across-Mythical-Pete-Atkin/dp/B001NOMONS/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1231521260&sr=8-14

http://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=281;1;-1;-1;-1&sku=919685

http://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=281;1;-1;-1;-1&sku=919737

Amazon have left the last word off each title, and have sales notes but no tracklistings, whereas HMV have tracklsitings but no notes, and mention a "Clive Davis".

Perhaps I'll meet some of you on Sunday at Walthamstow...

Val


Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by naomi on 09.01.09 at 23:47
Many thanks, Val !

See you at Walthamstow,
Naomi

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Jan on 11.01.09 at 20:03
Is the Hillside Shop likely to be able to take advantage of this merchandising opportunity?
Jan

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by CherryEdwards on 12.01.09 at 09:52
I've pre-ordered my copy of 'Beware of the Beautiful Stranger' and can't wait.  I don't know 'Driving Through Mythical America' :o  


Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Jon Philpot on 13.01.09 at 20:41
Amazon also now has 'A King At Nightfall & The Road Of Silk' and 'Secret Drinker... Plus & Live Libel' both for £7.79, for release on 2 March. No track lists posted yet.

Just think - that means you could get all four (six) albums for under £30!

Jon



Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by BogusTrumper on 13.01.09 at 23:01

on 01/13/09 at 20:41:41, Jon Philpot wrote :
Just think - that means you could get all four (six) albums for under £30!

Jon


What is that in real money (dollars)  :D

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 14.01.09 at 08:40
Yes, Jan, all the new Demond Edsel releases will be available via the Hillside onlilne shop as soon as stocks are available.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Rob Spence on 14.01.09 at 08:58

on 01/13/09 at 23:01:23, BogusTrumper wrote :
What is that in real money (dollars)  :D

The way things are going, about thirty... ;)

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Seán Kelly on 17.01.09 at 10:04
At the Walthamstow gig Pete pointed out that he had recorded Midnight Voices The Songbook Vol 1 because he hadn't expected the original albums to ever be available again.  As he spoke I imagined MV Vol2 bursting like a bubble;  no need for it now. I had been looking forward to the release of MV Vol2 and will be sorry if it doesn't happen - events that don't occur are still events you know (sorry  ;)).  Presumably it would be a bit rude to Edsel Demon to do it just now... but maybe in a couple of years?   Just call me greedy  :)

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 17.01.09 at 15:07
Well, yes, that was at least a part of the thinking - if the original versions were to have remained unreissued, re-doing them at least made sure that the songs could continue to be available and under my control.  Doing them a bit differently was an extra justification, I hope.  So with the originals all out there once again, doing them a bit differently becomes the primary reason for revisiting another batch.  And there are certainly enough that I'm doing differently enough these days for a Volume Two to be a realistic prospect.   It's just that to do it as my very next project feels like a bit too continual an emphasis on the past.  We'll see. Watch this space.


Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Seán Kelly on 17.01.09 at 23:19
Thanks Pete and Amen to that; New songs first, gorgeous re-creations of older ones to follow in due course - with Simon Wallace hopefully - that'll be fine thanks!
[signed, your ever-demanding public  :)]

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Andrew_Curry on 01.02.09 at 11:14
I'm looking forwards to these releases, even though I was lucky enough to get one of the See For Miles double CDs of Beautiful Stranger/DTMA when Pete found some in a box in 2007. From Pete's newsletter notes it sounds as if it will be worth buying both again for the archive research which Val Jennings has put into the re-releases (especially at Edsel's admirably recession-friendly budget prices.)

To the person who doesn't know Mythical America (but knows Beautiful Stranger), well, you're in for a treat, I'd say. Beautiful Stranger is a good record, but Mythical America is a great record; rich, complex, subtle.

So having been a little controversial, perhaps I should be more controversial: is it only me who thinks there's no reason - other than perverse completism - to re-issue Live Libel? A thin set of musical jokes when it came out which has interest now only to cultural historians...

Best

Andrew


Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 01.02.09 at 18:47
Hi Andrew - I do hope that the reissues will live up to your expectations.  I'm pretty hopeful that they will.  For those who are intending to purchase from the Hillside online shop, I must apologise for the fact that Hillside Warehousing and Categorisation have not yet received stock from the Demon demons.   This is, of course, the place to learn when this position is rectified, but in the mean time Amazon, Play.com, HMV online and the like will be anxious, I am sure, to fulfil your desires.

As far as Live Libel is concerned, Clive and I have a good deal of sympathy with your view, and indeed suggested the possibility of not including it in the present programme.  The idea of being able to drop it quietly from the established canon had some attraction, but Val Jennings persuaded us both that to do so might not work and might even create more of a problem than it solved.  He believed that "missing out Live Libel would actually draw more
attention to it: all the reviews would question its absence and any interviewer worth his salt (and who had done his homework) would commence his interview with "Why aren't you re-issuing Live Libel?", thereby potentially giving it an unwarranted and unhelpful emphasis.

As it is, the space to provide extensive new notes for every album and every track has given Clive and me have the opportunity to put the album properly and carefully into context and to make clearer than ever before our attitude to it and to the individual songs on it, without seeming as if we're trying to deny its existence.  Besides, there are in any case some aspects of the recordings and even certain of the songs that we wouldn't want to see necessarily consigned to outer darkness for ever.

Finally, while perhaps not many of us would be happy to describe ourselves as 'completists', it may be that some of us would nevertheless be happy to describe ourselves as 'collectors' to some extent at least , and if you're attempting, as Val and Demon are, to put together something like a 'definitive edition', it's arguably inappropriate to be exercising this kind of critical judgement.  And, as Val says "I don't really want to issue 'less' than See For Miles did, if you see what I mean."

Anyhow, in the end we were persuaded. and while we certainly don't expect anyone suddenly to discover that Live Libel is a lost masterpiece, Clive and I hope that perhaps our new annotations may provide at least a bit of appropriate context.  I'll be most interested to hear what people think


Title: Live Libel
Post by Tiny_Montgomery on 02.02.09 at 20:25
There are several issues with Live Libel. Chiefly among these, it's by far the weakest album release from our songwriting heroes. Secondly, the subjects for satire were 'barn door' targets in the early 1970s. And thirdly, time has proven that some of those selected for satire - Leonard Cohen, James Taylor - were and still are very talented artists, with fine, recorded legacies, thereby lessening the relevance of the original satire. But Pete is also right: Live Libel cannot be ignored, like some musical tearaway. If nothing else, I'm looking forward to the album notes.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Mike Walters on 02.02.09 at 21:20
I must confess to having a soft spot for 'Live Libel' because, perhaps uniquely among present company, it was actually my first experience of Pete's work.  I came to the albums late (mainly because I was only 10 when 'Beautiful Stranger' first came out), and the first song of Pete's I heard was 'Stranger in Town' on a Peel session.  That - probably combined with the splendid Trog cover - was enough to make me invest in 'Live Libel'.  

It's not difficult to see why those who'd loved the first five albums would have been disappointed by 'Live Libel'.  But as an introduction to Pete's work, it was sufficiently odd and intriguing to make me want to hear more.  Of course, as Tiny says, it's not dated well and some of the jokes ('Why?' lives up to its name) were hardly worth making even then.  Nevertheless some of the parodies - 'Rattlesnake Rock', 'Ready for the Road' - still raise a smile, and it did at least enable the duo to record some of the jokier songs that had always been a part of Pete's sets but which would have seemed incongruous on the earlier records.  And we'd be poorer without a recording of  'Ballad of an Upstairs Window', particularly given its place in Atkin/James history.  

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Andrew_Curry on 04.02.09 at 20:56
Thanks to Pete and the other Voices for the discussion of Live Libel - yes, I can see Val's point of view. Since there's no way I'm going to miss out on buying Secret Drinker (which I love, even without the Plus), it looks as if I'll have the chance to re-evaluate Live Libel, with new notes, after a rather long gap.

Best

Andrew

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by BogusTrumper on 04.02.09 at 22:01
To demonstrate my total lack of intelligence, couth, class and education, I will tell you all that I enjoy some of the songs from live libel every now and again.  :(

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Russ Chandler on 04.02.09 at 23:51
"Uncle Seabird" is a cracking track.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Kevin Cryan on 05.02.09 at 09:39

on 02/04/09 at 23:51:48, Russ Chandler wrote :
"Uncle Seabird" is a cracking track.


I think so too.

By the way, an (unkind) person might suggest that James Paler's receiving a lifetime achievement award (http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/james-taylor-honoured-at-radio-2-folk-awards-194789)at Monday night's BBC Radio 2's folk music awards makes Sheer Quivering Genius (http://www.peteatkin.com/f13.htm) prescient.

And I still  ask whether Leonard Conman (http://www.leonardcohen.com/) has, even with his recent renaissance, moved very far away from what is nowdays called his "comfort zone". Or is he just doing a variation on the Doom from Room (http://www.peteatkin.com/f10.htm) schtick he's been  doing from the outset of his career.

Live Libel makes you think. Long live Live Libel

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Leslie Moss on 05.02.09 at 14:54
Perhaps to be fair Pete should have included a parody of himself as a bonus track on Live Libel. Ballad of the Obsessive Fanbase anyone?

Leslie

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by BogusTrumper on 05.02.09 at 15:08
There are a lot of parody lyrics available now via a certain website - maybe a whole new album?  :D

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Kevin Cryan on 05.02.09 at 20:59

on 02/05/09 at 14:54:36, Leslie Moss wrote :
Perhaps to be fair Pete should have included a parody of himself as a bonus track on Live Libel......
Leslie


Remembering C.E.Chesterton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Chesterton)'s dictum that "if you wish to be a good parodist,  you must first be a good critic", I'd have to ask whether that's as good an idea as it sounds. It's, after all, a brave man who'd put himself forward as a good critic of his own work.

It’s possible to suggest the best of the James/Atkin parodies on Live Libel do , apart from the ridiculing of a popular music phenomena of the period in they were composed,  contain serious critiques of the artists who were its targets. These critiques, though  not as “incisive and unsparing” as John R. Boly found Auden’s parody of the artist in The Orators to be, still manage to pack a mighty punch that can be still felt today.

If on occasion, for example, we nowadays find some of the critical judgments Clive makes about popular music or its practitioners a little surprising, it’s probably because we’re coming across them for the first time – in other words.  we’ve not fully appreciated the aesthetic sensibilities that have shaped, not Live Libel as a whole, but individual tracks on Live Libel.


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 05.02.09 at 21:45
And, coincidentally, we may soon have the opportunity to hear more of Clive's (and Pete's) opinions on popular music ;). For now, newcomers might like to read Clive's pop-crit columns from '70s UK music magazine Cream (not 'Creem' please -- that was a different publication!). They're linked from the left-hand column on the Smash Flops front page under the heading "Clive in 'Cream'".

The parodies Bogus refers to are also linked, but if you haven't found them amongst all the other content, follow this link (http://www.peteatkin.com/folly.htm).

Of course they're not really parodies so much as humorous alternative lyrics: their intention is to salute rather than to mock. I think Tom Holt's are particularly good.

Steve

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by BogusTrumper on 05.02.09 at 22:20

on 02/05/09 at 21:45:06, S J Birkill wrote :
Of course they're not really parodies so much as humorous alternative lyrics: their intention is to salute rather than to mock. I think Tom Holt's are particularly good.

Steve


Very true, but I wouldn't mind hearing Pete sing a couple of them.  Wasn't there one about a webmaster?  :D

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Kevin Cryan on 06.02.09 at 12:05

on 02/05/09 at 21:45:06, S J Birkill wrote :
.....

.....Of course they're not really parodies so much as humorous alternative lyrics: their intention is to salute rather than to mock......

Steve


The MV exam paper

Candidates must answer ONE of the following questions ONLY

Time allowed: 1 hour

1.      Well-done parodies (like Max Beerbohm's of Henry James or Neil Innis's of The Beatles) are extremely informative about the features that characterize individual styles.

2.      Argue for or against the following proposition: "Parody is by no means necessarily satirical, and may sometimes be done with respect and appreciation of the subject involved"


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Val_Jennings on 06.02.09 at 15:57
Hello

Val Jennings here again. I just thought I'd point you all at the third and fourth releases on Amazon, although I'm sure you're all clever enough to find them by yourselves. HMV.com hasn't got the pages up yet. In case anybody's wondering why these releases are £7.79 each, it's because each set contains two 2 CDs (and the booklets are even fatter than the first two, although this is not a factor in the price).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/King-At-Nightfall-Road-Silk/dp/B001NOMOPG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1233935067&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Drinker-Plus-Live-Libel/dp/B001NOMOQ0/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1233935067&sr=1-5

Neither page gives a tracklisting, but I can confirm that nothing has been omitted from any of the four albums, and the correct single versions of "I See The Joker" and "Sessionman's Blues" have been appended to "Secret Drinker".

Val

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Paul Leighton on 09.02.09 at 15:54

Pete wondered whether the re-issues would live up to expectations. They do indeed!
My copies of the first two arrived towards the end of last week from Amazon; Pete, Demon/Edsel have done you proud!  The annotations are hugely entertaining and really do enhance the package. They also provide a further "sale-point"-  for collectors (I dutifully abjure "completists") to proselytise!

Really good to have the "right" tracks in the right places - plus some welcome demos.
Also, as a former sub-editor, I have, as yet, not spotted the typos which bedevilled the
See For Miles series.

A very welcome addition to the collection.






Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 09.02.09 at 18:12
Bravo Paul!

You must be the first to receive your copies. Aren't those booklets everything we could have hoped for -- precisely the right tone to the notes. If Val can cram all that into a jewel case, I might think of closing down Smash Flops as redundant.

I look forward to hearing what MV members have to say about the bonus tracks.

Steve

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Mike Walters on 10.02.09 at 10:04
Hope that was just a joke, Steve...

I'm stuck in London for a couple of days,  but I understand there's an Amazon package sitting on the metaphorical doorstep at home.  Can't wait.  

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Ian Chippett on 10.02.09 at 10:23
There I was wondering whether or not to invest in these re-re-releases when all of a sudden while crossing Pantin Railway Bridge in a galeforce wind this morning what should I see but a man holding back his hair to light a cigarette! Could this be a sign? Now if I see a man breathe on his fingernails and wiggle them in the air, my order will be on its way tout de suite.

Ian C

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Paul Leighton on 10.02.09 at 14:25
Sorry Ian.  Can't wiggle my fingernails - I have none...I chewed them to the quick waiting for this order to arrive !!

Believe me, having now seen and heard them,  I would have bought the re-re-releases for the annotations alone. As Steve observes, they hit just the right note.  To anyone who has doubts about duplicating material they already have, I would say ...don't.  These have been superbly packaged and are worth every - remarkably reasonable - penny!  I shall now order the others.  



Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Simon Reap on 10.02.09 at 15:17
Pete,

Any idea when Hillside stocks will be arriving of these albums - I'd rather support that fine establishment than I would the mighty Amazon!

Simon

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 10.02.09 at 15:38
It should be any day, Simon.  I've had clearance and confirmation from Demon this morning, so it could even be as soon as tomorrow.  I'll hoist a joyful post as soon as the container is blocking the drive.   And thanks for your loyalty to the Hillside cause!

Title: Any reviewers here?
Post by S J Birkill on 11.02.09 at 10:33
I see Amazon is currently showing 'no customer reviews' against the new reissues. Many here will remember the time of the SFM releases, when a number of people now on this list submitted their own reviews of the albums, both to Amazon and to Magpie, the first online retailer to stock them. In fact the first 2-on-1 (BOTBS/DTMA) subsequently became such a popular purchase that it remained top of Magpie's online bestseller list for several weeks.

Some here might argue that the new issues represent an opportunity for the uninitiated to hear these songs for the first time, and that they themselves would only make what they see as a repeat purchase for the sake of the printed material, or the splendour of the packages on their shelf. And that all that could be said about the songs, the performances and the recordings has already been said.

Yet... if Pete and Clive's music is to gather a new following, we should be doing all we can to assist and support the process. I'm not cajoling you all to part with your hard-earned cash for these highly-underpriced gems -- historically that has never worked well in present company -- but a bit of discreet proselytising wouldn't cost us anything. It would be good to see a variety of informed opinion, or genuine enthusiasm, expressed in those 'customer reviews' lists at Amazon and the others.

Anyone fancy telling newcomers what they've been missing?

Steve

PS - here's where to go: BOTBS (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beware-Beautiful-Stranger-Pete-Atkin/dp/B001NOMONI/) | DTMA (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Driving-Through-Mythical-America-Atkin/dp/B001NOMONS/).

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Mike Walters on 12.02.09 at 10:27
Just to endorse Paul's view, the new CDs are beautifully packaged and the notes by Pete and Clive are fascinating and highly entertaining.  One or two gloriously embarrassing photos, too.  And the bonus tracks, particularly on BOBS, are well worth the price of admission as well, even if (like me) you already possess these records in all their previous vinyl and CD incarnations.  I was fortunate enough to hear recordings of the two 'cardboard' albums in the halcyon days of the MV Library, so it's terrific to have some of them commercially available.  

Incidentally, in the course of reading Clive's extraordinary 'Cultural Amnesia', I'd picked up a number of passing references to phrases from the lyrics, several of which are also mentioned in the annotations here ('tie the brush into my hands' from Renoir and 'clouded ruins of a god' from Hazlett, for example).  I'm assuming that, in the notes to 'Secret Drinker', Clive will tell us how Miles Davis's Ferrari transformed into a 'Rover 3 Litre'.  

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Ian Davie on 12.02.09 at 13:31
I'd be interested to know if Pete has a preference for Amazon or Hillside when we make our purchases or encourage others to buy.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Ian Ashleigh on 12.02.09 at 21:04
Hi Ian - and from one to another, welcome to MV.

My money would be on buying them from Hillside which is what I intend to do.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Ian Chippett on 13.02.09 at 07:21
So do I! That makes it three Ians: over to you, Sorensen.

Ian C

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 13.02.09 at 09:33

on 02/13/09 at 07:21:03, Ian Chippett wrote :
So do I! That makes it three Ians: over to you, Sorensen.

And then there are our distinguished lurkers: Fraser, Hendry and Lindsay. Plus a couple of Iains.

Shouldn't really count the Ians who never rejoined when MV switched to a Web forum: David, Elder, Hey, Jones, McNee, Stewart, Sutherland, West, Wood and Wright, although some of these may be lurking here unrecognised under pseudonyms.

They'll all be buying the CDs though, won't they?

Title: NOW IN STOCK!!!!
Post by Pete Atkin on 14.02.09 at 10:32
Just to say that the Hillside Music shelves are now virtually and actually stocked with extra-value copies of the Demon Edsel CD reissues of "Beware of the Beautiful Stranger" and "Driving Through Mythical America" complete with bonus tracks and, I think I may say, lavish booklets with pics and scans and documentation and extensive new notes by me and Clive. Just click on 'PA Home' above, scroll down to the Hillside shop, and click on 'Enter Shop'.   The trove of treasures will be revealed. Happy shopping!

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Ian Ashleigh on 14.02.09 at 15:47
Just to say I have placed my order for BoBS and DTMA.  I was going to wait and order all four at once but 'the beautiful stranger' encouraged me to order the first two now  ;D

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Jan on 15.02.09 at 16:44
Plug for the new albums by Rob Hughes sitting in for Guy Garvey last Sunday (8th Feb) on Radio 6 at 10pm. He played Girl on the train about 35 minutes into the programme.
Available on Listen Again but presumably only for a few more hours!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00hjg19
He hints that he might talk to Clive James on the phone but I haven't time to listen to the whole programme just now, so I don't know if he did.

Jan

Title: Now in stock at Hillside records
Post by Ian Ashleigh on 17.02.09 at 13:22
The postman arrived this morning with a 'jiffy bag' containing new Edsel editions of Beware of the Beautiful Stranger and Driving Through Mythical America from the stock at Hillside Records.

The packaging and inserts exceed expectations, to see the listing from Melody Maker in April 1970 listing Pete Atkin, The Stawbs and Robin & Barry Dransfield playing (does anyone else own a copy of The Fiddler's Dream - if not why not?)

Many thanks to all at Hillside for the prompt delivery - the Beautiful Stranger was most impressed.

Title: Advance Edsel/Demon albums
Post by Tiny_Montgomery on 24.02.09 at 21:53
Managed to get advance copies of the next releases - A King At Nightfall/The Road of Silk and Secret Drinker/Live Libel - which are presented as splendidly as Beware... and Driving... I'm very taken with Pete's spoken intro to the single version of Sessionman's Blues. Both double sets sound wonderful and the notes and pictures are again a delight. A perhaps rueful note is sounded in the notes to Live Libel, which is still chiefly worth getting for Uncle Sea-Bird and Ballad Of An Upstairs Window. Well done to all concerned.
Should also mention that a picture ad for the reissues appears in, if I remember rightly, the latest Record Collector.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Russ Chandler on 24.02.09 at 23:56
I was chuffed to see that MC'ing the Troubadour on that Melody Maker clipping was one Allan Francis. Allan is a good friend of mine and still very active in the Essex and Hertfordshire folk scene.

He was delighted by the clip and somewhat less delighted when I told him I was less than one year old when it was published!

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Val_Jennings on 25.02.09 at 12:31
I hope everybody's enjoying Pete and Clive's appearances on the Ken Bruce show this week. Prior to today's airing, Ken read out a letter of particularly fulsome praise for the albums from a listener - I didn't catch the name though. Was it an MV?


Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 25.02.09 at 13:14
Dr Ian Gilmore. Not here under that name.

Could it be Prof Ian Gilmore (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Gilmore), president of the Royal College of Physicians? A Cambridge man, and of Pete's (our) generation.

Wasn't that Doobies track a cracker! -- I'd quite forgotten it.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Val_Jennings on 25.02.09 at 14:45
Steve's link to Wikipedia prompted me to check Pete's entry, which is now in need of a bit of an update. Has anybody assumed the mantle of "Wikipedia entry updater"?

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Ian Chippett on 25.02.09 at 18:24
Can we expect Pete's Unreliable Memoirs one day? I know he's a busy man but I'm sure his autobiography would be at least as interesting as Clive's though similar sales figures might be too much to hope for. Unless a literary Voice offers to act as his Boswell. I'd certainly borrow a copy of any such work. ;-)

Ian C

Down and out in Paris but not London

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 26.02.09 at 11:16
As possible enterprises go, Ian, that sounds to me like setting oneself up for a fall.  Naturally, I continue to believe in the possibility of my becoming an overnight sensation, in which case the offers will no doubt flood in, but somehow I can't get images involving gnats and/or snowballs out of my mind.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Simon Reap on 26.02.09 at 12:24
Ordered BOTBS and DTMA from Hillside on Monday, package arrived Tuesday, been listening to and reading it ever since!  The bonus tracks from The Party's Moving On and the inserts are worth the price alone.  There is plenty of history in those booklets, and references to musical influences (though they don't seem to help with the Tracks of my years competition!).  Really looking forward to the remaining 2 CD sets...

Simon

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 02.03.09 at 12:06
The Demon demons have worked their magic and the Hillside Music shelves, both virtual and actual, are now well stocked with copies of ALL the new Demon Edsel reissues of the 1970s albums, complete with expansive documentation, bonus tracks, etc.  There's even a special deal available for those wishing to buy all four (two singles and two doubles).

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Simon Reap on 02.03.09 at 13:23
I happened to check the Hillside Shop page an hour ago, so my order for both has already been placed - trouble is, you've now set a standard, so if they don't arrive tomorrow I shall be disappointed!

I'm working from home today, so can play the first two CDs out loud (instead of using headphones in the office)  - they really are wonderful.

Simon

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Mike Walters on 03.03.09 at 12:22
Thanks to those staggeringly efficient folk at Hillside Music, I ordered the new CDs yesterday afternoon and received them in the post this morning.  Just as beautifully produced as the first two CDs, and with even more fascinating annotations from Pete and Clive.  

Incidentally, I've been playing them on my PC this morning while supposedly working, and I was struck that the Gracenote database categorises 'Beware of the Beautiful Stranger' as 'folk' (and the earlier version I have on my iPod is categorised, weirdly, as 'blues'), 'Driving Through Mythical America' as 'Unclassifiable', 'A King at Nightfall' as 'alternative', and 'Secret Drinker' as 'rock'.  The other two weren't recognised yet, so I suppose there's time for us to designate them as 'classical' or indeed 'hip hop' if we want.  For the recent albums, I'm tempted to use the classification 'post punk'.  

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Simon Reap on 03.03.09 at 12:47
Yes, the speedy delivery record has been maintained!  Ordered yesterday, arrived today.

Only had a chance to listen to AKAN so far.  It's been a while since I listened to the entire albums, and there are some gems in there I had almost forgotten about.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Seán Kelly on 04.03.09 at 20:09

on 03/03/09 at 12:22:53, Mike Walters wrote :
and the earlier version I have on my iPod is categorised, weirdly, as 'blues'


I think the blues one is the default Mike - so for anyone typing in titles who can't be bovvered (isn't sure how etc) to categorise it's what gets left on.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Simon Reap on 04.03.09 at 20:54
I've tried setting the genre to "Hard Listening" in the past, but it always seems to be rejected!

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by John N L Morrison on 04.03.09 at 22:59
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Pete Atkin
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 Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #20: 01.02.09 at 18:47 » Quote  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Andrew - I do hope that the reissues will live up to your expectations.  I'm pretty hopeful that they will.  For those who are intending to purchase from the Hillside online shop, I must apologise for the fact that Hillside Warehousing and Categorisation have not yet received stock from the Demon demons.   This is, of course, the place to learn when this position is rectified, but in the mean time Amazon, Play.com, HMV online and the like will be anxious, I am sure, to fulfil your desires.

As far as Live Libel is concerned, Clive and I have a good deal of sympathy with your view, and indeed suggested the possibility of not including it in the present programme.  The idea of being able to drop it quietly from the established canon had some attraction, but Val Jennings persuaded us both that to do so might not work and might even create more of a problem than it solved.  He believed that "missing out Live Libel would actually draw more
attention to it: all the reviews would question its absence and any interviewer worth his salt (and who had done his homework) would commence his interview with "Why aren't you re-issuing Live Libel?", thereby potentially giving it an unwarranted and unhelpful emphasis.  

As it is, the space to provide extensive new notes for every album and every track has given Clive and me have the opportunity to put the album properly and carefully into context and to make clearer than ever before our attitude to it and to the individual songs on it, without seeming as if we're trying to deny its existence.  Besides, there are in any case some aspects of the recordings and even certain of the songs that we wouldn't want to see necessarily consigned to outer darkness for ever.

Finally, while perhaps not many of us would be happy to describe ourselves as 'completists', it may be that some of us would nevertheless be happy to describe ourselves as 'collectors' to some extent at least , and if you're attempting, as Val and Demon are, to put together something like a 'definitive edition', it's arguably inappropriate to be exercising this kind of critical judgement.  And, as Val says "I don't really want to issue 'less' than See For Miles did, if you see what I mean."

Anyhow, in the end we were persuaded. and while we certainly don't expect anyone suddenly to discover that Live Libel is a lost masterpiece, Clive and I hope that perhaps our new annotations may provide at least a bit of appropriate context.  I'll be most interested to hear what people think

 
Well, I for one don't think there is any reason to eschew or reject "Live Libel" - maybe not a 'lost masterpiece',  but actually because we didn't all lose sight of it. . OK, some of the tracks are well past their sell-buy date, but many are eternal (you are gods, after all....). "Errant Knight" builds up perfectly and the lyrics are exquisite (just listen to them, folks). "Black Funk Rex" and "Rattlesnake Rock" still seem highly pertinent, and James Taylor's early phase still seems to warrant "Sheer Quivering Genius". As for "Uncle Sea-Bird"... still worth a listen.

In other words, a worthy part of the James/Atkin canon, and I look forward to reading the notes on the re-release (the only crib here is why - oh why - didnt't you include the sleeve notes from the original LP? Two pages of sheer quivering brilliance which deserve to be maintained for posterity).

But could you please get the final CD on the data base? Took me half an hur to fill in all the details manually so I could get it right on my iPod (and ( had to download all the artwork from Amazon UK.

And finally - and more importantly - what about the sound? I've only listened to the first 2 CDs so far, and assume that the balance - Pete on the left, the other musicians spread out to the right - is as was intended. But the tonality ....? It's warm, very warm, verging on dull. Unobjectionable, but surely not as incisive as the original LPs (which I'll get out tomorrow for a comparison). I would draw attention in particular to "No Dice", where Herbie Flowers' guitar solo fades into the background, when it should jump up and bite you. Did something go wrong, or was this what Pete originally intended? I think we should be told.

Over to you, Pete.




Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 04.03.09 at 23:46
You might have something there, John. I've just compared for the first time the SFM and Edsel versions of 'No Dice' and I can hear the difference. Right from the start the SFM sounds more alive -- you can hear tape hiss (always a good sign that the track hasn't been 'over-CD-mastered') and the creak of the drum stool at extreme right. Pete's vocal reverb (also at right) is more noticeable, and the fizz of the kit between beats.

Next I should compare my own vinyl-CD dubs from before SFM, with no dynamics processing, but I can't seem to find them at the moment.

Steve

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 05.03.09 at 09:45

Quote:
why - oh why - didnt't you include the sleeve notes from the original LP?


The only reason, John, was space.  The booklet is the maximum size that can be accommodated in the slimline double case (Val tells me that only Elvis Costello in the Demon catalogue has been granted this much documentation), and to include the original notes would have meant sacrificing probably most of the pics and scans.  You'll find that Val has included a note explaining and apologising for this.  We had to make a decision, and I'm afraid that since the Rudolph Regulus notes are available elsewhere we thought it preferable to include the unseen material, which incidentally also helps to give the booklet some visual variation, to make it less of a solid wodge of text.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 05.03.09 at 11:59

on 03/04/09 at 22:59:10, John N L Morrison wrote :
But could you please get the final CD on the data base? Took me half an hur to fill in all the details manually so I could get it right on my iPod (and ( had to download all the artwork from Amazon UK.

Don't know anything about databases for iPods, but if you're looking for cover artwork I think (with respect and modesty) you'll find the images in our discography (http://www.peteatkin.com/disworks.htm) (click for the 800px versions) are better than anything Amazon has to offer.

Oh yes, and here (http://www.peteatkin.com/libel.htm)'s the link to Clive's original Live Libel sleeve note.

SJB

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Ian Chippett on 05.03.09 at 12:45
John wrote:

<<I would draw attention in particular to "No Dice", where Herbie Flowers' guitar solo fades into the background, when it should jump up and bite you.>>

Yopu want to be careful Alan Parker doesn't jump out and bite you as it was he who played guitar on this track. Unless you mean bass guitar of course.

Ian C

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Simon Reap on 05.03.09 at 15:52
I just popped the wav extractions from the SFM and Edsel cds into Sonar to look at them more closely.  One obvious difference is that the SFM one is more compressed (at highest levels SFM is slightly louder but for  quieter bits SFM is quite a lot louder).  The other is that the SFM one is 2.7 seconds longer! (measured from the first piano beat to the "G" of the last "ago").

Simon

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 05.03.09 at 17:05

on 03/05/09 at 15:52:34, Simon Reap wrote :
One obvious difference is that the SFM one is more compressed (at highest levels SFM is slightly louder but for  quieter bits SFM is quite a lot louder).

Thanks for that, Simon -- I'd hoped to get around to doing something similar. Could it be that the SFM version retains the original dynamics but the Edsel one is expanded -- the low levels have been stretched downwards in an attempt to remove master-tape hiss, and with it other low-level artefacts?

Unfortunately those other artefacts include a lot of what gives a recording atmosphere, and their removal from original recordings, rather than the 16-bit coding, is (IMHO) responsible for much of what many people disparage as 'clinical CD sound'. My first purchase of Steely Dan CD reissues suffered in this way, and not until I compared them with the vinyl did I realise why they weren't grabbing me: most of the reverb and much of the instrumental delicacy had just vanished!

You hear it on old movie soundtracks too: here the 'noise gating' expansion often has a sharp threshold, and quiet dialogue around that threshold level suffers from whole words or phrases disappearing. You turn it up louder to hear, and then the train arrives, or a gunshot, and you're blown out of your seat!

It could be that CD remastering of analogue recordings is still suffering from that obsession to eliminate all hiss, and that today's dynamics processors only make it easier for the mastering engineer to damage the listening experience.

Still, all this casts only a light haze, rather than a dark cloud, over the splendid wonderositude of this current reissue.

Steve



Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by John N L Morrison on 05.03.09 at 17:38

on 03/05/09 at 12:45:09, Ian Chippett wrote :
John wrote:

<<I would draw attention in particular to "No Dice", where Herbie Flowers' guitar solo fades into the background, when it should jump up and bite you.>>

Yopu want to be careful Alan Parker doesn't jump out and bite you as it was he who played guitar on this track. Unless you mean bass guitar of course.

Ian C


Well, whoever played the very fast runs in a lowish register - I thought it was the bass player high up on the fretboard, but happy to stand corrected. Pete might know....

John

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by John N L Morrison on 05.03.09 at 17:59

on 03/05/09 at 17:05:10, S J Birkill wrote :
Thanks for that, Simon -- I'd hoped to get around to doing something similar. Could it be that the SFM version retains the original dynamics but the Edsel one is expanded -- the low levels have been stretched downwards in an attempt to remove master-tape hiss, and with it other low-level artefacts?

Unfortunately those other artefacts include a lot of what gives a recording atmosphere, and their removal from original recordings, rather than the 16-bit coding, is (IMHO) responsible for much of what many people disparage as 'clinical CD sound'. My first purchase of Steely Dan CD reissues suffered in this way, and not until I compared them with the vinyl did I realise why they weren't grabbing me: most of the reverb and much of the instrumental delicacy had just vanished!

You hear it on old movie soundtracks too: here the 'noise gating' expansion often has a sharp threshold, and quiet dialogue around that threshold level suffers from whole words or phrases disappearing. You turn it up louder to hear, and then the train arrives, or a gunshot, and you're blown out of your seat!

It could be that CD remastering of analogue recordings is still suffering from that obsession to eliminate all hiss, and that today's dynamics processors only make it easier for the mastering engineer to damage the listening experience.

Still, all this casts only a light haze, rather than a dark cloud, over the splendid wonderositude of this current reissue.

Steve

Very happy with the reissue and especially the annotations, which I spent a happy evening reading yesterday.

Still, I've just been listening to the opening bars of the song "Road of Silk" in the SFM and Edsel versions as transferred to my iPod (256 kbps AAC encoding is pretty much indistinguishable from the original, at least to these aged ears). I always felt the whole of the original vinyl record had a dull sound - bass-heavy and lacking sparkle. The SFM CD went a long way towards redressing the balance, but the Edsel version has much more of the vinyl sound - and in this case that's not a good thing. It sounds somehow bland and smoothed-off - whether as a result of limiting, countour-shaping or whatever I have no idea - you're the expert.

The funny thing is that recording engineers are often accused of jacking up the presence range to compensate for their loss of hearing as a result of too many over-loud gigs. Maybe they're now all very conscious of the problem and over-compensating?

John


Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by John N L Morrison on 05.03.09 at 19:01

on 03/05/09 at 09:45:04, Pete Atkin wrote :
The only reason, John, was space.  The booklet is the maximum size that can be accommodated in the slimline double case (Val tells me that only Elvis Costello in the Demon catalogue has been granted this much documentation), and to include the original notes would have meant sacrificing probably most of the pics and scans.  You'll find that Val has included a note explaining and apologising for this.  We had to make a decision, and I'm afraid that since the Rudolph Regulus notes are available elsewhere we thought it preferable to include the unseen material, which incidentally also helps to give the booklet some visual variation, to make it less of a solid wodge of text.


Thanks, Pete - of course I can always get out my original vinyl LP and read along to the music. Indeed, I might even play it!

John

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Simon Reap on 06.03.09 at 11:07
Just playing about a bit more with extractions from the two CDs, I expanded just the "g" of that last "ago" in No Dice.  The waveforms seem to show the SFM track had the gain set higher, but then had a hard limiter on to avoid overload, meaning you lose the efect of the louder parts of the music.  I've put jpegs of the same 6 millisecond chunk of the right channel of the two at SFM (http://squat.homelinux.net/NoDiceSFM.jpg) and Edsel (http://squat.homelinux.net/NoDiceEdsel.jpg).

This *may* have been something to do with the way I extracted the audio, but I don't think so (same method used for both).

Simon

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 06.03.09 at 19:41
Simon

I've got to agree re your waveforms: the SFM seems to be set significantly (some 3dB) higher in gain, at this instant at least, with the top 2dB or more of the low-frequency palatal bump of the 'g' hard-limited (clipped, even) out. (Does this 'g' really hit the buffers?) But note how the peak-to-peak amplitude of the succeeding higher frequency breathy components is *much* greater on SFM than on Edsel, far more than would be accounted for by any difference in static EQ we can hear.

Of course with dynamic noise-reduction processing (which I believe I can detect) a waveform snapshot tells only part of the story: the lower levels of the HF components are suppressed to a greater extent than the high level (all frequencies) and low frequency (all levels) stuff, the extent depending upon the instantaneous energy distribution (which changes at a syllabic, or beat, rate) so that (psycho-acoustically, they say) we don't notice it happening. Possibly.

Steve

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 07.03.09 at 10:39
Looking closer, I can confirm the differences are neither just level nor just EQ.

I've copied the R channel of SFM in place of the L channel of EDS to create a composite. And for each view here (in Adobe Audition, a.k.a. Cool Edit Pro) I've realigned the two channels in time to compensate for the higher speed of the EDS version.

Here is Herbie's first bass note:

http://www.peteatkin.com/images/bassattack.jpg

Yes, SFM (top) is 2.5dB higher in level, but look at that percussive transient at the start -- vanished in the EDS version (bottom).

Here's the spectrum of the same event:

http://www.peteatkin.com/images/bassattackspec.jpg

You can see the lower level of noise (background brightness) across the audio band (LF to 21.5kHz) in the EDS version, but all the HF energy in that pluck has gone.

Here is the condensed spectrum display of the next 7 bass notes:

http://www.peteatkin.com/images/creak.jpg

Look also at the 'creak' (which I'm guessing is the drum stool) around the fifth note. It's a series of clicks around 8kHz. It stands out more clearly to the eye in the EDS (bottom) version, but the ear is better at ignoring the background noise -- the creak is more clearly audible in the SFM print. Where the signal is unpredictable (noise-like) you don't remove noise without also discarding some signal. Of course, musicians might argue that that's not meant to be there, not part of the music, which is fair enough. All the same, some of what is lost (the bass plectrum transient) is meant to be heard.

Here's an illustration of the 'deadness' a too-rapid decay and loss of reverb brings:

http://www.peteatkin.com/images/piano stab.jpg

This is just one of Pete's staccato piano chord 'stabs' at the beginning. See how (bottom) it decays to (virtually) nothing before the next one comes along. That 'atmosphere' at top is audible.

Finally, here's the inexcusable other side of the coin: SFM's brutalisation of signal peaks:

http://www.peteatkin.com/images/ice.jpg

This is the word "ice". SFM (top) ran the peaks right into hard limiting at 0.5dB below full scale, with ugly consequences. EDS performed a soft limiting (or compression) process on the peaks, to keep them just (0.1dB) inside full scale. This view also illustrates the softening of the EDS sound -- look at the spikes lost on the rising edge, and the loss of amplitude of the sibilant on the falling edge: the former due to 'smart' dynamic noise suppression, the latter possibly to static EQ.

To sum up, I believe the differences are due to EDS's use of a more sophisticated dynamics processor, with noise reduction options probably set to default values that are a little too severe for our ears.

Steve



Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Keith Busby on 07.03.09 at 15:52
Bloody 'ell!

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by John N L Morrison on 07.03.09 at 22:32

on 03/07/09 at 15:52:27, Keith Busby wrote :
Bloody 'ell!


Couldn't agree more. And thanks to Steve for doing the analysis and confirming what I thought I heard - that the new CDs are well smoothed off. Must say I hadn't noticed that the SFM version had the top of the dynamic range lopped off, but that does actually seem preferable in listening terms.

If you watch "Masterchef" you'll see that John Torode and Greg Wallace constantly criticise amateur chefs for not tasting their dishes and adjusting the seasoning appropriately. Surely it's not to much to ask (beginning to sound a bit tabloid here) for remastering emgineers to do the same? Play the original, if only for a few bars, then tweak the parameters of the new version until it's at least as good as the original?

In the case of the vinyl "Road of Silk" I found it took a 6-9db boost on the treble on my old system to get it sounding reasonable - and that was in the days when tone controls were supposed to be a no-no. SFM - however they did it - got somewhere back to what I guess Pete intended.

Maybe someday we will have a definitive version of the first 6 records? Maybe moderated by a panel of MVs? Only dreaming....

Yours, John

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 08.03.09 at 10:44

Quote:
Maybe someday we will have a definitive version of the first 6 records?


This is just an attempt at a small message of reassurance to any browsers who have found their way here out of interest in Clive's and my stuff (for which I thank you most sincerely and profoundly).

You may have gained the impression, assuming you have made it this far down the page, that Demon Records have lived up to their name in having perpetrated a travesty, that I have somehow been done over yet again by the men with big cigars (metaphorical ones these days, of course).  This is absolutely -- and, may I say, definitively -- not so.

The facts are that the new CD transfers were all sent to me for checking and approval, quite apart from the checks made by the guys at Alchemy (who did the transfers) and Val Jennings at Demon; and that I did indeed check and approve them. In one or two cases I sent them back with comments and those comments were acted upon promptly and efficiently.  

I confess that I did not make a detailed comparisons with the master tapes themselves, or with previous transfers, or with the vinyl.  I was - evidently culpably - content with the thought that they sounded OK to me in and of themselves.  There are, I am grateful and pleased to say, many who have listened to these records far more often than I have myself in every available format and on a huge range of different kinds of sound equipment.  These listenings create an individually definitive idea of how the records ought to sound.  That's not to say that there aren't objective standards (Steve is dead right about those early CD reissues of the  Steely Dan albums, in my opinion), but in sound reproduction everything is a compromise -- always was, still is.

So, dear browser, assuming you have made it this far down the message, if you have arrived here in search of the songs, please don't be put off.  The songs are indeed still here.  And the songs are what matter most to me and to Clive, at any rate. The recordings are just what turned out on particular days in the seventies, for better or worse, the best I could do at the time.

Title: These ARE the definitive versions!
Post by S J Birkill on 08.03.09 at 12:30
I must just add a few words of agreement and support for Pete and Val here: despite the appearance of forensic analysis in my previous post, this really is a techie thing and very little to do with the music and the listening experience. Yes, the manipulation of a sound recording is an exact, material and deterministic engineering process, but the set of parameters finally selected for that manipulation remains an artistic judgement: one listener will be appalled if his CD sounds less 'bright' than his vinyl while another will be seriously discomfited by any trace of background noise. You can't please everyone. If over-processing is my bête noire, that bee is in my bonnet. I'm far more annoyed to discover that the earlier CD reissues featured peak clipping, and my ears didn't even spot the resulting harmonic distortion! In fact I'd never have noticed any shortcomings in either version if I hadn't made a direct comparison.

Just think of the alternative: dub one's old vinyl to CD. Most people reading this will have played those LPs to death. Yes, they might be able to hear the original tape hiss in those worn grooves, but the swoosh and crackle of cleaning residue and micro-scratches, and the modulation noise due to groove wear even on a copy that's been handled in the true '70s audiophile tradition, tracked at 2 grams with an elliptical diamond stylus, will at best mar the pleasure.

This release is the very best treatment these 6 LPs will ever get, and probably could get. I can't see the material ever again being assembled with such loving care and attention to detail, by all parties concerned, not just Val Jennings and his team but also Pete and Clive, themselves closely involved with design and production. Yes, judgements and compromises have been made along the way -- what to include, how to present it -- and this applies to the recording techniques as much as to the packaging. And, let's not forget, promotion and distribution: those albums are in the shops again, 35 years on from their initial appearance, and at a fraction of their original price, in real terms.

So fear not -- these are the definitive versions!

Steve

PS - Forgot to say: the whole technical quality debate falls further into insignificance when you consider that many CD purchasers will immediately dub the albums onto their PCs in MP3 format, with all the supposedly inaudible compression and data loss that entails, and subsequently listen primarily to the compressed version on a portable MP3 player. Indeed, some have even stated (MV passim) that they prefer the 'MP3 sound' to the CD's original 16-bit linear coding!

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Andrew_Curry on 08.03.09 at 14:19
I thought I would try to extract this thread from the pit of geekdom into which it has fallen - the last time I saw the phrase 'smoothed off peak' I was in a geography class, and that wasn't any time recently.

My package of litlle Edsels arrived on Thursday, so I have replayed pretty much all of them since then (still a little stuck on Live Libel) while dipping in and out of the notes. It threw up a couple of vivid and unexpected memories.

The first was on Wristwatch for a Drummer, which I remember playing to my mother - who was quite interested in popular music - because I admired the wordplay on it. She wasn't that impressed (she had also been an English teacher).

""That ain't no bummer'"?, she said. "That's not much of a line".
I assured her that that was the way in which musicians talked to each other about such things. "That doesn't mean he has to use it in the lyric", she said.

At that point she heard the line about the "synthesiser played by elves". "He's just using that because he's said 'twelves' and hasn't got anything to rhyme with it", she said, clearly sensing that by now she was on a roll, not that anyone would have said that in the mid 70s. (And I think she may have had a point here).  

At this point my brother jumped in - yes, there's a whole family pattern re-playing itself here. He was studying music and at the time was rather more into Charpentier than Cream. "Just because the lyric mentions a bell it doesn't mean we have to hear one", he chipped in. "I don't know why the arrangement is so literal". At this point I quit.

The second memory was prompted by the notes about 'Perfect Moments'. By the time I got 'Road of Silk' I was at Cambridge, and at the time there was a fine jazz record shop specialising in 'cut-outs' and deletions called Garon Records, in King Street. This meant that even on a student budget they sold a lot of high quality affordable jazz. I knew a little bit about Parker at the time - he hadn't been big where I went to school, but I'd borrowed records and tapes from people who were better informed - and after hearing 'Perfect Moments' I fell upon a deletion which had 'My Old Flame' on it. Of course, I bought it.

Now, 'My Old Flame' is a fine track, but for the last few years I've had the notion that Clive James chose it because it fitted rather better into the rhyme scheme and scansion than, say, Ornithology or A Night In Tunisia might have done.

But reading the interview notes on Val Jennings booklet, I think I may have been wrong.

Echoing other comments about the high quality of the booklets, I haven't found a single typo yet, and CD booklets are usually infested with them. But more importantly, the interviews about the song have a whole masterclass in song-writing embedded in them. Terrific.    

 

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by BogusTrumper on 08.03.09 at 18:07

on 03/08/09 at 10:44:53, Pete Atkin wrote :
 I was - evidently culpably - content with the thought that they sounded OK to me in and of themselves.  


For those of us us less conversant with geekspeak - thank you!!  That is good enough for me.  :D

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by andyw on 08.03.09 at 19:19
Pheww!!  You techno-geeks had us worried for a minute there.  Pardon me while I go back to re-listening to all 6 of the new CDs recently delivered by Amazon, without having to go into the loft to find my vinyl copies.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Ian Ashleigh on 08.03.09 at 19:47
I have just placed my order for AKAN/TROS and SD/LL from the good people at Hillside Records.  

As the good Mr Birkill correctly observes, I will load them onto my MP3 player via Windows Media Player for enjoying through that medium.


Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 08.03.09 at 19:47
What is this 'geek' thing, guys? A term of abuse for software-aware kids that talk a different language from the rest of us? Or  just something one uses when one fears one should know more about something than one does? I don't think we should need derogatory terms here. Surely we all know something about recording and music? Is knowing a major seventh from a suspended fourth, or what makes an iamb different from a trochee, geekish?

SJB

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by andyw on 08.03.09 at 20:04
No offence intended, especially not to the good Mr Birkill, but as Pete says "And the songs are what matter most to me" Enjoy!

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Jan on 08.03.09 at 21:32
May I say that I very much enjoyed all that tekkie stuff, it was most interesting especially the bit about one recording being a smidgeon longer than another. Does this mean it's just a bit lower in tone or has it got a note or two missing - no don't tell me  :)
I will eventually get around to purchasing the new CDs but just for the documentation. The MP3 player is already full of Atkin and when heard over the engine of a Pennine bus (http://www.pennine-bus.co.uk/Aboutus.htm) it all becomes a bit academic.
Jan

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Andrew_Curry on 08.03.09 at 22:39
Well, according to Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: geek
Function:noun
Etymology: probably from English dialect geek, geck fool, from Low German geck, from Middle Low German
Date: 1914

1 : a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake 2 : a person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked 3 : an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity <computer geek>  

Given that [3] is the modern usage, seems more descriptive than abusive... But even if we had been discussing scansion or chord structures there might also have come a point where the technical discussion had reached the limits of what it could usefully contribute to our understanding and enjoyment.

Best wishes

Andrew

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 09.03.09 at 00:25

on 03/08/09 at 22:39:56, Andrew_Curry wrote :
But even if we had been discussing scansion or chord structures there might also have come a point where the technical discussion had reached the limits of what it could usefully contribute to our understanding and enjoyment.

This criterion (at least the 'understanding' bit) surely lies at the heart of the necessary distinction between such inevitably simplified but nevertheless justified technical terminology as is necessary to explain and illuminate the point being made, and the excessive and obscurantist use of jargon which characterises the commonly-held image of the 'geek' (whatever the dictionary definition) as an obsessive and anal enthusiast in his own narrow field, unconcerned about the boredom he inflicts upon his uncomprehending audience.

Do you really think this thread crossed that line? Posting a handful of screen shots to illustrate a subtle aspect of signal distortion in terms even the reader totally ignorant of the recording process could understand surely beats the paragraphs of verbal hand-waving that would have been needed to explain it otherwise without resort to a highly subjective set of terms open to individual interpretation, doesn't it? I'd like to think that seeing the bass go "du-du-du-dum, dum dum dum" might have been enlightening for some, and I'd hope that we could discuss here the intricacies of scansion or chord structure in equivalent detail without complaint.

Has the technophobic Zeitgeist really brought us to a point where people mentally 'switch off' rather than focus more closely when an explanation is offered? If so, it's not surprising that the derisive stereotype of the 'geek' is so often invoked.

As for enjoyment, no-one here would deny that's what we're all chasing, and it might be argued that all analysis is foreign to enjoyment. Certainly we have had MV members express that sentiment in the past, concerning in particular the analysis of Clive's lyrics which formed a large part of MV traffic in the early years. But one of the advantages of a Web forum is the availability of the browser's 'back' button -- if too much analysis damages our enjoyment, we should leave it, read something else, go for a walk, play some music, whatever works. As Pete says, it's the songs that matter.

Steve

PS - Nothing personal, Andrew (nor any of the others citing geekdom) -- just riding another of my hobby horses :). Enjoyed your reminiscences about first time around!

Title: Re: These ARE the definitive versions!
Post by John N L Morrison on 09.03.09 at 13:06

on 03/08/09 at 12:30:00, S J Birkill wrote :
I must just add a few words of agreement and support for Pete and Val here: despite the appearance of forensic analysis in my previous post, this really is a techie thing and very little to do with the music and the listening experience. Yes, the manipulation of a sound recording is an exact, material and deterministic engineering process, but the set of parameters finally selected for that manipulation remains an artistic judgement: one listener will be appalled if his CD sounds less 'bright' than his vinyl while another will be seriously discomfited by any trace of background noise. You can't please everyone. If over-processing is my bête noire, that bee is in my bonnet. I'm far more annoyed to discover that the earlier CD reissues featured peak clipping, and my ears didn't even spot the resulting harmonic distortion! In fact I'd never have noticed any shortcomings in either version if I hadn't made a direct comparison.

Just think of the alternative: dub one's old vinyl to CD. Most people reading this will have played those LPs to death. Yes, they might be able to hear the original tape hiss in those worn grooves, but the swoosh and crackle of cleaning residue and micro-scratches, and the modulation noise due to groove wear even on a copy that's been handled in the true '70s audiophile tradition, tracked at 2 grams with an elliptical diamond stylus, will at best mar the pleasure.

This release is the very best treatment these 6 LPs will ever get, and probably could get. I can't see the material ever again being assembled with such loving care and attention to detail, by all parties concerned, not just Val Jennings and his team but also Pete and Clive, themselves closely involved with design and production. Yes, judgements and compromises have been made along the way -- what to include, how to present it -- and this applies to the recording techniques as much as to the packaging. And, let's not forget, promotion and distribution: those albums are in the shops again, 35 years on from their initial appearance, and at a fraction of their original price, in real terms.

So fear not -- these are the definitive versions!

Steve

PS - Forgot to say: the whole technical quality debate falls further into insignificance when you consider that many CD purchasers will immediately dub the albums onto their PCs in MP3 format, with all the supposedly inaudible compression and data loss that entails, and subsequently listen primarily to the compressed version on a portable MP3 player. Indeed, some have even stated (MV passim) that they prefer the 'MP3 sound' to the CD's original 16-bit linear coding!


Oh dear, Steve, I'm beginning to feel a weeny bit guilty. If you, Pete and Clive are happy, then I'm happy too. It was (to continue my previous culinary comparison) as if one had gone to a 3-star restaurant recollecting a great meal there and then eaten a very good but not outstanding meal. Chef off form or an over-rosy memory? In that case impossible to tell, but we can - as you did - compare different versions. There are differences, and I wholly accept that they ultimately boil down to individual preferences.

Then there's the technical (geeky?) side. I can't agree that vinyl is quite as compromised as you suggest; I've got a decent system (Linn Sondek/Arcam/B&W P6) and have always looked after my records. The result is that I have imperceptible background noise, am mortified if I ever hear the slightest click, and often prefer the original vinyl version to the CD re-issue - possibly because it is closest to the artists' original intensions?.

But then again, much of the listeners' views on sound quality will depend on the equipment they use to listen with (I originally typed "their reproduction equipment" then realised that wasn't quite right.....). If your set-up has a somewhat bright tone, then my comments will be irrelevant; it'll sound OK. Mine tends to be smooth - which makes many more recordings tolerable - and so may have prompted my original comments.

Finally, MP3 can be rubbish, but not always. I transfer new CDs to my iPod using 256 kbs AAC encoding and it is audibly lossless as far as I'm concerned. It certainly allowed me to hear the difference between the SFM and Demon versions of the same song. And, of course, if I'm cribbing about the tonal balance, there are oh so many ways to adjust it on an iPod.

Perhaps we should draw a line under this now?

John

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Simon Reap on 09.03.09 at 16:07
This "geek" was more than happy to see Steve's pictures, particularly as I haven't worked out yet how to get frequency graphs out of my audio software and was wondering what they would look like here.

True geekiness would have meant describing transformations between the amplitude and frequency  graphs in algebraic detail, or trying to describe exact equalisation parameters used.  That Steve did not do (I would have been very surprised if he had).  Nothing that either of us has written could be taken as nit-picking or even abstruse to anyone with a remotely technical background.  To assert so would be to have sided with those who declare pride in the their inability to do maths, as though that were some badge of honour.

To get back to the music, I find the Edsel releases more pleasing to the ear, even if they do lose some of the finest detail of the recordings - that is preferable to the clipping that SFM used and, as Steve has noted, not easy to spot in the audio itself.  I think Val and his team have indeed done a wonderful job of getting all 6 albums in a good state and, as far as we can tell, in such definitive versions.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by BogusTrumper on 09.03.09 at 17:05
Well, I will retire into my little corner of ignorance, leaving behind nothing but apologies for anyone I unintentionally insulted!  :D

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Andrew_Curry on 09.03.09 at 20:38
Steve,

One of the charms of the forum is that anything relevant to the music and the words can be discussed in much detail - as I think Pete points out in the notes at the end of at least one of the Edsel books!  ("and I mean anything").

Best

Andrew

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 10.03.09 at 10:10

Quote:
often prefer the original vinyl version to the CD re-issue - possibly because it is closest to the artists' original intensions?


Well, John, there's not much reason to assume that.  It's perfectly OK to prefer the sound of vinyl (or indeed the sound on any particular medium), but it's not OK in my book to say that it's somehow 'truer'.  It isn't.   The transfer from the magnetic medium (tape) to the physical one (disc) is a much bigger technical leap even than the big compression from CD to MP3, and far more compromised than the transfer from magnetic to digital.

It's no surprise to me that the cleverness of MP3 sampling means you can detect the difference between the different masterings, but that doesn't mean that the losses involved in both are therefore inconsiderable.   More than that, it seems to me that the general acceptability of MP3 sound must mean that the quality of the sound is not in practice all that high a priority for most people.  The prevalence of Apple MP3 players is one further proof of that for me:  I was shocked recently in a direct comparison between my Sony and a friend's iPod by how much better the Sony sound seemed to me.

When you master something, you're always aiming at some kind of objective standard if only as a kind of baseline, always in the knowledge that even if you think you've achieved it, you still have no control over how people are going to be hearing it. Usually the best you can do is to play your finely considered stereo master through a single two-inch loudspeaker.  If that doesn't sound acceptable, then your finely considered stereo master probably needs a further rethink.

Hence my alarm at your expressed hope that there might some day be a definitive edition as a remedy for the implicit failures of cloth-eared transfer technicians and ignorant, uncaring record company executives - none of whom, I'm pleased to say, has in fact been anywhere near this whole project.  


Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Kevin Cryan on 10.03.09 at 11:59

on 03/10/09 at 10:10:51, Pete Atkin wrote :
......   More than that, it seems to me that the general acceptability of MP3 sound must mean that the quality of the sound is not in practice all that high a priority for most people.  ....................


A piece of research by Jonathan Berger (http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~brg/), Professor of Music at Stanford University, California, seems to support (http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/personal_tech/article5847674.ece) that particular view.


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 10.03.09 at 13:37
Interesting points, Andrew.  Thanks for that.  But....


Quote:
"That ain't no bummer'"?, she said. "That's not much of a line".
I assured her that that was the way in which musicians talked to each other about such things. "That doesn't mean he has to use it in the lyric", she said.


No, he doesn't.  But he chose to.  I don't think there's any moral imperative about the choice of words in a lyric.


Quote:
At that point she heard the line about the "synthesiser played by elves". "He's just using that because he's said 'twelves' and hasn't got anything to rhyme with it", she said, clearly sensing that by now she was on a roll, not that anyone would have said that in the mid 70s. (And I think she may have had a point here).  


No, actually, I think she got it exactly the wrong way around.  My guess - and it is, of course, only a guess, albeit an educated one - is that the elves came first


Quote:
At this point my brother jumped in - "Just because the lyric mentions a bell it doesn't mean we have to hear one", he chipped in. "I don't know why the arrangement is so literal".


Umm.... it's a joke.   The whole song is a joke.   I thought that the use of a bicycle bell as the warning bell might have been a clue.


Quote:
after hearing 'Perfect Moments' I fell upon a deletion which had 'My Old Flame' on it. Of course, I bought it.  Now, 'My Old Flame' is a fine track, but for the last few years I've had the notion that Clive James chose it because it fitted rather better into the rhyme scheme and scansion than, say, Ornithology or A Night In Tunisia might have done.


Couple of things about this:  I don't think it's too much to say that Clive finds uptempo bebop a bit hard to cope with (there are clues in Cultural Amnesia), and it's Parker's slow ones that he'd always be more likely to pick out.  That probably means that 'Don't Blame Me' would be the likeliest alternative choice.  But in his note for the song in the new reissue (now available just a click or two away from where you are now) he refers to Parker's "ruin" of a solo on 'My Old Flame', whioch makes me wonder if perhaps he wasn't actually thinking about 'Lover Man', from the session where Parker, just about to go into rehab, was so sick he could barely hold the sax to his lips, let alone keep it there, but managed to construct something wholly musical and yet almost unbearably poignant for non-musical reasons.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Andrew_Curry on 10.03.09 at 23:02
Help! How does one respond?

Pete - Of course I agree with you. And I did understand that the song was a joke, even at a tender age. ('It's got more jewels than Princess Grace/ Buckminster Fuller designed the case' was a clue, as was the name of this fantastickal watch.) And that was kind of, well, how do I put this? - supposed to be the point of the story.

So perhaps I shouldn't have tried to share my deep family traumas on the list - or even taken the risk of exposing my mother's terribly fallible judgment when it came to song lyrics, or my brother's when it came to song arrangements (my brother's has improved with age, although I'm not sure about my mother's).

Heavens, perhaps I made the mistake of thinking that because she'd used 'She's Leaving Home' as the basis for an English lesson in the days when teachers weren't supposed to admit, at least in class, to knowing who the Beatles were, that she'd be open to some of the best song lyrics it's been my pleasure to enjoy. Perhaps I should have started her off on something more obviously literary, or certainly more serious, or more self-evidently technically proficient ('Thief in the Night' might have done it. Or 'Carnations on the Roof', or 'Payday Evening' - well, all of the Voices could suggest a better place to start, I suspect.) Perhaps I shouldn't have had damning pre-Atkin form - in terms of improving my family's cultural frames of reference - of once having suggested that The Nice's Nutrocker was quite an interesting take on Tchaikovsky, or that King Crimson were intriguing. But our pasts are full of things we might not have done had we been wiser, if not older, at the time.

Thanks for the thoughts on Charlie Parker and My Old Flame. When my brother's musical judgment improved he wrote an interesting radio play about two English jazz fans trying to 'spring' Parker from the Camarillo State Mental Institution. That moment you describe (which I had forgotten) of the strung-out Parker, right on the edge of breakdown, summoning the 'Lover Man' solo from his depths, against all odds and every expectation, is surely one of the great moments of 20th century musical history, and is so well told by Ross Russell in his biography. I always enjoyed the irony of 'Relaxin' at Camarillo', a title which must be lost on almost everyone who hears the track.

Andrew  

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 11.03.09 at 09:33

Quote:
Help! How does one respond?

Listen - don't worry about it!

By chance, Ken Clarke's Radio 4 jazz series yesterday featured Charlie Parker.  He placed Parker at the very peak of the pantheon.  Being Radio 4, there wasn't all that much music, but what there was was good (almost inevitably), although none of our as it were featured tracks were included.   It's available for the next week on BBC Listen Again.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by John N L Morrison on 11.03.09 at 23:41

on 03/10/09 at 10:10:51, Pete Atkin wrote :
Well, John, there's not much reason to assume that.  It's perfectly OK to prefer the sound of vinyl (or indeed the sound on any particular medium), but it's not OK in my book to say that it's somehow 'truer'.  It isn't.   The transfer from the magnetic medium (tape) to the physical one (disc) is a much bigger technical leap even than the big compression from CD to MP3, and far more compromised than the transfer from magnetic to digital.

It's no surprise to me that the cleverness of MP3 sampling means you can detect the difference between the different masterings, but that doesn't mean that the losses involved in both are therefore inconsiderable.   More than that, it seems to me that the general acceptability of MP3 sound must mean that the quality of the sound is not in practice all that high a priority for most people.  The prevalence of Apple MP3 players is one further proof of that for me:  I was shocked recently in a direct comparison between my Sony and a friend's iPod by how much better the Sony sound seemed to me.

When you master something, you're always aiming at some kind of objective standard if only as a kind of baseline, always in the knowledge that even if you think you've achieved it, you still have no control over how people are going to be hearing it. Usually the best you can do is to play your finely considered stereo master through a single two-inch loudspeaker.  If that doesn't sound acceptable, then your finely considered stereo master probably needs a further rethink.

Hence my alarm at your expressed hope that there might some day be a definitive edition as a remedy for the implicit failures of cloth-eared transfer technicians and ignorant, uncaring record company executives - none of whom, I'm pleased to say, has in fact been anywhere near this whole project.  


Dear Pete,

Oh gosh, a (the?) MV deity has come down from Olympos and hurled a few lightning bolts in my direction. Can I try to explain a bit (bearing in mind that it's your music and your recordings, so you must have the last word)?

It's perfectly OK to prefer the sound of vinyl (or indeed the sound on any particular medium), but it's not OK in my book to say that it's somehow 'truer'.

I was only suggesting that at the time of any '60s/'70s original recordings - when vinyl was all there was to offer to the public - that the artists would have ensured as effectively as possible that the resulting disc-borne product was what they had intended at the time of recording. I presume you felt the same when you committed to the pressing? Surely not to  some Platonic ideal of a perfect outcome through some future medium?

The transfer from the magnetic medium (tape) to the physical one (disc) is a much bigger technical leap even than the big compression from CD to MP3, and far more compromised than the transfer from magnetic to digital.

But isn't this the whole point? Transducers have always been the bane of reproduction (vinyl squiggles to electronic impulses, all sorts of processing at te electronic level, then more squiggles to loudspeakers and thence even  more squiggles into the air  etc) - but now we have the ability to manipulate all of this original stuff digitally, with all the possible compromises that involves. It raises a raft of new issues, as you point out.

It's no surprise to me that the cleverness of MP3 sampling means you can detect the difference between the different masterings, but that doesn't mean that the losses involved in both are therefore inconsiderable.   More than that, it seems to me that the general acceptability of MP3 sound must mean that the quality of the sound is not in practice all that high a priority for most people.  The prevalence of Apple MP3 players is one further proof of that for me:  I was shocked recently in a direct comparison between my Sony and a friend's iPod by how much better the Sony sound seemed to me.

Aren't you arguing against yourself here, Pete? Your first sentence suggests that MP3 can show up critical differences, the second quite the reverse, and I'm not sure what to make of the third. What was the sampling rate of your friend's iPod and your Sony, were you using the same listening gear, and was it using the same sampling regime? I repeat: 256kbs AAC sampling sounds pretty nigh identical to the source to me, and I don't think my ears are that far gone yet. Ive been comparing the various versions using Grado SR80s, which are frankly not that bad.

When you master something, you're always aiming at some kind of objective standard if only as a kind of baseline, always in the knowledge that even if you think you've achieved it, you still have no control over how people are going to be hearing it. Usually the best you can do is to play your finely considered stereo master through a single two-inch loudspeaker.  If that doesn't sound acceptable, then your finely considered stereo master probably needs a further rethink.

I seem to recall that in the '70s there were special little 4-inch box speakers sitting on top of the mixing desk, and the final version had to sound OK through them - right? Only question is: are such compromises still necessary now? Those little speakers would have been squeaky bright and the sound would have had to be tailored appropriately. Not so now.

Hence my alarm at your expressed hope that there might some day be a definitive edition as a remedy for the implicit failures of cloth-eared transfer technicians and ignorant, uncaring record company executives - none of whom, I'm pleased to say, has in fact been anywhere near this whole project.

Oh lor, oh lor, oh lor, oh lumme -I've alarmed you in some way. Not my intention at all, nor  to cast aspersions at anyone - least of all you -  involved in the recent reissues  or strike any wider alarm amongst the MVs in whatever fashion. I was simply commenting on the brand-new Edsel editions which, I reiterate, I bought immediately - as I have every previous reissue - and think are great. I just feel somehow their acoustic qualities  are not necessarily the last word. But - as aforesaid - I'll live very happily with all the versions Pete and Clive have put out (in fact all but the very earliest original vinyls) and tweak the results to suit my aged ears.

Incidentally (and this is probably a completely new thread) does anyone still have copies of the original-most vinyl records? I only have the later reissues.
And this is strictly for Pete - if you're ever in the Canterbury area. come and have a great meal here - my wife is a cordon bleu chef. Clive also, if you're lurking - couldn't get a seat at the Gulbenkian here 3 weeks ahead of your recent gig. Chiz, chiz. Incidentally, have read your socking great book (you know the one) over Xmas. Didn't understand one word of its 876 pages. Or is that just my own Cultural Amnesia? It's currently 19,999 in the Amazon listing - come on, MVs, let's give it a lift! But then my own book is way behind at 173,313....

And an invitation to Steve and Carol for a meal here too. But not necessarily to all the MVs unless Steve is willing to organise a Canterbury PA/CJ rave. in which case we're on for it!

Yours, John

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 12.03.09 at 11:24
Hi, John.  I'll try to keep this brief.  We're in danger of boring everyone to death here.


Quote:
Oh gosh, a (the?) MV deity has come down from Olympos and hurled a few lightning bolts in my direction.


Oh, puh-lease.  So Olympos is in the back streets of Bristol.


Quote:
the artists would have ensured as effectively as possible that the resulting disc-borne product was what they had intended at the time of recording.


The trouble is, I'm not sure I even knew what that was at the time. The recording was just a means to get the song out there, and no more definitive in its way than any given live performance. I was naturally aware that what we put down was going to stand probably, with luck, for quite a while, but surely the central principle of the Platonic ideal is that it cannot be achieved in the real world.


Quote:
"It's no surprise to me that the cleverness of MP3 sampling means you can detect the difference between the different masterings, but that doesn't mean that the losses involved in both are therefore inconsiderable.   More than that, it seems to me that the general acceptability of MP3 sound must mean that the quality of the sound is not in practice all that high a priority for most people.  The prevalence of Apple MP3 players is one further proof of that for me:  I was shocked recently in a direct comparison between my Sony and a friend's iPod by how much better the Sony sound seemed to me."

Aren't you arguing against yourself here, Pete? Your first sentence suggests that MP3 can show up critical differences, the second quite the reverse, and I'm not sure what to make of the third.

I don't think so.  You can almost always hear at least the essence of such fundamental differences in quality on very poor equipment.


Quote:
What was the sampling rate of your friend's iPod and your Sony, were you using the same listening gear, and was it using the same sampling regime?

Don't know, don't care.  Sorry.


Quote:
I seem to recall that in the '70s there were special little 4-inch box speakers sitting on top of the mixing desk, and the final version had to sound OK through them - right? Only question is: are such compromises still necessary now? Those little speakers would have been squeaky bright and the sound would have had to be tailored appropriately. Not so now.

It's always a good idea to check how what you're doing will sound on a crappy little mono radio or nasty ill-fitting headphones, even if finally you decide not to try to adjust for them.


Quote:
Oh lor, oh lor, oh lor, oh lumme -I've alarmed you in some way.

My alarm was simply and entirely at that suggestion:

Quote:
Maybe someday we will have a definitive version of the first 6 records?

The trouble is, that's exactly the kind of comment which, in an Amazon review, say, might cause me not to go ahead and buy.  And since these postings are read by a good number of people who are not themselves Midnight Voices, I was selfishly afraid that some of those might well have reacted as I myself might have done.   As I say, this was a purely selfish reaction (albeit - I do like a nice albeit - one shared by the people who e-mailed me almost instantly), and nothing to do with an attempt to stifle freedom of expression.


Quote:
Incidentally (and this is probably a completely new thread) does anyone still have copies of the original-most vinyl records? I only have the later reissues.

Interesting point.  The RCA pressings are of course completely different masterings from the Philips ones.


Quote:
Incidentally, have read your socking great book (you know the one) over Xmas. Didn't understand one word of its 876 pages. Or is that just my own Cultural Amnesia?

I simply can't and don't believe that for a minute - the not understanding, that is.   My own intellectual credentials are pretty thin and shaky, but I am certain I would have found it just as hugely entertaining and stimulating even if I'd never heard of its author.

Keep up the good work!

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Mike Walters on 12.03.09 at 17:22
I've been following this thread with great fascination and a little bemusement.  While some of the technical discussion has whisked some distance above my head, it's been of great interest even to someone like me who, well, couldn't tell a wah-wah from Akira Kurasawa (I was tempted to make some comment about not fearing geeks who bear gifts, but I wouldn't want to risk Steve's wrath...).  

I'm fascinated partly because I have, quite genuinely, never understood debates about sound quality - understood them emotionally, that is (I don't always understand them intellectually, either, but that's a different issue).  Having had various friends over the years try to persuade me of the merits or otherwise of various recordings, productions, re-masterings, sound systems and the rest, I've just never heard it.  Yes, I can recognise that one sounds different, arguably better, than another, or that if you listen to it on this system you can hear the drummer's wristwatch overwinding, or whatever it might be.  But, except in extreme (negative) cases, I can't say that it's made an iota of difference to my listening pleasure.  The only conclusion I can draw is that either I'm stuck with 'fifty quid ears' or that in my head I'm already hearing the Platonic ideal that Pete refers to, regardless of what's actually playing.  I'd prefer the latter explanation, but suspect the former's closer to the truth.  I'm sure it's my loss.  

On the other hand, I did understand every page, more or less, of 'Cultural Amnesia'.  But then I suspect that, really, John M did too...  

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by John N L Morrison on 12.03.09 at 17:23
OK, Pete, I'll shut up and agree to disagree here and there. Forget the technical stuff, I still love the songs! (And that was a joke about Cultural Amnesia - I was just amazed at how many of the subjects I'd never heard of.)

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Ian Chippett on 12.03.09 at 20:32
Many years ago I had a mate who was a Geek (but at that time he must have been an Ancient Geek) who had what was generally thought to be the best hi-fi in South Bristol. Occasionally he would invite me over to listen to music in what were then the best conditions available but I had to bring along the records as he didn't actually own any. I thought at the time (and still do) that it was better to have a Dansette (where the records would drop down one after the other) and own a few actual records however banal than have optimum studio conditions and not have any records at all.

It was on this very Dansette that I first listened to all the PA catalogue, I now remember. Now I have my own iPod (BTW where do you put the cassettes?) I wonder if my old mate has got around to actually buying a few records.

Ian C

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 12.03.09 at 22:45
It used to be said a long time ago that record buyers divided into two groups: those who put up with the music in order to listen to the equipment, and those who put up with the equipment in order to listen to the music.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Val_Jennings on 13.03.09 at 09:25
I had an Our Price colleague who had a fancy turntable and tone arm which together were so sensitive you could hear even the tiniest imperfection, even on ECM label pressings. It made all seem a bit pointless, I always thought.... :-/

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Mike Walters on 13.03.09 at 09:57
Ian's and Val's stories, and Pete's comment, remind me of a friend I had at university,  Mike Smith (where is he now, I wonder?) who spent what was, particularly by undergraduate standards, a not-so-small fortune on a top quality music system.  The only detail I recall is that, on top of everything else, he'd had to invest in a hefty granite block for his hugely-expensive turntable to sit on.  However, having spent all his money on this extraordinary system, he couldn't afford to buy any records.  He possessed only a very small handful of discs on the 'Music for Pleasure' label.  Needless to say, the music was awful and the pressings were so poor that they immediately negated any benefits generated by the system.  

Mike was a terrific character, with many unexpected talents.  He was a superb craftsman and, in the year before going up to university, he had painstakingly made himself an absolutely beautiful - and glorious sounding - electric guitar.  It perhaps goes without saying that he hadn't the first idea how to play it.  

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Douglas Fergus on 13.03.09 at 10:47
I see on the link to the Edsel reissue of AKAN/TROS on the Smash Flops homepage that there is (/was?) to be an article in Record Collector re the reissues.
Does anybody know which issue of the magazine this refers to?

Douglas



Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 13.03.09 at 11:32
Hi Douglas.  Can't exactly say, not least since Clive and I haven't yet done the interviews!

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Andrew_Curry on 13.03.09 at 17:04
Listening again to Road of Silk, I realised - reading the notes - that it was the incomparable Daryl Runswick playing the bass line at the end of The Man Who Walked Towards The Music (and, according to close study, on several of the other tracks, and on most of Secret Drinker).

I'm not a big fan of Cleo Laine, but I've always liked her Live! At the Carnegie Hall!, which was recorded later in 1973, with Runswick in the line-up. He co-wrote and arranged my favourite track on that record, Wish You Were Here (I  Do Miss You). On that the bass is pretty subdued.

The lyrics are here - song 10. (http://www.btinternet.com/~daryl.runswick/songsvol1.htm)

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 13.03.09 at 19:49

on 03/13/09 at 17:04:01, Andrew_Curry wrote :
Listening again to Road of Silk, I realised - reading the notes - that it was the incomparable Daryl Runswick playing the bass line at the end of The Man Who Walked Towards The Music (and, according to close study, on several of the other tracks, and on most of Secret Drinker).

Daryl's work with Pete goes back a long way: he played double bass on "I Need New Words" (the prototype of "Tongue-Tied") on the 1967 demo album While The Music Lasts (http://www.peteatkin.com/disworks.htm#wtml), and then reprised his part for "Tongue-Tied" on Secret Drinker (http://www.peteatkin.com/sessione.htm) some seven years later.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 14.03.09 at 10:01
Not to disparage Daryl R in any way at all, believe me, but that bass solo fade-out at the end of The Man Who Walked... was all written out - not that Daryl couldn't have improvised what would probably have been a much better and more interesting line, but mainly once again in the cause of maximising studio time by not having to try out different ideas in order to get the kind of thing I was after.  

I think that was something I had mentioned in an early far-too-long draft of the Edsel notes, so thanks for mentioning it here.

It was also part of an idea of mine at the time to try to give a bit of added value to fade-outs. An Array Of Passionate Lovers was another one (I always regretted the fact that we didn't fade that one out completely before the saxes start to repeat it).  The most perceptive among you will have spotted that I've never used fade-outs very often. So ften, it seems to me, they're disappointing or annoying.   My default position has always been to end a song 'properly' unless there's some musical or lyrical or emotional reason not to.  Even so, I'm not sure I'd be able to justify convincingly every single one.  What does anybody else think? (Maybe a case for a new thread.)

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Andrew_Curry on 15.03.09 at 09:25
I've just updated the Wikipedia entry on Pete to include the Edsel re-releases. Was the original entry was written by one of the Voices? (Should this be new thread as well?)

Andrew

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Rob Spence on 15.03.09 at 18:54

on 03/12/09 at 22:45:25, Pete Atkin wrote :
It used to be said a long time ago that record buyers divided into two groups: those who put up with the music in order to listen to the equipment, and those who put up with the equipment in order to listen to the music.

Well, yes, quite! I've been enjoying all the re-releases over the last few days, and, like a lot of people here, reflecting on the fact that this is the third or even, in the case of The Road of Silk, fourth time I've bought these songs. (Original vinyl of ROS left in staff room of terminally awful boys comprehensive in Leeds. The boys used to set fire to the school buses - and were so stupid they did it whilst they were actually on board...)
The technical discussion I found fascinating, but I've never had top-end equipment because it always seemed to me that you also needed an appropriate room, and I never had the space. Audio, ahem, geeks, will doubtless put me right, but I'd have thought a top of the range system would be unlikely to sound its best in a cramped lounge cluttered with furniture, cats, books etc.  Nevertheless, the new CDs seem richer than the old CDs- I've tried playing a few tracks from the See For Miles reissues alongside the new ones, and, if my ears don't deceive me, there does seem to be more detail in the soundscape of the new issues. I never did get that thing audiophiles say about the warmth of the vinyl reproduction, as if vinyl recording were some ancient craft handed down from father to son as part of the initiation into some medieval Guild of Gramophone Recordists, but the new CDs seem crisper, less muddy than the old CDs.
Kevin mentioned the recent research about teenagers lacking discrimination in their hearing of music because they listen mainly on iPods. I came across a fascinating article here, (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13355-music-special-five-great-auditory-illusions.html) that demonstrates how we hear things that aren't actually there - except they are there, because we hear them.
The main thing is that these reissues are brilliant, and have been packaged very well. The booklets alone make them must-haves for most of us, I would imagine.

Whilst we are on the subject, a plug for Avid Records, (http://www.avidgroup.co.uk/) who have a rolling programme of jazz reissues, and recently put out a 4 album package (on 2 CDs) of Blossom Dearie. The release was brought forward to cash in on commemorate her recent death, and as a fan, I am delighted. I had one of the albums, but now have three more, plus some bonus material from albums recorded with others, including Blossom's only appearance alongside King Pleasure. These have been digitally remastered, and sound excellent- I'm discovering detail I hadn't heard before in the subtle playing of the always top-notch jazzmen who accompanied her. Perfect moments, really: 50-odd songs, mostly less than three minutes long, all charming, poignant, funny or distinctive in some other way, and all for £6.99 delivered to your door. The sleeve notes are all there, but it's a very much less-than-Atkinesque booklet. Still, great value!

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by John N L Morrison on 16.03.09 at 12:02

on 03/12/09 at 22:45:25, Pete Atkin wrote :
It used to be said a long time ago that record buyers divided into two groups: those who put up with the music in order to listen to the equipment, and those who put up with the equipment in order to listen to the music.

They must be younger folks. Now I'm an OAP I have a set-up which I find totally satisfying because it makes the music sound great. A useful tip I was once given by an expert hi-fi salesman (John Oakman of Audio T): if you're going to listen to a new hi-fi system, don't take along the records you think have the best sound - take along some you love for the music but which sound crummy on your current system. Then choose the new set-up which makes the bad sound good - the good will sound even better and you'll get more enjoyment from your whole music collection. Worked for me.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Jon Philpot on 25.04.09 at 10:32
Received my subscriber issue of the new (June) issue of Mojo yesterday and found a favourable overview of all the Demon re-releases included. Not available online unfortunately - I have scanned it but don't think I can easily post it here. However would be happy to email it to anyone interested - send me a message

Jon

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 25.04.09 at 11:22
Mmm - that's nice. Don't know where Irvin got "Ate-kin" though!

And here (http://www.peteatkin.com/download/shindig.pdf)'s another, this from Shindig.

SJB

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Seán Kelly on 26.04.09 at 20:03
Aah "Sunlight Grate" conjuring up that magical moment when the sun shines through the window and lights up.. the fireplace.  Still I can forgive all when he calls them "this brilliant partnership".

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Paul Leighton on 28.04.09 at 13:28

Having now acquired all the new pressings from Edsel and the really quite extraordinarily
detailed annotations from our heroes, I would have to say that I am as happy as a pig in......except I suppose that pigs in Mexico may be feeling the heat.  However, anxious as I am to save my bacon in the face of that remark,  perhaps I should just say a very warm thankyou to Pete and his Edsel colleagues for a new and very splendid packaging of my favourite tracks.  
Perhaps my Amazon review..."Old Gems - Repolished" is a good indication of why, as a journalist, I never made it as a sub writing headlines!

My best wishes to all
Leighton - late of the Telegraph and the BBC! (Rather like Creighton of the Diplomatic Service, Fabian of the Yard or Luck of the Legion - only less successful!) ;)

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Val_Jennings on 28.04.09 at 13:49
I must say I'm glad people seem to like these reissues, although it would be nice if there were more reviews posted on Amazon!

Val

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Richard Bleksley on 28.04.09 at 23:02
Another thought on the Shindig review.

Surely this must be be the first time our hero has ever been compared to The Bee Gees?
Unless there are some other musical Gibb brothers around somewhere...

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 11.05.09 at 11:45
Record Collector (http://www.peteatkin.com/download/reccolljun09.pdf) review.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Douglas Fergus on 12.05.09 at 16:28
Hello all,

This is my first mail since I joined.
Firstly may I say what a pleasure it is to be among the MVs.

Regards the recent reviews of the re-releases, in the June issue of MOJO, it states Pete Atkin (pronounced Ate-kin).
Is it just me?
I always thought  Pete's surname was pronounced phonetically as it is spelt.
I'm sure I've heard CJ say thus and in announcements following Pete's radio productions, although I gather it is sometimes mistakenly spelt as Atkins.
Perhaps some kind soul would reassure me that I have not been mispronouncing the great man's name for the past quarter of a century.
That aside, it is a favourable review, apart from dismissing Live Libel - forshame!
I believe there has been one in Uncut magazine. If so I missed it. Has anyone posted a scan?

The re-releases are terrific imho and fantastic value considering the quality, bonus tracks, liner notes and archive photographs.
I have also purchased other albums from Hillside Music. The Lakeside Sessions and Live in Australia are a snip at £9 each for a double cd and the service is impeccable. I received one order within 24 hours and I live on an island on the west of Scotland.

Cheers,

Douglas

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 12.05.09 at 17:31
Hello Douglas

As well as 'Atkins', Pete does often suffer (but not permit) 'Aitken' or 'Aitkin', both in speech and in print. My suspicion is that the innocent Mojo reviewer noted too well the mistaken opinion of an office colleague whose only exposure to our man's name might have been one of the numerous occasions on stage, screen and radio when it's been mispronounced! Thus are errors propagated and perpetuated.

Yes, Pete did mention a review in Uncut, not a publication I was thitherto aware of. Does anyone here have a link, scan or transcript?

BTW, the MV Forum believes you've posted twice before (http://www.peteatkin.com/cgi-bin/mv/YaBB.cgi?board=news;action=usersrecentposts;username=VdGGfan) :). One more and you'll be on the leader board (http://www.peteatkin.com/cgi-bin/mv/YaBB.cgi?board=;action=mltop)!

Steve

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Val_Jennings on 12.05.09 at 18:31
Here's the Uncut review:

Uncut, May 09
3 stars

Following last year’s Midnight Voices, where Atkin re-recorded some of the early songs he wrote with lyricist Clive James when both were Cambridge Footlights pals, Edsel are now re-releasing all six of their out-of-print collaborative efforts, recorded between 1970 and 1975. Atkin went on to produce stalwart BBC shows like Just A Minute and Week Ending while Clive James went on to become Clive James. Today, it’s James’ witty, thoughtful, literate lyrics that generate most interest but Atkin’s singing isn’t without considerable charm.

Mick Houghton


My colleague Alicia puts all the reviews on the product pages on the Demon website, if you want to have a look sometime...

http://www.demonmusicgroup.co.uk/SearchResults?SearchType=Artist&SearchText=Pete+Atkin&Submit=Go

Val Jennings


Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Douglas Fergus on 13.05.09 at 15:05
Hi,

Thanks Steve for the reassurance on the correct pronunciation of Pete's surname.
I was pretty sure I had it right.
How anyone would say it otherwise beats me.
I do recall Terry Wogan once joke that there was a West Indian player in the Scotland rugby squad (Jim Aitken - geddit!)

Thanks also for the Uncut review.

Meant to mention what a great song Canoe is. Heard it first on Live in Australia and consider it as good as anything Pete & Clive have come up with. The studio version is, if anything, even better imo.  Colin Tully and I used to be pals at primary school (many, many moons ago).

Sorry to be Mr Inquisitive again, but I missed the beginning of Clive's appearance on BBC 1's The One Show the other day. Wondered if he mentioned the re-releases. I think he was on mainly to promote his live shows.
Iirc, last time he appeared on the same show he gave the Midnight Voices album a plug.

Cheers,

Douglas



Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Pete Atkin on 13.05.09 at 17:13
Hi, Douglas.   It mystifies me too, the pronunciation thing.  As far as I'm concerned A+T="at" and K+I+N="kin".  Put 'em together and what do you get?   There are all those variant spellings, it's true, but why the Mojo bloke should go to the particular lengths of instructing his readers wrongly beats me.  But he's strangely not alone in jumping to that perverse conclusion.

And no, Clive wasn't able to get in a plug on The One Show, sadly.  It is surprisingly difficult to turn these things to anything other than the programme's planned agenda.

I hope some of you will be able to go and see Clive on one of his upcoming dates, and maybe even ask him a question...  Or ask him to give you a song ....

I'm hoping - expecting, even - that the review in the June Record Collector magazine will not preclude the later appearance of the longer feature in that excellent publication for which Clive and I gave interviews a few weeks ago.


Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Tiny_Montgomery on 13.05.09 at 17:33
Whenever I see Clive James on programmes like The One Show, I realise again why he gave up the telly.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Richard Bleksley on 16.05.09 at 10:14

on 05/13/09 at 17:13:58, Pete Atkin wrote :
  It mystifies me too, the pronunciation thing.  As far as I'm concerned A+T="at" and K+I+N="kin".  Put 'em together and what do you get?


My goodness, Pete, you're comparatively lucky. You should hear the mess people make of my name, especially those telephone sales idiots. Sometimes they seem to think, in defiance of the evidence on front of their eyes, that I'm Polish.

Think Bexley in Kent with an extra L, and you're there. Quite simple, really. Can't anybody read these days?

I should mention that, the first time we met face to face, you got it absolutely correct. 5 stars to Mr. Atkin.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Seán Kelly on 16.05.09 at 11:02

on 04/28/09 at 13:49:49, Val_Jennings wrote :
I must say I'm glad people seem to like these reissues, although it would be nice if there were more reviews posted on Amazon!

Val


Fair point that Val - and I think you are not the first to make it - so I put a little review up on amazon.co.uk of AKAN/TROS.  Many thanks for all your work on these re-releases Val - it is genuinely appreciated to have them out in such a fine form!

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Val_Jennings on 18.05.09 at 13:03
Excellent stuff - thank you. There's now one review apiece for all but SD+LL. Whilst I appreciate that most MVs (and Clive) seem to regard 50% of this pairing like an embarrassing uncle at Christmas, perhaps somebody could have a go at trumpeting the wonders of the first half...

Val

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 19.05.09 at 09:24
Here (http://www.netrhythms.com/reviews.html#peteatkin)'s Mike Davies' review for NetRhythms.

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Douglas Fergus on 22.05.09 at 15:44
Steve,

After following your link to the NetRhythms review, I noticed it referred to a sample from The Pearl Driller on Lemon Jelly's  "Nice Weather for Ducks".
I have that  cd single!  Never noted the connection before, so after digging it out, I found it is indeed there - a guitar motif.
No credit given to Pete on the sleeve, however  >:(

Cheers,

Douglas

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Richard Bleksley on 31.05.09 at 12:33
Now, it's just possible that the executives in the Despatch Department of Hillside Records may have been wondering why this loyal MV has been dragging his feet for so long over acquiring the Demon re-releases. The reason is that my dear wife kindly undertook to give them to me for my birthday; and today being, not only the aniversary of the Battle of Jutland (1916), but also my birthday, said re-releases came into my hot little hands this morning.  And gave me a little birthday surprise.

I always expected to find the new song-by-song notes interesting, but I certainly didn't expect to find my own name mentioned in them. My God! Fame at last!

By the way, with reference to the notes on Ballad of an Upstairs Window, yes, I do actually remember Goldie the fugitive eagle, and always presumed the name of the budgie was a jokey reference. Just showing my age, I suppose.

Right, let's go and play the things...

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by Kevin Cryan on 02.06.09 at 15:55
http://new.assets.thequietus.com/images/articles/1705/james_1243258163_crop_550x307.jpg

This photograph and an item entitled Clive James On Rock Music - And Why It Must Be Turned Down (http://thequietus.com/articles/01705-clive-james-pete-atkin-interview-album-reissues) by Joel McIver appeared on the site of newish online music magazine The Quietus (http://thequietus.com/) on the 26th of May 2009.

Kevin Cryan

Addendum

About The Quietus (http://thequietus.com/about)

Title: Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
Post by S J Birkill on 20.06.09 at 01:05
Here (http://www.americana-uk.com/auk/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=4700)'s a cool review, on the AmericanaUK (http://www.americana-uk.com/auk/index.php) Website.

And here (http://www.peteatkin.com/images/maverick.jpg)'s another, from Maverick magazine (one of them, anyway) for July -- uses the f**k word twice too often, though.

Steve



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