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reissue of Who R U
- Subject: reissue of Who R U
- Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 21:56:29 -0800 (PST)
Was in the store yesterday and by chance saw the new reissues
of WAY and WBN. As I was caught off guard, I did not feel too
compelled to buy both (35 bucks was the issue...), so I looked
at the bonus tracks and selected Who Are You as it had
a version of "Empty Glass" and I was intrigued.
So here's a really quick, spur of the moment "review" of just
a few things I've noticed so far.
First of all, the "Who" version of Empty Glass is interesting in a way
that only something truly awful can ever be. Wow is it bad! Moon's
playing on it is terrible! He can't find the groove (there obviously
wasn't a drum track on the demo) and his sense of timing is
horrific (try to imagine a really drunk eight year old playing drums --
not to insult those eight year old fans out there in Who Land).
I now fully understand just how bad his playing had been reduced to
at this particular time (not that his finished drumming on WAY isn't
good, for I believe that, generally, it is, but this track is truly
telling in regards to the Keith that recorded Who's Next and the Keith
in the last months of his life).
What is initially disturbing of the new WAY is that Astley and company
have not just re-mixed this cd solely in the interest of "boosting" the
sound (as I expected them solely to do); rather, they have "changed" some
of the original tracks. For example, at the end of "Guitar and Pen."
Remember the goofy, somewhat circus-like ending where you think the song
has ended and then it sqawk's again? Well, that funny repitition is now
gone. Plus, they've mixed in Keith pounding on his tom toms to this part
and it sounds like overkill. Why did they do this?
For the life of me, I also swear that they've changed Keith's drum
intro to "Trick Of The Light." I can only compare it
to my memory of the vinyl record, and I swear it's different (perhaps it's
just me). Will somebody check this out for me as my vinyl record is not with
Guess what? The horns on "Had Enough" are also different. Astley has
erased a whole horn section. Why?
For our added benefit, Astley has let "Trick Of The Light" go on longer
than the original vinyl version. We now get more of Pete's kind of
bluesy pickings, but for some reason the track now lacks the bite of
the original. This version would have made an interesting bonus track
but why substitute this for the original?
Of course, all of my comments are moot if all of these changes have
been made years ago when they first transfered WAY to CD, for I have
never heard the "original" WAY CD.
What concerns me most is this: With the new remastered cd's coming out
to seemingly "replace" the "old" cds, will the original, "old" tracks
fade away? It makes me want to run out and find a used copy of the
previous WAY cd and hold on to that pup for dear life.
The reissue features a nice essay by somebody about the recording of
the album. This is good, but the track for track notes that follow
the essay are largely skimpy and unimformative (tsk tsk). Some cool
photos are included, nevertheless, especially the photo of Keith behind
a silver mass of drums (take out the actual cd and there it is beneath).
Anyway, there it is for now. Anyone out there heard the new WBN?
My best, Henry G.