TalkAwhile - The Folk Corporation Forum

Music In General => °Active! => Topic started by: Adam on January 18, 2019, 08:22:09 AM



Title: Better on record?
Post by: Adam on January 18, 2019, 08:22:09 AM
In my experience, Iíve found that songs and albums that sound flat or a little dull always sound so much better live. Fairport are a great example of this, along with many others. Iím sure it must be to do with the atmosphere at the gig, crowd reaction, and the immediacy of weaving different instruments together.

I was wondering if any of you fine folk have any experience of where the recorded songs or albums are superior to the live version? Iím not talking about a one-off duff gig, but where something is lost when performed live....


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Andy on January 18, 2019, 10:01:56 AM
Yes' Close To The Edge was better for me on record than the 3 or 4 times I saw it performed live.


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: ColinB on January 18, 2019, 10:16:08 AM
The one time I saw Suzanne Vega many years ago the songs she played sounded exactly as they did on record apart from one which she did solo. And she wasn't the most engaging of performers so I would have been as well staying home and listening to the records. She's the complete opposite of someone like Indigo Girls who again I've only seen once but they played with real energy and emotion. Their records are good but live they are something else.



Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: MarkV on January 18, 2019, 10:20:04 AM
i am often disappointed cd's i buy at  gigs.  Often a brilliant performance by a solo artist, with one guitar.. only to find the cd has multi tracked songs, with layered instruments, bv's etc. Which did not feature at the gig.    


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Jules Gray on January 18, 2019, 10:37:10 AM
It's the other way around for me in that I usually prefer the record.  Live versions only becoming my definitive and preferred version when the artist/band improves on what they recorded rather than struggling to reproduce what they did in the studio.

Jules


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: GubGub (Al) on January 18, 2019, 10:55:16 AM

The one time I saw Suzanne Vega many years ago the songs she played sounded exactly as they did on record apart from one which she did solo. And she wasn't the most engaging of performers so I would have been as well staying home and listening to the records. She's the complete opposite of someone like Indigo Girls who again I've only seen once but they played with real energy and emotion. Their records are good but live they are something else.




That has not been my experience with Suzanne at all. I have seen her 3 or 4 times over a 30 year period and agree that she is quite a reserved personality on stage but drily funny with it and the music has always been spectacular, especially when she has had Lenny Kaye or Mitchell Froom in the band. The arrangements are close to the studio versions but rarely straight carbon copies.


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Dan O. on January 18, 2019, 11:26:15 AM
For the last 16 or so years, I've helped out with the organisation of The Bullfrog Blues Club in Southsea, and we put on gigs the first Thursday of every month. Over the years we've hosted the likes of Deborah Bonham, Aynsley Lister, Big Bill Morganfield (son of Muddy Waters), King King, Geoff Muldaur, Perry Foster, Helen Watson, Dr Feelgood, Chris Smither, and many, many more.

It's been my experience that 80-85% of these artists are brilliant and entertaining live, but make pretty lame cds. The sterility of the studio environment versus the tightrope and the energy of live performance ? Probably. However, many of the cds purchased at the merch stand very likely never get played more than once.


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: GubGub (Al) on January 18, 2019, 11:38:35 AM
The major example of this that comes to my mind (with the caveat that I only ever saw them once), and I appreciate that they are a marmite act in the first place, was Dire Straits. I like the records up to Love Over Gold and bits and pieces of the last two albums but they were extraordinarily dull live, in particular dragging out Romeo & Juliet as a slow dirge when the studio version is light and airy.


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Shane (Skirky) on January 18, 2019, 11:46:46 AM
The early days of Marillion. The live shows were incendiary, but the first album merely helped to accentuate the (then) limitations of some of the performers. Thereís only so much an experienced producer can do, after all. This sort of runs counter-intuitively to what I generally believe, which is that songs that have been Ďrun iní on the road generally make for better studio recordings. You can usually see this in third album syndrome, where bands start trying to reproduce live what they did in the studio rather than play the song to its best extent.


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Chris on January 18, 2019, 11:52:14 AM
Fairport - these days, better live than recorded.

Now tell me I'm on my own :-)


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: GubGub (Al) on January 18, 2019, 11:58:49 AM

Fairport - these days, better live than recorded.

Now tell me I'm on my own :-)


It is an interesting point. Is it because of the material they play live or are the live versions of the modern material better than the studio recordings. Does Our Bus Rolls On spring to life in a live context?


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Dan O. on January 18, 2019, 12:09:51 PM


Fairport - these days, better live than recorded.

Now tell me I'm on my own :-)


It is an interesting point. Is it because of the material they play live or are the live versions of the modern material better than the studio recordings. Does Our Bus Rolls On spring to life in a live context?

I'll respond directly to Gub's question regarding that "bus" song. The last time I saw Fairport, I cringed when they announced it, but then something happened. As it progressed, I realised that the tune is catchy, the musicianship is great, it's just the lyrics I find totally objectionable - as I've stated here at least a couple of times, "an ill-advised attempt at an Angel Delight update." Take those lyrics away, replace them with a different set of words - and you have a fairly decent jaunty modern FC song. As far as live performance goes, I could also tell they'd got better at playing it too - they'd definitely "bedded it in" by playing it live.


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: ColinB on January 18, 2019, 12:16:56 PM

That has not been my experience with Suzanne at all. I have seen her 3 or 4 times over a 30 year period and agree that she is quite a reserved personality on stage but drily funny with it and the music has always been spectacular, especially when she has had Lenny Kaye or Mitchell Froom in the band. The arrangements are close to the studio versions but rarely straight carbon copies.


I saw her in Aberdeen and she made the mistake of saying, "the last time I was here in England" which resulted in her getting roundly booed by the audience. She seemed mystified as to why she got this reaction so a few people shouted out, "you're in Scotland". Rather than apologise she said something like "well I'm talking about when I was in England."

Ok Suzanne, but that's not what you said. She came across as being incredibly arrogant so I've avoided her and her music since then. Not that I hold a grudge or anything. †;)


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Brendan on January 18, 2019, 12:37:57 PM
I think some material come alive with a live performance, particularly with event performances one example which springs to mind is The Waterboys Mr Yeats which was definitely enhanced by the live performance. I have probably only listened to the album once.


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: mickf on January 18, 2019, 01:21:00 PM
I remember seeing 10CC (original line up) back in the 70s. They had just released 'The Original Soundtrack', following on from '10CC' and 'Sheet Music'. Whilst I recall enjoying the concert, it wasn't a patch on the records. I suppose they were a 'studio band', in that they used a lot of overdubs etc on record. Seeing them at Cropredy a year or two back, I was just happy to hear those songs again and I thoroughly enjoyed the set.


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Shankly (Peter) on January 18, 2019, 01:27:50 PM

I remember seeing 10CC (original line up) back in the 70s. They had just released 'The Original Soundtrack', following on from '10CC' and 'Sheet Music'. Whilst I recall enjoying the concert, it wasn't a patch on the records. I suppose they were a 'studio band', in that they used a lot of overdubs etc on record. Seeing them at Cropredy a year or two back, I was just happy to hear those songs again and I thoroughly enjoyed the set.


That reminds me - I saw them at Knebworth in 1976 when the Stones played there and they were completely lost in the huge crowd, especially playing in daylight.


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: John From Austin on January 18, 2019, 05:15:04 PM
There can be such a wide difference between the studio and live versions of an artist's material, and different reasons why.

The early Who famously couldn't reproduce their studio records on stage with only three musicians and a singer, so they turned up the volume to 11 and created a whole new experience for the live audience.

By contrast, the Eagles have always prided themselves on reproducing their records live, note for note.  As they aged, they continually added side musicians to supplement the instrumentation and vocals so they could continue this tradition.  For them, it's an artistic choice.

But to your question, for me it comes down to whether the performer is charismatic (or cares) enough to put on a great live show.  Leonard Cohen, hell yes.  Van Morrison, with all those great records, not so much...


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Bingers (Chris) on January 24, 2019, 07:07:14 PM

The major example of this that comes to my mind (with the caveat that I only ever saw them once), and I appreciate that they are a marmite act in the first place, was Dire Straits. I like the records up to Love Over Gold and bits and pieces of the last two albums but they were extraordinarily dull live, in particular dragging out Romeo & Juliet as a slow dirge when the studio version is light and airy.


Absolutely agree. I love (most) of the records especially Making Movies but seeing Dire Straits live  (admittedly in the aircraft hangar of Wembley Arena) they proved to be very tedious creating very little atmosphere


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: davidmjs on January 24, 2019, 07:12:23 PM


The major example of this that comes to my mind (with the caveat that I only ever saw them once), and I appreciate that they are a marmite act in the first place, was Dire Straits. I like the records up to Love Over Gold and bits and pieces of the last two albums but they were extraordinarily dull live, in particular dragging out Romeo & Juliet as a slow dirge when the studio version is light and airy.


Absolutely agree. I love (most) of the records especially Making Movies but seeing Dire Straits live †(admittedly in the aircraft hangar of Wembley Arena) they proved to be very tedious creating very little atmosphere


I saw them at the Hammy Odeon in '83.  Quite enjoyed them tbh, but I can honestly say that apart from a touch of radio play I haven't listened to a note the band played in well over 3 decades....


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: GubGub (Al) on January 24, 2019, 10:33:41 PM


The major example of this that comes to my mind (with the caveat that I only ever saw them once), and I appreciate that they are a marmite act in the first place, was Dire Straits. I like the records up to Love Over Gold and bits and pieces of the last two albums but they were extraordinarily dull live, in particular dragging out Romeo & Juliet as a slow dirge when the studio version is light and airy.


Absolutely agree. I love (most) of the records especially Making Movies but seeing Dire Straits live †(admittedly in the aircraft hangar of Wembley Arena) they proved to be very tedious creating very little atmosphere


Same venue as me. Perhaps we were at the same gig.


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Bingers (Chris) on January 25, 2019, 07:44:00 AM



The major example of this that comes to my mind (with the caveat that I only ever saw them once), and I appreciate that they are a marmite act in the first place, was Dire Straits. I like the records up to Love Over Gold and bits and pieces of the last two albums but they were extraordinarily dull live, in particular dragging out Romeo & Juliet as a slow dirge when the studio version is light and airy.


Absolutely agree. I love (most) of the records especially Making Movies but seeing Dire Straits live †(admittedly in the aircraft hangar of Wembley Arena) they proved to be very tedious creating very little atmosphere


Same venue as me. Perhaps we were at the same gig.


Seems very likely judging from our similar reactions  :)


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Alan2 on January 27, 2019, 03:08:08 PM
Family.  I've liked their records for along time but they sure  were erratic live.


Title: Re: Better on record?
Post by: Nick on January 28, 2019, 10:02:13 AM
I think Cocteau Twins produced some of the finest records of all time. I have pretty much everything they recorded and on the whole I reckon they were flawless studio musicians.

I count myself lucky to have seen them several times in concert. When they were on form they were a good show. When stuff was going wrong however they could be painful.

I'm afraid I have to file them under 'Better On Record'.

Dead Can Dance on the other hand have been spellbinding each time I've seen them, and I love the records. Win-win.  :)

Cheers

Nick