Buffalo Springfield - Box Set

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lukpac
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Buffalo Springfield - Box Set

Postby lukpac » Sat Dec 27, 2003 4:58 pm

So, after a few years, I *finally* got this one - Xmas gift. After complaining about it in the past, I'd say it's both more enjoyable and more frustrating at the same time.

The whole mono/stereo issue is as annoying as ever. Not only the fact that nearly all of the early tracks are in mono, but that the mono mixes from Again were totally ignored. Were all of those GoldStar demos recorded to mono? Even beyond that, what is the obsession about releasing the first album itself in mono? No, the stereo mix isn't great, but the mono really isn't much/any better. And when you're essentially including it twice, why not have one of each? Most absurd, though, would have to be Neighbor Don't You Worry. Here's a 4 (or more) track recording, *remixed* to mono. Yet the demo of Four Days Gone, which is nothing but vocal and piano, is stereo. Not to mention the band version of Down Down Down. Huh?

Then there's the issue of what's missing. No, it isn't as good as the album version, but the long version(s) of Bluebird is still interesting, and something fans have wanted for years. Then there's the issue of Last Time Around. It's been said that it was never a "real" Buffalo Springfield album, in that many cuts feature only one or two members, but they *included* Kind Woman, which only features Richie Furray, and Special Care, which only has Stills. Would it have been so terrible to include Carefree Country Day or The Hour Of Not Quite Rain? Or the album versions of On The Way Home (the mono mix on the box set seems like nothing more than an "in progress" demo mix), Pretty Girl Why, and Four Days Gone? Surely all of the above are more "worthwhile" than Kahuna Sunset and Buffalo Stomp. And where is the stereo mix of Baby Don't Scold Me (which sounds really nice, actually)?

I won't even get into live tracks, other than to say For What It's Worth was deserving enough to get on the Monterey Pop DVD box set.

Of course, the booklet is quite nice, and some of the demos and outtakes are quite interesting. But it seems like a lot of questionable stuff was included in place of some great songs.

I guess it comes down to I'm glad that I have it now, but "flawed" doesn't begin to describe things...
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Ron » Sun Dec 28, 2003 4:11 am

As regards the s/t and "Again" tracks, is there any appreciable upgrade in sound quality over the single disk releases of those titles? And have a Happy New Year!
Dr. Ron :mrgreen:TM "Do it 'till you're sick of it. Do it 'till you can't do it no more." Jesse Winchester

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Postby lukpac » Sun Dec 28, 2003 11:31 am

I haven't compared much yet. Mr. Hunte claims to hear large differences, FWIW. Good Time Boy did seem a bit better on the box set, from my extra brief listen.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Mike Hunte » Mon Dec 29, 2003 2:19 am

lukpac wrote:I haven't compared much yet. Mr. Hunte claims to hear large differences, FWIW. Good Time Boy did seem a bit better on the box set, from my extra brief listen.


Hunte's a tin-eared pinko. Don't trust him.

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Postby lukpac » Sat Jan 17, 2004 11:14 am

So I decided to really sit down and listen to this thing last night. I must say many of the early demos are nice. Listening to them I was thinking "you know, these sound pretty good in mono, maybe I've got it all wrong about the first album in mono." Then "Clancy" came on. My thoughts turned right to "this sounds worse than I remember it". Oh well - with the exception of Baby Don't Scold Me (and Burned), we already have the first album in stereo on CD, so...

As for the mastering, Good Time Boy sticks out for me as sounding better than any other copy I have (LP transfer, original CD, HDCD CD). I don't know if it's a better tape or simply something with the mastering, but there's a clarity seemingly not present on other versions.

I'd still like to know why they *remixed* some of the outtakes into mono :evil:
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Mike Hunte » Sat Jan 17, 2004 4:49 pm

lukpac wrote:
I'd still like to know why they *remixed* some of the outtakes into mono.


Because stereo is a fad you git. It'll never last!

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Postby lukpac » Tue Jan 20, 2004 10:25 pm

Because I'm obsessive/compulsive and a complete egomaniac, I thought I'd come up with my own idea for a BS box set. Maybe when Rhino decides the current one isn't selling enough...

Disc 1

Buffalo Springfield (stereo)
1. Go And Say Goodbye
2. Sit Down I Think I Love You
3. Leave
4. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing
5. Hot Dusty Roads
6. Everybody's Wrong
7. Flying On The Ground Is Wrong
8. Burned *
9. Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It
10. Baby Don't Scold Me
11. Out Of My Mind
12. Pay The Price

13. For What It's Worth

Demos
14. There Goes My Babe
15. Come On
16. Hello, I've Returned
17. Out of My Mind
18. Flying on the Ground Is Wrong
19. I'm Your Kind of Guy
20. Baby Don't Scold Me
21. Neighbor Don't You Worry
22. We'll See
23. Sad Memory
24. Can't Keep Me Down
25. Down Down Down

Outtakes
26. Neighbor Don't You Worry *
27. Down Down Down
28. Kahuna Sunset
29. Buffalo Stomp (Raga)
30. Baby Don't Scold Me (alternate)
31. We'll See


Disc 2

Buffalo Springfield Again (stereo)
1. Mr. Soul
2. A Child's Claim to Fame
3. Everydays
4. Expecting to Fly
5. Bluebird
6. Hung Upside Down
7. Sad Memory
8. Good Time Boy
9. Rock & Roll Woman
10. Broken Arrow

Outtakes and Demos
11. Bluebird (long version)
12. Mr. Soul (alternate)
13. We'll See
14. My Kind of Love
15. Word I Must Say (demo)
16. Nobody's Fool (demo)
17. So You've Got a Lover (demo)
18. My Angel (demo)
19. No Sun Today
20. Down to the Wire
21. Hung Upside Down
22. One More Sign (demo)
23. The Rent Is Always Due (demo)
24. Round and Round and Round (demo)
25. Old Laughing Lady (demo)


Disc 3

Last Time Around
1. On the Way Home
2. It's So Hard to Wait
3. Pretty Girl Why
4. Four Days Gone
5. Carefree Country Day
6. Special Care
7. In the Hour of Not Quite Rain
8. Questions
9. I Am a Child
10. Merry-Go-Round
11. Uno Mundo
12. Kind Woman

Outtakes and Demos
13. Pretty Girl Why (alternate)
14. On the Way Home (alternate)
15. Whatever Happened to Saturday Night? *
16. Falcon Lake (Ash on the Floor)
17. What a Day
18. Four Days Gone (demo)


Disc 4
Buffalo Springfield (mono)
Buffalo Springfield Again (mono)

* Current sources are only mono, but could be remixed into stereo.

That pretty much covers everything, at least except live tracks. Everything from Last Time Around is here, as are the mono and stereo mixes of the first two albums. I've been told there are other versions/mixes of the long Bluebird - those could certainly go on as well. Everything should just about fit as-is. The first two discs are pretty tight, but tracks could easily be moved onto the third disc if need be, as there's a free 25 minutes there. The order of the demos and outtakes basically matches that of the current set (chronological), with a couple of tracks moved around here and there.

The complete Monterey set (tastefully remixed) would be a nice way to fill things out completely.[/u]
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Mike Hunte » Thu Jan 22, 2004 6:11 am

Your box set track-list makes my ears bleed. I demand a refund.

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Postby lukpac » Thu Jan 29, 2004 8:55 pm

No refunds.

This struck me as kind of silly in the notes:

Neil's "On The Way Home," recorded by the original five from November to December 1967 and sung beautifully by Richie, was overdubbed and mixed by Messina without Young (the original version mixed by Neil is revealed for the first time on this box set).


Now, the mix on the box is interesting in its own right, but it seems absurd to think it was a "final mix". The middle section seems totally empty for starters, like there was a solo of some sort intended for it (it *is* where the string break is on the released mix).

I also like how "The Hour Of Not Quite Rain" is called "stunning", yet it isn't included.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby lukpac » Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:03 pm

I find it amazing that for a group that only put out three albums, I have 8 official CDs, a CD-R, a dub of an LP, and a bootleg CD.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby MK » Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:47 pm

Thanks to the magic of CD-R I have the box set and the omitted tracks found on the HDCD version of Last Time Around, so all CD-R's burned have HDCD encoding up and down the list. End result is still only three measly CD-R's with plenty of room to spare, maybe half an hour's worth.

To the box set's credit, it does claim the last disc is a "bonus" disc, but the inflated price would suggest otherwise.

I think Retrospective is a bit easier on the ears, but it's a pretty flimsy compilation, and the box set is not bad at all sonically.