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Friday, October 2, 2009

Sign of the Three Eyed Men - Another Fan's Review

Sign of the three eyed men

Greetings Friends of Texas Psych!

A few weeks ago, I finally broke down and spent a ransom on the Elevators Box Set, "Sign of the three eyed Men". Kiloh and I have since discussed the positive and negative aspects within the CDs and the Book.

The Positive aspect is: The Music is Out!

The Negative aspect is: The Music is Botched...!

Now, it this point, I am going to ask, politely, for members to refrain from sending me a howling stream of vitriolic and threatening e-mails for pointing out the worst news of all:

It appears the recordings were botched from the start, during the original recording sessions.

The brand of reel-to-reel tape IA chose to supply to the engineers was only the most inexpensive on the market; The photos of the “3M” boxes make this contention perfectly clear.

AMPEX tape machines of the vintage used to record the bands for IA came with a manual, just like the high-tech devices of today. The manual states clearly, "Use AMPEX Tape ONLY!"

Now, some of you may question this as an attempt by Big Corporate America to make a little more money on continued sales. Tape machines, however, do REQUIRE the recommended brand of tape be used for proper results. Within our group, we do have people versed in the use and care of this type of analogue equipment. If the wrong tape "bias" is used in a machine, the results will be disappointing...

Add to this the fact the Contact Sessions are from a deteriorating tape...

"She Lives" on the Stereo Easter Everywhere is from an old cassette that has been knocking around Austin for years... It is deteriorated to the point it is almost a loss...

The people who compiled the music leaned on the "Compression" switch; Some of the tracks, Wait for My Love, Splash 1 (Easter) and Right Track Now are mashed to the point of annoyance... Without "Sour Grapes", really, some of our recordings sound better; Clear, broad and full as intended by the artists.

The best track, in my opinion, in the whole morass of bad tapes and compression is "Reverberation" from the metal acetate. This is the Shining Star...! It showcases a rough garage sound only Austin could produce! And, it gives those of us not fortunate to have seen the Elevators in the early days a chance to hear what "Was and Could Have Been!"

If I had more time, there is a great deal to type about the Set. But, at this time, I am at the end of Professional Re-Education so, it is time for me to go silent, again...

Michael

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