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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review of Disc 8, A Love That's Sound, from Sign of the 3 Eyed Men

a love that's sound
This is a review of Disc 8, from that abortion of a 13th Floor Elevators box set - A Love That’s Sound. This is the only disc that is unique and hasn’t been done before (and better) by somebody else. Meaning, ALL of the material on the other nine CD’s has been released before by somebody else in better quality. OK, OK aside from the stray track that is.

Here is the track listing:

01 - Wait For My Love (unreleased 6th single)
02 - It's You (acetate)
03 - May The Circle Remain unbroken (original mix)
04 - Livin' On (take 1, full take with original vocals)
05 - Never Another (take 8, full take with original vocals)
06 - Dr Doom (take 6, original vocals)
07 - Sweet Surprise (take 5, original vocals)
08 - Moon Song (take 1, unreleased backing track)
09 - Livin' On (take 1, edited and overdubbed lead vocals)
10 - Never Another (rehearsal, unknown take)
11 - It's You (rehearsal, take 3)
12 - Moon Song (rehearsal, take 6)

Obviously, Paul Drummond doesn’t like Stacy Sutherland because none of Mr. Sutherland's  tracks where he does vocals appear. It is apparent Drummond was trying to recreate the “lost” third album by the band to be called Beauty and the Beast. He failed miserably because there was, obviously, so little to work with. We have original takes, that appear on Bull of the Woods (making them duplicates), and duplicate titles (different takes)  of four of the songs on the same disc. This disc is really a catch all for the last “Roky” tracks and NOT an unreleased third album as Drummond calls it.

The worst part of this disc is the thin and two-dimensional sound. This is because those idiots took the warm analog signal and ran some sort of horrible compression program on it once converted to digital. This “boosts” the overall signal across the dynamic range but it also flattens out that same dynamic range. The “warmth” and three-dimensional quality of the sound is utterly lost. This is not my opinion; this is fact. Graph this recording and then graph something put out by the Roky CD Club or graph an original ‘Elevators album. This Charly product is a (pretty much) flat line of constant noise. Shit, put it on and listen to it; let your own ears tell you.

And when you put these Charly discs on your stereo you can’t crank it like you normally want to without the sound getting all brittle-sounding. This is because the signal is ALREADY balls-to-the-wall on the disc. It doesn’t sound clear and loud like it’s supposed to. It sounds crappy and loud; the sound is hot and brittle. This is entirely Drummond/Charly’s fault. And it shows how Mickey Mouse and UN-knowledgeable they really are.

Still, one should get this eighth disc from the abortion of a box set. I think it’s called: Sign of the 3 Eyed Men. The ONLY reason for getting this eighth disc is that it’s still very interesting and unique; in spite of its glaring deficiencies. But this is the ONLY disc from that abortion of a box set that you need.

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Anonymous said...

Michael Jensen
Overall, I agree with Kiloh's comments and opinion on this disc. This is what I wrote a few weeks ago regarding "Bull": "Bull" has not received a proper chance, on its own merits, to actually showcase its artistry. Pompous Horn Sections; Incompetent Recording Techniques; Bad Mastering and Mixing; Poor Pressing... For a fact, I know there is a LOT more still rotting in cans and cases sitting in "Collectors Closets". There are at least 10 takes of "Never Another" fermenting in an old reel-to-reel box, for example. And, with some of the sub-maser tapes still available, there is an opportunity to remix, re-equalize and, lose the distracting horn section. This is the problem: Charly and their tool, Drummond, have the sub-master tapes. If work ever commences on "Bull", we can rest assured it will be compressed into a flat, mashed MP3 Sandwich lacking any of the original fidelity and depth a Sub-Master tape could achieve. A real record company, like "Sundazed" would do the Elevators tapes justice. In fact, "Sundazed" is in possession of a Mixed MONO Master tape of "Psychedelic Sounds". However, they are restricted by Charly to reproducing Psych Sounds on Vinyl ONLY!

Anonymous said...

Firstly, let me just say that I really enjoy this blog! Long time lurker, first time commenter.

Regardless of whether or not "Bull of the Woods" is a good album, these recent reissues are not exactly lining Roky's pockets. Charly is notorious for screwing over their artists (almost as much as International Artists, the 13th Floor Elevators' original record label), and pretty much everything I've bought from them has been sketchy in one way or another. That said, the online retailer Burning Shed stocks their stuff, and is much less sketchy. If you do buy it, I'd recommend going through them. That said, Charly and Elevators biographer Paul Drummond seem to be as in-it-for-themselves as anyone else who's previously released Elevators material, especially considering that the new vinyl-only box set ("Music of the Spheres") contains a "newly-discovered" track that couldn't be included on any of the other simultaneously-released reissues! Talk about extortionists!

Anonymous said...

After the release of the 10 disk box set, International Artist is releasing the 3 13th Floor Elevator albums as stand alone sets. For Psychedelic Sounds and Easter Everywhere, the addition of alternate bonus tracks from the box set irritated fans, who felt they were being ripped off and forced to buy the same albums multiple times. For Bull of the Woods, you get just the album and a Mono set of songs making up a theoretical 'lost' third album. Many of the songs later appeared on Bull of the Woods. There are no bonus tracks on this set, so it is the exact same album as 'Sign of the 3 Eyed Men' (Boxset) version.

Anonymous said...

I've listened to two separate copies of this album, and both had significant sound quality problems starting with the third track...the music sounds wobbly, like the original tapes that this compilation came from were damaged. Has Charly records put out a flawed/inconsistent product, or is this album supposed to sound like its from the bowels of the archive and intended for completists? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

The nature of the bad sound quality in this album leaves me feeling that this material is not exactly what it claims to be. While I do not question whether or not these tracks came out of the Beauty and the Beast sessions, I do not believe they came from the original masters. I love the Elevators, but this album adds nothing to their legacy. I don't recommend it.

RokySyd said...


RokySyd said...

Drummond is a tool.