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Albini that for a dollar
May 22, 2009 2:39 PM   Subscribe

In 1997 Steve Albini produced a re-recording of Cheap Trick's (warning: may automatically start playing awesome music) In Color album. It is suspected that it was released by a disgruntled employee. It contains an awesome version of Lennon's I Want You to Want Me even though Yoko didn't approve
posted by Elmore (48 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
This post has everything good in life: Steve Albini, Cheap Trick, and Yoko Ono's disapproval.
posted by lekvar at 2:43 PM on May 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


This post may contain errors.
posted by anazgnos at 2:45 PM on May 22, 2009


You meant I'm Losing You, right?

The Albini In Color is cool, but it seems unfinished in spots - like no audible bass guitar (12-string or otherwise) on "Southern Girls".

Also, I'll be disgruntled if this Steve Albini post goes better than mine did...
posted by anazgnos at 2:47 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Background information may be obtained here, but the gist of it is that Cheap Trick went into the studio to re-record the album due to the fact that the original record was mixed by Helen Keller.

I knew the Trick was old, but not that old. To be fair, Hellen was on death's door, but she wanted to do one last kickass album before the good lord escorted her onwards. Cheap Trick were young, and they were being nice at the time. In retrospect, it could have gone better.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:49 PM on May 22, 2009


Also, I'll be disgruntled if this Steve Albini post goes better than mine did...

Well, that is unlikely now, isn't it?
posted by Elmore at 2:49 PM on May 22, 2009


The MP3s are linked from the 5th link. They are truly amazing. Thank you.
posted by unSane at 2:49 PM on May 22, 2009


I love this thing.

Is there anywhere I can actually procure this?
posted by koeselitz at 2:50 PM on May 22, 2009


Yeah, Lennon did not write "I Want You To Want Me."
posted by Ironmouth at 2:54 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


No shit
posted by Elmore at 2:56 PM on May 22, 2009


That was Nabokov.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 2:57 PM on May 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


koeselitz: It has never been properly released (it finally found its way into the hands of a few collectors via a master-sourced CD leaked by an ex-employee of the band's), though looking to the future I hope it will one day be finished and properly released.

In short: try eBay, but probably too expensive or never actually listed. And those might all just be CDrs from the master, not actually pressed silver CDs.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2009


This post is missing the "quintuple neck guitar" tag.
posted by not_on_display at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2009


Irregardless of errors, this post kicks ass. Thanks Elmore.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:10 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


So McCartney wrote "I Want You To Want Me", yeah?
posted by mazola at 3:25 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Robin Zander is the greatest front man in history.
posted by MarshallPoe at 3:29 PM on May 22, 2009


Here's a funny story. So someone asked Ed Sullivan, like, what's your favorite Lennon/McCartney tune. And he said "I Want You To Want Me", which is funny 'cause that one was written by George Harrison!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:30 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm confused, I think you mean Lennon's "I'm Losing You", no?
posted by ill3 at 3:31 PM on May 22, 2009


Irregardless of errors, this post kicks ass. Thanks Elmore.

Paging cortex!
posted by ericb at 3:47 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm confused, I think you mean Lennon's "I'm Losing You", no?

ill3, I think you are right.

From the last hyperlink in the FPP:
"'I'm Losin' You'was a song from John Lennon's Double Fantasy album, back when Cheap Trick worked with Lennon. Lennon's wife Yoko Ono fired the band, but the song remained intact (with Nielsen's guitars and Carlo's drums) The song is also available in an unreleased remake of In Color, which was produced by Steve Albini....I questioned Bun E. about what is was like working with John Lennon on 'Double Fantasy.' He said it was great playing with Lennon, but that Yoko was a "f...ing bitch." He claimed the Lennons 'stole' some of Nielsen's riffs that he contributed to 'Losing You' without compensating Nielsen for them. It's fairly common knowledge that Yoko resented having to pay their session fees so this makes sense....The only Cheap Trick/Lennon stuff that's surfaced is the version of 'I'm Losing You' which is on the Lennon anthology. By the way, it was just Nielsen and Carlos who played with Lennon."
posted by ericb at 3:52 PM on May 22, 2009


Paging cortex!

He's not around, none of them are, I've been paging them for ages now...
posted by Elmore at 3:52 PM on May 22, 2009


Fuck it. I failed. I thought this had enough awesome Cheap Trick to reel jonmc back in... Well, fuck this, and fuck that, and fuck you... you pompous idiots.
posted by Elmore at 4:10 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thank you!
This has been something of a craptacular week. I needed this.

Once when I was looking thru some old mix tapes I was shocked to see how often I fit Downed in. One fine tune, always welcome.

I agree - jonmc come back.
posted by readery at 4:20 PM on May 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


It will take more than Cheap Trick to lure in jonmc, I think a bottle of good whiskey and some high powered elephant tranquilizers might do the trick. Don't get you fingers near his teeth though.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:21 PM on May 22, 2009


I got whisky and horse tranquilizers... should have I mentioned that in the post? Fuck!
posted by Elmore at 4:32 PM on May 22, 2009


Steve and I graduated from Hellgate High school in Missoula, Montana together in 1980. I used to pal around with him back then. I could tell he was a very smart and driven guy, but with a significantly brash and arrogant side to his personality.

Montana's first punk band was called "Just Ducky" and created by Steve. At the time, I was creating Stan Brakhage style "direct stock" 16mm films by manipulating images directly onto already exposed film stock. Steve asked me to project one of my films during Just Ducky's performance. It was a weird mixture; Steve Albini's punk band playing at a frat-jock bar combined with a 60's style "light show". In Montana. I think a TV was destroyed on stage...

I saw Steve perform here in Seattle some years back in his band "Rapeman".

Too bad the Cheap Trick links are borked...
posted by Tube at 4:46 PM on May 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh, so downloaded. I haven't listened yet, but this is pretty exciting! The mix of In Color has always driven me crazy -- the nadir of bad 70's carpeted-isolation-booth recording technique. They resuscitated quite a few on Budokan (got the complete show remaster back a few years ago -- that's what CDs are for) thankfully, but I've just never been able to listen to the studio thing. Their first album & Heaven Tonight were formative for me as a player in the 70s, & still get major air time on my iPod today. My old punk band from the 80's adopted He's a Whore as a theme song -- it was the only cover we did and was always such a blast to play.

Albini's mixes can be abrasive and shrill sometimes (I think maybe he has a hearing loss problem above about 4K) but at least they're not utterly sterile and dry. Thanks for posting this!
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:55 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Albini's mixes can be abrasive and shrill sometimes

But that's what I like about what he does. To my ear his best stuff is what he did with The Wedding Present. To make Gedge's voice really cut through the songs was just... very very good.
posted by Elmore at 5:05 PM on May 22, 2009


> To my ear his best stuff is what he did with The Wedding Present.

Seconded! Seamonsters is a *fantastic* album. The unholy racket he coaxed out of the band throughout "Lovenest" (and the long fade-out/in leading up to "Corduroy") is tuneful noise at its very best.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:22 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yup Card Cheat. It's without doubt my favourite album of all time. That and Melvin's Bullhead. Oh, and one of the greatest songs ever - Just Got Paid Today by Rapeman (Albini related).
posted by Elmore at 5:31 PM on May 22, 2009


Yeah, but apart from that the Wedding Present are probably the best band ever, especially for love songs. When song begin with lines like , "There's one more thing..." That is genius.
posted by Elmore at 5:34 PM on May 22, 2009


I wish this had been a post about the Wedding Present.
posted by Elmore at 5:35 PM on May 22, 2009


Well Elmore you know what to do about that. As a starter - the Weddies cover version of Orange Juice's 'Felicity.'
posted by carter at 6:16 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


If it sounds unfinished it's because it is unfinished. There are guitar parts and vocal harmonies that the band have not yet recorded and the recordings were only rough mixed. Even in it's unfinished state it sounds miles better than the original version.

Here's a quote from Rick concerning the "new" In Color: "We haven't made any plans for it, but we didn't record it for a joke. We didn't go at it trying to come up with crazy new arrangements, but sonically we never liked In Color. The songs were good, but sonically it's wimpy and we're not wimpy. We left before it got mixed and were told 'We'll fix it in the mix' by our record company (back then) and our ex-manager. Well, they went the other way."
posted by ericthegardener at 6:16 PM on May 22, 2009


Steve and I graduated from Hellgate High school in Missoula, Montana together in 1980.

My god, back then he was a dead ringer for Rodney Bingenheimer!
posted by scratch at 6:29 PM on May 22, 2009


re Wedding Present, a long while back I did what I think was Dave Gedge's least favorite interview with the band for the magazine LIME LIZARD. I concluded he was a phoney. Could have been wrong. I dunno.
posted by unSane at 8:16 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


You are all wrong. Bizarro is the greatest (Wedding Present) album of all time.
posted by spicynuts at 8:21 PM on May 22, 2009


I will never understand why people sweat Cheap Trick so much.
posted by hpliferaft at 8:44 PM on May 22, 2009


I think maybe he has a hearing loss problem above about 4K

Hell, anyone in rock music over the age of 35 (and not a few in classical and jazz) has that. Mine dips at exactly 4k.

That said, Cheap Trick's mission was complete when they introduced America to not one but two great Roy Wood tunes at once -- California Man, interpolated with The Brontosaurus.
posted by Herodios at 8:54 PM on May 22, 2009


I will never understand why people sweat Cheap Trick so much.

For starters: And they did it all in the pop music desert that was the late 1970s.
posted by Herodios at 9:00 PM on May 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


That site also has the Toadies - Feeler on it.
Double Win!!!!
posted by Senator at 9:13 PM on May 22, 2009


I will never understand why people sweat Cheap Trick so much.

Think of something you sweat and someone you know doesn't. It's just like that, but in reverse. For example, I think Cheap Trick's Dream Police is really awful but my mother doesn't. Whereas I think The Good, The Bad, and The Queen's Herculean is wonderful. My mother doesn't.
posted by juiceCake at 9:50 PM on May 22, 2009


Hmm. All the character's gone from these mixes. They sound like the final battle of Loudness Wars. Sure, the original mixes were pretty light, but the rockin' still came through with a charming wink and smile... whereas these new mixes just slap you with a dick and claim you've been rocked.
posted by scrowdid at 10:18 PM on May 22, 2009


Hmm. All the character's gone from these mixes...

I was thinking the same thing. They're nice recordings...but they just sort of sound like guys who have nothing more to prove. Clean and precise. Like they've done these songs a bazillion times before and know exactly where each note goes. Interesting listen, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:04 AM on May 23, 2009


How awesomely awesome.

Cheap Trick, you say?
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:00 AM on May 23, 2009


...whereas these new mixes just slap you with a dick and claim you've been rocked.

....finally! the verbiage I've been searching for my new genital tattoo! I love you Metafilter.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:14 AM on May 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow. This is awesome.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:53 PM on May 23, 2009


I saw Steve perform here in Seattle some years back in his band "Rapeman".

Fuck!
posted by Elmore at 3:54 PM on May 23, 2009


Great post, Elmore. Thanks!
posted by whuppy at 8:43 PM on May 23, 2009


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