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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.



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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

from Elbow Room to ELT

Day 390, Session 80:
When/Where: Tuesday July 17th - On the train and walking along Belmont and on the bus from work to home.
First song: Elbow Room by Sue Manchester
Last full song: ELT by Wilco
Progress: 1128-1142 of 5200
Total Songs Heard: 937

Hey now. Let's hear it for progress. After a 169 day lay-off it's time to get moving again. Since we were last together I'm going to estimate that I've added about 500 songs... a few new releases by old favorites (both B.L.A.M. releases from BNL,) several old releases that were found during the great flood cleanup (I haven't heard Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos since freshman year) and some fantastic new discoveries (say hello to The Avett Brothers.)

Also since my last listen, iTunes has again changed the way they treat the alphabet as far as song titles go. "A" now apparently comes before numbers which would change the whole title of the blog. Bah, I wish they'd just make up their mind. Or here's a crazy idea... let the user choose how they want alphabetical order settings to work (for example, I want "M" before "G"... fuck you G!) and then let them keep it that way. Wankers.

One I got past the iTunes garbage plugging back into the music was great. I've spent so much time with various podcasts in my ear that getting the complete musical experience (instead of just public radio types talking) was refreshing. That sense of refreshment lasted all of one song. Then, about 15 seconds into The Beatles doing Eleanor Rigby, refreshment turned to befuddlement.

I thought either my iPod, my headphones, or my head was broken. Everything sounded normal until they got to the start of the first verse. Then, all of the sudden, for reasons I can't explain, as Paul starts the verse the vocals cut out of my left ear and come up exclusively in my right. This lasted until the chorus, when voices returned to both ears, but different vocal parts came from each side. It was like The Beatles were standing around me singing the song, which was cool but also disorienting. Paul was always on my right no matter which way I turned.

Here, take a listen for yourself (headphones recommended for full effect):

Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles

So I guess my question is was it recorded this way on purpose, or do I just have a bum copy of "1?" (the greatest hits compilation) I don't suppose anyone out there has a copy of "Revolver" that can determine whether it sounds that way on the original album? Or if someone could at least listen to their copy of "1" to see if it does the same thing. Thanks.

Regardless, it was a good day. Music made the commute (which clocked in at almost an hour today, yuck) fly. I should try this more often.


Michael said...

For some reason "Eleanor Rigby" didn't make the trip from my iPod to my work laptop, as it's missing from my iTunes library. Maybe it got mis-named. But I seemed to recall that the stereo mix sounded weird on it, so I looked it up on Wikipedia:

"The original stereo mix had Paul's voice only in the right channel during the verses, with the string octet mixed to one channel, while the mono single and mono LP featured a more balanced mix. On the Yellow Submarine Songtrack and Love versions, McCartney's voice is centred and the string octet appears in stereo in an attempt to create a more "modern" sounding mix."

So there you go. You're not crazy, and you don't have a bum copy. They just used the original stereo mix on "1" instead of the remastered version.

matt said...

Awesome. I actually looked at the Wikipedia article for Eleanor Rigby last night and somehow missed that paragraph completely.

Still, what a strange strange mixing choice. But, I guess that's what made them The Beatles and made me the guy with the slowest moving Blogject in the world.