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Subject Topic: "Careless Whisper" - Wham!... Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Todd Ireland
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Posted: 27 August 2008 at 6:06pm | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

Abagon reports the actual commercial 45 run time of Wham! featuring George Michael's "Careless Whisper" is 5:04, not 4:50 as stated on the record label. He says the volume is very low during the closing seconds, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact spot where the last trace of audio can be heard, but he feels confident the 5:04 time is correct.
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eriejwg
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Posted: 27 August 2008 at 6:37pm | IP Logged Quote eriejwg

Todd: Would you say the database entries running 5:02 end there because of the very low audio present?
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Todd Ireland
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Posted: 27 August 2008 at 8:59pm | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

Judging by abagon's info, John, it looks like the CDs you reference could very well be a case where the mastering engineer faded out the final couple seconds of audio since its so soft.
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NightAire
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Posted: 08 February 2011 at 2:04am | IP Logged Quote NightAire

I just noticed something curious on my CD of the LP "Make It Big:" the track, when looked at in the spectrum analyzer, shows a constant "whistle" (although I can't hear it) just below 16 khz (about 15,830 Hz, to be exact).

It is slightly quieter in the opening section (perhaps some minor noise reduction, or just fewer mics open in the original recording?). It fades with the song at the end of the track, as if it is in the master recording.

The CD I have has the "best value" label, so I'm sure I picked it up 10 years or more after it was originally a hit. It's labeled as a "digitally masted analog recording."

It partially strikes me as so odd because this is a "noise" I often get when recording from my cassette deck. I've always assumed it was something going bad, or something unprotected from the electrical interference generated by my computer.

Could anybody else with this CD rip "Careless Whisper" and take a look at it? Even more interesting: if you have the original LP & the equipment to get a quiet enough recording of the vinyl, do you see this tone?

As I mentioned, I've never noticed it (too many years listening to FM, I suppose!), so it doesn't hurt the enjoyment of the CD... it just bugs me, knowing it's there and wondering if I could have gotten a bootleg, or perhaps it has since been remastered (without squashing, please!) without the tone.

One other note of interest: between 2:09 - 2:15, the tone drops just slightly... perhaps indicating a variance in the speed of the tape being played back? It drops just slightly, then jumps right back up to the original speed... almost like a spliced-in section of the song recorded at a different time or something. The jump is pretty clear in the spectrum analyzer, both the down & up point.

Anyone else see what I'm seeing?

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aaronk
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Posted: 08 February 2011 at 7:01am | IP Logged Quote aaronk

Without having a chance to get my disc out, I think I know what you
are talking about. It's a very high pitched hum. I've heard it on other
recordings, too, on occasion.

I'm not sure the cause on Careless Whisper, but I have a funny
cassette story that might be relevant. Once in a while, when I would
dub a cassette I would get a very high pitched hum when playing back
the dubbed copy. If I dubbed in high
speed, the hum was quite audible and not as high pitched. As it turns
out, the deck was placed too close to an old TV, and whenever the
TV was on, it produced the high frequency hum, which was getting
picked up by the tape deck during recording.

Edited by aaronk on 08 February 2011 at 7:04am
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NightAire
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Posted: 08 February 2011 at 11:55am | IP Logged Quote NightAire

Aaron,

LOL... yes, that's exactly the sort of experience I've had. :)

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Steve Sharp
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Posted: 14 February 2011 at 2:38am | IP Logged Quote Steve Sharp

I remember Sony being one of the labels that for a while was experimenting with ways to make a CD unrippable, and one of the ways was to put some kind of notched filter in the audio. Could what you're experiencing be from a disc that was part of this experiment?
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crapfromthepast
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Posted: 14 February 2011 at 8:43am | IP Logged Quote crapfromthepast

Is the high-pitched hum the same thing I hear on Peter
Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" and ABC's "How To Be A
Millionaire"?

My (rather feeble) understanding of that distinctive
sound is that it's an artifact of some of the early
digital recording process. I believe that for those
tracks, the vocals were recorded on analog tape, and the
rest of the instruments were recorded digitally. (Don't
know why.) On the ABC track, I remember hearing the
high-pitched hum except for the guitar solo/break, where
it's absent. (It's been 20+ years since I listened to
the track specifically for this artifact, so I may be
remembering incorrectly...)

It's very possible that "Careless Whisper" was recorded
the same way, since it's in the same time frame.
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Hykker
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Posted: 14 February 2011 at 9:11am | IP Logged Quote Hykker

Steve Sharp wrote:
I remember Sony being one of the labels that for a while was experimenting with ways to make a CD unrippable, and one of the ways was to put some kind of notched filter in the audio. Could what you're experiencing be from a disc that was part of this experiment?


I thought the notch was somewhere around 2-3000Hz (though ISTR this dated back to when vinyl still ruled). The theory behind it was that tape recorders would be looking for this notch and if audio was not present it wouldn't record. This frequency range was chosen because nearly all material would have audio in that range. Sony claimed that the notch was so narrow as to not be audible.
I wasn't aware that any such recordings ever made it into production.

You'd think that any copy protection scheme for CDs would be in the digital realm (ie-bits set or not in headers)
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Underground Dub
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Posted: 22 November 2017 at 11:21am | IP Logged Quote Underground Dub

There's a 3:59 edit of "Careless Whisper" that I've heard many times over the years. I always assumed it was an official DJ fade but I'm unable to find it on anything released by Wham! or their label.

It does appear on the 1986 compilation Gold & Platinum Volume 2 (Realm Records), so it could have been made by them to accommodate more songs on that release.
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Paul Haney
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Posted: 24 November 2017 at 6:14am | IP Logged Quote Paul Haney

Underground Dub wrote:
It does appear on the 1986 compilation Gold & Platinum Volume 2 (Realm Records), so it could have been made by them to accommodate more songs on that release.


IIRC, lots of songs on those Gold & Platinum CDs were faded early.
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Jody Thornton
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Posted: 11 December 2017 at 6:22pm | IP Logged Quote Jody Thornton

Wasn't there a rendition of the second verse, and an instrumental section removed from the beginning on the DJ track? I always heard it start with the sax solo on the air.


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Q: What did one 45 say to the other?
A: Are you "single"?
:p
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aaronk
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Posted: 14 December 2017 at 1:52am | IP Logged Quote aaronk

Jody, that's the 45 version you're describing. It starts with a drum fill
and then goes into the sax solo. The drum fill is unique to the 45
version, so you can't simply edit the beginning off the LP version to
create it. And yes, that part is a repeat of the second verse but with
stripped down instrumentation.

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Jody Thornton
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Posted: 03 January 2018 at 11:01am | IP Logged Quote Jody Thornton

aaronk wrote:
Jody, that's the 45 version you're describing. It starts with a drum fill
and then goes into the sax solo. The drum fill is unique to the 45
version, so you can't simply edit the beginning off the LP version to
create it. And yes, that part is a repeat of the second verse but with
stripped down instrumentation.


Right. The drum track is on the LP, but with the tail end of the keyboard mixed in. I've heard a station start with the sax solo (but on an eighth beat before the downbeat; as soon as the sax starts basically). Probably trying to mimic the 45-rpm disc.

Thanks Aaron.
:)


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Q: What did one 45 say to the other?
A: Are you "single"?
:p
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