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aaronk
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Posted: 28 December 2008 at 7:48pm | IP Logged Quote aaronk

Although the database nicely summarizes the running times for the various versions of "Baker Street," I'm wondering if anyone can help identify which versions are on each 45. What I'm gathering from the database and info from Jim is:

1) stock copies are all the 4:08 version (medium speed)
2) some promo copies exist with the mono/stereo of the 4:08 version (medium speed)

So, are there two other promos or just one? Pat notes that some dj copies have 3:47 (fastest speed) and 5:56 (slowest speed) versions. Aside from the speed, does the 3:47 version just have one edit on the intro when compared to the 4:08 version?
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Hykker
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 6:56am | IP Logged Quote Hykker

aaronk wrote:

So, are there two other promos or just one? Pat notes that some dj copies have 3:47 (fastest speed) and 5:56 (slowest speed) versions. Aside from the speed, does the 3:47 version just have one edit on the intro when compared to the 4:08 version?
\

My promo has the LP version on one side and the short version on the other. I'm pretty sure it's the 4:08 version, though I'll have to check. Never knew there was a shorter edit.
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Bill Cahill
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 8:40am | IP Logged Quote Bill Cahill

I have two separate promos. Both state UA-X1192-Y.

The first promo contains the 4:08 version on one side as UAST 19462-E and the 5:56 version as UAST 19462. Both sides stereo.

The second promo is mono/stereo 3:47 and is UA-X1192-Y. UA 19462-E-RE1 and UAST 19462-E-RE1.

My understanding is that more edits were sent to radio stations but these were the only ones that made it to vinyl. Here's why there were so many versions. (As told to me by Mark Lindsay of the Raiders, who at the time of Baker street was A&R for United Artist Records)

Lindsay was convinced there were three hits from the LP and that Baker Street would be the biggest. (Right Down the Line and Home and Dry were the other two) So he listened in as Director of Promotion, the legendary Charlie Minor, called radio stations about Baker Street. He heard all kinds of excuses as to why stations wouldn't play it. The song was too slow, too long, the intro was too long, the break was too long, etc. Mark wrote down all of the objections and sent out various edits to remove the objections, I believe on reel to reel tape. So some edited the intro, the middle break, or sped up the song.

Mark said there were something like ten edits made, but it appears that only three versions made it to vinyl, as listed in Pat's book.

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EdisonLite
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 10:31am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

Very interesting story about Mark Linday's reaction and what he did. And I never knew Mark became an A&R man.
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Hykker
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 12:23pm | IP Logged Quote Hykker

Bill Cahill wrote:

He heard all kinds of excuses as to why stations wouldn't play it (Baker Street). The song was too slow, too long, the intro was too long, the break was too long, etc. Mark wrote down all of the objections and sent out various edits to remove the objections, I believe on reel to reel tape. So some edited the intro, the middle break, or sped up the song.


I find it odd that they would have made as many as 10 edits of a song by an essentially unknown artist (yeah, we all know he was a member of Stealer's Wheel, but Gerry Rafferty was hardly a well-known act). You've got to admit that the sax solo is what "made" the song. While his follow-ups (the aforementioned ones, plus "Days Gone Down") were chart hits in their day, "Baker Street" is the only one that's stood the test of time.
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sriv94
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 3:26pm | IP Logged Quote sriv94

What I find somewhat ironic is that people complained about how slow the LP version of "Baker Street" was, yet I do believe the 45 version of "Home And Dry," while an edit, is slower than the LP version.

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aaronk
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 5:49pm | IP Logged Quote aaronk

Bill, does the 3:47 promo really run that length? A friend of mine sent me a dub, but his copy runs 3:51, and it's actually slightly slower than the stock 45 version. I'm wondering if the pitch control on his Technics turntable was accidentally not set to zero.
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Yah Shure
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 6:53pm | IP Logged Quote Yah Shure

I have three different "Baker Street" promo 45s. In the chronological order that they were received:

4:08 mono /4:08 stereo (March 28, 1978)

5:56 stereo / 4:08 stereo (April 14, 1978)

3:47 mono / 3:47 stereo (April 17, 1978)


From the non-charting department: Before "Baker Street", the song that would later become the title track to the City To City LP was released around Halloween, 1977. At 3:47, the stereo/mono "City To City" DJ 45 (UA 1098) runs shorter than the LP version, and plays at its original, slower speed.

Edited by Yah Shure on 29 December 2008 at 9:02pm
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Gary Mack
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 7:50pm | IP Logged Quote Gary Mack

aaronk wrote:
Bill, does the 3:47 promo really run that length? A friend of mine sent me a dub, but his copy runs 3:51, and it's actually slightly slower than the stock 45 version. I'm wondering if the pitch control on his Technics turntable was accidentally not set to zero.

My 3:47 promo 45 also runs 3:51. Our station (Z-97 in Dallas/Fort Worth) played that version and I remember the tip sheets we followed saying that was the favored edit for Top 40s. Seems to me the issues included both the mix and at least one very obvious edit in the earlier promos.

GM
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eriejwg
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 8:32pm | IP Logged Quote eriejwg

Everyone:

Can the 3:47 promo be recreated from the 4:08 version?
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aaronk
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 8:32pm | IP Logged Quote aaronk

Yah Shure, thank you very much for confirming what I thought to be true. I knew that a 4:08 mono/stereo configuration existed, thanks to fellow forum member jimct. Nicely summarized!

Gary, thank you very much for that extra bit of information, too. It appears that the database is slightly incorrect, then. It says that 3:47 is the fastest speed of all the versions, which is not quite accurate. That version actually runs about a half percent slower than the stock 45 version. The one obvious edit you correctly recall is in the intro. The edit is right before the first horn (not the horn "hook"), as the song starts to build up. It occurs at 0:04, after the cymbol tap and immediately before that horn. Everything else seems to match the stock 45 version exactly.

Now, as far as mix differences go, I didn't hear anything obvious between the 4:08 and 3:51 versions. I do not own the LP version to compare with the shorter versions.
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aaronk
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 8:33pm | IP Logged Quote aaronk

John, hopefully I just answered your question.
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eriejwg
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Posted: 29 December 2008 at 8:39pm | IP Logged Quote eriejwg

Yes, Aaron, appears we were posting at the same time...
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Bill Cahill
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Posted: 30 December 2008 at 7:50am | IP Logged Quote Bill Cahill

I loaded up all versions in Adobe from a Techniques Quartz Radio station turntable. Who knows, there could be pitch differences in other folks copies, but I find that the 3:47 stereo and 4:08 stereo copies are almost exactly the same pitch, but my 3:47 mono DJ side is a faster pitch than any other version including the 3:47 stereo side. Maybe somebody else can confirm.
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aaronk
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Posted: 30 December 2008 at 10:59am | IP Logged Quote aaronk

Very interesting, Bill. This is probably why the database says that the 3:47 version is the fastest speed of all the versions. Does the 3:47 mono side actually run 3:47? My friend who sent the dub only sent the stereo side.

Edited by aaronk on 30 December 2008 at 11:00am
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Yah Shure
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Posted: 31 December 2008 at 9:26am | IP Logged Quote Yah Shure

Bill, thanks for all of the great "Baker Street" info!

And - in spite of having owned the 4:08 mono/stereo promo 45 for thirty years, then scanning it and posting the link above - I just now noticed that the mono side misspells Gerry's last name as "Raffetry."

And the variations just keep on comin'! :)
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eriejwg
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Posted: 31 December 2008 at 9:53am | IP Logged Quote eriejwg

John:

Thanks for posting the 3:47 promo scans. I finally got that tricky edit, after hearing someone else's recreation and how Aaron described the edit about. Noticing the intro is stated as :24 helped too, as my intro is 24.5 (with a half second dead space at the very beginning)

It's kinda clunky sounding, as that drum tap/going into the horn reminds me of a bad sounding tap splice!
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aaronk
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Posted: 31 December 2008 at 10:25am | IP Logged Quote aaronk

Actually, I thought the edit was pretty smooth sounding, although you can hear where the splice is on the 45. If you make the edit digitally in the exact same spot, the edit is not noticeable at all. This is because tape is spliced on a diagonal, causing one channel to come slightly ahead of the other. By the way, if you put the edit right on the cymbol tap before the horn, you've made the edit too early, and it will sound more clunky.
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crapfromthepast
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Posted: 31 December 2008 at 11:34am | IP Logged Quote crapfromthepast

aaronk wrote:
This is because tape is spliced on a diagonal, causing one channel to come slightly ahead of the other.


Actually, I think the read heads on the pro reel-to-reel decks are also on a diagonal, so that splices fall at the same time for left and right channels. It's been about 20 years since I was knee deep in splice tape, but I'm pretty sure that's correct...
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eriejwg
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Posted: 31 December 2008 at 11:37am | IP Logged Quote eriejwg

No, I made the cut right after the cymbal tap at :04 and the second edit right before the horn. Ya hear it a couple times and it's smooth, just initially it didn't.

Edited by eriejwg on 31 December 2008 at 11:39am
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