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Ringmaster_D
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Posted: 16 November 2011 at 6:11am | IP Logged Quote Ringmaster_D

Hi all.

There's a new compilation out called Ray Charles - The Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Singles. It appears that these tracks are all in mono, although there's some discussion on the Hoffman forum about whether these are the actual dedicated mono mixes or simply stereo fold downs. Does anyone have this set yet to share their findings?
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Santi Paradoa
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Posted: 16 November 2011 at 9:58am | IP Logged Quote Santi Paradoa

I was hoping Pat would give us a review once he has had a chance to listen to the box set. Isn't the single hit version of "I Can't Stop Loving You" supposed to finally be on CD with this release?

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Roscoe
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Posted: 16 November 2011 at 1:36pm | IP Logged Quote Roscoe

Santi Paradoa wrote:
I was hoping Pat would give us a
review once he has had a chance to listen to the box set.
Isn't the single hit version of "I Can't Stop Loving You"
supposed to finally be on CD with this release?


"I Can't Stop Loving You" runs 2:35 on the new set and
I'm assuming it's the correct 45 edit (I don't have a 45
to compare with). It sounds to me like there is one
edit, removing the section from :25 to 2:01, occurring at
the beginning of the line "I can't stop wanting you..."
sung by the backup singers.

But one thing that I noticed with the song on this set
that had never jumped out at me before is a prominent
upper frequency noise, which at first I thought sounded
like vinyl distortion but which I now think is brushwork.    
I went back and re-listened to the stereo version and
it's there as well, just not as noticeable. I think the
mono version on the new box set has more high-end eq,
making this effect more prominent (and for me,
distracting).

I really can't tell if it's a fold-down. I will say that
most of the tracks that I have listened to thus far have
the sonic characteristics associated with 60s radio mixes
(rather lo-fi eq and compression), making me lean toward
these being the authentic mono mixes. But I don't have
any actual mono vinyl to compare with.
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Gary Mack
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Posted: 16 November 2011 at 8:03pm | IP Logged Quote Gary Mack

2:35 is the run time on my original ABC 45....

GM
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Todd Ireland
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Posted: 17 November 2011 at 12:14am | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

How about that! I was browsing over my "Single/Album Versions Wanted on CD" list today and just happened to notice the MANY Top 40 hits by Ray Charles that I've been wanting in their original mono 45 mixes, but have never been made available on CD... That is, until now!

I'm excited to now learn about this new Singular Genius box set. The only thing is, I promised myself not even 24 hours ago that I wasn't going to buy anymore CDs until after Christmas. But I don't know if I can wait for this box set!

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jono
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Posted: 17 November 2011 at 11:22am | IP Logged Quote jono

For some reason they used the LP version of "Don't Change On Me", which is the only Ray Charles 45 I have. I think there's an edit somewhere around 2:20, but most obvious is the length difference (my 45 runs 3:01, the LP version is in the 3:25 range on cd).

The rest of the songs seem at first glance to be the 45 versions, although there is some talk on the Hoffman Boards that there might be a 45/LP difference in the sax solo in "Unchain My Heart".

Jon O.
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Santi Paradoa
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Posted: 17 November 2011 at 11:59am | IP Logged Quote Santi Paradoa

jono wrote:
For some reason they used the LP version of "Don't Change On Me", which is the only Ray Charles 45 I have. I think there's an edit somewhere around 2:20, but most obvious is the length difference (my 45 runs 3:01, the LP version is in the 3:25 range on cd).

The rest of the songs seem at first glance to be the 45 versions, although there is some talk on the Hoffman Boards that there might be a 45/LP difference in the sax solo in "Unchain My Heart".

Jon O.
I wonder why they didn't use the 45 version of "Don't Change On Me" since it already has appeared on CD prior to this release?

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Brian W.
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Posted: 17 November 2011 at 2:12pm | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

No fricking way! Seriously? I hadn't even heard about this release. Wow! I wonder if I have time to stop at Canterbury on the way home? Actually, I wonder if Best Buy has it... lunch break!
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jono
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Posted: 18 November 2011 at 1:33pm | IP Logged Quote jono

Regarding "Dont Change On Me":

Just noticed another LP vs. 45 difference - it sounds like a different take. Listening from 20-25 seconds into the song, Ray sings "Make all the pain stop" very differently. On the 45, it is almost syncopated: "Make all the pain...stop". On the new box set, he sings "Make all the pain stop". There are probably other differences as well.

So I was wrong about just the edit on this song.

Jon O.
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Brian W.
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Posted: 18 November 2011 at 1:33pm | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Roscoe wrote:
Santi Paradoa wrote:
I was hoping Pat would give us a
review once he has had a chance to listen to the box set.
Isn't the single hit version of "I Can't Stop Loving You"
supposed to finally be on CD with this release?


"I Can't Stop Loving You" runs 2:35 on the new set and
I'm assuming it's the correct 45 edit (I don't have a 45
to compare with). It sounds to me like there is one
edit, removing the section from :25 to 2:01, occurring at
the beginning of the line "I can't stop wanting you..."
sung by the backup singers.

But one thing that I noticed with the song on this set
that had never jumped out at me before is a prominent
upper frequency noise, which at first I thought sounded
like vinyl distortion but which I now think is brushwork.    
I went back and re-listened to the stereo version and
it's there as well, just not as noticeable. I think the
mono version on the new box set has more high-end eq,
making this effect more prominent (and for me,
distracting).

I really can't tell if it's a fold-down. I will say that
most of the tracks that I have listened to thus far have
the sonic characteristics associated with 60s radio mixes
(rather lo-fi eq and compression), making me lean toward
these being the authentic mono mixes. But I don't have
any actual mono vinyl to compare with.


Steve Hoffman says in the thread on this CD that there was only one edit made for "I Can't Stop Loving You," and that was the mono single, so it's highly unlikely that track is a fold-down. He says if it's the edited version on this new CD, and it's mono, then it's almost certainly the true 45 mix.

Actually, after perusing the thread, there's only one song people are seriously wondering about it being a fold-down, as it has a different horn section than the stereo version.

But there is a danger, because Steve Hoffman says that Ray Charles's original "Greatest Hits" album as issued on vinyl in the '60s was remixed for stereo and then folded down for the mono version -- they didn't use the dedicated mono mixes that original hits album.

However, one poster who owns the new collection did comment that the sound quality on "Georgia on My Mind" isn't very good, and wondered if that one could be a disc dub.

Edited by Brian W. on 18 November 2011 at 1:35pm
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Santi Paradoa
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Posted: 18 November 2011 at 9:23pm | IP Logged Quote Santi Paradoa

Brian:
Which song is the one with the different horn section?

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Brian W.
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Posted: 19 November 2011 at 2:15am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Santi Paradoa wrote:
Brian:
Which song is the one with the different horn section?

"Unchain My Heart" MAY have the wrong horn section. (I originally replied that it was "Hit the Road Jack" -- people in that thread on the Hoffman site aren't naming what song they're discussing in each post, and they're taling about several different songs.)

I may have posted misinformation above, as it's a rather long and complicated thread on the Steve Hoffman site. So far, no one on that board has A/B'd these tracks with the original 45s, just with the mono Greatest Hits vinyl album, which Steve Hoffman says was remixed in both its mono and stereo incarnations except for, apparently, an early pressing of the mono album.

Edited by Brian W. on 19 November 2011 at 2:38am
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Todd Ireland
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Posted: 19 November 2011 at 11:56am | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

Has anyone tried folding down any of the commonly available Ray Charles stereo mixes into mono via digital editing software to see whether or not they match the mono mixes on the Singular Genius box set? If there are still discernable mix differences with both sources in mono, then that would suggest the dedicated 45 mono mixes were indeed used for the box set.
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Brian W.
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Posted: 19 November 2011 at 5:22pm | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Todd Ireland wrote:
Has anyone tried folding down any of the commonly available Ray Charles stereo mixes into mono via digital editing software to see whether or not they match the mono mixes on the Singular Genius box set? If there are still discernable mix differences with both sources in mono, then that would suggest the dedicated 45 mono mixes were indeed used for the box set.

Problem with that is, much of of what's available for Ray Charles on CD was remixed for CD in the late '80s or early '90s. Steve Hoffman remixed a lot of his stuff under Ray Charles's supervision.

I do have a Ray Charles German hits import that is purported to be the original mixes, but now that we know his hits were remixed for his original early '60s "Greatest Hits" album, what does "original" mean?

I'm afraid I'm going to have to buy some original 45s and see what I can find out.
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Paul C
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Posted: 25 November 2011 at 6:19am | IP Logged Quote Paul C

I've been comparing this new set to some of the 45s I have in an effort to determine whether it features the original single mixes. It appears that some are presented in their original single mixes and some are not.

If I may first digress for a moment: I made a post on the same subject on the Steve Hoffman board last night in which I referred to the mixes on the two volumes of the His Greatest Hits CDs (issued on the Dunhill Compact Classics label in 1987) as the 'Charles/Hoffman' mixes. Within minutes, Hoffman himself posted a reply in which he stated that the mixes on the DCC discs were not new mixes at all but were the original stereo mixes. What is very odd is that the DCC discs clearly state on the back insert, 'Digitally remixed and remastered by Ray Charles and Steve Hoffman'. In addition, the inner liner notes state, 'Digitally remixed and remastered by Ray Charles and Steve Hoffman from the original ABC-Paramount session tapes.' The discs also claim to be 'ADD'. If these are the original stereo mixes, however, then - except for the 'remastered' part - none of this is true. If the DCC discs feature the original stereo mixes, then they can't be from the original session tapes (which would be in a 'pre-mix' stage). Furthermore, the discs could not be 'ADD', since the mixes made in the 1960s could not have been made digitally. I purchased these discs (new) at least a decade after they had been released. One would think that if the packaging originally contained such blatant misinformation, that in the ensuing years efforts would have been made to rectify the error. I also have the two volumes of the Rhino Greatest Hits vinyl LPs (issued in 1988). These also clearly state, 'Digitally remixed and remastered by Ray Charles and Steve Hoffman'. Very strange.

Back to the Concord set. The most obvious example of a song for which the single master was not used is, as Jono has already mentioned, 'Don't Change On Me'. The Concord set features the 3:23 version mentioned in the database instead of the 3:01 hit version. The database refers to the 3:23 version as the LP version, but according to a post on the Hoffman board, both the 45 and the original LP featured the 3:01 version. Hoffman himself states that the single mix is a fold.

On the song, 'Busted', on both the Concord set and my 45, I detect some minor reverb on Ray's vocals. I don't hear the reverb on the DCC disc, which (according to Hoffman) features the original stereo mix. So it looks like they used the single mix for this one.

If you listen to 'That Lucky Old Sun' on the Concord set, you can clearly hear some kind of extraneous noise over the first note. This noise sounds exactly the same on my 45, but is far less noticeable on the DCC disc. Looks like they got this one right as well.

The only song I've examined for which I'm almost positive the Concord set features a fold is a non-Top 40 hit, 'Hardhearted Hannah', which sounds noticeably different on my 45. I made a fold of the mix on the DCC disc (i.e. the original stereo mix) and am unable to distinguish it from the mix on the Concord set.

There are a few songs for which - when I fold the DCC mix - the fold, the 45, and the Concord mix all seem to sound the same to me. So I wonder if some of the earlier single mixes (in addition to 'Don't Change On Me') were folds as well.

I haven't gone through all my 45s yet, but this is what I've come up with so far.
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Pat Downey
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Posted: 25 November 2011 at 11:05am | IP Logged Quote Pat Downey

I do not yet have the "Singular" box yet but I can tell you that on the vinyl LP "Love Country Style", the song "Don't Change On Me" runs (3:22) and is an LP version not length.
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Santi Paradoa
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Posted: 25 November 2011 at 11:21am | IP Logged Quote Santi Paradoa

jono wrote:
Regarding "Dont Change On Me":

Just noticed another LP vs. 45 difference - it sounds like a different take. Listening from 20-25 seconds into the song, Ray sings "Make all the pain stop" very differently. On the 45, it is almost syncopated: "Make all the pain...stop". On the new box set, he sings "Make all the pain stop". There are probably other differences as well.

So I was wrong about just the edit on this song.

Jon O.
Jon is the time listed on the 45 longer than the actual time?

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Brian W.
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Posted: 25 November 2011 at 11:52am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Brian W. wrote:
Problem with that is, much of of what's available for Ray Charles on CD was remixed for CD in the late '80s or early '90s. Steve Hoffman remixed a lot of his stuff under Ray Charles's supervision.

Another untrue rumor. I've read this for years, but Steve Hoffman just posted yesterday in the Singular Genius thread that he did not remix anything, that the DCC CDs all contain the original stereo mixes -- mostly original LP mixes, but a few original unreleased mixes.

He also says the version of "Don't Change on Me" on the DCC/Sandstone Ray Charles "Uh-huh" CD is the correct stereo single version and length, AND that the mono single was a fold-down... which seems possible, given its 1971 year of release.

Here's what he had to say on that (in answer to someone else who was under the impression that the DCC discs were remixed):

Steve Hoffman wrote:

There are no Ray/Steve remixes. You're comparing just one old mix to another. Better listen again!

That being said, Ray did a new mix of MY HEART CRIES FOR YOU because he hated the strings on the original mix. UH HUH uses the original stereo mix from 1961 or something.

No songs were ever remixed by Ray, Terry Howard and I for any DCC release. IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT Ray mixed while Terry and I were there. That's it.

The DCC's use all original mixes. However there were several vintage mixes from different studios of many of the songs. Is that confusing? Yeah, it was to me as well. Some of the Capitol, NYC stuff was remixed at Bell Sound about a week after they were recorded. Some DCC's used the Bell remix (Busted, silver Dunhill) and the Gold CD used the original Capitol mix.

And so on.

So, to review, the Dunhill silver disks use all original stereo mixes except MY HEART CRIES FOR YOU and IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT. Oh, and I'M A FOOL TO CARE. That's it.

The Gold DCC and UH HUH used all original mixes except for IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, I'M A FOOL TO CARE (no stereo mix existed).

How's that for dredging up the old memory cells?

For some reason (extra billing most likely) Bell Sound convinced ABC-Paramount back in the day that only mixes done at Bell were any good so Bell remixed most of the Ray sessions done at other studios like Capitol and United. I can't remember now but it seemed to Ray, Terry and I that the original first mixes from the "home studios" were better in every way than the Bell remix attempts back at that time. It sure got confusing. By the time of UH HUH we managed to find (to me) the best versions of each song..


Edited by Brian W. on 25 November 2011 at 11:55am
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jono
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Posted: 26 November 2011 at 4:46pm | IP Logged Quote jono

Santi Paradoa wrote:
jono wrote:
Regarding "Dont Change On Me":



Jon O.
Jon is the time listed on the 45 longer than the actual time?


Yes, the listed time on my ABC/TRC 45 of "Don't Change On Me" is 3:22, but I timed the single to actually be 3:01 (+/- 1 second, as I'm not sure of the accuracy of my turntable).

Jon O.
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Santi Paradoa
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Posted: 26 November 2011 at 5:57pm | IP Logged Quote Santi Paradoa

Jon:
Thanks for confirming what Pat has already entered in the online database. My guess is if the listed time on the 45 is 3:22 when they grabbed the tape for the song "Don't Change On Me" they found the longer LP version matched that listed time and used that for this set. It wouldn't be the first time the incorrect version appears on a new CD release. They probably figured if that's the listed time it must also be the actual time (when we all know it is not always the case).

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