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80smusicfreak
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Posted: 17 October 2014 at 1:52am | IP Logged Quote 80smusicfreak

Hmmm, while researching some old issues of Billboard magazine, I discovered what seems to be a well-kept secret regarding this top 40 hit - something even I hadn't noticed before. This song - the title track from Don Henley's 1982 solo debut - was actually released TWICE as a single here in the U.S.!

The lead single from the album was "Johnny Can't Read" (Asylum 69971), in August of '82. It was reviewed in the August 14 issue of Billboard (pg. 63), under "Pop recommended", w/ no comments. It debuted in the top 100 of Cash Box that same week, and the following week (August 21) in Billboard. Due to some controversy surrounding the song, it stalled at a disappointing #42 in Billboard and #33 in Cash Box...

Forging ahead, the label actually released "I Can't Stand Still" (Asylum 69931) as the SECOND single, in late September/early October of '82. However, that initial release of the 45 wasn't reviewed in Billboard until the October 23 issue (pg. 79), again under "Pop recommended", w/ no comments. It completely flopped in both Billboard (didn't even "Bubble Under") and Cash Box...

No doubt realizing they'd made a huge mistake, just 2-3 weeks later, in mid October, the label rush-released "Dirty Laundry" (Asylum 69894) as the third single, as the song was already a #1 AOR hit. It actually debuted on the top 100 charts in Billboard and Cash Box just one week after the review for the "I Can't Stand Still" single, in the October 30 issue of both. (Even more interesting: October 30 was also the 11th and final week that "Johnny Can't Read" lasted on the "Hot 100", so it was obvious that Asylum had screwed up, big-time, w/ not choosing "Dirty Laundry" as the second single! The short two- or three-week window that original 45s of "I Can't Stand Still" were on store shelves before being replaced by "Dirty Laundry" would obviously make commercial/stock copies of that version quite rare.) The single of "Dirty Laundry" was also reviewed in the October 30 issue of Billboard (pg. 66) - and again under "Pop recommended", w/ no comments. Of course, it would go on to become a gold smash, hitting #3 in Billboard and #5 in Cash Box...

Having obviously breathed a sigh of relief from garnering a top 5 hit, just as "Dirty Laundry" was peaking on the pop charts, Asylum decided in early January of '83 to go back and re-promote/re-release the title track as the fourth single, w/ the same "69931" catalog no. as the original. (Elektra/Asylum had just begun using a new series of catalog nos. for their singles in 1982, starting w/ 69999 and going backward in *reverse* numerical order, so note that the "69931" no. assigned to "I Can't Stand Still" falls in the correct order between "69971" for "Johnny Can't Read" and "69894" for "Dirty Laundry". However, I never previously noticed in any of Joel Whitburn's chart books that as a result of "I Can't Stand Still" not actually hitting the charts until AFTER "Dirty Laundry" in 1983, its higher catalog no. was out-of-sequence!) The second release of the "I Can't Stand Still" 45 was reviewed in the January 15, 1983, issue of Billboard (pg. 51), this time upgraded to a "Pop Pick", w/ this being said: "With 'Dirty Laundry' still at number three on the Hot 100, Henley follows up with the title track from his gold solo LP. This one is reggae California style, using heavy bass and a syncopated organ for the rhythm track." The song debuted in the top 100 of both magazines that same issue, and this time around, it went on to hit #48 in Billboard and #38 in Cash Box...

So my question is this: Were the second pressings from January of '83 (i.e., the hit version) identical to the originals from October of '82 (i.e., the non-hit version)??? Yes, the "69931" catalog no. was the same - but how about the B-side (the January '83 pressings featured "Them and Us")??? And what about the actual versions of "I Can't Stand Still" on the A-side??? A check of the various copies currently listed on eBay DOES reveal major label variations for U.S. versions of this single, both promo and commercial. Promo variation #1: DON HENLEY - "I Can't Stand Still" Promo variation #2: DON HENLEY - "I Can't Stand Still" Commercial variation #1: DON HENLEY - "I Can't Stand Still" Commercial variation #2: DON HENLEY - "I Can't Stand Still" Could these label variations be indicative of which ones came out in October of '82 vs. January of '83??? Hopefully one of our "45 experts" will step forward here, w/ some possible insight... :-)

Another issue: According to Pat's on-line database, this song has appeared on only one U.S. CD to date, which is its original 1982 parent album, I Can't Stand Still. Pat states that the actual running time of the song on that CD is (3:33), w/ no notes; however, the printed time on the original vinyl LP was "3:25". Anyone here have the vinyl LP to check both the length and version??? (Let's not forget, Asylum switched out the original LP version of "Dirty Laundry" w/ the 45 version on the CD, so maybe the label did some additional tinkering when they issued the CD???) Also, were the LP & 45 versions of "I Can't Stand Still" the same??? The printed time on all copies of the 45 that I found pictured on-line (both commercial & promo) was "3:20". Therefore, assuming the actual time of (3:33) on the CD matches the original vinyl LP, it would appear there likely was an LP/45 difference here, even though there aren't currently any notes in the db saying so...
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crapfromthepast
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Posted: 17 October 2014 at 12:09pm | IP Logged Quote crapfromthepast

Nice find!

I don't have anything extra to contribute to the song
"I Can't Stand Still", but I do have questions about
the parent album I Can't Stand Still and the
song "Dirty Laundry".

In a large record store in town, I had the rare
opportunity to compare "Dirty Laundry" on two
different pressings of the LP, side by side, in real
time, on two adjacent headphone listening stations.
It wasn't very busy in the store that day. I found
that the two LP pressings had the same mix but
slightly different lengths for "Dirty Laundry", with
the difference being only a few seconds. Both were
basically the 45 length, plus or minus a few seconds
at the tail of the fade.

So I still have yet to hear the original LP version of
"Dirty Laundry" with my own ears. I'm actually
skeptical that such a version exists, but I'd love to
be proven wrong.

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80smusicfreak
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Posted: 18 October 2014 at 12:18pm | IP Logged Quote 80smusicfreak

Thanks for bringing this up. After recently researching all of the top 40 hits from 1983 that are in the db - including "Dirty Laundry" - I'd actually intended to tackle this very subject over in the "Dirty Laundry" thread in the near future. I'm quite confident that an "LP version" of the song does exist, as I've long suspected that there were at least two different pressings of the I Can't Stand Still album on vinyl LP & cassette, back in the '80s. However, if you read the original "DL" thread all the way through, you'll see that no one here has actually confirmed that (yet). In fact, back on 22 April 2006, Pat went so far as to say this over in that thread:

Pat Downey wrote:
The vinyl LP version [of "Dirty Laundry"] has yet to appear on cd. As David Clark has pointed out, someone has tried to change history by releasing the 45 version on the cd "I Can't Stand Still".

And to this day, next to the listing for the I Can't Stand Still CD in the db, you'll see that Pat has this note regarding "Dirty Laundry": "(45 version which was not found on the vinyl LP "I Can't Stand Still")"...

To me at least, both of those statements by Pat imply that the switch to the 45 version was made strictly for the CD, but at this time, I strongly question that. It appears the change was actually made to the vinyl LPs & cassettes first, within a year or two of the album's original release in August of '82. Therefore, by the time I Can't Stand Still was made available on CD in the mid '80s, Asylum was merely copying what was already on the LPs & cassettes...

The multiple pages for U.S. pressings of the I Can't Stand Still LP on Discogs also seem to back my theory, as each gives different matrix nos. - some w/ "RE" in them - in the detailed descriptions. Three different U.S. pressings are listed there, w/ matrix info as follows:

This suggests an original pressing:

    Matrix / Runout (Side 1 Etched): E1-60048A-1B
    Matrix / Runout (Side 2 Etched): E1-60048B-1A

These two suggest later ones (and who knows, there may be even more!):

    Matrix / Runout (Side 1 Etched): 60048A-1RE-SH-SP ∆2108 0-(SM)-3 + SLM
    Matrix / Runout (Side 2 Etched): 60048-B-9SH-SP ∆2108-X + SLM SP 0-1SM3-1

    Matrix / Runout (Side 1 Etched): 60048A-2ReSH-SP ∆2108 + SLM B16984-A4RE3 + SLM
    Matrix / Runout (Side 2 Etched): 60048-B-3SH-AR B16989-B3 ∆2108-X + SLM

Although you used the word "length" and not "version", your post above seems to say that what you heard on those two LPs at your local record store was indeed the 45 version - and therefore, both were later pressings. (I'm not sure if I've ever heard the original LP version myself! AFAIK, the length of the LP & 45 versions was the same - i.e., 5:36 - but if I'm wrong, by all means, please correct me!) And if that proves true, then clearly Pat will need to note the two different pressings of the LP in the db, and revise his descriptor next to the I Can't Stand Still CD to read "(45 version which was found on later pressings of the vinyl LP)", or something similar to that...

And of course, if two different LP pressings do exist, then I feel the album's other two top 40 hits, "Johnny Can't Read" and the title track, also need to be investigated further on both vinyl & CD...
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crapfromthepast
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Posted: 18 October 2014 at 1:13pm | IP Logged Quote crapfromthepast

I probably should have taken notes or something while I was doing the A/B test...

I'm certain that the two matrix numbers were different (original vs. RE1, or RE1 vs. RE2, or original vs. RE2), or I wouldn't have bothered with the comparison.

At the time, I didn't know what I was listening for. I was expecting a length difference, because I'd remembered the discussion of "long/short" notation from the 45.

If the difference between original mix and 45 mix was a relatively subtle level change of some of the sound effects, I might not have noticed. I had a set of headphones pressed up against each ear.

So I'm probably not the most helpful in this case.

Edited by crapfromthepast on 20 October 2014 at 7:17am


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AndrewChouffi
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Posted: 18 October 2014 at 2:27pm | IP Logged Quote AndrewChouffi

To "80s" & "Crap":

I have the lp with the original mix of "Dirty Laundry" and the differences are not subtle.

Differences include, but are not limited to: Album version has lead vox that's mixed louder, clearer with no echo. Teletype machine runs thru the first percussion break. Intro has only bass synthesizer (no high-frequency melody keyboard like the single).

Matrix of mine is 60048-B-9SH-SP    2108-X

I'm surprised more people don't remember this mix as it was played heavily on AOR long before AOR received a promo-12 of the 45 mix [0-67955-A].

Some Top-40 stations even played the original album mix as the vocal was clearer when summed to mono (many portable radios back then were still in mono).

Andy

Edited by AndrewChouffi on 18 October 2014 at 2:29pm
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80smusicfreak
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Posted: 28 October 2014 at 1:26am | IP Logged Quote 80smusicfreak

AndrewChouffi wrote:
I have the lp with the original mix of "Dirty Laundry" and the differences are not subtle.

Differences include, but are not limited to: Album version has lead vox that's mixed louder, clearer with no echo. Teletype machine runs thru the first percussion break. Intro has only bass synthesizer (no high-frequency melody keyboard like the single).

Thanks for the more-detailed info. :-) Based on the posts from folks here over in the old "Dirty Laundry" thread from 2006, I was pretty sure an "LP version" had to exist. I assume it runs (5:36) on your LP??? Now I'd just like to get confirmation that the 45 version was substituted on later pressings of the vinyl LP...

Quote:
I'm surprised more people don't remember this mix as it was played heavily on AOR long before AOR received a promo-12 of the 45 mix [0-67955-A].

Yes, that would make sense, because as I touched on in my original post above, "Dirty Laundry" actually debuted on Billboard's AOR "Top Tracks" chart in the September 11, 1982, issue, at #22 (pg. 24). It then raced all the way to #1 in just its sixth week on that chart, in the October 16 issue (pg. 66) - and actually held there in the October 23 issue, before surrendering to Rush's "New World Man" in the October 30 issue, and then re-claiming #1 for a third week in the November 6 issue. So it had a seven-week head start at AOR, before debuting as a 45 at #73 on the "Hot 100" in the October 30 issue - and to think during its ride at #1 AOR, Asylum was oddly attempting to release/promote "I Can't Stand Still" as the second single from the album! (D'oh!)

It seems there were actually TWO promo 12" singles issued here in the U.S. for "Dirty Laundry" - as you noted, Asylum 67955 (w/ "Johnny Can't Read" on the B-side), and Asylum 67956 (w/ "DL" also on the flip). Funny, before I left my previous post, I checked YouTube for anyone playing "DL" from their vinyl LP to possibly hear the LP/45 differences, and all I could find was this one, of someone spinning their promo 12" on Asylum 67956: DON HENLEY - "Dirty Laundry" (U.S. promo 12") (At first I thought for sure that would be the LP version, but after hearing it, it didn't sound any different from the 45 version, at least to my ears...)
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