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A Doobie Brothers Singles Puzzle (In Honor of Quadio Box)

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PodCat

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A fun trivia quiz about two of the group’s hit singles — one spawned by an album included in the just-released Quadio box set:

Long Train Runnin’ (1973) — The single version is the same length and mix as with the album, but there is one change. What is it?

Takin’ It to the Streets (1976) — The single version is 20 seconds shorter. Exactly what was removed?

The original 45 RPM single versions can be found on Best of the Doobies (1976), streamable everywhere.
Or you can dig out the vinyl ...
 

ar surround

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Long Train Runnin’ (1973) — The single version is the same length and mix as with the album, but there is one change. What is it?
OK, I'll take a shot at this one: The difference is the first time Johnston sings the line, "Know you're running late." On the single, his pitch goes up a bit on the word "late." On the album mix, his pitch stays level or even goes down a tad. The second time he sings that line, there is no difference between the album and single versions.

Takin’ It to the Streets (1976) — The single version is 20 seconds shorter. Exactly what was removed?
On the album version, McDonald lets out an epic 20 second belch that is edited out from the single? In other words, I have no clue.
 

PodCat

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OK, I'll take a shot at this one: The difference is the first time Johnston sings the line, "Know you're running late." On the single, his pitch goes up a bit on the word "late." On the album mix, his pitch stays level or even goes down a tad. The second time he sings that line, there is no difference between the album and single versions.
You got it!
50 points.

A rare case of single “rearrangement”. Tom’s melismatic delivery in the second chorus is stronger and so was used in place of the first. A melisma is the singing of a single syllable over two or more notes, so instead of a flat, clipped “late” in chorus one the word becomes “LA-ATE.” I think this was a good decision, improving both the performance and the track’s commercial potential by strengthening the hook. I actually had the original single and so noticed the difference immediately on the Q8 years later.

Other examples of this can be found in the 70’s. The original 1973 single edit for Aerosmith’s Dream On replaces the first chorus with a cut-and-paste of the second. Rufus’s Tell Me Something Good edit switches the first verse with the third, a stronger recap of it. And Ohio Players’ Love Rollercoaster single rearranges and edits verses and choruses pretty effectively.

As for TITTS, I’ll let you work on that. Just compare the album and single version — it’s not hard.
 

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The second chorus (the one before the sax solo) has been shortened.
Right again.

The second chorus was originally almost double the length of the first, so eight bars (6-13 of 15) were removed. I say “almost” because the second chorus already omits the one-bar instrumental turnaround of the first (the quiet one with just bongos and piano). I’m not so down with this edit because the shortened length combined with the missing turnaround always sounded clipped to me. Plus the chorus is so strong I think more is better here.

This is one track for which you will virtually never hear the album version played. In elevators, malls, casinos, or on radio, all you hear is the single version. For decades I actually forgot there was a longer cut. Same with Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On: I heard the album version for the first time on the dts collection disc.
 

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Huh, I thought the album version of Listen To The Music is over 4-1/2 minutes?
Well goddamn if you ain’t right.

The reason I didn’t know is this: that original 4:44 album version does not exist on CD. The Toulouse Street CD, as well as all Doobies collections on CD, feature the 3:47 edit first released on Best of the Doobies in 1976. In fact, the Quadio set may be the first digital release of the original album length. How Orwellian!

Not only that, but the 3:47 edit is not the actual single version, which clocks in at 3:26.

I auditioned all three versions, and here’s the breakdown:

The changes start at the 2:44 mark, the start of the coda of repeated choruses.

Album (4:44) Six choruses, starting with one much like the first two in the song, i.e., without extra instruments. There are also two more extra choruses with more guitar fills, but I’d have to listen a bunch more to know exactly which parts of which ones were removed in the edits.

‘Best Of‘ Edit (3:47j Three choruses, fade begun in last.

Single (3:26) Two choruses, fade begun in last. Same as above with earlier fade.
 

keywhiz

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Well goddamn if you ain’t right.

The reason I didn’t know is this: that original 4:44 album version does not exist on CD. The Toulouse Street CD, as well as all Doobies collections on CD, feature the 3:47 edit first released on Best of the Doobies in 1976. In fact, the Quadio set may be the first digital release of the original album length. How Orwellian!

Not only that, but the 3:47 edit is not the actual single version, which clocks in at 3:26.

I auditioned all three versions, and here’s the breakdown:

The changes start at the 2:44 mark, the start of the coda of repeated choruses.

Album (4:44) Six choruses, starting with one much like the first two in the song, i.e., without extra instruments. There are two extra choruses with more guitar fills, but I’d have to listen a bunch more to know exactly which parts of which ones were removed in the edits.

‘Best Of‘ Edit (3:47j Three choruses, fade begun in last.

Single (3:26) Two choruses, fade begun in last. Same as above with earlier fade.
I've never owned a Toulouse Street CD so I never realized it didn't contain the original LP version! Makes my new Quadio set even more special. But would help explain why I've never heard the full length version on the radio.

I also didn't know the single was shorter than the "Best of" edit.

But yes. They edited out the first two choruses following the bridge before the lead guitar fills kick in.
 

keywhiz

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Well goddamn if you ain’t right.

The reason I didn’t know is this: that original 4:44 album version does not exist on CD. The Toulouse Street CD, as well as all Doobies collections on CD, feature the 3:47 edit first released on Best of the Doobies in 1976. In fact, the Quadio set may be the first digital release of the original album length. How Orwellian!

Not only that, but the 3:47 edit is not the actual single version, which clocks in at 3:26.

I auditioned all three versions, and here’s the breakdown:

The changes start at the 2:44 mark, the start of the coda of repeated choruses.

Album (4:44) Six choruses, starting with one much like the first two in the song, i.e., without extra instruments. There are two extra choruses with more guitar fills, but I’d have to listen a bunch more to know exactly which parts of which ones were removed in the edits.

‘Best Of‘ Edit (3:47j Three choruses, fade begun in last.

Single (3:26) Two choruses, fade begun in last. Same as above with earlier fade.
Are you sure this is true? I went back to my digital copy of "Toulouse Street". A version I burned myself from something I must have downloaded from the internet almost twenty years ago now. Not even sure of the original source. But thinking it was always the original LP version I went back to check it and sure enough it is.

And it doesn't sound like a needle drop.

Also, discogs lists all the CD versions of the album with the 4:44 version. And the streaming version on Amazon is listed as 4:48. :unsure:
 
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ar surround

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The reason I didn’t know is this: that original 4:44 album version does not exist on CD. The Toulouse Street CD, as well as all Doobies collections on CD, feature the 3:47 edit first released on Best of the Doobies in 1976. In fact, the Quadio set may be the first digital release of the original album length. How Orwellian!
I have a redbook CD of Toulouse Street where LTTM clocks in at 4:48. It is the 2006 Rhino release that comes in a mini-LP cardboard jacket like the Quadio. It is a very nice sounding CD that rivals the SACD.

What other Doobies recording trivia can we explore?


TS.png
 

PodCat

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Are you sure this is true?
The streaming versions on Google Music Play are all edited. Every version that came up on YouTube was cut, even if the graphics showed Toulouse Street. Only after I searched for needle drops did I come across the full version. My statement came from a YouTube comment from someone that appeared knowledgeable, but his post may be old.

I’ve seen this happen before with streaming services. iTunes had several albums, including Firefall Elàn that had single edits switched in for album versions of hits.
 
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