Quad LP/Tape Poll James, Tommy, & The Shondells: Best Of Tommy James And The Shondells [Q8]

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Rate "The Best Of Tommy James & The Shondells"


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    17

EMB

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The old Quad 8 release of the 1969 comp...fascinating conversation piece, if nothing else...;):mad:@:

Side 1:

1. Ball Of Fire
2. Crystal Blue Persuasion
3. Mony Mony
4. (Baby, Baby)I Can't Take It No More
5. Hanky Panky

Side 2:

1. Crimson And Clover
2. Sweet Cherry Wine
3. Sugar On Sunday
4. Mirage
5. I Think We're Alone Now


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winopener

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A couple of absolute classics (crimson and clover, mony mony) and other nice tracks. The mix suffer in the same way as CCR GOLD the lack of many tracks on the masters to do a good surround mix on all songs, so it is a bit "extreme".
Overall nice. 7.
 

Q-Eight

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I give this one an "A" for effort. Good songs on the tape, absolutely HORRIBLE mix. Hanky Panky is MONO with tons of echo! I think We're Alone Now and Mireage are stereo up front with more echo in the rear.

Of the fake quad songs, "Baby, Baby I can't take it no More" sounds the best.
They somehow emphasized the vocals on that song and made it sound very nice and warm.

The songs that did have multi-track masters are OK.... Mony, Mony was a poor attempt with lead vocals situated ONLY in Left Front, and you could tell this song was re-recorded and overdubbed. The two drum sets are the first give-away. The second being the studio chatter going on in the background. I almost cannot listen to that song anymore.

The rest are OK.... I'm only being generous because it IS TJ&S, and it's in Quad. It's better than nothing, but I've heard MUCH better.

I gave it a 4. (n)
 

deepsky4565

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I'd give a few tracks a 10, but with so many so so and fake ones, you can't give the album a very high score. I thought Mony Mony stunk, even though it is discrete. Crystal, Sugar, Crimson, and Sweet Cherry Wine are pretty fun in the old quad sort of way. I'm very glad we have it just for those tracks. I'm giving it a 7 which is more than it deserves, but still love those few great tracks.
 

EMB

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My tape is long gone; got damaged and lost, sorry to say. But I do remember that "Hanky Panky" and "Alone Now" were kind of rechanneled quad, while the late 1968/69 hits were genuinely discreet(hope my memory's not failing here). Don't remember anything standing out about the rest, however.

ED :)
 

Q-Eight

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For Clarification:

Hanky Panky - Mono (natch)
Baby, Baby (I Can't take it no more) - Stereo
Mirage - Stereo
I Think We're Alone Now - Mono

These 4 songs are basically the stereo or mono version of the song in the front speakers with the rears playing the same thing delayed by several milliseconds. I'm not going to go into the History behind the song "Hanky Panky" but even on this Q8, you can hear the crackle from the 45 or LP it's pulled off of!

Ball of Fire
Mony Mony

Both have lead vocals stuck in Front Left (n)

Crimson & Clover
Crystal Blue Persuasion
Sweet Cherry Wine
Sugar on Sunday

These 4 songs obviously came from multitrack masters. I'd be curious to know what the mixer was smoking that day as I'd like to purchase about 5 bucks worth. Must've been some good stuff! While they are discrete, the mixes are all different and make no sense. Of them, the best mix I would have to say is "Crystal Blue".

What I don't get, is that 3 songs were originally stereo, which meant they had to have at least 4 track masters! Jefferson Airplane used 4 track masters on some songs and they came up with GOOD mixes using just that. The Doors in many cases, had a 3 track master.... and those even sounded great.

I'm glad I didn't shell out the $100+ that this Q8 usually goes for. I'd be VERY disappointed....and I'm a BIG Tommy James fan!
 
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Bob Romano

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Not only is Hanky Panky mono, but it was a needle drop. You can hear tons of crackle though out the song.
 

EMB

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Bob Romano said:
Not only is Hanky Panky mono, but it was a needle drop. You can hear tons of crackle though out the song.
Or some kind of 'fake quad'? :D But yes, it had surface noise from the Snap 45 they used to master it from the beginning.

What I DON'T remember--Jon, can you verify?--is "I Think We're Alone Now" being true stereo. Coulda sworn that was rechanneled quad also...otherwise, the tracks were at least stereo with a 'faux quad' rear, or, in a handful of instances as noted, discreet quad.

ED :)
 

Q-Eight

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My bad, I just had a listen and "I Think We're Alone now" is Mono with heavy delay. I could've sworn I've heard it in stereo somewhere....
 

deepsky4565

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ITWAN is available in an underdub stereo version. It's on a Rhino comp, but not the main one. I can't look it up right now, but it is out there.
 

Q-Eight

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I knew I'd heard it somewhere in stereo before!! I have that CD. It does sound somewhat like an underdub, but comparing it to the mono mix, there's not much difference.... guitar is brought more to the forefront, piano is buried.

Which just makes me kinda angry, if a stereo version is "out there", obviously there was a multi-track master tape somewhere! Why would they choose to go the mono route on a Quad album? It doesn't make sense!

These are just some of the things I both love and loathe about Quad! :D
 

EMB

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I believe Bill Inglot found that tape; it had remained buried in Roulette's stash until that time. It is missing one guitar, but otherwise, is the master take and runs a bit longer at the end than the original 45 version, which is what was used for the quad tape(except it's rechanneled for quad, yuch). It's on a budget compilation probably still in print. And although it wasn't found at the time the Rhino ANTHOLOGY CD was issued, 2nd presses of that disc *might* have the song in stereo, too, there was talk he was gonna slip it in there when he had the chance.

ED :)
 

dauQula

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Yeah, the mix is bad on some, and at least the record scratches are genuine (as opposed to the fake ones on those hip-hop tunes) , but at least an attempt was made. When I think of the late 60's and whole catalog's not even tried (like Motown) it makes me glad at least some m/c stuff was attempted. Some of the mono releases sound terrible when separated and overdubbed for stereo; guess it all depends on who's behind the mixer board.:cool: give it a 6.
 

MIDIQ

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I agree with most of the other posts on this one. A few great mixes and a few crappy ones {but what else can be done with mono}. Over all a 7.
 

ChristopherLees

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When I first saw it I expected the worst, so when I actually heard it with some songs sounding ok, I was pleasantly suprised,
but Hanky Panky , recorded from a 45 rpm single and a bad one at that is so cheap.
Still there's enough interesting stuff to make me want to keep it.
 

Q-Eight

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Keep in mind, the master to Hanky Panky has long since been lost or destroyed and ALL subsequent versions of the song are dubbed from a 45, even the "stereo" versions. So, I don't hold that against the makers of this album. It was just a poor choice to include it.

I've seen other Quad albums drop a song from their stereo counterparts. Though.... I wonder if a re-record had ever been thought of? Would've been interesting to hear an updated version of Hanky Panky.
 
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Q-Eight

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Breathing life into an old post, I've been having some fun with this one and have done a DTS remix to make a few of the songs make sense. Centered the vocals in "Ball" and "Mony".... actually Mony got a complete overhaul and I must say my mix gives it that atmosphere that made the song such a hit - That big, Party atmosphere. *pats self on back*

Didn't do much to Crimson and Clover, though I DID notice that the Quad has a number of overdubs and/or tracks missing from the stereo version. Never really noticed that before.

Fixed the channel location errors on Sugar on Sunday and Sweet Cherry Wine.

Synched the Stereo and Mono Versions of "I Think We're Alone Now"....

Hanky Panky got a complete re-do as well. Took the straight Mono version (no left/right EQ manipulation like on the Q8) and just added some low studio reverb to the rear. Gives it kind of a 'garage' kind of listening space.

Mirage got my own special pull-apart-and-re-mix treatment.


But during this process, I was just shocked at how completely different the Quad Album is from the stereo Album!! Quad album songs end differently, are missing copious overdubs or are shorter in length!! Can't help but shake my head and wonder who's crazy Idea it was to release a Quad album like this when soooo many others would have been a better choice.

I remember when I was first trying to land this Q8. I kept hoping it would be a revelation like Sly Stone's Greatest hits was.....

What a stinker this one turned out to be!! :(
 

phydo

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Breathing life into an old post, I've been having some fun with this one and have done a DTS remix to make a few of the songs make sense. Centered the vocals in "Ball" and "Mony".... actually Mony got a complete overhaul and I must say my mix gives it that atmosphere that made the song such a hit - That big, Party atmosphere. *pats self on back*

Didn't do much to Crimson and Clover, though I DID notice that the Quad has a number of overdubs and/or tracks missing from the stereo version. Never really noticed that before.

Fixed the channel location errors on Sugar on Sunday and Sweet Cherry Wine.

Synched the Stereo and Mono Versions of "I Think We're Alone Now"....

Hanky Panky got a complete re-do as well. Took the straight Mono version (no left/right EQ manipulation like on the Q8) and just added some low studio reverb to the rear. Gives it kind of a 'garage' kind of listening space.

Mirage got my own special pull-apart-and-re-mix treatment.


But during this process, I was just shocked at how completely different the Quad Album is from the stereo Album!! Quad album songs end differently, are missing copious overdubs or are shorter in length!! Can't help but shake my head and wonder who's crazy Idea it was to release a Quad album like this when soooo many others would have been a better choice.

I remember when I was first trying to land this Q8. I kept hoping it would be a revelation like Sly Stone's Greatest hits was.....

What a stinker this one turned out to be!! :(

Any chance this could become an "out of the box" offer?

Justin
 

ClarkNovak

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Just having received a transfer of this tape, I've gotta say that it certainly is a product of its era. Having said that, and agreeing with many of the comments here regarding rechannelling of mono sources, I think it's a pretty cool bit of history. Certainly the channel panning effects in "Sweet Cherry Wine" and the wide separation in "Mony Mony" are kitschy, but it's kind of like an archaeological dig - you know there might be some broken pottery down there, but the pieces are so rare that it's nice to have them anyway. I mean, Quad from a company like Roulette? A company whose owner never did anything that didn't result in direct income for him? Talk about a rare bird. I gave it a 7.
 
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