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MaryJanes2ndLastDance

The Last Dj---what works what doesn't

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I agree! Terrible song. I understand it's a tribute to George Harrison (only because I read that somewhere) but I don't care. It's an awful song. This album needed more rockin' songs, not this weird beatles/jeff lynne hybrid. I just tried listening to it before finishing this post and I stopped. 

cheers

It's a good example how one song can scatter a whole concept album. It makes you wonder: What if there are more songs that do not fit the concept? Is there a A-side, B-side logic to it, with the A-side dedicated to the DJ concept and the B-side to other songs? Like on Simon & Garfunkel's "Bookends"? But Can't Stop The Sun is on the B-side, so to speak, and it definitely adds to the concept... all very confusing.

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I like the song, but don't feel as strongly about it as you do. I remember reading an opinion saying it should've been more electric and I agreed; picture the same riff,  but with more of a bite to it. Would that approach have worked for you or you're happy with it as is?

cheers

Being the strong advocate of the acoustic guitar, a real acoustic aficionado of sorts ;), I'm more than happy with the arrangement. I love the sound of the acoustic 12-string guitar, especially when it kicks off the song. Maybe with a 12-string Rickenbacker (not distorted) playing that riff I would be happy, too. But a Telecaster or Gibson SG... or even a Strat... no thanks. Especially not when they're distorted. Not with this one. Normally I'm  perfectly fine with these guitars, but there are limits. ;)

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You don't have to qualify it! :)

I figure everyone on here is expressing their thoughts on TPATH and Mudcrutch!

I think it was a magazine article or maybe it was an online review but when they said the Last Dj needed to be electrified I knew they were right. 

With your love of acoustic, there's quite a wealth of material for you to enjoy. I hope if you got to see them live, they went on one of their extended mid set acoustic moments while you were in the audience! Oh, you must really love the acoustic Kings Highway...! That really transformed the song, and made it much better, in my opinion.

cheers

Edited by MaryJanes2ndLastDance

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It's a good example how one song can scatter a whole concept album. It makes you wonder: What if there are more songs that do not fit the concept? Is there a A-side, B-side logic to it, with the A-side dedicated to the DJ concept and the B-side to other songs? Like on Simon & Garfunkel's "Bookends"? But Can't Stop The Sun is on the B-side, so to speak, and it definitely adds to the concept... all very confusing.

 That's a good idea. Side A for the concept, Side B for the songs that don't fit. Could've changed Southern Accents and this album quite a bit!

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With your love of acoustic, there's quite a wealth of material for you to enjoy. I hope if you got to see them live, they went on one of their extended mid set acoustic moments while you were in the audience!

Ha, thanks for that wish. That would make me happy, indeed. :) Although with acoustic I don't necessarily mean the so-called unplugged approach. I consider ITGWO an album that heavily relies on the acoustic guitar, because the songs are based on it. All the strumming going on. I like the sound of that. Same with Wildflowers, for instance, or parts of Hard Promises. Acoustics combined with an electric rhythm section and/or electric guitar, piano and organ... and they're so damn good at it.

As for Kings Highway... I never cared much for the acoustic version. It's nice, but it doesn't really serve the song, I think. I see/hear it as a song about getting out, about setting out on a journey, but not the kind of ambiguous, desperate way Springsteen's Thunder Road is. It's more optimistic, so for me the album version always works better. Plus their acoustic arrangement never seemed much inspired to me. It seems more like 'let's play it slower and quieter', and that's not enough. To me, all that mandolin jangling through the whole song is a bit too much of that Instrument, since there's not much chord change below it... so it gets a little monotonous. 

Having said that, I love their acoustic versions of Even The Losers and even Listen to Her Heart. I think those are really interesting and work better the way they play(ed) them in their 'unplugged' set. Not better than their electric versions necessarily, but definitely better than Kings Highway.

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Plus their acoustic arrangement never seemed much inspired to me. It seems more like 'let's play it slower and quieter', and that's not enough. To me, all that mandolin jangling through the whole song is a bit too much of that Instrument, since there's not much chord change below it... so it gets a little monotonous. 

Kings Highway is one of those generic rockers that don't quite rock, but for some reason, the sparse, mellow approach worked. I think because I don't care for the original musically,  having all those over the top Lynne moments and touches and the blandness of the chords stripped away, reveals a more interesting core. I think the theme of "getting out" is still there, just expressed in a perhaps more subtle fashion. I understand your points about why it doesn't work for you, though.

cheers

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Having said that, I love their acoustic versions of Even The Losers and even Listen to Her Heart.  

 Those are both really good, particularly Even the Losers. The song becomes so powerful when it's reduced to acoustic guitar and maybe some Benmont flourishes.The version out there from the 89 S. Carolina boot is phenomenal, if you haven't heard it, find a copy! American Girl works well acoustically, too. Maybe it was played that way in the Fillmore shows?

cheers

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Ha, thanks for that wish. That would make me happy, indeed. :) Although with acoustic I don't necessarily mean the so-called unplugged approach. I consider ITGWO an album that heavily relies on the acoustic guitar, because the songs are based on it. All the strumming going on. I like the sound of that.

 There's a lot of great acoustic playing on FMF. particularly the chorus of Runnin' Down a Dream and Yer So Bad.

Runnin' really benefits from the mix of electric and acoustic on the chorus. Of course, full on electric in concert is also great on this song!

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Kings Highway is one of those generic rockers that don't quite rock, but for some reason, the sparse, mellow approach worked. I think because I don't care for the original musically,  having all those over the top Lynne moments and touches and the blandness of the chords stripped away, reveals a more interesting core. I think the theme of "getting out" is still there, just expressed in a perhaps more subtle fashion. I understand your points about why it doesn't work for you, though.

cheers

I see/hear it more as a midtempo kind of thing (even if it's a bit faster than midtempo, admittedly). Not necessarily as a rocker. If you expect a rocker, I can see how you're disappointed. But it's a difficult song somehow, either way. None of my favorites in the album version as well.

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 Those are both really good, particularly Even the Losers. The song becomes so powerful when it's reduced to acoustic guitar and maybe some Benmont flourishes.The version out there from the 89 S. Carolina boot is phenomenal, if you haven't heard it, find a copy! American Girl works well acoustically, too. Maybe it was played that way in the Fillmore shows?

cheers

Yeah, I have the Carolina bootleg! Great acoustic renditions! Never heard American Girl played acoustically. Would love to hear it, though! I can see how that works! There's an underlying melancholy that's counterbalanced or supplemented by the electric Arrangement that also could work well on its own, so to speak.

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I'm gonna bump this one too since I just watched the "Live at the Olympic" DVD where he rolled through this full album to begin the show. My thoughts may be somewhat painted by those performances since it's the last time I heard each song, but they stayed largely true to the studio tracks.

Love: The Last DJ, Dreamville, Joe, Blue Sunday, Have Love Will Travel

Like: Money Becomes King, When A Kid Goes Bad, Lost Children, Can't Stop The Sun

Meh: Like a Diamond, You and Me, The Man Who Loves Women

I'm coming to the very bizarre and unexpected realization that "Joe" is my favorite song on a TPATH album, which is just weird to me. Now that's what I call music! Hah.

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On October 14, 2017 at 8:46 PM, CrescentMoonFever said:

I'm coming to the very bizarre and unexpected realization that "Joe" is my favorite song on a TPATH album, which is just weird to me. Now that's what I call music! Hah.

  I wonder how many people share the feeling, I don't think there are many, ha ha! Is Joe the harshest song Tom wrote, both musically and lyrically? I think so.

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On October 14, 2017 at 8:46 PM, CrescentMoonFever said:

just watched the "Live at the Olympic" DVD where he rolled through this full album to begin the show.

 Do you think it worked as a concept? As a story with characters? Or as a general feeling? Both? Neither? 

I haven't watched that in a long time, probably not since it came out. Great version of Mary Jane in the encore, though! 

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

 Do you think it worked as a concept? As a story with characters? Or as a general feeling? Both? Neither? 

I haven't watched that in a long time, probably not since it came out. Great version of Mary Jane in the encore, though! 

Oh I definitely think Joe is his angriest song ever; it was jarring to me when I first heard it because Tom has never been the kind of artist to go in like that. Really, the song taken in context with his entire body of work makes it all the more powerful.

Personally I agree with most of you guys in this thread on DJ. I didn't think it worked as either a concept album or as an "album" album in full. When it comes to complete albums, I'd prefer it to be full of consistently middle-of-the-road-ish songs (Echo for instance) as opposed to such glaring peaks and valleys. The lows are, as mentioned in this thread, just too low for me to enjoy it regularly. Even when I'm in the mood for a Last DJ fix, listening to it still leaves me feeling meh... I used to be a lot higher on it, I think. I often find myself reaching for single songs from this album, but rarely the whole thing in full.

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9 hours ago, CrescentMoonFever said:

Oh I definitely think Joe is his angriest song ever; it was jarring to me when I first heard it because Tom has never been the kind of artist to go in like that. Really, the song taken in context with his entire body of work makes it all the more powerful.

 I have to be in the mood for that song.

9 hours ago, CrescentMoonFever said:

Even when I'm in the mood for a Last DJ fix, listening to it still leaves me feeling meh... I used to be a lot higher on it, I think. I often find myself reaching for single songs from this album, but rarely the whole thing in full.

Reading this topic again had me listening to some of the album, but my opinion has stayed the same. It's disappointing considering the theme, the Last Dj, album and song feel like it's the start of something fantastic but it never gets there.

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So I said two years ago I would be giving my thoughts on this album because I am in the minority and rate the album very highly. Unfortunately, it seems I totally forgot or got sidetracked and never gave my thoughts on it, though I know I have in other threads. So, since we have people revisiting this after Tom's untimely death, I guess I'll finally dive deep into why I love this album so.

Before diving into the songs themselves, I will start off by saying, my entire life, all 28 years of it so far, I have loved TPATH. My dad has always been a big fan and 2002 is the year I went from being a 12 year old casual fan to a fanatic of the band and them  becoming my favorite musical group of all time. I can still remember the countless copies of TPATH cassettes (of the albums and singles) he had in the car and in a case that he kept them all in. It's the reason why when I finally got Playback for Christmas in 2005 that when I heard "Trailer" and "Casa Dega" that I remember hearing them a long time ago and it all clicked in my head. I guess it's a benefit for your dad to work at a Universal Record Plant before it closed in 2000 and be able to get all those things lol.

 July 5th, 2002 was the day I got to go to see the band live for the first time with my dad at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). I had asked him a couple of days before the show if we could go as something to do together after seeing online that they were touring. Luckily, he said absolutely. I thought we were only going to get lawn tickets to the show because that was what my dad had said he always had gotten when he was a younger man and would go to see the band there. After getting the tickets and being excited all day to see them, before we left I left my glasses at home so I wouldn't look like a dork (this was a big mistake because I've always been damn near blind so my visual memory of the show isn't fantastic because of it lol.) When we get on the road to drive out to the show, we're listening to a mix of Damn the Torpedoes, Hard Promises, Long After Dark, Full Moon Fever and Wildflowers. He tells me to take a look in the center console to take a look at the tickets and to my surprise, he had managed to get us 13th row tickets to the show. He had said when he and my mom had gone to Ticketmaster (yes, you use to be able to go to a local Ticketmaster to buy tickets!) and they asked for 2 lawn seats, the person waiting on them said they still had seats in the amphitheater and asked if they wanted to get them. It was our lucky day.

When we got to the show, on our walk around the area, he was regaling me with his stories of when he and his friends would drive to see the band and all the crazy antics and stuff they would do and see at these shows. It was great to get to hear him tell his stories, things to potentially look forward to lol. We bought 2 TPATH shirts in the parking lot for 15 bucks a piece (crazy I know) and got to listen to a guy smoking a joint for the line in the bathroom bullshit with his buddy telling him how he knows Tom and how their great friends. The show had the Brian Setzer Trio open things and I got to listen to my Dad tell me how they use to be the Stray Cats and played 50s style rock and roll. I remember really liking their set and at least knowing "Stray Cat Strut". After waiting 30 minutes, TPATH opened up and kicked things off with "Runnin' Down a Dream". My dad remarked and told me that it looked like Ron Blair was up there playing bass and not Howie and how he hadn't been in the band for 20 years. Every song they played, he would tell me what album they came off and how much he loved them as he sand along to the songs. Also, being the summer tour before The Last DJ came out, we were treated to 3 of the best songs from that album: "Can't Stop the Sun", "Lost Children", and "Have Love Will Travel", the last being featured on The Live Anthology from that very show. The set list just was great, getting to listen to a 8 minute jammed out version of "Too Much Ain't Enough", some new songs, an acoustic version of "Rebels". etc. It was just a great first show and experience that is something my dad and I share and got me to want to hear everything from the band and get to know more about them. Luckily, a couple years later, I would find a bootleg of the show and add it to  the collection.

It's during this time period between this show and Christmas they announced their new album, Tom making an appearance on The Simpsons to promote it, and waiting to get my hands on the new album. Luckily for me, I got The Last DJ, DTT, their first album and FMF for Christmas and the first album I listened to from that bunch on my new, big 6 CD player. And the experience I had was amazing.

Now, part 2 that talks about the album itself will come in another post. This is just kind of a introduction into the emotional, nostalgic ties I have to the album. So, see you in a nother post lol.

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After enjoying the revisit to this thread lately, and now listening a few times to the great Santa Barbara show from 2002 (thanks to Marion!) I's reminded what a great watch this film is.. up on youtube again lately.. Crank it up and enjoy!

 

 

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Great thread.  I always liked this CD , as far as songs and production goes.  The opening song , reminds me of the Hollies " bus stop ".   I like " the man who loves women " as I like " when I'm 64 " , it's a fun song. 

I hear lots of Beatles influence in the CD , and " live at the Olympia " DVD that followed reminds me of how McCartney wanted the " get back " album to end with them doing a concert of all the new songs .  The playing throughout the CD is great and I would list it in my top 5 of favorite Petty Cd's. As far as a concept , true ,but like Sgt. Pepper it is lol. 

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