Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dollardime

ECHO - the most real, honest, genuine heartfelt album.

Recommended Posts

I listened to Echo again and I don't know, it's a pretty morose album that sounds good, a nice mix of instruments and has some interesting bright spots.

I guess if you generally like heartbroken songs and themes or are in the mood for them, it does what it's trying to do successfully. It sounds like a guy in pain who manages to pull out of it every so often, there's glimpse of hope and struggle but mostly it's a morass of sadness, and what sounds like self pity in one song.

I get why some relate to the album and I suppose it also shows, knowing what we know now about the making of this records, that just because you're a successful musician and rock star, it doesn't mean you can't feel as helpless and sad and broken as anyone else.
 
The playing is superb, particularly Mike's soloing during the ending of One More Day, One More Night, it sounds like an anti-matter version of Wake-Up Time in structure and feel. While that seemed like it was the experience of something good, this one has the yearning for something good, hell, just for plain ole survival. it also has a 1950s ballad kinda feel, not in length, but certain parts of the music and the big beat. One thing that's jarring is the way they overlaid Tom's voice on itself at around 3:35-3:36. Do you like that? It's off-putting to me.
 
I don't like the song order and flow of the album, the upbeat numbers seem too jarring with the downbeat songs and it's a long listen, but then, I picture people who really like or love this record enjoy that they can go through this exploration of sad yet earnest feeling tinged with hope for a long chunk of time.
 
Perhaps the most striking realization was I Don't Wanna Fight.
 
It doesn't seem like a much beloved song, some people dislike it if for no other reason than Mike's voice, a fair enough complaint or that the lyrics are so simple and stupid. Yet...mainly listening and enjoying the live version I was surprised at how heavy this song is on record and instead of coming across as a fun song and an excuse for Mike to sing during the Echo tour, it could be the theme of the album reduced to its most basic part.
 
He wants to love. I know, I know, it sounds like I'm being facetious, how could a song with the lyric "I"m a luvva luvva lover" be meant seriously?
 
Well, maybe it was just a different way for Tom via Mike to express the same feelings that run through the album, betrayal, humiliation, anger, and a desperate need to be loved and accepted. From this perspective, it's a fucking dark song.
 
A few other things, Tom's singing on Echo (the song) reminds me too much of Bob Dylan at the beginning, which I don't care for. 
Accused of Love is just awful, it sounds like one of the most, no, I think it comes across as the most self-pitying song Tom's written. I don't like the lyrics, just a bad song.
 
The instruments in No More sound very pleasant and easy going, it's very soothing. I enjoyed About To Give Out, some really good Benmont playing. I could see this song on Let Me Up, I think it would've fit just fine on that record too.
 
I wonder why Free Girl Now wasn't a huge hit.
 
Seems like it could've been, it's uptempo, has an optimistic female power stance and is fairly short.
 
Maybe the riff wasn't catchy enough or it just wasn't pushed enough. Sure, it may have been played a lot back when this record was released but I doubt most people who went to shows over the past several tours knew it. My guess is a lack of promotion and just the main riff or chord sequence wasn't interesting enough to connect with people the way his other hits did. Maybe people who love Echo will share their thoughts.
 
Has the album gone up in my estimation? A bit, I think though it still exists in the bottom of the pile if not the bottom along with Highway Companion, Last Dj and Southern Accents, Hard Promises.
 
Shelter mentioned in another thread, that he was gravitating towards songs and albums he usually didn't listen to and I'll agree it's interesting to take in some of the music I don't usually listen to nor care to, not just to see if my perspective has changed, if the songs have grown on me in some way but also because they sound fresh in a way the much beloved and listened to songs can't; either way, it was fine to listen to Echo this evening.
 
I get why people connect to this record but for me, as with most of TPATH's albums, there's a good ep clogged with songs I don't care for.
 
cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding Free Girl Now I completely agree. I have no idea why this one faded so quickly. I like it as much as Swingin', if not more. I've had the riff stuck in my head plenty, huge fan of the entire song. It is thematically unlike the rest of their catalog and it's... interestingly placed, album-wise. This is the closest TP ever came to striking a start-to-finish theme on an album, so a song that has no ostensible correlation stood out as somewhat out of place to me on a full Echo listen. When I first heard it I wondered if TP was (in the 3rd person) referencing/mocking some of his ex-wife's views about her marriage to Tom, but that was before I looked into his life and he doesn't seem like an authoritative "control" kind of guy with his family, so that wouldn't make sense.

(Fun fact is that FGN was supposedly his 28th and final "Top 10 Mainstream Rock" charts hit, which is an all-time record. The Foo Fighters are apparently tied for second place with 24 of them... and Grohl is the same age Petty was when Free Girl Now was a single. As a side note, it is pretty interesting that the Foos have stayed so mainstream, but few have ever remained there past their 50th birthday in terms of getting consistent radio play on their new songs... I could see them tailing off in terms of that sort of relevancy. I've heard a lot of comparisons drawn comparing TPATH to the Foos as being bands that toe the line between truly great music AND being popular, though personally for me they don't hold a candle to Petty.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I wonder why Free Girl Now wasn't a huge hit.

Could it be that it's just not a very good song? 

To be frank, I think there's a lot to be said for this song in terms of swagger and pure attitude. It does have a certain powerful punch. But, does it have the melody, structure, lyrics, vocals of a "huge" TPATH hit? I'd say not in a long shot. It's complex to disect these things, but for starters.. Like on several occasions on this album, Tom's vocals on FGN seem even more strained than the mood of the song requires - leading to this above mentioned ambivalence as to what the song really is about. Also, I think the "chorus", although starting off effective and catchy enough (what can go wrong with "hey, baby!!"), really ends with a whimper in terms of melody.. just kinda disintegrate into a sudden and slightly unmelodic... "now". Not, to my ears, what huge hits are made of, despite great energy and a catchy riff.

My cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't care for YDKHIF but I can see why people like the easy going nature of the song, there isn't much musically there and yet it connected. Free Girl Now seems the same musically, not a lot going on. I like it but it feels a bit generic. 

9 hours ago, CrescentMoonFever said:

Regarding Free Girl Now ...When I first heard it I wondered if TP was (in the 3rd person) referencing/mocking some of his ex-wife's views about her marriage to Tom,

 I thought the song was mocking as well, I really thought it was sarcastic and didn't like it for that reason, this was way before I knew of his divorce or read any biographies. I was surprised when Tom said it was meant to be a liberating song for the woman...!

52 minutes ago, Shelter said:

Tom's vocals on FGN seem even more strained than the mood of the song requires - leading to this above mentioned ambivalence

I agree. I think the live version is better with the extended Benmont piano solo. 

It may be a rare case where Steve's drumming doesn't suit the song, that marching straight ahead beat is so relentless but the rest of the song doesn't quite match it. An even more out there theory is that people were turned off by hearing Free at the start of the chorus, that the word is so associated with Free Fallin' they just didn't want to hear another song that starts the same way, as soon as they hear FREE they want to sing FALLIN' but instead are pulled into this faster paced other song.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, CrescentMoonFever said:

I've heard a lot of comparisons drawn comparing TPATH to the Foos as being bands that toe the line between truly great music AND being popular, though personally for me they don't hold a candle to Petty.)

 There's a lot of valid comparisons between the two bands, there's some posts on the topic on here if you take a look around. I think the Foo Fighters have become a classic rock band, moving from their more punk rock/dash of metal beginning. Their set lists are generally a large amount of greatest hits. If I'd more time at this moment I'd go on a bit about them and TPATH.

Back to Free Girl Now, it's unusual for bands to have hit singles past a certain point. I think the Foos have kept up the hits for a long time, though I don't know if the recent singles from their earlier album Sonic Highways will be considered as popular as the Pretender or Everlong. Same with their current album. 

cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

they just didn't want to hear another song that starts the same way, as soon as they hear FREE they want to sing FALLIN' but instead are pulled into this faster paced other song.

Nah. For it to be a hit, people just wanted to hear a really good song is all.

Plenty better lead off singles imaginable, even for an... introspective.. album like Echo. To me.. well.. FGN is borderline to even make the cut on my personal sequenced, trimmed n optimized imaginable Echo. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FGN was OK with me listening to the LP, but nothing special. When we saw it live from the front row, it was great! It was 1 of the best songs of the show! We sang, danced and it was great with all us Farmers there. I'll never forget that night with my friends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard a song on the radio during a crappy point of my life "life goes on way after the thrill is gone" not tom petty thought it was t on echo became an instant tom petty fan.  Haven't listened to echo since his death.  rip echo is goimg to be hard to listen to when i try

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, billy the kid said:

I heard a song on the radio during a crappy point of my life "life goes on way after the thrill is gone" not tom petty thought it was t on echo became an instant tom petty fan.  Haven't listened to echo since his death.  rip echo is goimg to be hard to listen to when i try

"Jack and Diane" by John Mellencamp I'm pretty sure. Great song too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it just me or did something happen to the sound of Echo?

Or rather.. it strikes me that certain parts of the album sounds upgraded somehow. Did some remaster/remix take place, that no one told me about? Haven´t listened in depth on the album for a few years, but I have lately (in part thanks to the bump of this thread, thank you) and I noticed in close-up experience (headphones, sure, but even out loud.. and even on streaming services (what??).. should add I don´t or never did own this album on vinyl) how parts of the album sound decidedly better and less compressed or "sour", to me, than used to.

It doesn´t quite seem to be general over the length of the album, as I hear it, but parts seem "closer" (for example: opening sections Lonesome Sundown) other parts just "cleaner" and/or "higher in the mix" (the high harmony backing vocals on "Look deep..." section of Room at The Top is positively chilling and terribly awesome - and oh, too short. These are much more obvious than I ever heard them before, and quite possibly they are now among the most awesome sound I´ve ever heard- Yes, I am knock out by this!)

Is any of this real, or am I just imagining this? It is simply not possible that I missed that sonic miracle that are those latter mentioned high harmonies for all these years? (Is that Howie? Tell me it is Howie!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a few songs on this album I absolutely love... 
The others I could take or leave. I do like darker, more morose music. I often feel it is more heartfelt and cold, in a way. I feel like "Blue Sunday" would have fit on this album well, rather than The Last DJ. 

  1. "Room at the Top" – 5:00 (specifically live version)
  2. "Counting on You" – 4:05
  3. "Free Girl Now" – 3:30
  4. "Lonesome Sundown" – 4:32
  5. "Swingin'" – 5:30
  6. "Accused of Love" – 2:45
  7. "Echo" – 6:36
  8. "Won't Last Long" – 4:22
  9. "Billy the Kid" – 4:08 (specifically live version)
  10. "I Don't Wanna Fight" (Mike Campbell) – 2:47
  11. "This One's for Me" – 2:42
  12. "No More" – 3:15
  13. "About to Give Out" – 3:12
  14. "Rhino Skin" – 3:57
  15. "One More Day, One More Night" – 5:37

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My above question was serious! Anyone noticed what I've noticed? Anyone knows if/when/what something's been done to improve the sound on late era releases of Echo? I can swear hearing it on Spotify today sounds different in part than it did a few years back - and, what's more, different than it still does on my original 1st print US and EU CDs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shelter I'm almost 100% sure that they remastered all the albums other than She's the One and (I think) PutP a few years ago, at least for iTunes. But now this article is saying they did it with all of them. Not sure they used the remastered versions on Spotify, but if you noticed such a radical change then it stands to reason. I haven't heard my original CD pressing of Echo since the early 2000s, so I can't say this is something I've noticed. 

http://www.kshe95.com/news/real-rock-news/tom-pettys-entire-catalogue-remastered-itunes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/20/2017 at 7:07 PM, Liberty said:

There are a few songs on this album I absolutely love... 
The others I could take or leave. I do like darker, more morose music. I often feel it is more heartfelt and cold, in a way. I feel like "Blue Sunday" would have fit on this album well, rather than The Last DJ. 

  1. "Room at the Top" – 5:00 (specifically live version)
  2. "Counting on You" – 4:05
  3. "Free Girl Now" – 3:30
  4. "Lonesome Sundown" – 4:32
  5. "Swingin'" – 5:30
  6. "Accused of Love" – 2:45
  7. "Echo" – 6:36
  8. "Won't Last Long" – 4:22
  9. "Billy the Kid" – 4:08 (specifically live version)
  10. "I Don't Wanna Fight" (Mike Campbell) – 2:47
  11. "This One's for Me" – 2:42
  12. "No More" – 3:15
  13. "About to Give Out" – 3:12
  14. "Rhino Skin" – 3:57
  15. "One More Day, One More Night" – 5:37

same songs I love room at he top to echo to one more day one more night all sad songs but so much hope in between.  On a different note thise two last photos by sings for french are a perfect way to end that other thread in my oppnion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a shame that iTunes are the only ones remastered. I am a bit old fashioned and prefer a physical cd. Hopefully they'll release a box set soon.

In answer to someone's earlier question. I Don't Wanna Fight doesn't really fit for me on the record and the lyrics are a bit too basic. It sounds like something that perfectly would have fitted the mood of Mudcrutch album but sounds a bit half arsed on Echo.

I love Echo. But it's one of those records that suffers from being one or two tracks too long. By removing those two tracks and changing the running order it could have been so much more.

The duelling guitars at the end of One More Night is a cracking end to the album though. I love it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Ok, thanks for input! I know I heard somewhere that remastering was done for the complete albums vinyl box(es) of recently. I just wasn't sure if any remasters was made prior to that as well? If not - no wonder the effect is so marked! I always just listened to my original 1999 CDs and in recent years to Spotify and various online streaming services. And not until just some weeks ago I noticed the changes mentioned, when listening to Spotify. If this is the box-reissue remaster, that now has made it to online streaming services it's great, and it's also good for the people buying the vinyl box (although I have never heard the original 1999 vinyl print, mind you)! Judging by the early CD prints and what's been online all this time, I always felt that Echo was one of the TPATH albums most in need of remastering.

Normally I feel remastering does more harm than good, when it's done to perfectly fine older analoge recordings. More often than not, it only makes them sound more bass heavy and/or compressed, limited somehow, a lot less dynamics, if clean and crystal clear enough. In the case of Echo though, I always felt the original had some serious compression, "claustrofobic" tendencies to the mix (part of which may actually be arrangement and vocal delivery though.. that couldn't be changed) but the sound I hear when listening to it now certainly makes for a much improved listen, does the album more justice. I'm just surprised at how big difference it is in some parts of the album, while other parts seems much the same. (Again, this may just underline my long time conviction that there are vocal delivery and other issue with this album that no remaster or remix can fix.) Either way, I really feel blown away about how much better big chunks of this old album sound to me today! A good thing, since a lot of the songs on there are somewhat overlooked and underrated. At least by yours truly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×