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

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2000??

They felt the need to remaster it within one year of being released? Never heard of that. (Although Bob (Dylan) did something similar to Love & Theft in 2001 or 02, remastered it - for worse, even - while the original was still warm from the press.)

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Not strictly album talk, but I like the version of Swingin' they did at Red Rocks this year. The sound on YouTube is a bit distorted (bassdrum), but the groove is soooo fine. Tom looks exhausted, must have been a hell of a night, with the weather and all (funny, during Neil Young's performance at Red Rocks as seen on "Road Rock Vol. 1" it also started to rain), but the overall feel is great. Such a simple song, and so good.

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What I want to know is, is there an actual copy of the album that exists that has the band name and the album name on it? I have never seen a picture of that until the other day when I saw that Yahoo article that had all the albums listed in chronological order and when you got to Echo, it had this as the cover for it:

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Not only that, it looks like Howie was added to the cover on the right and not Scott. By the way, how come Steve wasn't on the cover?

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^Been wondering about the text-on-the-cover issue as well. (Especially since Echo never had an outter/cardboard extra sleeve holding the jewel case, like early Wildflowers prints for example, where the outside had the text and the jewel case booklet had just a picture front without text). Not that there has to be a text, just that I too seen the picture of the album with text. Or is that just a promo add, not corresponding with an actual record? Fun fact, though: The cassette version (at least some) of Echo DO HAVE the text on the cover!

And, btw, some more talk of this sleeve in below link. I think general consensus is that Howie was never in the field, so to speak. 

 

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1 hour ago, Shelter said:

^Been wondering about the text-on-the-cover issue as well. (Especially since Echo never had an outter/cardboard extra sleeve holding the jewel case, like early Wildflowers prints for example, where the outside had the text and the jewel case booklet had just a picture front without text). Not that there has to be a text, just that I too seen the picture of the album with text. Or is that just a promo add, not corresponding with an actual record? Fun fact, though: The cassette version (at least some) of Echo DO HAVE the text on the cover!

And, btw, some more talk of this sleeve in below link. I think general consensus is that Howie was never in the field, so to speak. 

 

I remember that thread now lol!

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On 10/20/2017 at 9:41 AM, Shelter said:

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!)

I compared my preferred listening copy the HD Tracks master of Echo from a couple years ago to whats on Spotify now. The Look Deep part on Room At The Top sounds to my ears that it has been remixed. I don't think a mastering change alone can bring Howie or whoever it is vocals that much more prominently up in the mix without a remix being done. Very interesting observation.  

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18 hours ago, DogOnTheRun76 said:

I compared my preferred listening copy the HD Tracks master of Echo from a couple years ago to whats on Spotify now. 

Yeah, with regards to that, here's a few further observations along the same lines, as Echo is heard on Spotify now:

*Another thought on Room At The Top: Apart from what I already said above, I also noted how some of the choruses seem extra “layered” now, like one voice/harmony is added for each time he sings the title line (first one, then two, then three "voices")… Now it may have been like that all along, but it seems so much more marked now. (This can be heard especially well on the chorus just past 4 minutes of the song.)

*Parts of Accused of Love seem to have underwent a similar treatment. “I caught a train…” and onwards through the chorus there seems to have been some harmony vocals enhancement taking place. (Hear it especially from about 58 seconds on.)

*Although less marked than the previous two examples, on Billy The Kid I suspect the whole vocal track's been lifted just a tad, all over. And here too the harmonies may be slighlty boosted. (Hear it from around 50 sec in.) And again, in This One’s For Me, the harmony rolling along with the lead in the verse (starting at around 20 sceonds) sounds a bit more clear than on the old CD (not as much difference on the chorus “And you don’t even know..”, mind you.)

 

It’s been fun, and a bit painful too, revisiting this album in some more detail over this last week or so. I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more than I used to. I still think it may be a bit of an overload, like three or four songs long no doubt, and that some of it sounds a bit.. “sour” to me.. But the remaster and the new highlighting (remixing?) that seems to have been done to some of the vocals and harmonies, have done more wonder to the overall effect, than I may have ever expected. Great, since I rarely think tinkering with an original is gonna do much good to anybody. Viva the exceptions of the rule!

 

 

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On 10/24/2017 at 6:05 AM, TwoGunslingers said:

Not strictly album talk, but I like the version of Swingin' they did at Red Rocks this year. The sound on YouTube is a bit distorted (bassdrum), but the groove is soooo fine. Tom looks exhausted, must have been a hell of a night, with the weather and all (funny, during Neil Young's performance at Red Rocks as seen on "Road Rock Vol. 1" it also started to rain), but the overall feel is great. Such a simple song, and so good.

It has rained at about 75% of the shows I have attended at Red Rocks.... and I go to several a year.. I live 20 mins from Red Rocks! :-) 

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^ I'm sure there is not a specific date,  but as I recall I don't think they presented Steve as being an official Heartbreaker until the Last DJ era, around the same time it became known that Ron was back 100% as well. I suppose fans knew he was in fact since years by then, but I think that's how it happened anyway. I don't know this for sure, but there seem to have been a case of Steve having quite a lot of obligations with other musicians, sessions, tours and so on in the beginning of his running around with Tom, and I don't know if that perhaps was part of why this process of "out:ing him as being in", so to speak, was so... gradual..  

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13 hours ago, IndigoGypsy13 said:

It has rained at about 75% of the shows I have attended at Red Rocks.... and I go to several a year.. I live 20 mins from Red Rocks! :-) 

At least you know what to expect! And what to wear... I've never been there (I probably would do the same as you if I lived that close! :lol:), it looks so great in videos.

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5 hours ago, Shelter said:

^ I'm sure there is not a specific date,  but as I recall I don't think they presented Steve as being an official Heartbreaker until the Last DJ era, around the same time it became known that Ron was back 100% as well. I suppose fans knew he was in fact since years by then, but I think that's how it happened anyway. I don't know this for sure, but there seem to have been a case of Steve having quite a lot of obligations with other musicians, sessions, tours and so on in the beginning of his running around with Tom, and I don't know if that perhaps was part of why this process of "out:ing him as being in", so to speak, was so... gradual..  

I think this is correct. Steve and Scott were not official, full-share-earning Heartbreakers until 2002. If you see any official credits from '95 through '01 (linear notes, etc.), it usually says Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (TP, Mike, Ben, Howie) with Steve Ferrone and Scott Thurston.

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10 minutes ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

 Like what?

Mostly production and arrangement stuff. I still find some of the vocals a bit.. well.. claustrophobic, and some of the compositions less strong (the album, as it plays, is too long). But some of the remastering discussed above - sometimes quite noticeble stuff - really helped improve the sound a lot.

There are harmonies, little things of Benmont's and even guitar details, that have probably been there all along more or less, that I really started to pay attention to more closely lately. (A cool and rare thing with an artist who's catalogu you think you know every dark corner of!) 

I really hear more air, I suppose. And I hear more of a tight album in general in there - once the fat is trimmed - than I used to. 

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I love Let Me Up and never skip a track on this album, not so with Echo and apart from Room at the top and Swingin' which are excellent, the rest is filler IMO.

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16 minutes ago, Jay said:

I love Let Me Up and never skip a track on this album, not so with Echo and apart from Room at the top and Swingin' which are excellent, the rest is filler IMO.

I think that's part of what makes a place like this interesting, the wide range of opinions!

 

As for Echo, no love for Rhino Skin? 

cheers

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19 hours ago, Shelter said:

There are harmonies, little things of Benmont's and even guitar details, that have probably been there all along more or less, that I really started to pay attention to more closely lately.

 Less a change of heart about the songs and more an appreciation for the more subtle or previously obscured moments within each tune, even those you may not care for?

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35 minutes ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

 Less a change of heart about the songs and more an appreciation for the more subtle or previously obscured moments within each tune, even those you may not care for?

Something like that. 

And, again.. Despite favorite songs and nice enough average level, I used to have a hard time wrapping my mind around how Echo could be reconfigured into one tight optimal album. (Much the same way I still do with Mojo.) But now I think I get it.

It's still too much and too long to have that certain punch I like. It's the curse of the golden era of CDs, I suppose, just cause thee format allows you to squeeze in an hour of music or more, you just have to do it, even if most albums, especially in the area of the map where Tom usually worked, are most effectively build when they are 35-45 minutes long, imo. Two for the price of one is not always better, so to speak. Artistically, I find this phenomenon to be a bit problematic. (Of course it also relates to the difference in the album building art, between the LP and CD formats...)

But now I've started to hear a really great tight album in Echo. It's in there!

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4 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

What would your Echo look like?

You had to ask, didn´t you..? :D

Well... I´m not quite done sequencing it... but for the moment I might have it down like this:

 

A1. Room At The Top

A2. Swingin

A3. About To Give Out

A4. Rhino Skin

A5. Lonesome Sundown

 

B1. Echo

B2. Billy The Kid

B3. Won´t Last Long

B4. One More Day, One More Night 

 

Feels like I´ve been doing this before... ;) But maybe not for Echo. I´m not sure about the flow... but it feels well trimmed and focused, like this.

And. As much as I love Sweet William, perhaps that one should´ve been better off saved for future use. (Not that they knew this at the time, but as has been mentioned before, it would have fitted nicely on Mojo, for example.) Now, it kinda was left out, put on a single b-side and all, right! But what I mean is that it could perhaps have left its spot even there, perhaps for Accused of Love, a pretty good match for a b-side to Room At The Top, I´d say. Not as good a song as Sweet Bill in my book, but still somehow more fitting. For a maxi-single version (or EP, as it were), This One´s For Me could be granted a spot too. Both those songs are decent, but doesn´t do much for the album, musically. As for Free Girl, Counting On You, I Don´t Wanna Fight and No More, those are not the prime moments in the catalogue, in my view. Definitely filler. Needs to go, to make the experience real sharp. If you ask me.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Shelter said:

Feels like I´ve been doing this before... ;) But maybe not for Echo. I´m not sure about the flow... but it feels well trimmed and focused, like this.

 That is a good record Shelter. I think you did about a good job balancing it as anyone, each song has its own unique character; it's good you have Billy and Won't Last Long between two somber songs.

 

My only two quibbles would be having Lonesome Sundown and Echo back to back but keeping them seems essential to the vibe of the record. I'm surprised you don't have Free Girl Now on here, perhaps you just don't care for the song or feel like its energy doesn't mesh with the record as reconstituted. My other quibble would be...wait for it...you know it's coming...oh yes, that's' right...the lack of I Don't Wanna Fight. I'm sure that while you appreciate the energy of the track and Mike having a chance to sing, you no doubt consider this firmly in the camp of B-side songs, something that gets unearthed on a compilation down the road instead of having prime spot on the album.

I like the song quite a bit for a number of reasons I won't get into but having discussed and read your thoughts on TPATH for a while now I'm not surprised at the song's omission.

My question is, even if you don't much care for the song (and maybe you do just not enough to have it make your version of the record) would you have enjoyed it during a concert since it was not something usually played? Of course, at that point you'd probably just be happy be seeing them back in your own country, so moving on...

Your Side A is quite potent, with a very good mix of different songs yet they all seem to work together, on paper or screen as it were.

Thank you for sharing.

cheers

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