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

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6 hours ago, Shelter said:

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.

 Ah, well, there you go.

Still, Free Girl Now is worth a bit of a discussion I think. For me, it's a better version of whatever Kings Road and A Thing About You are, not that they're similar songs in structure or lyrics but they fall on the weaker side of Tom's more upbeat numbers, yet of those three Free Girl Now is the best of the bunch. Maybe it's just the driving beat in the song that I like.

It's interesting that Rubin had a part with Wildflowers and this record and yet the sound quality to my ears is much lesser. Of course, you've heard an updated version so...would you say it's closer to the high sonic quality of the earlier record?

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6 hours ago, Shelter said:

perhaps for Accused of Love, 

I think this is one of their most wretched songs, down there with Girl on LSD. I realize (in retrospect) he was going through a torturous time with divorce and drug addiction etc. but the lyrics and the attitude, I don't know, I'm not saying he's not entitled to be down or feel pain or whatever, of course he is or was! But...hearing it like this comes across as very self-pitying and indulgent in a way TPATH's music rarely ever was. Terrible song.

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2 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

.... For me, it's a better version of whatever Kings Road and A Thing About You are,..

I had to go play the openings to recall which is Kings Highway and which is Kings Road.  Kings Highway they used to open the tour they did with the twisted tree set.  They let Stan do psychotic reaction.  I remember I had lousy seats.  :(

They should have done Kings Expressway. Maybe do an entire album and every song starts with Kings and ends with something to do with transportation.

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5 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Still, Free Girl Now is worth a bit of a discussion I think. For me, it's a better version of whatever Kings Road and A Thing About You are, not that they're similar songs in structure or lyrics but they fall on the weaker side of Tom's more upbeat numbers, yet of those three Free Girl Now is the best of the bunch.

To me it's the worst of the three, by far. Good enough riff, but there is something bout the structure and delivery, the melody being cut short, or whatever.. Strange is good, in terms compositions, but this falls on the wrong side of the tracks for me.

5 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

It's interesting that Rubin had a part with Wildflowers and this record and yet the sound quality to my ears is much lesser. Of course, you've heard an updated version so...would you say it's closer to the high sonic quality of the earlier record?

Hard to tell how "updated' it is, but yeah, it opens up some qualities in the mix, I'd say. Still nowhere near to touch Wildflowers in "sonic quality". Never did. But I am fairly certain that is by design. For one thing, I think they deliberately went for a more claustrophobic vibe, to build an atmosphere around some of the album's key songs and overall feel. A sort of subliminal theme if you will, that informs and holds together most albums. For another thing, Tom always wanted to push forward and develop new sides of the band and band songs. Perhaps not always as much as he prided himself with, but yeah.. Echo sure sounds different from Wilflowers - "worse" if you ask me, yeah - but I suspect it's actually style rather than quality. And Rubin surely had a lot less fingers buttoning Echo, than he did Wildflowers. A very well produced album, either way. No doubt. And I'm glad that remastering, for once, makes a difference for the better.

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4 hours ago, Shelter said:

For one thing, I think they deliberately went for a more claustrophobic vibe, to build an atmosphere around some of the album's key songs and overall feel.

 If true it succeeded but doesn't make for an interesting listen but then, it's probably not fair to compare the record to Wildflowers, which has one of the most welcoming sounds of any of TPATH's records.

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2 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Nobody talks about the arrows on the cover. What are they? Stylized letter 'e'? Artistic representation of the title? Two voices thrown out, (reading left to right) returning united as one, Tom and the band connected? Why does the bigger arrow look like a house on its side?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DItwTL0lCI

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On ‎5‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 7:07 PM, Shelter said:

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).

For a while there in the nineties, when the CD was the leading medium, they tended to make albums way too long. Not only TPHB, that is, but pretty much everyone. That lasted well into the 2000s, but I think this is over now.

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Do Dirty Knobs fans like I Don't Wanna Fight? Do you think you'd like it more if it were a Knobs song and not taking up prime real estate on Echo?

I was listening to it yesterday and I think it's a good mix of rock and country, well, mainly rock with just that countryish notes/chords after the heavy part of the riff. It's not one of my favorite songs or anything but it's a fun song and livened up the set lists during that tour. 

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I've always thought of it as Mike's version of grunge, filtered through his sensibilities.   I don't really hear any Country in it at all.  I do think it's an example of what Marion has said - Mike does not sound like Tom.  I could imagine Tom singing it, but I think I would have to be in another key for Tom to sing it properly.  But I like it, I remember being shocked when I first heard it, like, "Wow, Mike is singing!"  Admittedly I'm not the biggest fan of Echo, but that's down to my own tastes when it comes to the Heartbreakers.

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Well you know, we all have our preferences and prejudices...

Primarily it's because I came to this band in 1977 so the first twenty years will always mean more to me, emotionally and aesthetically.  I appreciate some of the second half (like I really enjoy Mojo), and I completely understand why Tom's vision for the band and his artistic output had to change and evolve, but some of it doesn't appeal to me at all.  That's why I tend to stay out of latter-day discussions.  I have some blasphemous opinions, I think, and it's not like they really matter.  Everyone likes what they like.

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7 hours ago, chimera said:

That's why I tend to stay out of latter-day discussions.  I have some blasphemous opinions, I think, and it's not like they really matter.  Everyone likes what they like.

Now you must share your "blasphemous" opinions, ha ha ha! This place is filled with interesting discussions on their music, from the early days to Hypnotic Eye and Mudcrutch 2. Everyone has their taste but the differences in opinion make for the interesting topics, conversations etc. Of course, if you don't want to share that's fine too!

cheers

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LOL okay, I will come back and elaborate on this later.  In all my years of online interaction, I've tried to be respectful of other people's opinions/preferences even if I don't agree, just because I've been treated badly at times - and fandom is supposed to be inclusive, IMO.  So I appreciate the encouragement. 😊

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5 hours ago, chimera said:

In all my years of online interaction, I've tried to be respectful of other people's opinions/preferences even if I don't agree, just because I've been treated badly at times - and fandom is supposed to be inclusive, IMO.  So I appreciate the encouragement. 😊

I think everyone here is pretty much quite respectful of each other even when we disagree and debate. Bring it on! ;)

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Just listened to One More Day One More Night and got chills. Good thing I've got some good (non Maxwell House) coffee next to me.

A pretty powerful song and I think a good way to end this record, hopeful in its way yet resigned too. Interesting contradictory feelings and with one of Mike's best guitar solos, I'm assuming that's him in the outro!

cheers

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Have to revisit this thread for a brief post.

Some year ago a gave it a try here to slim this long, dark and to my mind unfocused Echo album down to a kicking 40ish minute listening pleasure. I did try to make it feel more efficient as an album, that is, but couldnot quite find the optimal flow.

Recently I realized that the release of Gainesville kinda untied the knot for me, gave me the tool to finish the task. Now I've lived with the result for a few weeks and took it for a few spins.  Here's how I'm thinking:

A1 Room @ Top

A2 Gainesville

A3 Billy The Kid

A4 Rhino Skin

A5 Echo

B1 Sweet William

B2 Lonesome Sundown

B3 Swingin

B4 About To Give Out

B5 One More Day...

 

Some songs are still too long, but now it works, over all.

 

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Funny you bring this up Shelter.

I dig listening to Echo from time to time, but it is quite the sad album. Lot's of "downer" songs about and pain and loneliness. Which isn't bad necessarily, but an entire record of it makes for a heavy listen. Much of this a result of what Tom was going through during this period.

Which got me thinking.

What would a happier, more positive version of this album look like?

Happy Echo.

This would involve removing, like 75% of the album as we know it. Songs like Room at the Top, Echo, Rhino, Lonesome Sundown, No More, One More Day, One More Night........

Well, here's a shot. Happy Echo.

SIDE A
Gainesville (sweet opening rocker!)
Counting on You (sad vocal, but cool tune)
I Don’t Belong (sad lyrics, hopeful sound!)
Swingin’
Won’t Last Long (Sure, I'm down, but it won't last long)

SIDE B
Accused of Love (toe tappin, smile inducing simple little ditty)
Free Girl Now (see, a positive message!)
Billy the Kid
Sweet William (sounds more at home on Mojo, but I can't find any more happy songs. Maybe About to Give Out? Even though that song is unmemorable...)
This One’s for Me (could be a reflective closer?)

 

Sorry, had to try.

 

 

 

 

 

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Well at least you apologized.  No, "Echo" is brilliant just the way it is.  I listen to this album more than any other Tom Petty record. 

I remember once when someone said to Ben that the band should do a concert of the entire "Wildflowers" record, and Ben answered that he'd rather do the "Echo" album.  Right on, Ben. 

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4 hours ago, Shelter said:

B3 Swingin

B4 About To Give Out

B5 One More Day...

Overall I think that's a pretty balanced mix of songs, I particularly like the way you'd close out Side B, the feeling of fighting, resignation and the pleading desperate finale, kind of like the character in Room at the Top has fallen all the way down but is now moving forward into the unknown. Not exactly hopeful but not a complete misery either.

I also like how you delineated A and B sides, as the record is probably best appreciated in chunks, not all at once, as you note, the songs go on a bit.

cheers

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1 hour ago, RedfordCowboy said:

Well, here's a shot. Happy Echo.

Good effort. I don't know if there's enough to really call it happy, but here is a more uptempo record. Though a part of me feels like they should've gone all in on the misery and kept anything pointing towards hope, or defiance or with a quick beat for an e.p. and just wallowed in the darkness and gloom.

I kept with Shelter's A and B side approach:

A1 Room @ Top---I just think this is a good start, particularly the way it transitions with the drums and has two excellent solos.
A2 Swingin'
A3 Billy The Kid
A4 I Don't Belong
A5 Free Girl Now
A6 No More
 
B1 Sweet William---copping from Shelter but its good, it's a nice way to rev up side B.
B2 Won't Last Long---I'd keep the energy up with the next couple songs
B3 I Don't Wanna Fight
B4 Rhino Skin
B5 One More Day---Good outro solo, good end to the album.
 
That would totally transform the album, but like I said, if they'd gone all in with the darkness that would've been fine since I don't like the album anyway, but at least it would be one solid consistent block.
 
But some people, like TomFest and others love the record as is and I get that too.
 
Doing this really makes it evident that even uptempo numbers have a gloomy or fatalistic side. Billy The Kid, going down hard. Sure, he gets up but this whole album seems about going down hard in different ways. Even the fun (for me, I realize a lot of people can't stand the song) I Don't Wanna Fight is a reaction to something negative. 
 
cheers
 
 

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