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Yes. That is exactly it. Just that.. you seemingly suggest or encourage the "stretching out" as an almost universal remedy in your posts (I might be mistaken here, but hence my comment), while I think it's a tonic better served with severe caution for any band that are not Grateful Dead. But, oh yes, I love reworkings of songs - to do something with a song in the live setting is the whole point in performing it as I see it. Trying to duplicate the record is utter folly. But stretching things out, jamming extensively and what have you, is far from the only way to "do something", imo. But sure, I can appreciate a certain inspired looong It's Good To Be King here, a Chrystal River there.. Certainly. I don't particularly like to know if, when and how it's gonna happen though. Rule of thumb as far as jam goes. Peanut butter though, I like. 

I don't see it as a universal remedy, I just enjoy it, be it a song that has a pre-planned moment to jam in (It's Good To Be King) or if they come to the end of a song and Mike or Ben or someone spontaneously takes another solo.

 I enjoy long concerts, where there are many flavors being served up, so I definitely prefer more than one or two jam songs; it's about balance. I understand that some bands have songs they know are going to open up and explore in the live setting and that seems important to know ahead of time with six musicians on stage but I also, like you, enjoy when a band takes a song off the beaten path as it were.

I also think just even a little variation in a song can do wonders, like the bridge in Even the Losers, sometimes Tom lets that part go on, it's not some giant jam like King, but it's still something different, it's saying we're not in a hurry to get this over with, to get to the last verse, let's enjoy this spot here. Same with the Waiting sometimes.

So...I love the jamming, I could handle more, but not so much as to belabor every song, and also like when they offer up alternate takes. This has been discussed before, but I would like it if they switched up Learning To Fly, a hybrid of the original version and the sing-along-gospel-choir take on it.

 

cheers

Edited by MaryJanes2ndLastDance

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Anyway, to me it's just ironic that Stan was ousted - all personal differences aside, and I know those were key as well - due to musical differences, just to have TP&TH go back towards what could be called more of a "Stan way" within some 10 years of TP letting his Jeff-Jeffs out. Of which Stan already sat through at least 5, before he was let up.  

I also think that Stan could've played on those records, could've done a good job with Wildflowers and so on. It's not like it was a series of non-stop dirges and while the songwriting did evolve, it's not like Tom started writing dissonant pieces. But there was more than musical differences.

And here is the biggest irony, in my opinion, about the whole Stan situation.

He didn't want to feel like he was in a covers band but most of a TPATH setlist is filled with songs that he played on. Had he stuck on through Wildflowers, only the Full Moon Fever hits would be where he hadn't been part of the album. The majority of the set are the classics from the 70s & 80s. To some degree, it's more of being in a covers band for Steve, than it would've been for Stan!

 

 

 

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 I enjoy long concerts, where there are many flavors being served up, so I definitely prefer more than one or two jam songs; it's about balance. I understand that some bands have songs they know are going to open up and explore in the live setting and that seems important to know ahead of time with six musicians on stage but I also, like you, enjoy when a band takes a song off the beaten path as it were.

I also think just even a little variation in a song can do wonders, like the bridge in Even the Losers, sometimes Tom lets that part go on, it's not some giant jam like King, but it's still something different, it's saying we're not in a hurry to get this over with, to get to the last verse, let's enjoy this spot here. Same with the Waiting sometimes.

 

 

Ok then. Sounds good to me. "A little variation in a song" is as much key as a good variation of songs in a show. For sure. Perhaps we don't differ as much in this, but given that I am limited to 90 minutes to experience a show, my point just was that while I do love some inspired extentions here or there and plenty of variation, I rather get a couple more songs squeezed in - to ensure at least theoretically - the possibility of a more varied setlist, than to get a lower number of much longer songs that will nail the core of material even further into its cast. After all, each 10+ minute song means some other two or three normal length songs are denied rotation.

To some degree I too understand how it's important for the musicians to know ahead of time what's gonna happen. But I wouldn't want to over stress that. If you rehearse a certain number of songs and feel like you have a handful of them that lend themselves nicely for various extensive improvisations, solos and jams, this doesn't mean it has to end up being the same song getting the same:ish treatment each night. (What happend to King on a few tours was bordeline to me, while hearing Melinda evolve over time was more of an awesome example - and it wasn't even THAT long.) I just mean that it would be awesome to go to an imaginable show and have a 12 minutes King and the next night hear how they switched it for a 8 minutes Mary Jane and a 4 minute Wasted Life and the third night perhaps they could perform just a 4 minutes King and a few shorter kick-#ss rockers in the same slots, saving the onslaught for Shadow People at some other point in the show .. Catch my drift, here? I try to be very specific. Haha.. It is all good, mind you - to a certain degree - but it can easily be overly self indulgent and static if done too much within the rather short time of 90 minutes. There are so much fun to be had within a 3 to 5 minute song, so many ways to skin a cat as it were.

So, I'd say optimally (within the time frame) no more than two songs longer than 6 minutes, unless you are prepared to stay on stage for 2 or 3 hours and maintain a variety. And you welcome more than two. Ok, that doesn't matter, it's an interesting discussion no matter where the line is to be drawn between 30 fast punk rockers and 4 rock opera style opuses on a 90 minute night. 

 

The more they improvise or jam in concert, the more variety within the standard set list.

True. It is a way to keep the dead horse kind of alive. Granted. As for me, suspended animation is less of my forte.

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 I just mean that it would be awesome to go to an imaginable show and have a 12 minutes King and the next night hear how they switched it for a 8 minutes Mary Jane and a 4 minute Wasted Life and the third night perhaps they could perform just a 4 minutes King and a few shorter kick-#ss rockers in the same slots, saving the onslaught for Shadow People at some other point in the show .. 

Sure, I'd enjoy that approach. If not as great as doing that and mixing up the set night to night, it would definitely reinvigorate their concerts. Sure, they played everything in the same order but gave us the 7 minute Running Down A Dream shredding festival and the six minute Forgotten Man! 

I also picture a longer than 90 minute show. If that's what they were doing in 2013, I understand given their situation, but I was hoping they could at least do two hours.

Ahh, it doesn't take long to return to the set list discussion, does it?

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(What happend to King on a few tours was bordeline to me, while hearing Melinda evolve over time was more of an awesome example -

   Are you referring to how the jam always built to the same climax?  Prior to that, I'm assuming the soloing was different from night to night. Sure it would've been more interesting if they didn't always build to that moment but I'm fine with it. 

Perhaps Melinda had more of an organic feel because of Benmont, though even that builds to a certain part before the song continues on.

cheers

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 ^^ Oh, wait. If it seemed as if I was suggesting performing the same songs each night, but in different order, that was clearly not what I was aiming at. I was talking of how a certain song could be treated to a jam one night, disappear all toghether the next night and reappear as a shorter version some other night, and so on. That way the jam session aspect, like most everything else I rant about seemingly, comes down to rotation.

(Let me try to be more clear, if needed: If you rehearse.. say 60 songs, at least 10 of which that would be decided as extra suitable for an extended jam, I think that 1) all 60 songs should be rotated throughout the tour 2) a song that works well as a jam session does not have to be a jam session each time it's played and 3) the song or songs they choose to jam on could thus be different ones from night to another. That's my view on how jams work the best and how setlists work the best in general. Rotation. Next. Moving on.)

Edited by Shelter

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Ha ha ha, I wonder if anyone else is even reading these.

Yes, I understood your point. I was emphasizing that if they had done so, the shows would be vastly improved. 

Even if the set was completely static, varying what songs they improvise on would be a huge improvement. "This show had the somewhat longer American Girl and the epic Zombie Zoo." Or whichever. The 10 minute It Ain't Nothin' To Me! :P

The best, of course, would be a different set every night, with a flexibility as to what songs are jammed on, etc.

And hey! Does anyone else have an opinion on Let Me Up?

cheers

 

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Let Me Up you say.. right.. that's what we were supposed to discuss. Haha

Derailed a bit there, but back on track. I too want to hear some more takes on this kind of underrated, yet strange album.

 Ohhh, put on your hat, buckle in, brace yourself oh no oh no....

You could say...this topic became a Runaway Train.

Edited by MaryJanes2ndLastDance

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The cover band complaint is somewhat strange.

Was Howie playing in a cover band when he had to do "Refugee" "American Girl" and "The Waiting"?

Is Ron playing in a cover band when he has to play "You Got Lucky" "Don't Come Around Here No More" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance"?

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The cover band complaint is somewhat strange.

Was Howie playing in a cover band when he had to do "Refugee" "American Girl" and "The Waiting"?

Is Ron playing in a cover band when he has to play "You Got Lucky" "Don't Come Around Here No More" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance"?

If you enjoy the covers then it's fine. For myself, I'd prefer to hear them play their own songs in concert, some of which have been played a few times, and some never. Really good songs that for one reason or another were never performed. A cover here and there is fine, it's a little spice in the dish, TPATH upend the entire container over the meal.

cheers

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On August 29, 2015 at 6:05 PM, Shelter said:

Ok, so the way this thread derailed into Let Me Up 101, is quite fascinating.

It all inspired me to spend some extra time with this record over the last few days, trying to wrap my head around it a little extra, with the things discussed here in mind. To me it is really clear that the album suffers from confusion, both in production and in material, as stated above. But it's not as far off target as one may suspect uopn a quick glance. 

In a parallell dimension - and more in line with Tom's self-image at the time, perhaps - this is how the album could have ended up, history changed. I'll list the tracks in order, with comments.

A1: Jammin' Me - Quite good song. A bit dated, in more than one way, but so what. Of course it could have been more daring in terms of rough guitars, but it's alright given it pop:ed up in 1987. The bridge at roughly 2.20 is fantastic! Q: Is it just me, hearing Bob in my head all over this song. With his inimitable long whining phrasing. "You can keep meee, painted in a coooorner..."

A2: Runaway Trains - Not a half bad song, to my ears. But they should've given this one a different treatment. There might be something to that Boys Of Summer 2.0 theory mentioned, but like that song, they should have given this more edge, more speed, more punch. Quite an awful attempt at mid-tempo grandeur, in terms of production. There are traces of fake oriental strings a la Don't Come Around Here No More in the intro, and then loop:ed in the background. Not great.

A3: Ways To Be Wicked - Technically this is a Southern Accent or even Long After Dark outtake, originally. At least it was given up on passed on to Lone Justice already in 1985. Anyway, it would have fitted nicely here, for sure. Also, some ques for sound, the way you hear this song on Playback, would have worked wonders for lots of corners of this album.

A4: My Life/Your World - What does that intro got to do with anything? Some of the best sounds of the record, ironically, but still. This song, again, is not bad on paper, but I don't like the temper of it, nor the arrangement, one bit. Failed opportunity here. There something about Mike's handeling of this song that makes me think they'd be better of giving it to Mark Knopfler. He could, perhaps have saved it's glory. I am pondering if I would've kept this one or All Mixed Up. Close call, but not a fun one.

A5: It'll All Work Out - Masterpiece, of course. There is the other mix too.. But, well.. Either way. Just a great song and perfectly handled, all things considered.

 

B1: Got My Mind Made Up - Not the best song ever. But Tom's version - the way it's heard on Playback - is far better than Bob's, in my view and could've done ok here. Great beat to kick of an album b-side too.

B2: Think About Me - Simple enough. Quite good. Not badly cut etiher. Ben and Mike is awesome in the details here! I realize the irony, but this is actually one of the few songs that actually sounds every bit the way I picture mid 80s TPATH in my mind. 

B3: Can't Get Her Out - Not totally sure. Something is missing to this song. But consider what we have to work with, I think this could work ok here.  

B4: Ain't Love Strange - Again, quintessential 80s mid 80s TPATH to me. Wonderful! I have no real issues with this one. Peraps a bit more Howie? I think he drives this one with the harmonies and he should have gone further and wider with the bass drive too. Perhaps.

B5: Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) - One of the most underrated songs in all of the cataloge. Great song and a fair job with arrangement and production. Again Howie is key, and could perhaps have been more prominent in making this masterpiece a tad heavier. Find the bass around 1:35-1:40 somewhere, and just imagine if it was really fuzzy and pumping... you get the picture. Yes. That's it! Then make the song at least 4:30 - 5:00 minutes. Go nuts!

 

That, to me, is considerably better. If not perfect. Not sure if there are any other known songs floating around. Can't think of any. But it wouln't take a too splendid song to knock antoher one of those suggestions around, so I am gonna count on them having at least something else in the vaults that would be worth considering here.

Outtakes:

The Damage You've Done - There is a few live renditions of this song that work, but.. I think I'd scrap it from this album.

A Self Made Man - Nice little chorus! But, no. Thank you.

All Mixed Up - This one is too weak, in my book. It was a single! Imagine that. I would not even have included it on the album, if I had just one more decent song to pick from. Although, I think the production is copmaratively successful. I say single b-side, for this one! Every was as good as Make That Connection - or better actually.

How Many More Days - Some quality to the verse here, but I'm not sure exactly what.. and the "chorus" is hopeless. This song has a bit of a weird structure to me. Feels undone somehow, it does not lift.

 

Hm... We really should lift a good section of this thread into a new Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) thread. Anyone?

 

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I agree with you on Runaway Trains though I was thinking keep the same basic structure, just shorten it and change the overall sound. But your suggestion is pretty good, perhaps the song should be a bit faster or even end with a double time outro or middle like DCAHNM or Don't Do Me Like That; with its own appropriate and unique spin for the song. This could have gone to some interesting places even within a shortened span, the song always felt like it just repeated itself needlessly. Love Is A Long Road seems to have a similar structure but pulls it off better, perhaps because it has more of a rock feel.

 

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I agree about the intro to My Life/Your World, there's some (or at least two) interesting segues on this record and that's definitely one of them. However I pretty much think My Life/Your World is perfect as is, aside from production and I never cared for the line about his "little brother." Otherwise I think this song is one of their more experimental relative to them as a band and yet carries off a really good groove throughout. 

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Moving aside for a moment from your takes on each song and looking at what you changed:

Jamming Me/Runaway/Wicked/My Life/It'll All Work Out

Got My Mind Made Up/Think About Me/Can't Get Her Out/Ain't Love Strange/LMU

 That's just a good approach, the album feels tighter and has more energy to it while still covering a variety of moods. Ending Side A with It'll All Work Out is really good, it forms a calm center to the record with its gentle melody and feeling. While your Side A covers more different moods, your Side B has more of the "barrel-out" feel that Tom mentioned in that interview.  It's pretty much five upbeat rockin' songs in a row, now instead of a mixed up record of different styles that seemed to mix poorly, there's a record that's all out rock-n-roll which, considering the number of more mellow/bluesy/contemplative records were in their future, would've been appreciated.

cheers

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Thanks for moving the discussion so it's actually on-topic! :lol:

Like I had hoped, Shelter and also MJ2LD, you cleared the view a bit in those posts in the old thread. Lack of vision and direction surey were the reasons the album turned out the way it did. A producer could have helped. While sometimes an album that's kind of all over the place and unfocused can be fascinating to listen to, but that's certainly not the case with Let Me Up.

They should have made two albums or a double album: 1) Tom's raw rock'n'roll songs and 2) Mike's attempts at pop hits.

Or even better, they should have dedicated each side of the record to one of those categories. That might have worked, despite the somewhat substandard material! In a similar way Neil Young's Hawks And Doves works. Not a great album, maybe not even a good one, but somehow fascinating.

 

Side One:

1) Jammin' Me

2) Let Me Up

3) Got My Mind Made Up (heck, it would be nice to have this one and the next two on the album, that was a great idea, I'll just steal it)

4) Ways to be Wicked

5) Can't Get Her Out

6) A Self-Made Man

 

Side Two:

1) It'll All Work Out

2) My Life/Your World

3) Ain't Love Strange

4) All Mixed Up

5) Runaway Trains

 

OK, the principle of dedicating one side to one category is not perfectly applied, but I can't think of anything else right now. In my mind this would already improve the album.

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On May 22, 2018 at 3:30 AM, TwoGunslingers said:

1) Tom's raw rock'n'roll songs and 2) Mike's attempts at pop hits.

 Not bad. While I prefer Shelter's take of the all out rock album this is an interesting approach. Putting Runaway Trains at the end is pretty good too, makes it seem like the climax of the record so to speak. Would've been interesting to go from a more dry approach soundwise  on one side to the 80s influence on the other. 

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