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martin03345

Let's Try to Make Southern Accents Great Again

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On September 23, 2016 at 3:29 PM, martin03345 said:

Well it took some pondering and hard thinking but a track list I have in mind for this re-imagining of this album would look like this:

Side A

1. Rebels
2. Casa Dega
3. Ways To Be Wicked
4. Keeping Me Alive
5. Trailer
6. Cracking Up
7.Depot Street
8.Southern Accents

Side B

9. Stories We Could Tell
10. It Ain't Nothin' To Me
11. The Image of Me
12. Don't Come Around Here No More
13. Big Boss Man
14. Spike
15. Dogs On The Run
16. The Best of Everything

   i think it's pretty good. Casa Dega is a nice fit, same with Wicked, Cracking and Big Boss. it makes for an interesting and varied album; the listener getting a stylistically diverse bunch of tunes. Each song is distinctive. Stories We Could Tell is an inspired choice though I don't care for covers on TPATH albums. Unlike a linear story, it offers up either specific different perspectives on the South or songs that are open enough to fit in with the theme.

cheers

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On September 24, 2016 at 1:56 PM, Shelter said:

 

For now, a decent set up to start with would be...

A:

1. Rebels   2. Keeping Me Alive   3. Cracking Up   4. Trailer   5. Southern Accents

B:

1. Stories We Could Tell   2. Spike   3. Dogs On The Run   4. The Best of Everything

 

An album, as such, that would be just one or two unheard strong songs away from being one of the best albums ever recorded, IMO.

    Unheard songs could have supplied more of a story to the record. Tom tried twice to do a concept album but never quite seemed to pull it off for one reason or another, there probably are songs that we'd hear and think, they should've gone on. You cut It Ain't Nothin' To Me. And Don't Come Around...brutal.

 

What you've arranged makes for a nice tight record. I think Rebels into Keeping Me Alive is a good transition, both are uptempo songs but with different feelings. It almost seems like this song could've gone after Mary's New Car; it's such a fun, optimistic tune. Could end the record with it as well. Since people went out of the era, I'm a bit surprised no one threw in Dog On The Run. 

cheers

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On September 25, 2016 at 5:14 PM, Miami Steve said:

I have a bad habit of re-imagining albums too.  Sometimes I wish we could remain blissfully unaware of what the album might have been and save all the wondering.  I made myself an alternate Southern Accents on CD-R that goes like this:

1. Rebels
2. Trailer
3. Apartment Song
4. Don't Come Around Here No More
5. Southern Accents
6. Image of Me
7. Spike
8. Dogs on the Run
9. Mary's New Car
10. Best of Everything

Not sure why they partially abandoned the "southern" concept because it seems there was enough good material for a single LP.  That was kinda my thinking in putting this together, just the songs that stay focused on the original concept, plus Don't Come Around Here No More because I couldn't see not having that one on there.

And once again It Ain't Nothin' falls to the axe...! Ha ha, oh well. I think DCAHNM, the way Tom sings it, with a bit of a sneer fits; it's just a more eccentric side of the South on display. Trailer and the Apartment Song fit, it seems like you cut the fat and added more muscle to the record which is an interesting and logical approach.

cheers

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On September 26, 2016 at 3:35 AM, TwoGunslingers said:

 

  1. Rebels

  2. Keeping Me Alive

  3. Southern Accents

  4. Trailer

  5. Spike

  6. Cracking Up

  7. Ways To Be Wicked

  8. Dogs On The Run

  9. Turning Point

  10. The Best of Everything

I definitely would omit DCAHNM which in my opinion is a great, great song but does not fit within the great scheme of SA things, i

     I don't see It Ain't Nothin' To Me. It's odd, it's almost as if people don't seem to enjoy that song very much. How peculiar. Surely it's just an error. Interesting take on Turning Point, I think it works as the second-last song on the record; kind of an upbeat number before the more mellow conclusion. I like Southern Accents as track three, since it shows the variety of song styles on the album earlier. The second half is more uptempo, which brings it to a nice end; I love when a second half of a record is just loaded with good songs and high energy.

cheers

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On September 26, 2016 at 9:43 AM, RedfordCowboy said:

OK I'll jump in. Even though this is completely imaginary. My track list would span Heartbreaker decades, don't be mad :) I personally can't get into a lot of the HB songs around this era. Maybe it's the horns, the overproduction, I don't know... Like so many of you, I too wanted SA to be something more. I think we all LOVE the idea of Petty's take on a southern concept album. Either way, I don't think the vision was fully realized or materialized. I think a more successful and compelling attempt at capturing this idea would be Drive By Truckers "Southern Rock Opera"...shoot, or even "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (both double albums, interestingly)

 

SIDE A

1. Rebels

2. Trailer

3. Apartment Song

4. Spike

5. Sheets

SIDE B:

1. Casa Dega

2. 13 Days

3. Don't Come Around Here No More

4. Willin'

5. Southern Accents

BONUS TRACKS:

1. Stories We Could Tell

2. Down South

 

It's hard to imagine Don't Come Around Here No More not being on SA, even though it doesn't feel like it fits within a southern theme. I can't think of Tom Petty circa 1985 without hearing that song. Both live versions of Willin (Fonda Theatre, 2013) and 13 Days are absolutely masterful and two of my favorite TP covers. I wonder what studio versions of them would sound like? I can swear that I read somewhere that there was a song idea called "Sheets" that was about the KKK or something like that?? Don't know, but that's definitely "south".... In Warren Zanes book, Petty said something to the effect that the seeds of the album started when he was driving around the south, looking outside, and writing down single words. Rebels, Trailer, Apartment, etc.

 

 DCAHNM is one of their best and most unusual songs; it is hard to imagine it not being on this record. Kudos to those who had the gumption to cut it. I get their reasoning. I've never heard of Sheets; if I read it in Zanes's book I forgot about it. It doesn't take much to figure out what that song would be about. I'm assuming it's a criticism, and a pointed one at that but I could see why it didn't make the album since it could completely change the entirety of the record.

 

On the one hand, it might've been good for Tom to shine a light on an awful part of the South, but at the same time, the weight of the subject matter may have created a suction from which the rest of the songs may not have been able to escape. It may have become the depressing center of the record instead of a one-off. Though certainly there's a lot of integrity to have such a song on the record, a chance for Tom to balance out any romanticism on the record, the corrupt counter-weight to the gentle and heartfelt title track.

I really don't like the idea of covers on TPATH records, but this is your take on the album and as such, I like 13 Days. It makes a good lead in to DCAHNM.  Nice call with Down South, such an obvious song pick in retrospect especially with jumping around in time, etc. Willin' definitely feels like it belongs here with it's country feel.

cheers

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On September 26, 2016 at 7:06 PM, dollardime said:

Some interesting stuff shared on this thread. The more I think about it, the more inclined I am to go with leaving the 1985 Southern Accents as it is/was for better or worse as a testament to what was realised at the time, flawed and incomplete or compromised as it may have been....

So here is how I see it - I think you can make a case that Tom getting Mudcrutch back together was a kind of subconscious 'Southern Accents Revisited' in terms of themes and sound, as it is their roots after all, southern accents being a Mudcrutch vehicle naturally anyway. 

Combine the best of what is on Mudcrutch album and Mudcrutch 2 album and you have the 'Southern Accents Revisited' album...with the 'concept album' better realised than the 1985 Heartbreakers model. 

Album Title: Southern Accents Revisited - The Live Anthology

(pick the best live performances from the Mudcrutch tour for a live compilation album)

Artist: Mudcrutch

Track listing:

1. Lover Of The Bayou

2. Southern Accents (just drop in the track from 1985 Southern Accents as is....link with the past revisited literally on a revisited concept would be cool i think.....or pick a live Heartbreaker version ;))

3. Scare Easy

4. Orphan Of The Storm

5. The Wrong Thing To Do

6. Bootleg Flyer

SIDE B

1. The Other Side Of The Mountain

2. House Of Stone

3. Welcome To Hell

4. Save Your Water

5. Victim Of Circumstance

6. Crystal River (LIVE long version from 2016 Mudcrutch tour)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The 'controversial talking point' is I'm leaving Trailer off the album!!! :o but fear not.......prior to the release of the 'Southern Accents Revisited' album there would be a 

*Special collectors edition single release

1. Trailer (2016 Mudcrutch version)

2. Trailer (1984 Heartbreakers version)

So maybe after 'Wildflowers All The Rest' is finally released Tom and the record company can start working on my idea! :D

 Talk about really taking this in a unique direction!

Very good point about Mudcrutch serving as another attempt at Southern Accents.

Throwing Crystal River (Live!) on there definitely adds to the epic feel of a double album. That is an epic conclusion.

Since Mudcrutch are a Southern  band you indeed nailed the topic. Maybe the only song I don't care for is Save Your Water but it fits the feel of what Southern Accents could've been.  Interesting take on the concept.

cheers

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On September 27, 2016 at 9:27 AM, High Grass Dog said:

I'll throw my hat in the ring:

1. Rebels
2. Trailer
3. Keeping Me Alive
4. Don't Come Around Here No More
5. Southern Accents
6. Casa Dega
7. Spike
8. Apartment Song
9. Dogs on the Run
10. Turning Point
11. The Best of Everything


Rationale: The Heartbreakers have never put a cover song on a studio album, so I don't think it makes sense to throw any on here. 

  Yes, I agree! Unless they pull off a cover as definitive as Hendrix's Watchtower, I don't see the point. Even if they do, there's something about hearing unique songs written by the band.

I really love Turning Point as the second-last song on this. It's such a good song, upbeat, with an energy that grows as it goes along. Casa Dega after Southern Accents is interesting, one song is a mellow heartfelt song about his Mother, the other one, a strange and interesting song, a moody number about a different topic. 

I see you also left out It Ain't Nothin' To Me...what a strange series of coincidences, people forgetting that song. 

cheers

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8 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

You cut It Ain't Nothin' To Me. And Don't Come Around...brutal.

Ah, yes. That's me, heeding the que, trying to Make It Better, as it were.... :)

For one thing: I have oftentimes said how DCAHNM is a great song in it's own right. It would be worthy quite a cool and somewhat hyped single only release of it's day. A sort of Mary Jane type release of the 80s, if you will. To me, it just does not fit at all on SA - other than strangely but strongly associating the two, of course, after 30 years of indoctrination. But considering what we try to do here, and trying to use my brain (against certain odds), I find the song fitting nicely on Greatest Hits, but in terms of SA, it's one of the first, actually the third, that has to go. Sorry. (Oh, I know how we've been down that road before.)  

As for the rest of what's been going down with this thread.. I think it's a lot of fun to read about people's ideas and quite elaborate takes on the issue. Great reading, thanks all! Bypassing the harsh direction of chronology, by imagining a totally different project, if in the same line of vibe and intent as SA but in a much later time, with a totally different material and by largely a different band, might be to override even the most generous sides of imagination though, as I see it. Not that it's not fun, just that to me it wouldn't be SA anymore. And we already have Mudcrutch, and other great albums about or inspired by the south, so, I don't know..   

The covers issue then. Sorry if I will repeat myself here. But I am -- seriously -- not sure I follow the logic that some of you put forth here. Ok, I get it, it's about personal taste. But it also seem to be - it has to be - about something more, since it seems to be a conceptual dislike. So, please kindly allow me to play the devil's advocate (he's always been busy in the south, right) and lecture away for a moment. 

Here: to me, and surely most people who know and love their rock history, it is to devastatingly misunderstand the whole 'nature of the beast', so to speak, to shun the very idea of studio recorded covers and/or covers on albums. I mean, what is not overly obvious to you about the history of rock'n'roll in general and, country, blues and southern rock in specific being full of covers, not to say partly based on them. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse - sure - but always because that is how it's done and always has been. That is key part of what rock'n'roll is all about. Unless you see this, music is not about culture or art anymore, but simply about commercial, marketing, trade mark and fashion aspects remains and as such it's not quite as sexy. That is not to say that albums (or even live shows) HAS to have covers on them to be great, or even to find their place in history. Not at all. All I'm saying is that it's perfectly natural when and if it happens, it's a perfect sign of health if one or two covers should occasionally slip in, and especially so in times when an artist/songwriter doesn't have her/his own 12-15 perfect masterpieces of songs to work on album around (which, by all means) seems to have been the case for TP around 1984-1985.

My point: it's in the DNA of rock to cut a cover, when the context allow for it or the time is right so to speak. So, as I may not Feel A Whole Lot Better by the song by that name on Full Moon Fever (the way the label supposedly thought it was necessary), but putting Change The Locks on She's The One - or even A**hole, for that matter, not to mention the genius (again -- the south!!) that was Lover of The Bayou and Six Days on The Road was great moves, great signs how and why TP is the great music man that he is. Make no mistake about it, there is no pride loss involved here. It's not even about cutting covers only when your own stuff runs thin. It's an art in it's own right. A tool to save you in dark times, a tool to sharpen you in normal times, occasionally even a tool to send you in orbit in great times. It's all that. You have to be careful how and what you pick. But as ever so often, it's about how it's done, not about if it could or should be done. It can and it should.

That said, on the one hand I find myself thinking how great Willin' would be in the context of this mid 80s SA concept that we talk over here and trying to "improve" in our own ways. And 13 Days too. That is all Mr Cool speaking, right there. Fantastic suggestions, artistically speaking - both those songs, even SIx Days on The Road could possibly have fitted nicely on a more "pure" SA. (And I can see the merit of that Georgia Satellite song as well, theoretically). But then... this is where it derails practically, to me, even if two or three or even four songs that did end up on SA, absolutely need to be cut in order for the album to rise above the muck of it's time even some more than it already does (after all), it may be, by any definition, way too much to pile both Crackin Up, Stories We Could Tell, The Image of Me, Willin' and 13 Days and then some, on there to save the day. Agreed. That is an overload of covers and makes for an odd balance, artistically between originals and covers. That is, it would result in more than a concept disc about the south, that would become a half-way covers album.

Again.. We might need to hear quite a few more good or even half decent material to make SA the fantastically great, exclusively TP penned album it could have been. (Not to mention aspects of the production, talked about in other threads). And if we one day will hear such songs and thus restarting our imaginations anew, or if we never will, for that matter, I don't see why TP&TH couldn't have - and why they still can't - cut a classic, old school type of cover album as well, on the side, as another project, why the need to merge them, really, being it a cover album about the south or about nothing in particular - even the masters of songwriting usually does cut cover albums from time to time, you know. Some for the better, some for worse.

Now -- given TP & co's knowledge and passion in the field (no farmer pun!) of rock history and given how great ALL covers they've ever done so far, have been... I'd say that sure, TP, add a cover or two on an album, if so needed and/or if so fits at times - I'm sure it won't be needed on most of your albums anyway, but at times, like with Lover of The Bayou, it can even help to make a great tracklist even greater - but also, while you're at it, please cut a whole disc of them some time. You would be - as you are - master of that domain. And that, in part, is why you are masters in general, as it were. Because... shunning covers as a matter of doctrine, is to shun you own blood.

 

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7 hours ago, Shelter said:

Ah, yes. That's me, heeding the que, trying to Make It Better, as it were.... :)

For one thing: I have oftentimes said how DCAHNM is a great song in it's own right. It would be worthy quite a cool and somewhat hyped single only release of it's day. A sort of Mary Jane type release of the 80s, if you will. To me, it just does not fit at all on SA - other than strangely but strongly associating the two, of course, after 30 years of indoctrination. But considering what we try to do here, and trying to use my brain (against certain odds), I find the song fitting nicely on Greatest Hits, but in terms of SA, it's one of the first, actually the third, that has to go. Sorry. (Oh, I know how we've been down that road before.)  

 

  I think most of these roads are well traveled.

      I understand cutting DCAHNM with an eye towards crafting an album fulfilling the southern theme. It's a great song, it works on the record proper, but doesn't feel anything at all like Rebels, or Southern Accents or really anything else on the album or that they've ever done. Which could be a topic of its own. Picture an album of wild experimentation, not looking to create Still Don't Come Around Here No More but songs that are different and new territory.

Returning to the topic, while I like both songs and think It Ain't Nothin' About Me is an underrated classic, I understand your thought process here. More on the covers topic later.

Oh, extrapolating from your Mary Jane's Last Dance point,  I wonder if  DCAHNM premiering on the Greatest Hits, san video, would  have found a willin' audience. I think so.

cheers

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8 hours ago, Shelter said:

Here: to me, and surely most people who know and love their rock history, it is to devastatingly misunderstand the whole 'nature of the beast', so to speak, to shun the very idea of studio recorded covers and/or covers on albums. I mean, what is not overly obvious to you about the history of rock'n'roll in general and, country, blues and southern rock in specific being full of covers, not to say partly based on them. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse - sure - but always because that is how it's done and always has been. That is key part of what rock'n'roll is all about. 

 A tool to save you in dark times, a tool to sharpen you in normal times, occasionally even a tool to send you in orbit in great times. It's all that. You have to be careful how and what you pick. But as ever so often, it's about how it's done, not about if it could or should be done. It can and it should.

    Perhaps this is one of those topics where there's at best, an understanding of the others' perspective without yielding an inch. Good point about "...a tool to save you in dark times..." and very eloquently put. And while I  understand the history of rock-n-roll regarding covers, and why a band may throw them on their studio album, I feel differently.

It's about the creativity, about the artistry.

I think an album should be the band's songwriting. 

I can still enjoy a cover, like the one on FMF and Change the Locks from She's the One but overall, putting others material on there is almost like saying, well, we don't have anything better so enjoy us playing this other group's song. I understand why bands do it in concert, but on their own album?  What in particular is so special about a song from another band that says what you can't? Shouldn't that be a sign to either go write a better song or perhaps just leave the cover off altogether?

When I purchase a TPATH album, I want to hear what Tom and the others have come up with; I don't want to hear their take on some other artist.

While not on an album, take Call Me The Breeze. Not only is there nothing new they're bringing to the song, when I heard the original the other day I actually thought it may be higher energy than TPATH's take. Sure, I enjoy Benmont soloing, heck, I love his soloing but other than that, it's TPATH playing a cover.  They do it well but that's about it. Hendrix is an exception, he truly transformed Watchtower, and in some ways, he made it his own. That doesn't happen very often. 

But an original song? Fault Lines is new music, is one of TPATH's best tunes, it's something new and exciting. Why lose an original song for another group's music? Let's hear more original compositions. 

It's not as if this is an issue for bands in general though, nor TPATH.

Aside from this covers digression, the original topic is just a fun re-organization of the album, so when I looked at each person's take, I accepted that they want to jump around in time, throw covers on there (even use a completely different band...!) and considered what they came up with while ignoring my preference for no covers, seeing what songs people threw on there, what was left off and how the resulting album flowed.

 

cheers

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14 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I wonder if  DCAHNM premiering on the Greatest Hits, san video, would  have found a willin' audience. I think so.

I think so too. If not the Greatest Hits, at least a Greatest Hits, where a previously unreleased song, like it then would be, wouldn't have felt as dated in sound and style. That is if there would have been a GH album made in say 1986, then, yes, without a doubt. It's a great song. Then again, had it been a single-only release (+ the classic video) already in 1985 - when singles were still a big thing - it would obviously have a place on the Greatest Hits. Either way, it's a great song.

See, unlike what you suggest, I don't want to take it out because it doesn't fit the theme or concept of SA, I want to cut it because, to me, it's not the type of song that would fit any TP or TP&TH album. (Forced to think about this for a moment - - - - - - - - - - I guess, all I can think of.. would be to squeeze a song like DCAHNM in on the perhaps most stylistically varied and eclectic album of them all - Mojo. Then we have to picture a re-recorded version hiding as a cool surprise right after Don't Pull Me Over. Now DPMO is another want-to-pull songs on  my list, but ironically, in order for Mojo to be a varied enough album where a song like DCAHNM would fit, it would have to stay.. :) Who said sequencing albums is not a strange and wicked art!? )

14 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

    Perhaps this is one of those topics where there's at best, an understanding of the others' perspective without yielding an inch.

Not yielding an inch. Got it! :D

I appreciate and understand where you come from on this. I am not about discrediting original songwriting - obviously - and I am not about questioning your taste in music, or even how you go about your principles about music. But I do find an important distinction between 1) discussing the merit of a certain song, whether it fits on an album or not, whether it is good or not - which indeed is a matter left to utter subjectivity - and 2) a principle stand, dogmatic or not, on whether or not covers have a natural place in the context of an album. The latter really shouldn't be a matter of taste, in view of some almost 100 years of recorded music history, is all I'm saying. That does not mean you have to like it being so, of course. (Like personally, I don't like rain in general, but I do admit certain showers are great, even spectacular, and certainly I won't question rain being a necessary, integral part of nature.) Am I being silly, trying to point out a distinction here? Perhaps so.

I agree, "it" is indeed about creativity and artistry. And about songs, obviously. That is my point too, if from another angle. My take is more like... If you doodle some crap on a napkin, then you wrote a song that is creatively yours alone and if you happen to interpret and rework a song someone else wrote with a highly intense, groovy and special result, I say that too is a creative achievement, perhaps even a bigger one?? In short, it's not so much about if a song is a cover or an original - it's about if it's good, if it can move your mind. A great original may be more fun since it adds an additional level of "news" to the market, but I'd take a fantastic breathtaking cover over a bad original everyday. Quality should override signature, as I see it. Perhaps a somewhat "leftish" way of analyzing things, but anyways...

Or to play the devil's advocate again, we could play a game of blind testing here.. If I play you a great song that you haven't heard  before (that is, a song that you think is great) and tell you TP wrote it... it's the new Tom Petty!! - You'd be excited. And I'd be excited because you look so happy! And then I reveal the truth. I look strangely serious and I tell you someone else wrote this fantastic song.. That would perhaps mess with your mind. I would apologize for ruining your day. While to me - I would be secretly happy to have this great "new" song to listen to. I might be mildly confused when I learn about who wrote it, but it's not that important, since it is the song and the interpretation that matters... If it speaks to me in an intense and special way, I buy it. End of cruel experiment. Relax. :) (Btw. The Henrix example really is a great one. But unlike you, I don't think Jimi is quite that alone in his achievement. I think the history of rock is littered full of people making ultimate versions of other people's songs. Sometimes a famous original version can stand in the way, I admit that willingly, but that, my friend, is a yet a totally different thing.)

Not yielding.. no.. just defining what on earth we are talking about. The distinction between objective principles and subjective taste may not be that important.. It's only rock'n'roll, and all that jazz..... (Which is kinda exactly my point, btw - I should have just written that, oh well.. too late..).

It all good, a good discussion and in terms of SA (at stake here), I think - and here we are back to personal taste about certain songs again - we have plenty of high level cover recordings from the 84-85 era that would fit the bill. And since I don't really see - beyond enjoying SA as it is, which is, while always interesting and thought provoking, a challenging fun at best - that many fantastic originals being available, I would rely on the above mentioned example and suggest that the album would benefit from one or two covers to lift the spirit, concept or no concept, that is. But I should perhaps be clear about one thing: While adding a cover sometimes can be ok, fun or even instrumental for what you are trying to do or say with an album.. the need to do it, the way I feel it's needed in the face of what we know today of the SA sessions, is indeed a very unusual thing for TP. He can and should at times use covers as a creative tool, making songs his own, making them lift his albums, but I'd say it's not often that he needs to do it to save the day the way perhaps was the case with SA (I can't think of another single example, perhaps LMU would have a slot - well, if anything there usually seem to be plenty of original quality filler at hand). Too bad he didn't realize that in 1985, I say. 

Ok, I derail again.. Sorry, man. These little things seems to carry me away. Now, let's hear it for some more suggestion on how to cure SA.

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7 hours ago, Shelter said:

I think so too. If not the Greatest Hits, at least a Greatest Hits, where a previously unreleased song, like it then would be, wouldn't have felt as dated in sound and style. That is if there would have been a GH album made in say 1986, 

See, unlike what you suggest, I don't want to take it out because it doesn't fit the theme or concept of SA, I want to cut it because, to me, it's not the type of song that would fit any TP or TP&TH album.

  I meant the 90s Greatest Hits, I think the quality of the song is such that it would've been accepted as readily as Mary Jane's Last Dance. 

  Best fetch my vapors and peel myself from the floor... not the type of song that would fit any TP or TP&TH album.

 Any song they write together is automatically a TPATH tune, unless it's squirreled away for Mudcrutch or the Knobs. In addition to being a catchy song, that DCAHNM is so different from everything they've recorded is a good thing. I understand if you just don't like the song, but what I think you're saying is the song itself doesn't fit some preconceived notion of their sound. Of course, you're entitled to your opinion but if I understand what you're saying, It's a really limited view of the band. 

This kind of experimentation is vital to any band. TPATH could release a rap song and I may not care for it (who knows) but that they pushed themselves into unfamiliar territory is a good thing.

There are other examples of TPATH going a bit strange though not to the degree of DCAHNM; Luna, It's Raining Again, My Life/Your World. Well, those are stretching it a bit but the overall feel of the band has some of Sgt. Pepper in addition to Revolver. 

As I said before, I'd like them to release more experimental music, more veering into the strange and psychedelic, not in an attempt to recreate DCAHNM but to see what new songs they could come up with. Of course, it may not be so easy as to aim for the experimental, as more likely being open to ideas that seem outside their normal range of songwriting.

Don't Pull Me Over was something different, a reggae tune. I don't care for it but I'm glad they released it.

cheers

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22 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Hendrix is an exception, he truly transformed Watchtower, and in some ways, he made it his own. That doesn't happen very often. 

But an original song? Fault Lines is new music, is one of TPATH's best tunes, it's something new and exciting. Why lose an original song for another group's music? Let's hear more original compositions. 

 

cheers

I agree. I too prefer to hear new originals over covers on a studio album from Tom and the Heartbreakers. Fault Lines is a great example. When I first heard it, it confirmed my belief that Tom's definitely still "got it."

 

As far as your Hendrix/Watchtower comment, I have to add that Johnny Cash did this all the time. Especially in his late career with Rick Rubin. He was always attributed to and celebrated for "making the song his own". ie. Hurt. Many of the artists he covered said that Cash's versions were better than their own. Not an east feat. Not really my cup of tea, but Dylan's on a Sinatra kick right now...doing full albums of Sinatra-recorded tunes. A bizarre turn of event, but that's Dylan for ya, always keeping you guessing...

Which reminds me, Tom had another Southern Accents-like moment in the 90's with the Unchained album he and the band did with Cash. He had another chance to get his southern thing on. I always love listening to "Sea of Heartbreak" from those sessions, with Tom's distinct vocal alongside Cash. Plus Tom's song on Eric Clapton's J.J. Cale tribute album is pretty cool, and fits in this same discussion...

Unchained was a brilliant departure from the first Cash/Rubin collaboration, and a perfectly logical turn for the second one. Cash and the Heartbreakers for his backing band. Truly, how awesome is that?

Shelter basically materialized the idea in the previous post, but here's another way to "re-imagine" the SA project, as a double LP: (which would either appease both sides of the covers debate, or widen the gap more :)

Disc one would be Tom's vision - a southern themed concept album of completely original songs 

Disc two would be a collection of southern themed covers that complimented the idea behind SA.

Anybody wanna tackle that track listing? And I totally agree with MaryJanes2ndLastDance, regarding the recording style - having it done with Tom's recently-favored live feel (ie. the excellent first album from Mudcrutch) would be awesome! Capturing the spirit, the mood, the vibe of the song, instead of reaching for absolute studio perfection....

 

And finally, dollardime's Southern Accents Revisited - The Live Anthology take on this thread. I gotta give you props for coming up with a unique twist and rad concept there. I mean, when you mention it, it does seem that Mudcrutch being reformed is the manifestation of SA coming full circle.

 

 

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Of course, you're entitled to your opinion but if I understand what you're saying, It's a really limited view of the band. 

Well, I suppose it could look that way, yes. I might be guilty of having certain general sweeping assumptions about what this band (the people in it, thus even other bands and constellations, if with various angles and focus) is all about in terms of musical heritage and heart. But, I do, like you - at least within some kinda vast limitations - enjoy and cheer for them trying out new things, new rhythms, new phrasing, new sounds and whatever it may be. In other words... you may not have understood what I was trying to say, after all.

I like DCAHNM well enough, I just don't see any of the existing albums, thus far, having a place for it, in terms of album dynamics, vibe and balance. And I say this talking about it as a song as a composition as much as a specific recording of it. (That is, I realize it could sound differently in different contexts.) More over - it would take either an arguably highly unlikely album of songs, tight in the vein of DCAHNM or otherwise "experimental" (is it really?), that we are yet to hear from this band, or a very varied and mixed style bag (and here, again, Mojo, is what may strike me as the best bet, so far) to grant DCAHNM a natural place on a TP album, that's all. So, by all means, you got me there.. perhaps I should've said that I don't find DCAHNM to be the kind of song that fits on any of the TP records so far released. Sloppy argumentation on my behalf... :)

 

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9 hours ago, Shelter said:

it's not the type of song that would fit any TP or TP&TH album.

 That I took to mean that the song itself is being rejected, as opposed to not having the proper place for it. 

I see what you're saying now, that stylistically, the entirety of the song, as structured and performed (and recorded) doesn't seem to fit. Not that you don't like the song, only that it's so different that it unbalances any album it lands on. To date...!

So you like the song, just that it not only doesn't work on a southern themed would-be concept album, nor on anything, except perhaps on Mojo.

I like it on SA because I think it touches on the mysticism of the south in its strange and peculiar sounds and unusual structure (for most TPATH) songs. Off the top of my head, what other album could this work on...hmm...Long After Dark perhaps making an interesting counterpart to You Got Lucky, throw it onto Side B. 

Maybe before Feel A Whole Lot Better on Full Moon Fever. A psychedelic center to the record. Or wait, maybe Echo, going along with the sad feel of that album, a bit of an aggressive kiss-off.

 

cheers

 

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23 minutes ago, RedfordCowboy said:

Unchained was a brilliant departure from the first Cash/Rubin collaboration, and a perfectly logical turn for the second one. Cash and the Heartbreakers for his backing band. Truly, how awesome is that?

 Good point. I forget about Unchained, should give it a listen, an interesting sort-of but not quite Heartbreakers album. Well, Johnny Cash and the Heartbreakers.

cheers

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9 hours ago, Shelter said:

 we could play a game of blind testing here.. If I play you a great song that you haven't heard  before (that is, a song that you think is great) and tell you TP wrote it... it's the new Tom Petty!! - You'd be excited. And I'd be excited because you look so happy! And then I reveal the truth. I look strangely serious and I tell you someone else wrote this fantastic song.. That would perhaps mess with your mind. I would apologize for ruining your day. While to me - I would be secretly happy to have this great "new" song to listen to. I might be mildly confused when I learn about who wrote it, but it's not that important, since it is the song and the interpretation that matters... If it speaks to me in an intense and special way, I buy it. End of cruel experiment. Relax.

    It doesn't work that way. It's not that I don't like covers * I just don't feel they belong on albums. While I'd be a bit disappointed it's not Tom's writing, it may lead me to check out the original, in which case I've more new music to hear.

Up above I said there are always exceptions, it's not an ironclad rule.

The thing is, it's not really an issue. No band wants to be a covers band aside from experiments like Johnny Cash or Dylan with Sinatra. So it's really a non-issue. Are there any examples of TPATH using covers on record besides FMF and She's the One? I don't think so.

*Covers in the live setting, which is now really straying from the topic, are disappointing because I'd rather them play a deep cut than another band's song. Willin' or When The Time Comes? No question at all, really. For me.

9 hours ago, Shelter said:

Now, let's hear it for some more suggestion on how to cure SA.

 On this we agree! I'd like to read more alternate takes on the record or general opinions on this topic...

cheers

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11 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Or wait, maybe Echo

 

Yes! That's it! Actually, that makes perfect sense. Produced accordingly, it could make for a perfect fit, I can definately see that. Good call!

 

11 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

On this we agree!

Ah, yes. We may even agree more than you think on the rest too. Sure, I DO feel that the quality of the song, the effect of the recording to the mind, is way more important than who wrote it. But, of course, building your career on covers is another, far less impressive and interesting achievment, no matter how much you rework them (Weird Al, anyone?) And given the chance to choose from two more or less equally groundbreaking and mind bending compositions/recordings, I would go for the original, no doubt. (Perhaps especially when it comes to such a prolific songwriter as TP, even if 1984-85 era seems to suggest otherwise). After all, I think I understand your point in practice better than you seem to understand my point in theory - so to speak - agreed, the original is new both on paper and in effect, while a cover, no matter how great it is, is new only in effect. Thus a lower form.

My point, I guess, is that at the best of times, the latter is no small feat. And that the lines between what's merely an effect and what is something more, is not that easy to draw, as one may think, when an artist really manages to re-envision, remake, transform, and make a song truly their own in the highest creative fashion. I just felt it necessary, in the face of where this thread were going, to point out that these things happen, that there are such a thing and that it is an integral part of rock'n'roll dna. (And the older music you listen to, the easier this argument is to understand perhaps.) More theoretically speaking, I guess I just felt the urge to highlight the, to me important, distinction between objectivity and subjectivity. Perhaps a futile move on my part, but at least I think we have it covered in depth by now. But to each their own worldview, of course. Now, let's rock on!

 

 

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I haven't much more to offer on this, other than a defense of Weird Al; while I don't feel one way or the other about him, nor his music, some it making me laugh here and there over the years, I think he falls into the comedy camp, where cover parodies are something completely different. Congrats! You pointed out someone who made musical parody into a career, not an easy thing to achieve.

Thanks about the Echo suggestion; as you say, it would have to be rerecorded, thus losing its inherent eccentric character, which to me, is closely entwined with its appeal. But the song is so good, that even rerecorded or performed differently (like at the Bridge school show) it still works.

But yes, let's return to rocking on and perhaps hearing more takes on SA.

cheers

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