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Wildflowers (all the rest) tracks?

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8 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

I would wager that Stan was feeling like a cover band playing the song as he was not in the studio as we all know.

 

11 hours ago, Shelter said:

Sorry, but that was always really aweful. Not the best song IMO, and far from the best rendition. Extremely anaemic

 Yes, that is a terrible performance. It almost looks like they're lip syncing it. Stan looks utterly disinterested in the song. I'm not a fan of it but that's just a lifeless version. 

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5 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

Its wikipedia so it can be incomplete...

haha!  So true.  We've all been there - well, I sure have.  Anyway, oh how fortunate, my Wildflowers is right here on the shelf.  Oh, excellent, yes, liner notes do have some little jokes in them to confuse people.  For example Wildflowers (the song)  lists George Drakoulias as Must Have Played Something. Elsewhere, he is also is also listed as Consultant On Anything Really Important.  Is there a cooler job title?

Ok, as for Howie Epstein... 

  • You Don't Know How It Feels (harmony vocals),
  • You Wreck Me (bass & harmony vocals),  
  • It's Good To Be King (harmony vocals),
  • Honey Bee (backing vocals {along with Carl Wilson} & bass),
  • Cabin Down Below (bass),
  • House In The Woods (harmony vocals) and 
  • Crawling Back To You (harmony vocals)

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On 2/6/2020 at 3:22 PM, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Yes, that is a terrible performance. It almost looks like they're lip syncing it. Stan looks utterly disinterested in the song. I'm not a fan of it but that's just a lifeless version. 

I agree.  I don't care for the song You Don't Know How It Feels for a lot of reasons, and that's a particularly weak performance of it.  I'm sure Stan IS disinterested in it.  It's a weak song with a boring beat, one that he was expected to replicate instead of at least being allowed to create something to help it along.  

For me the song YDKHIF to me signals the end of TPATH as a rock band, also as a band - period.   It signals the end of Stan as part of the band.  It signals a transition from rock and roll to stoner music.   YDKHIF brought in a lot of new fans, many ex-Deadheads (as Jerry Garcia died around this time, and those fans needed somewhere to go). 

But the music had changed, and I think TP largely abandoned the old fans in favor of the new ones, at least for the next few albums and in some ways permanently.   I think a lot of the new fans cared more about the "roll another joint" line than about TPATH's back catalog or the type of live shows they did with Stan.  I had assumed when I first heard it, that the WF album would be a major flop, and that TP would go back to working with Stan and doing music that I found interesting.  Little did I know that WF would be one of TP's biggest albums, and he felt he could give the fans more of that, not less of it.   

For me the entire Rick Rubin period is dismal (other than MJLD, aided by Stan's independent drumming).  That's not on Rubin, his presence just happens to coincide with a period that I find very uninteresting compared with their prior and subsequent work.  And YDKHIF seems to define that entire period, including the end of Stan in TPATH and the band moving to essentially a "sidemen" role (at least until the HE album).           

About the only thing I like about YDKHIF is some of Mike's extended guitar work in some of the live versions.   But that's not very present on the Letterman version.  This version is interesting only for historical purposes, Stan's last major presence with the band until the R&R HoF performance.  It's the end of one era, the beginning of another.  Some people have cheered this era as being better than what went before, and that's fine, just not my preference by a long shot. 

BTW, what happened to Letterman himself?  White hair, long white beard, he looks like he aged 50 years in the course of maybe 5 years.   And I always thought his acting goofy was just that, an act.  He was tremendous in the 1980's on NBC, just incredibly funny, what a great show.  But now he just seems goofy, not an act.  Well I guess he's entitled after so many great years, just as TP was entitled to make the kind of music he preferred, with the musicians he preferred to work with.  

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"You Don't Know How It Feels" was the first thing I charted up off Wildflowers and my band has had a lot of fun with it over the years.  I get to blow some harp on that one too.  But I guess all the "good" fans left after that album came out.  And oh yeah, it won a fucking Grammy.  But now we're all enlightened about what a turd the song is, so that's taken care of.  (wink).  

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TomFest - like I said, YDKHIF signals a transition, a new era.  One where rock and roll and "band" contributions fade into the background.  But I never said it wasn't popular with some people.

3 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

Some people have cheered this era as being better than what went before, and that's fine, just not my preference by a long shot. 

Be happy that your side "won" out over the prior fan base, getting TP's attention, leading to Stan's ouster and diminishing the role of the other band members.  I still thought it was sad that the Stan/band/rock era ended with the dawning of YDKHIF.   But clearly there was a new audience for YDKHIF and related music, and TP went with that.  He didn't "owe" the audience he was abandoning anything; he'd already delivered for them.  

BTW, "Lady Gaga" has won several Grammys and a bunch of other awards.  That doesn't make it great music in my estimation.  Same for most of the Grammys or other "awards" for alleged artistic merit.  My point was about YDKHIF being a transition point; in my view it was a very negative change, but I realize that some people thought it was a big improvement over what went before. But I don't think though that many people would argue the point of it being a significant transition.

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19 minutes ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

TomFest - like I said, YDKHIF signals a transition, a new era.  One where rock and roll and "band" contributions fade into the background.  But I never said it wasn't popular with some people.

 

I would agree it was a bit of a transition album.  It took me years to get into Echo and realize how good it was. I  never cared very much for the last DJ as a concept but some tracks are quite good.  Mojo to me, a blues fan was a major disappointment and it was not until Tom died that I found i actually like the album.  More so one of the re-tracked versions someone one [Shelter or Tomfest ?] shared where a lot of the lesser tracks are cut and a few unreleased tracks come into play.   

Wildflowers to me is a bit of a masterpiece and She's the one has grown on me a lot over the years.  I unabashedly love the entire catalog up to Echo and after that.... well, I'm still a fan but I was really, really sick of hearing Free Falling each time the band toured.  American Girl never got old for me. perhaps it was the raw energy of the crowd and the bands last full throttle push before leaving for the night... 

He wrote a lot of deep amazing songs after WF but none of the albums captured the same magic. not sure how much losing Howie and Stan played into that. Certainly Swinging and Echo were as good as WF stuff. But Mojo did not get my mojo working....  Sad that Tom kept a lot of great tracks in the vault.  I love For Real and hearing the tribute version makes me wonder what a full arrangement by Tom would have sounded like live... Especially if he had an orchestra like Wildflowers All The Rest tour may have demanded...  🥰

 I would really need to sit down with Highway Companion to see how much I dig it... as a solo album I don't know what to compare it to but its no FMF or WF. Impressive he did it all more or less himself... 

Back to WF; Girl on LSD is a throw away for sure and Im glad its a b side, I do love the video for YDHIF and enjoy the song but its a departure from anything like DTT and he lost his anger and edge somewhat from that early hungry era of the first half of his career I'm glad he found peace being with Dana and that he had a good life with her but the album indeed was a transition but I would argue Echo was his real pivot point at least for me.  I just hope Girl on LSD does not appear as a track on all the rest as it would make it a lesser album by inclusion. 

sorry if I am rambling. been a long day.. 

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On February 8, 2020 at 3:13 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

I don't care for the song You Don't Know How It Feels for a lot of reasons,

After twenty some years it grew on me and since I usually skipped it on live recordings had the benefit of feeling fresh when I have listened to it. But I couldn't understand how so many people took to what I heard as a mediocre, plodding dull song. How could this be the band that just gave us Makin' Some Noise?

On February 8, 2020 at 3:13 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

I'm sure Stan IS disinterested in it.

That's the only time I've seen him look utterly bored during a performance; a big no-no, not that he's not entitled to how he feels but as part of a team he's expected to play his fundamental role. I guess this could be video evidence of the disintegration between him and Tom and the direction of the music.  And speaking of musical directions..

 

On February 8, 2020 at 3:13 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

I think TP largely abandoned the old fans in favor of the new ones, at least for the next few albums and in some ways permanently. 

 

I don't think Tom abandoned fans so much as his songwriting went in a different direction true to him.

I respect that even though for me, it began a huge and dire chasm of poor songwriting. The emphasis seemed to be a mix of singer-songwriter approach and less band oriented or just gloomy, midtempo mud one must slog through. Even attempts to be full of passion like the last dj fell quite short of the mark. Bright spots during that period? For sure. But overall it was like a shadow fell over the band. Pretty melodramatic huh? Live though they were still fun, I really enjoyed the Echo show I saw and the recordings from that tour.

 Fortunately Mudcrutch and Mojo rejuvenated the band giving us Hypnotic Eye. MY impression though is that in order to reach HE, Tom had to go through the songwriting he did; a lot of it didn't match my taste but that's just how it goes.

Still, I empathize with where you're coming from in that WF was a huge shift for the band. The thing is, and talk about pointless but I'll continue on here, I think if Stan could've found a way to be into the music Tom was doing, if even possible, his impact would've grown in time again, perhaps on the Last Dj where he may have delivered extra and much needed propulsion to some of that record. Who knows eh?

On February 8, 2020 at 3:13 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

I had assumed when I first heard it, that the WF album would be a major flop, and that TP would go back to working with Stan and doing music that I found interesting.  Little did I know that WF would be one of TP's biggest albums, and he felt he could give the fans more of that, not less of it.   

Ha ha ha! I didn't think it would be a flop but I know the feeling you describe. This was just a one-off kinda lame album and the next would be back to the heights of ITGWO and FMF. Oh boy...was I ever wrong on that one. She's the One was a step up, ironically with a lot of unused WF tracks and then a sudden drop into Echo. What the hell was that? Ugly cover, ugly cd, dull music, I remember peeling off the cellophane and excitedly dropping it into my beloved cd-player hoping for the best despite the ugliness and then...well...less said the better. Now years later, I can appreciate a lot more of Echo and WF but I think I pretty much get exactly where you're coming from Drew.

On February 8, 2020 at 3:13 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

That's not on Rubin, his presence just happens to coincide with a period that I find very uninteresting compared with their prior and subsequent

But man! WF is such a good-sounding album. The thickness of the guitars, the melding of the different sounds, it's just a very pleasure album from that perspective. And every so often I'm in the mood to throw it in or at least, to listen to some of the tracks on there that I like. 

cheers

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On February 8, 2020 at 3:54 PM, TomFest said:

 But I guess all the "good" fans left after that album came out.  And oh yeah, it won a fucking Grammy. 

The riff inside the song is catchy. But a grammy? Really who cares. I don't think I'll ever understand awards in the arts. In sports, sure. One could contest a referee's call or factor in bad luck or weather or many mitigating factors why one team one or another but there's a definitive winner. In the arts it's all just opinion. Perhaps the only thing lamer than a grammy is an oscar. 

But really, why care so much for Drew's dismissal of the song, it's just an opinion. Unless I"m reading too much into your comment.

21 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

Be happy that your side "won" out over the prior fan base, getting TP's attention,

I don't think there are sides though. I figure TomFest likes Tom and the boys music all across the board. I could be wrong though. I figure some fans jumped on with WF and with that and GH were quite content which is fine. I really believe Tom followed his muse and creative instincts and it all paid off. While WF was his last big hit album and the singles dried up, he still made the music he wanted to, reunited with his original band for two good records, dumped their "don't bore us get to the chorus" rule for Mojo and came back with a rocking album that wasn't a bunch of older men trying to act young but rather playing a bunch of great rock-n-roll songs with nearly forty years of experience and skill.

21 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

But Mojo did not get my mojo working....  Sad that Tom kept a lot of great tracks in the vault. 

To my surprise, I like quite a bit of Mojo more than Echo though that record does have some high points.

cheers

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Fortunately Mudcrutch and Mojo rejuvenated the band giving us Hypnotic Eye. MY impression though is that in order to reach HE, Tom had to go through the songwriting he did; a lot of it didn't match my taste but that's just how it goes.

That's a great way to look at it, and a positive way as well.  I'm so glad they did Hypnotic Eye.  To me that's a true "band" album that recaptures much of the character and excitement of the 70's and 80's TPATH - while still sounding very different. Finally, after so many years.  As I've said, I also like the Special Edition of Highway Companion, when the order of songs is re-worked as we discussed; but that's more of a solo album than band album.   And I like some songs here and there between ITGWO and HE, but the ratio of worthy songs/duds greatly drops off during that time, at least for my taste.  

But the bottom line is that Tom wrote a huge number of great songs, the band often played them very well (I still don't like Steve's drumming in most cases, studio or live), and they did get to Hypnotic Eye which was a great final album to make an exit.  On the other hand I wish TP could have gone on making albums for another 2 decades beyond HE, but we have what we have and we're grateful for it.   

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13 hours ago, Mr Timba said:

I miss Benmont on HE. 

Yes. Me too.

 

But back to Wildflowers "All The Rest", I just heard Somewhere Under Heaven again the other day. And had to listen again. And again. Got me thinking of all the talk around here about Stan and Wildflowers as the big transition album - whether you want to see it as a mature coming of age portal work or the opening phase of a stoner trip and whatever has been discussed. To me it's clear, like I have been saying, that the Lynne experience left TP with an all-new view, or even philosophy, on what the drums are supposed to contribute to the structure of a song/recording. This shift - from integral to backdrop - was not over night, of course, but in general terms I view the Wildflowers project as when and where he set out to realize these new ideals in his work. For the most parts he stuck with it for the rest of his life and at least in that sense Wildflowers really are the big transitional work (even if the somewhat dark mature themes and very ambitious production may have helped to highlight this sense of a new era.*).  

But, yeah.. again.. SUH. Supposedly recorded in 1992.

The extent to which what is in hindsight called the Wildflowers sessions started out as Heartbreakers sessions is unknown to me, rarely discussed, at least in any detail. It seems that official story telling, if I don't disremember this, has it that in 1992 there were Heartbreakers sessions aimed at an ITGWO follow up Heartbreakers album** and that the sessions took on specific solo qualities somewhat later, in early 1993.*** If this roughly computes, does this mean it is an afterthought labeling the 1992 recordings Wildflowers outtakes?

In line with this reasoning, is it Stan on drums on SUH? I don't think I ever seen proper credits in detail for that song. The very un-Wildflowery production on this recording makes it a real oddball in the Wildflowers context, I think. Part of the vibes ties back to ITGWO. The scope of the "story" itself, feels at odds with Wildflowers too. There are a bit of a one-off quality to the arrangements/production, something almost "synthetic" too (kinda like Peace in LA, just much better and richer). I am gonna take for granted that on top of all this, it has been touched in the 2000s as well...  Either it was really originally meant for Wildflowers or not doesn't matter. But when I really listen to the recording over and over, it really sounds it may be Stan on drums. If so, that really ties in to his part in the transition of TP as a songwriter and recording artist. SUH has, already in 1992 then, a tendency towards the boom-smack future of YDKHIF, but at the same time the delivery behind the kit is actually full of small details, cymbals and intricate fine print that may pass the idle ear by. If it really is Stan, then perhaps SUH is the real breaking point, where the "old" and "new" style of TP's rhytm section ideas really met.

Further, along the same trail of thougts, then,  antoher really early recording that ended up related to Wildflowers is the "original" Wake Up Time. Also from 1992. Again, I am left wondering, may that be Stan? This first version of the song, to my mind, loses a bit of the dreamy mystery that the album track has. On the other hand the organic and very groovy work by Mike (supposedly) and the rhythm section really makes the early take much superior. (Even TP's singing is better, I think.) It's debatable if the song is better when played slower or faster, but either way.. there is so much more life to the early take. And if it really is Stan on drums, this is another really key moment in the transition of the band as discussed. 

What about other presumably 1992 recorded songs, that are now credited as part of the Wildflowers project? Did Stan play on any/some of those early songs/takes? This is a very interesting era, I think. There was a lot happening between ITGWO and Wildflowers as it were, details that may explain why so many people apparantly found the gap between the two overly wide and strange. 

Then again.. there might be errors in this line of thinking. It may not be Stan's presence I hear. But even if it isn't it's still interesting, because it is certainly not Steve. In many ways these 1992 recordings (and the 1993 GH recordings too) really display very organic and rocking drums, even when the songs themselves perhaps showed signs of mellowing out some. It seems to me two paradigms colliding here in an interesting way.

 

---

*It's often mentioned how Wildflowers is so much less rock'n'roll, and so much smoother, than any of TP's previous work. I like to think, though, that a devil's advocate would point at several gritty guitars and blues rock outbursts on Wildflowrs. Moreover he (she?) would point to the fact that it would be interesting to see bpm breakdowns and total numbers, showing how WF hold up compared to the earlier albums in that regards. A few of the songs ticks along pretty fast, no? 

**There was also the separate Heartbreakers session that produced the Peace In LA single.

***Before too long into this, there was intermission TPATH sessions again, anyway, for the GH project, but save for future hit MJLD, those sessions mostly consisted of covers. For various reasons, surely.

 

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2 minutes ago, Shelter said:

Yes. Me too.

 

But back to Wildflowers "All The Rest", I just heard Somewhere Under Heaven again the other day. And had to listen again. And again. Got me thinking of all the talk around here about Stan and Wildflowers as the big transition album - whether you want to see it as a mature coming of age portal work or the opening phase of a stoner trip and whatever has been discussed. To me it's clear, like I have been saying, that the Lynne experience left TP with an all-new view, or even philosophy, on what the drums are supposed to contribute to the structure of a song/recording. This shift - from integral to backdrop - was not over night, of course, but in general terms I view the Wildflowers project as when and where he set out to realize these new ideals in his work. For the most parts he stuck with it for the rest of his life and at least in that sense Wildflowers really are the big transitional work (even if the somewhat dark mature themes and very ambitious production may have helped to highlight this sense of a new era.*).  

this sort of reminds me of the recently posted article with Mike Campbell talking about Bob Dylans disappointment with the drum machine, how he felt it was useless as a tool as it could not follow Bob's change in tempo.  :D 

 

2 minutes ago, Shelter said:

In line with this reasoning, is it Stan on drums on SUH? I don't think I ever seen proper credits in detail for that song. The very un-Wildflowery production on this recording makes it a real oddball in the Wildflowers context, I think. Part of the vibes ties back to ITGWO. The scope of the "story" itself, feels at odds with Wildflowers too. There are a bit of a one-off quality to the arrangements/production, something almost "synthetic" too (kinda like Peace in LA, just much better and richer). I am gonna take for granted that on top of all this, it has been touched in the 2000s as well...  Either it was really originally meant for Wildflowers or not doesn't matter. But when I really listen to the recording over and over, it really sounds it may be Stan on drums. If so, that really ties in to his part in the transition of TP as a songwriter and recording artist. SUH has, already in 1992 then, a tendency towards the boom-smack future of YDKHIF, but at the same time the delivery behind the kit is actually full of small details, cymbals and intricate fine print that may pass the idle ear by. If it really is Stan, then perhaps SUH is the real breaking point, where the "old" and "new" style of TP's rhytm section ideas really met.

 

 

Yeah, I never really understood how somewhere under heaven would track with the rest of the album. I have to wonder with what you write above if its just a leftover track form one of the aborted albums or if its really part of All The Rest.  Wish they would have at least released the tracking of the album as we seem to know what the contentnet of the double album would be... just not how it becomes a cohesive unit. 

Jesus can that be what Tom was struggling with? how to make it all line up as one big unit when the original was so good? 

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3 hours ago, Shelter said:

It seems to me two paradigms colliding here in an interesting way.

Nice observation!

3 hours ago, Shelter said:

devil's advocate would point at several gritty guitars and blues rock outbursts on Wildflowrs.

The devil loses. The gritty guitars and blues rock outbursts (nicely worded by the way) are to me, the exception to the rule, the album seems more tender and introspective overall, You Wreck Me is a bit of a Wake Up Time at that point in the record, and Honey Bee offers some nice power, a definite blues rock outburst (man that's good) but most of the album exists in that mellow, groove, sad, sleepy state that seems like the major appeal of the record. I could be wrong but my impression is the heavier songs or more energetic or yes, here we go, the BRO (blues rock outburst) are interesting digressions along the main trail of melancholia and hope.

cheers

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19 hours ago, Mr Timba said:

I miss Benmont on HE. He is lost somewhere in the mix. Not a 100% Hearbreakers sound alike album.

This may be a minority opinion on here but I think Benmont played the necessary amount on the songs that best serve them. It's a harder edged album for the band and while not strictly a guitar showcase Mojo was intended to be, it still has a focus on the six string. I think whatever flourishes he added suited the songs. 

cheers

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4 hours ago, Shelter said:

Yes. Me too.

 

But back to Wildflowers "All The Rest", I just heard Somewhere Under Heaven again the other day. And had to listen again. And again. Got me thinking of all the talk around here about Stan and Wildflowers as the big transition album - whether you want to see it as a mature coming of age portal work or the opening phase of a stoner trip and whatever has been discussed. To me it's clear, like I have been saying, that the Lynne experience left TP with an all-new view, or even philosophy, on what the drums are supposed to contribute to the structure of a song/recording. This shift - from integral to backdrop - was not over night, of course, but in general terms I view the Wildflowers project as when and where he set out to realize these new ideals in his work. For the most parts he stuck with it for the rest of his life and at least in that sense Wildflowers really are the big transitional work (even if the somewhat dark mature themes and very ambitious production may have helped to highlight this sense of a new era.*).  

But, yeah.. again.. SUH. Supposedly recorded in 1992.

The extent to which what is in hindsight called the Wildflowers sessions started out as Heartbreakers sessions is unknown to me, rarely discussed, at least in any detail. It seems that official story telling, if I don't disremember this, has it that in 1992 there were Heartbreakers sessions aimed at an ITGWO follow up Heartbreakers album** and that the sessions took on specific solo qualities somewhat later, in early 1993.*** If this roughly computes, does this mean it is an afterthought labeling the 1992 recordings Wildflowers outtakes?

In line with this reasoning, is it Stan on drums on SUH? I don't think I ever seen proper credits in detail for that song. The very un-Wildflowery production on this recording makes it a real oddball in the Wildflowers context, I think. Part of the vibes ties back to ITGWO. The scope of the "story" itself, feels at odds with Wildflowers too. There are a bit of a one-off quality to the arrangements/production, something almost "synthetic" too (kinda like Peace in LA, just much better and richer). I am gonna take for granted that on top of all this, it has been touched in the 2000s as well...  Either it was really originally meant for Wildflowers or not doesn't matter. But when I really listen to the recording over and over, it really sounds it may be Stan on drums. If so, that really ties in to his part in the transition of TP as a songwriter and recording artist. SUH has, already in 1992 then, a tendency towards the boom-smack future of YDKHIF, but at the same time the delivery behind the kit is actually full of small details, cymbals and intricate fine print that may pass the idle ear by. If it really is Stan, then perhaps SUH is the real breaking point, where the "old" and "new" style of TP's rhytm section ideas really met.

Further, along the same trail of thougts, then,  antoher really early recording that ended up related to Wildflowers is the "original" Wake Up Time. Also from 1992. Again, I am left wondering, may that be Stan? This first version of the song, to my mind, loses a bit of the dreamy mystery that the album track has. On the other hand the organic and very groovy work by Mike (supposedly) and the rhythm section really makes the early take much superior. (Even TP's singing is better, I think.) It's debatable if the song is better when played slower or faster, but either way.. there is so much more life to the early take. And if it really is Stan on drums, this is another really key moment in the transition of the band as discussed. 

What about other presumably 1992 recorded songs, that are now credited as part of the Wildflowers project? Did Stan play on any/some of those early songs/takes? This is a very interesting era, I think. There was a lot happening between ITGWO and Wildflowers as it were, details that may explain why so many people apparantly found the gap between the two overly wide and strange. 

Then again.. there might be errors in this line of thinking. It may not be Stan's presence I hear. But even if it isn't it's still interesting, because it is certainly not Steve. In many ways these 1992 recordings (and the 1993 GH recordings too) really display very organic and rocking drums, even when the songs themselves perhaps showed signs of mellowing out some. It seems to me two paradigms colliding here in an interesting way.

 

---

*It's often mentioned how Wildflowers is so much less rock'n'roll, and so much smoother, than any of TP's previous work. I like to think, though, that a devil's advocate would point at several gritty guitars and blues rock outbursts on Wildflowrs. Moreover he (she?) would point to the fact that it would be interesting to see bpm breakdowns and total numbers, showing how WF hold up compared to the earlier albums in that regards. A few of the songs ticks along pretty fast, no? 

**There was also the separate Heartbreakers session that produced the Peace In LA single.

***Before too long into this, there was intermission TPATH sessions again, anyway, for the GH project, but save for future hit MJLD, those sessions mostly consisted of covers. For various reasons, surely.

 

Agreed.As much as I love SUH, the production is pure Lynne. The double 12 string parts, the echoes and resonance. Though it'd be an oddball on the album, I do think it'd be great as either an opener or closer. Either way, it should've been a single.

And one last thing that needs to be mentioned because it's something an idea I've grown tired of hearing: acoustic driven music is not mature music and does not signify growth as a musician. Just means a new direction.

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4 hours ago, Shelter said:

the Lynne experience left TP with an all-new view, or even philosophy, on what the drums are supposed to contribute to the structure of a song/recording. This shift - from integral to backdrop - was not over night, of course, but in general terms I view the Wildflowers project as when and where he set out to realize these new ideals in his work. For the most parts he stuck with it for the rest of his life

Good insight. What's interesting is how much praise Stan's playing gets in retrospect, like on the third album documentary, valuing his contributions even though his style or approach wasn't wanted anymore with the newer songs Tom was writing. I'm sure part of it is time moving along and perhaps easier to enjoy Stan's playing minus the interpersonal conflicts of the past.

14 minutes ago, martin03345 said:

grown tired of hearing: acoustic driven music is not mature music

It's true but it certailny seems that rock musicians will default to the acoustic for the more personal sound minus the feedback/distortion of a band or heavy rock music, the lyric are more decipherable, the songwriting more intimate. Sure, there are bands and musicians who don't do that but it is a understandable move when one's main instrument is the guitar.

 

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52 minutes ago, martin03345 said:

And one last thing that needs to be mentioned because it's something an idea I've grown tired of hearing: acoustic driven music is not mature music and does not signify growth as a musician. Just means a new direction.

Haha! Right. I think you may have overinterpretated my intentions on that one, though. "Mature" may not be the best word, but what I'm after is a certain mood, a reterospect, reminicence, almost philosophical vibe that seem to saturate a lot of the album.. a mellow pedulum between grief and hope.. that gets helped some by production but is really mostly in the lyrical themes and the vocal delivery. It's certainly not in the instruments and/or the tempo itself. Agreed.

Still.. The main point of interest to me with above post, was not WF's character in itself, as it has been discussed plenty. (Even if it's fine if that's what people took from it.) To me it's the "lost" era between ITGWO and WF and more precisely the slow death of the Stan vibes during this time, that deserves some extra consideration. These details do both seem to confirm a bigger theory of mine re: Tom's rhythm ideals and strikes me as very interesting in their own right. In the era after Lynne and essentially before Rubin - that is what  now is popularly credited as the early WF sessions - there were some cool details in the drumming showing up. The last of it's kind? That's my scope.

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Definitely some good thoughts there on Wildflowers, the 1992 sessions, and Somewhere Under Heaven, Shelter (and all). Love it, and I love this thread.

SUH certainly feels closer to ITGWO than WF to me...perhaps the 1992 sessions started out as band effort, then shifted course by 1993. (Similar to Travellin' sessions of 1988, eventually arriving at FMF). Perhaps Tom had a new vision...or reinvigorated inspiration working with a new producer...or an itch to "go solo" again, having such a good experience the last time. Perhaps he needed yet another break from the band, in his mind.  SUH does sound like a one-off of sorts. What about other songs from 1992, ie. You Get Me High? Were songs like Driving Down to Georgia or Lost Without You being tossed around? Again, think of the epic Mindbender record....

At at rate, we all agree that WF was a transitional moment. Which makes the 1992-1994 period quite fascinating..(and divisive?) all leading up the departure of our beloved Stan. We can see it as the dividing point, the half-way marker (literally) of the lifespan of the band. The first half (with Stan), 1976-1994 - 18 years....and the second half (with Steve), 1995-2017 - 22 years. Or...BW (before Wildflowers) and AF (after Wildflowers), as it were.

And it goes back to FMF. We've discussed this too. The band was obviously hurt/upset/betrayed/angry, etc. about Tom's decision to "go solo" and make a record. With them playing on it, yet solo. Who wouldn't feel threatened? Or at least worried. This put the future of the band into uncertainty. Including their very life (financially) and career. And now, Tom decides to do it again.....

Back to Stan in all of this. He's sort of the central figure affected by this drama + decisions. I think it was more of a natural progression that led to his departure. By 1992, he was probably being his normal difficult self. By 1993, he was pissed. By 1994, he checked out. He was done. He said in the past (half jokingly) that he quit the band while making every record. But this time, sadly, it was for good. Plus he disliked Rubin. I think maybe ultimately it was because of feeling/being so hurt. Maybe it too much for him to go through the whole "TP solo cycle" again, and he simply couldn't do it. While the rest of the Heartbreakers could (meaning Mike, Ben and Howie. Especially Mike. He knew he was going to always be the co-pilot by Tom's side. He had his place forever secured). They saw how it went down after FMF, and maybe told themselves it could go the same way again with WF. That it would be back to business as usual, after Tom "got it out of his system." Or maybe they accepted that Tom was just going to do this from time to time, and keep his family together (the band) in the end. Maybe they felt more confident, more established. If something were to happen, they could carry on being a producer, co-producer, collaborator, or find endless work as a studio musician, playing on other people's projects. (Which they did in fact to, as history shows, and still do to his very day). I keep saying maybe BTW, since all of this is simply speculation or observation.

So Stan would say things in 1994 like "This ain't my main gig"* that would in turn piss Tom off. Deepening the fracture. But could you blame him for feeling this way?

Which brings us back to 1993. The GH sessions. Perhaps the last real time of Stan being an "official" member of the band...even if begrudgingly. By this time, summer 1993, Tom was waist-deep (not ankle-deep) in Wildflowers. When the Greatest Hits project arrived, and he had to write/submit/contribute a NEW song, and we know he bristled at this GH submission project. He absolutely WAS NOT going to give up any of the new WF songs. They were too good. Nope, no Wake Up Time was going to be given away. This to me, is an indicator of just how much be believed in and was loving this new "solo" material. Enough to make a distinction between this being solo record, and the GH project being a Heartbreakers thing, that needed a HB song. So, what did he do? He looked for any older, leftover, or unfinished songs to finish and submit. Thus, MJLD, a song idea started in 1988 that he saw had some potential (and boy, did it).

Observation: I love Neil Young's album Harvest. I always thought that WF was like the Harvest of the 90's. Only bigger, longer, more songs of course. Same kinda warm feel and vibe, mixture of songs from fast to slow, etc. Arguably Neil's best work, same with Tom and WF.

Lastly, WF to me is a rocking album. Sure, it has diverse styles, moods, and textures, but it's a rock and roll album at it's core. Because it was made by a rocker. We all go to You Wreck Me, Honey Bee as examples. Don't forget Cabin Down Below. Oh yeah, remember that outtake Lonesome Dave? It's all over the map, it's glorious, sweeping, and epic (cue IGTBK). At this point in Tom's career, he was putting a lifetime of experiences and influences into one maximum expression. At it succeeded on every level. It feels so right, so warm, so welcoming when you spend time with it. It's a journey, and it paints many emotional pictures using a wide canvas (cue Wildflowers, Time to Move On, or the 2 album closers :) I consider it to be Tom's deepest, widest, and biggest record. Maybe the most poetic (I agree that's arguable). Still, doesn't matter, it's great, and I love it. It's his finest moment, in a career of many, splendid fine moments. Did I mention it's my favorite album? Ha. 

 

----

* Shelter-end-of-post-asterisk. What's pretty interesting is how Stan stayed in a creative partnership with Don Henley after his departure with band. Which to me says something about Henley. That he really recognized Stan's immense talents outside of just drumming. (not saying Tom didn't see it, be you could argue he was under-utilized). And it wasn't just for a season. Want more proof? I pulled out Henley's EXCELLENT last solo record, Cass County, from 2015. Have you heard it? It's great. If you like country music, you'll really like it. It's got some amazing collaborations. But I checked out the liner notes, and guess who's all over it? Yep, Stan. Co-Producer. Main songwriting partner. And he plays acoustic and electric guitar! So, Henley is still a fan. Which sort of makes you wonder how much he could've brought to the table with late-career HB music....

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2 hours ago, RedfordCowboy said:

Love it, and I love this thread.

As far as ATR is concerned, it's what we have. It's all we can do to keep each other smiling, and keep our faith alive.

2 hours ago, RedfordCowboy said:

What about other songs from 1992

Right. It is an interesting era, for sure. For all kinds of reasons. But those other (earlier) 92 stuff, were always labeled Heartbreakers efforts. What's interesting to me, again, is what still may be labeled Heartbreakers sessions producing what was ultimately gonna be labeled (and re-recorded as) WF music. What's needed is some serious and detailed session info covering this era, with dates, titles, personel. I would like to know who played what and when.

2 hours ago, RedfordCowboy said:

Maybe it too much for him to go through the whole "TP solo cycle" again, and he simply couldn't do it. While the rest of the Heartbreakers could (meaning Mike, Ben and Howie. Especially Mike. He knew he was going to always be the co-pilot by Tom's side. He had his place forever secured). They saw how it went down after FMF, and maybe told themselves it could go the same way again with WF. That it would be back to business as usual, after Tom "got it out of his system." Or maybe they accepted that Tom was just going to do this from time to time, and keep his family together (the band) in the end. Maybe they felt more confident, more established. If something were to happen, they could carry on being a producer, co-producer, collaborator, or find endless work as a studio musician, playing on other people's projects.

Yes. As far as the personal grudges and TP's developing type of material goes, it may eventually have became too much for Stan. This has been discussed. But in terms of drum sound preferences, I think history suggests that it was Stan's soulful touch that litterally became too much for TP. 

In other words that marks another difference between Stan and the others. Sure, they could wait Tom out a bit. It was (likely) gonna "pass" and they would still be in demand as a band, and live TPATH never failed to be Tom's vessel anyway, straight through it all. But Stan apparently and increasingly didn't wanna play the music that was coming in the first place.. and this made his "waiting" less meaningful, right?

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9 hours ago, Shelter said:

In line with this reasoning, is it Stan on drums on SUH? I don't think I ever seen proper credits in detail for that song. The very un-Wildflowery production on this recording makes it a real oddball in the Wildflowers context, I think. Part of the vibes ties back to ITGWO. The scope of the "story" itself, feels at odds with Wildflowers too

It's a bit of a mystery track, being a digital-only release at this point.  Since Tom says he doesn't remember recording it (does Mike remember?) we might never know the details.  Hopefully they kept some records of the recording along with the tape. 

1992 sounds early for it to be Steve on drums, plus it doesn't really sound like his drumming from the 1990's.   The drumming sounds somewhere between Stan and Steve, but might be neither.  If Jeff Lynne was involved (it's not officially noted that he was), then it could be that Stan was asked by Lynne to lay down a drum loop.  The drums sound a bit loop-y, too repetitive to be Stan, yet initially reminiscent of Stan's creativity. 

During the recording of ITGWO, I understand that Lynne wanted Stan to lay down drum tracks and drum loops, which Stan was not happy about since he couldn't really play the song with the band.  My understanding is that Stan laid down an unusually complex drum track/loop for Learning To Fly as something of a challenge to Lynne, but Lynne used it anyway (it sounds great IMO).    So the drumming on Somewhere Under Heaven could be the sound of Stan, stifled and looped by Lynne, or something else.  

As a song, SUH sounds like it could have been really great, it has a very nice sound and some interesting lyrics.  But it also seems like an unfinished song, as if it needs something - another verse, more of a complete story, something.  It's really close to being a great song though, and I hope they release it as is anyway, on a CD.  I'm a little surprised they didn't put it on "An American Treasure".     

 

    

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I find it interesting how it's such a big deal that Tom made FMF and the band was so upset despite members being on tracks. But nobody bats an eye at all the session stuff Mike did during the mid 80s to present...  Is it because Mike had Stan and Ben on Don Henley tracks?   I really feel a proper analysis of all the side work Mike did with Dylan, Stevie Nicks, Don and other artists of similar caliber rarely gets its due.  He is clearly more than  "just the co-captain of the Heartbreakers" where he pops up in so many places like the Wallflowers Sixth Avenue. Boys of Summer and many other well known albums and tracks.  (won't even begin to address how Tom stifled the DK for years...)

Ben and Stan were also very busy in the studio with lots of friends of the band, hell Mike quietly dropped the surf album and I didnt hear about it until last year...  sure its a "mystery" that Steve, Ben and maybe Ron are on it.... 😲 But Tom drops three solo albums after leaving a Supergroup and Stan cant play with Tom because he used drum machines or worked with Jeff Lynne? 

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2 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

I find it interesting how it's such a big deal that Tom made FMF and the band was so upset despite members being on tracks. But nobody bats an eye at all the session stuff Mike did during the mid 80s to present...

I think the reason some of the guys were upset about TP doing FMF "solo" was because the name of the band is "Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers" or shorthand "Tom Petty".  Tom's name thus became not just his name, but shorthand for the band itself.  The band didn't seem to mind when he did the Traveling Wilburys.  But when he did a "Tom Petty" album without them, it probably felt like he was using the band's name but not including them.  And as Stan said, he felt like he was being told he wasn't good enough for the FMF album, but then was asked to tour behind the album. 

Which was frankly petty on Stan's part, pardon the pun.  Especially when Stan refused to play the drum part of "Free Fallin'" that Phil Jones (who was at one time Stan's roady, and also the Heartbreakers' percussionist for several years) had created.  Even Stan had called Phil's drum parts "interesting" but refused to do them live, instead substituting some unusually non-creative (for his standards) drum parts.  But the bottom line for these guys, I think, wasn't so much that the band members couldn't have outside projects, but that if "Tom Petty" is essentially the band name, then how could TP use that name for a solo album and not fully include them (even though it's his own name).  

2 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

Mike quietly dropped the surf album and I didnt hear about it until last year...  sure its a "mystery" that Steve, Ben and maybe Ron are on it....

As to Mike working on other projects, well he did offer the music that became The Boys of Summer to TP first, but Tom didn't think it was fitting with what he wanted to do at the time (which was the time of the Southern Accents album). And from what I understand, the Blue Stingrays (Mike's surf album) was supported by Randall Marsh on drums and Ron Blair on bass.  Randall noted this in a 2009 interview.  There's some question as to whether Benmont also played on the album.   Mike's take on "Goldfinger" as a surf song was played by TPATH a few months after the release of Blue Stingrays, during the Fillmore residency of 1997.      

  

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21 hours ago, Shelter said:

To me it's the "lost" era between ITGWO and WF and more precisely the slow death of the Stan vibes during this time, that deserves some extra consideration. These details do both seem to confirm a bigger theory of mine re: Tom's rhythm ideals and strikes me as very interesting in their own right. In the era after Lynne and essentially before Rubin - that is what  now is popularly credited as the early WF sessions - there were some cool details in the drumming showing up. The last of it's kind? That's my scope.

Before getting to your point, yes, there's either an album of covers hiding there or perhaps some more originals, which I think I'd prefer.

But to your issue, perhaps MJLD sums up the Stan's drumming situation; per interviews Rubin wanted Stan to ape Gimme Shelter's drums in one form or another but he went with his own swing and of course, it's a hit song. Would it have been a hit with other drumming? I think so, the chords, lyrics, melody, riff, all of it were good but man, that song bounces along doesn't it? So Stan sticks to his guns and helps deliver one of their best songs. Must've been some measure of validation when it took off on the radio and with the public.

Fast forward a bit and he's delivering a lifeless live take on YDKHIF. What happened? Or as you examine, what happened with Tom's mindset and approach to drumming and style of drumming, sure Lynne influence but it still seems like quite a stretch from DTT to WF.

It's late to ask Tom about is specifically the approach to drumming, why the little details Stan added in the early days were now flattened out in the recording, why was Steve told to do less or no fills. I think you're onto something as this point in time you mention between albums and during the chaos of Stan being in the band or not being in the band.

And it's not covered as far as I can tell with any in-depth interviews. See, time for Shelter's Book of Petty Interviews. But uhh with a much better title.

cheers

 

 

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