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45 Guy

Question About "American Girl"

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I'm sure that I'll get yelled at for saying this, but "American Girl" is my least favorite Tom Petty hit. So imagine my surprise when I heard a version of the song that I kind of liked. Where I live, I can pick up four different classic rock stations on local radio. Earlier this year, one of the stations was playing what sounded like a re-mixed version of the song. By remixed, I mean it was the same length as the original, but the vocals and drums were way out in the front and everything else was buried. The song sounded fresh as though it was just recorded. But here's the strange thing -- after about 5 or 6 months, the station stopped playing this version of the song.

So my question is this. Was this merely a radically EQ'ed version of the song or is this version from an official release?

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33 minutes ago, 45 Guy said:

I'm sure that I'll get yelled at for saying this, but "American Girl" is my least favorite Tom Petty hit

No one's going to yell at you, no one's even going to politely scold you! Welcome to the Farm. Do you have a favorite Tom Petty song? 

34 minutes ago, 45 Guy said:

Earlier this year, one of the stations was playing what sounded like a re-mixed version of the song. By remixed,

I don't know. I've only heard the acoustic version but that's an alternate take on the song. Maybe someone else on here might know.

cheers

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See, that sounds like the version that's on the reissued version of Greatest Hits, from 2008 (I believe).  Unless somebody brought in their copy of the remastered TPATH vinyl or something.

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On 10 October 2018 at 9:18 PM, 45 Guy said:

I'm sure that I'll get yelled at for saying this, but "American Girl" is my least favorite Tom Petty hit. So imagine my surprise when I heard a version of the song that I kind of liked. Where I live, I can pick up four different classic rock stations on local radio. Earlier this year, one of the stations was playing what sounded like a re-mixed version of the song. By remixed, I mean it was the same length as the original, but the vocals and drums were way out in the front and everything else was buried. The song sounded fresh as though it was just recorded. But here's the strange thing -- after about 5 or 6 months, the station stopped playing this version of the song.

So my question is this. Was this merely a radically EQ'ed version of the song or is this version from an official release?

I'm not a great fan of this song either, so 'yer' not alone. 

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On 10 October 2018 at 9:53 PM, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

No one's going to yell at you, no one's even going to politely scold you! Welcome to the Farm. Do you have a favorite Tom Petty song?

cheers

Ha, ha I have lots of favourite TP songs and just a handful of 'not keens', from what I've heard so far. I have a lot more to get through being a TP&THB novice of three months or so.  

My favourite - this week - a song I can't seem to get out of my head is 'Shadow of a Doubt'. Really catchy and just hits the right spot. 

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On 10/10/2018 at 8:15 PM, Big Blue Sky said:

02 American Girl.wma

or this? (from Playback box set)

I listened to both versions of the songs. Thanks for posting them! Unfortunately, neither version is what I heard. The guitars and the backing vocals were "way back" in the background in the mix I heard.

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Yes, 45 Guy, I figured these 2 would be some of the standard versions of American Girl  that your radio version was so different from.  Sometimes I love American Girl, sometimes I like it, sometimes I just admire the structure but don't care too much either way. I do admire that it was on their first album - what a way to start!   

Shadow of a Doubt - nice!  :wub:

What about this recording from Live Anthology?

 

 

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and option 4 is the original version of American Girl off their 1976 album (also harvested from youtube as you can see).

... after listening to the Live Anthology I am once again totally in love with this song.  In the 1976 version - for a group of 20-something boys they sure hit those high harmonies.  Almost sounds like girl back-up singers, but that's not the case is it?

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I don't know about that different mix 45 Guy is talking about. But the isolated tracks from American Girl were on youtube. Anyone who has a simple software just lke audiacity can make new "mixes" if he had the isolated tracks and a little bit of skill and a little bit of musical sense. But I doubt a homemade mix ended up in a radio station. But who knows.

Now I can't find that isolated tracks. Unfortunately I don't have a copy. Someone here has this tracks?

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Uh-huh, Mr timba, good point.  Helping 45 Guy out by sharing some of the more obvious, available possibilities. 

  • Um, how about versions released as singles?       
  • Q: how sure are you that the track you heard was being sung by Tom Petty & Heartbreakers? Lots of people have covered it, so maybe worth checking on / eliminating that possibility too.  

Good Luck!!

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2 hours ago, Big Blue Sky said:

Lots of people have covered it, so maybe worth checking on / eliminating that possibility too.  

That could be.

42 minutes ago, nobodyinparticular said:

What are your radio speakers like? Sometimes when heavily volume-compressed audio is put through shitty speakers, it can sound a lot different.

Good point.

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I think I found my answer today.

Earlier in the day, I realized that a local hard rock / heavy metal station occasionally plays "I Won't Back Down." Obviously, that's not a hard rock song. I've heard the song hundreds of times before, so when the station played it for the very first time a couple years, I noticed that the song sounded completely different to what I was used to hearing. The drums were loud and way up in front, and I remember thinking to myself that this is probably what the song would have sounded like if Stan Lynch had played on the session.

So apparently someone at the local classic rock station didn't care for the original mix of "American Girl," and then decided to EQ the song -- big time -- to make it sound different.

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19 hours ago, Big Blue Sky said:

Sometimes I love American Girl, sometimes I like it, sometimes I just admire the structure but don't care too much either way.

 It really depends on my mood but it's still a darn good catchy song and I can hear why so many fans love it and why the band chose it as their big finale towards the latter half of their career. It had been a while since I listened to the original version. It's interesting how the instruments come in at the beginning and blend together, as well as the part leading to the outro, that quick start-n-stop breakdown.

18 hours ago, Jay said:

I'm not keen on the song and although I'm a fan of Stan Lynch I don't like the drum beat.

What don't you like about the drum beat? I think it keeps the song light and flying along, they sound good and add to the energy.

cheers

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