The first double rock LP

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Matt Wilson
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The first double rock LP

Postby Matt Wilson » 15 Jan 2018, 19:51

So is it Freak Out! or Blonde on Blonde? I've always thought it was the latter, but this link was fascinating reading.

http://gloriousnoise.com/2016/when-was- ... body-knows

I think from now on I'm going with Freak Out!
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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby Quaco » 28 Jan 2018, 16:22

Interesting! I have no idea whether what this guy writes is true, but it sounds like he knows what he is talking about, that the traditional date for BoB is wrong.

It's good to remember that not all double albums are the same length. Some are shorter than two whole albums put together would be. Typically, an album would be 35 minutes, maybe upwards of 40. There was variation of course. Artists like The Byrds and The Beach Boys who only did short songs would sometimes be more like 30 minutes, whereas The Velvet Underground and Nico is 48!

Freak Out! comes in at 60:55, which is short, like two Byrds albums put together.
Odessa is similar, at 63:49.
Exile on Main Street is 67:07.
Blonde on Blonde is 72:75, which is more like two average albums in length.
By contrast, The Beatles is a staggering 93:35.
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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby Matt Wilson » 28 Jan 2018, 16:31

Quaco wrote:By contrast, The Beatles is a staggering 93:35.


And Bitches Brew is even longer at 94:11.
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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 28 Jan 2018, 18:10

Things get curioser although the essay doesn't mention this.

There's another Dylan "mystery" that I've never heard explained.

There are two producers on Highway 61, Bob Johnston and Tom Wilson.

Wilson produced "Like a Rolling Stone" and was then replaced by Bob Johnston. There are rumors but nothing definite as far as reasons.

Wilson had produced several things for Dylan before. (He's also known for his work with the VU, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, etc.)

He's also the producer, by the way, of Freak Out!.

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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby Matt Wilson » 28 Jan 2018, 18:28

Just finished playing Can's Tago Mago, which isn't that long at 73:37.

It just seems long.

:)
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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby Quaco » 28 Jan 2018, 18:40

At least the album cover location was finally figured out.

http://www.popspotsnyc.com/blonde_on_blonde/
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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby soundchaser » 28 Jan 2018, 19:30

I always thought it was Freak Out, which is incredible really, for what was an unknown band.

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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby Pansy Puff » 28 Jan 2018, 19:48

Quaco wrote:At least the album cover location was finally figured out.

http://www.popspotsnyc.com/blonde_on_blonde/

That's cool.
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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby Goat Boy » 28 Jan 2018, 19:59

How can they not know when exactly it came out?
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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby Matt Wilson » 28 Jan 2018, 20:03

Skim the article, Dougie. Even though the Dylan album is listed as being released in May of 1966, it didn't appear on the Billboard charts until July. Highly unlikely a new Dylan album in '66 wouldn't chart until two months later.
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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby Goat Boy » 28 Jan 2018, 20:09

Aye, it's just weird that for such a famous album there's not a definitive release date. You'd think someone would ask Bob to consult his diary or summat.

I always thought it was Freak Out.
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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby zoomboogity » 28 Jan 2018, 23:30

soundchaser wrote:I always thought it was Freak Out, which is incredible really, for what was an unknown band.


According to FZ - who was usually pretty reliable in interviews, at least as far as his own career went - the credit for that goes to Tom Wilson. The Mothers were playing at The Whisky in LA when TW wandered in just long enough to hear Trouble Coming Every Day. He thought it was great to hear a white blues band sing about The Watts Riots, and had them signed. They get into the studio, and:

FZ wrote:Tom Wilson was a great guy. He had vision, you know? And he really stood by us... I remember the first thing that we recorded was 'Any Way the Wind Blows,' and that was okay. Then we did 'Who Are the Brain Police?' and I saw him through the glass and he was on the phone immediately to New York going, 'I don't know!' Trying to break it to 'em easy, I guess... Wilson was sticking his neck out. He laid his job on the line by producing the album.


Instead of thinking he made a huge mistake, he saw potential to do something new, then got them a $20,000 budget (a huge sum for an album back then) for studio time, strings, horns, etc. He wasn't the typical clueless label guy, he saw potential in trying something different, as he had with Dylan, the VU, and his 1950s jazz label Transition (Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor). Of course, it didn't sell very much, so the budget and time for Absolutely Free were more restricted ($11,000 and 25 hours). But at least he took the chance, and thought it would be worth doing whether it made a profit or not. John Cale has said that Wilson was the real producer of the first VU album, although Soft Machine said they basically did their live set in the studio over four days, Wilson and Chandler barely present for the sessions (but at least staying out of the way).
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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby Muskrat » 28 Jan 2018, 23:52

Sometimes, making the artists comfortable and staying out of the way is the way to go. Bob Johnston claimed to have worked that way, too, with pretty good results.
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Re: The first double rock LP

Postby soundchaser » 29 Jan 2018, 08:13

zoomboogity wrote:
soundchaser wrote:I always thought it was Freak Out, which is incredible really, for what was an unknown band.


According to FZ - who was usually pretty reliable in interviews, at least as far as his own career went - the credit for that goes to Tom Wilson. The Mothers were playing at The Whisky in LA when TW wandered in just long enough to hear Trouble Coming Every Day. He thought it was great to hear a white blues band sing about The Watts Riots, and had them signed. They get into the studio, and:

FZ wrote:Tom Wilson was a great guy. He had vision, you know? And he really stood by us... I remember the first thing that we recorded was 'Any Way the Wind Blows,' and that was okay. Then we did 'Who Are the Brain Police?' and I saw him through the glass and he was on the phone immediately to New York going, 'I don't know!' Trying to break it to 'em easy, I guess... Wilson was sticking his neck out. He laid his job on the line by producing the album.


Instead of thinking he made a huge mistake, he saw potential to do something new, then got them a $20,000 budget (a huge sum for an album back then) for studio time, strings, horns, etc. He wasn't the typical clueless label guy, he saw potential in trying something different, as he had with Dylan, the VU, and his 1950s jazz label Transition (Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor). Of course, it didn't sell very much, so the budget and time for Absolutely Free were more restricted ($11,000 and 25 hours). But at least he took the chance, and thought it would be worth doing whether it made a profit or not. John Cale has said that Wilson was the real producer of the first VU album, although Soft Machine said they basically did their live set in the studio over four days, Wilson and Chandler barely present for the sessions (but at least staying out of the way).


Thanks very much for this detailed and interesting reply: time to dig out Freak Out, I think :D.