Well, this was sooner than I expected of myself, but that's what a (previously scheduled) day off work will get ya...
As referenced on our sibling blog Extra Track (and a tacky badge), via smithstorrents, a new massive upgrade has surfaced of the "rarer" set of Troy Tate mixes destined for the Smiths' aborted Tate-produced debut LP, courtesy Soundsville Paul.
The common set of Tate mixes, circulating since the early 1990s (if not earlier), is more "primitive" than these in that these "new" mixes feature additional overdubs, etc. An interesting theory - not confirmed - is that these "new" mixes resulted from the original Tate final mixes being given to John Porter with the thoughts of tarting them up for the record, before Porter binned them as unsalvageable and brought the band in to re-record the songs from scratch. See this post over on Smithstorrents for further details.
This new source is a massive upgrade of the 2006-era surfacing of these "new" mixes, with at least one never-heard version. While still not perfect (some dropouts, tape azimuth issues here and there, and a bit noisy in spots), they are still a million times better than what we had before.
Of course I had to run them through the patented Analog Loyalist wringer... I'm not 10000% satisfied with my cleanup job - I had to rely on a couple tools I don't normally like to overuse, and in spots I think this may have suffered as a result - but that said, it's still an improvement from the raw versions. Overall listenability is massively improved, and as I'm most critical of myself I'm probably the only one who thinks I can do better.
Here's hoping for an even better source to show up - after all, who would have thought the John Porter recording of "Sheila Take A Bow" would surface after all these years?
Troy Tate Recordings - "Tate 2"
April 2011 Analog Loyalist mastering
alternate mixes of the common circulating variants
New Soundsville Paul source
01 What Difference Does It Make? #1 (same as we used before, but more better!)
02 Accept Yourself #1 (unsurfaced NEW take!)
03 The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
04 You've Got Everything Now
05 These Things Take Time
06 What Difference Does It Make? #2
07 Hand In Glove
08 Handsome Devil
09 Accept Yourself #2 (same as we used before, but more better!)
10 Wonderful Woman (same as we used before, but more better!)
11 I Don't Owe You Anything
13 Suffer Little Children *
14 Miserable Lie
15 Reel Around The Fountain (same as we used originally, but more better!)
source: Cassette uploaded by Soundsville Paul to smithstorrents; obtained from a "friend of the band" in the mid-1980s
* sadly, not the version with the beautiful piano coda which Johnny resurrected a couple years later to form "Asleep"
Fileset here, RAR'ed up FLACs
Playlist: Slicing Up Eyeballs Music Hour on Strangeways Radio; Episode 174, aired 3/3/15 - Exploring the legacy of '80s college rock, the Slicing Up Eyeballs Music Hour airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Pacific on Strangeways Radio. If you ...
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