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Svein
11-10-2005, 02:23 PM
Precious Time is a great initiative, and itís generous of Louris to give the green light to it, with the release of the official live recording being (or rather: having for a long period been) just around the corner. Of course that release will be no less welcome when (or if) it sees the light after this compilation, e.g. because this is quite a different product, being a compilation of songs recorded throughout the entire career, while the official release is supposed to make the impression of being one single show (though recorded over several nights).
Letís start with what meets us first; the cover. This is very nice, with the expected concert-posters, play lists and venue-pictures, partly as collages. Itís too bad the detailed extensive liner notes lying at the home page of the project did not make it to the cover though; itís always nice to be able to look up who is playing etc.
Lenno has done a good job in cross-fading between the tracks, so that the recordings from different surroundings interchange smoothly. The recordings are to some extent of very different style: some far away, some close, some from big rooms, and some from small, some high in fidelity, some low. But I think this is nice, the idea of the compilation kept in mind. It is supposed to be a career-spanning collection, showing the progress and transformations the band went through. There should be some diversity. The biggest problems here are the tracks that are heavily compressed, and hence much louder than the others (especially ďAngelyneĒ).
The compilation really gives a good overview of how the band and their concerts (also when it comes to sound) evolved. The problem with the concept is of course that the sparse and inferior recordings from the start of the career and the Louris-Olson-tour are allowed to open and close the ball. And two or three tracks too much from these periods are included, in my opinion.
For the most part, the chosen versions are great, though one will of course always have personal favorites that are not there. ďWichitaĒ could profitably have been taken from the July 4 1993 Chicago-show (Poised for Stardom). I have a slightly different (better) sounding version of the 1995 Ginoís concert where ďBlueĒ derives from, stemming from the FM broadcasting of the show. But this is perhaps just due to Lennoís mastering, a process which will always include some compromises. And I find it strange that a version of Stick In the Mud is not included. There exists extremely good versions of this song, with a strong instrumental closing playing over the C-part.
Perhaps it would have been an idea to play more newer versions of some of the oldest songs, to really get an impression of how the band evolved. The Karen Grothberg-version of "Six Pack on the Dashboard" brings a whole new dimension to it, and the SOL-Jayhawks-versions of Waiting for the Sun and Nothing Left to Borrow are also really different in a nice way. When we hear these tracks, itís obvious that itís not so much the songs as the playing which changed after Olsonís departure. Played this way, they could very well be SOL-songs.
The biggest positive surprises to me was Grothberg's numbers (except Ode to Billy Joe, which I really canít see the motive of including: out of pitch and messy) and Tim OíReaganís version of Lost My Driving wheel, which really shows his phrasing talent. Grothbergís vocal delivery on King of Hearts is just exceptional, and surpasses everything Iíve heard from her before. I had no idea she was such a great lead singer.
The guitar solos are often one of the best reasons for listening to live performances, and with a guitarist of Lourisí caliber, this record is of course no exception. Especially in the first half of CD 2 he (and Kraig Johnson? Iím not talking about Perlmanís little performance, thatís for sure)ís blooming. Some favorites: The Man Who Loved Life and Trouble.
As mentioned, two of the highlights are cover songs sung by OíReagan and Grothberg. Some more covers with Louris on vocals would have been nice, e.g. ďReason to BelieveĒ.
After listening to this compilation as an overview of the band's history, what strikes me the most is that the big difference for me when it comes to the Jayhawks, is not whether or not Olson was in. It is the piano that is (was) the alpha and omega for the group.
Another thing that strikes me, is the transformation one can hear in Louris' performances before and after Olson left. It's impressive how he managed to fill the gap with his own authority, and delivering much more intense and apparently personal singing. I think this counts also for the delivery of the Olson-Louris-penned songs performed post-Olson, so it's not only due to the darker songs on SOL. It also appears he had no problems taking over as the main talker between the numbers.
These are just two points that appear after a few listenings to the collection, I'm sure many more will follow. This shows the value of this sort of compilations. It makes it easy to draw lines and make comparisons.
Lenno, J.P., and Chaosdan; Thank you very much for a really nice product. You have given me and many other Jayhawks fans a treasure that will give us great pleasure in years to come.

Lenno
11-10-2005, 02:47 PM
Very interesting stuff there Svein. A professional review for a non-professional job gives a certain insight in things. Sure enough I learned a thing or two making this compilation together with J.P.
First; it's finding enough room on a record to fit in the songs. Second; to find the right versions of songs while not compromising the concept of the compilation: a total overview spanning the entire career -so far-.
Thirdly...finding the balance between personal favorites and -again- the concept of the compilation. Ode To Bille Joe was my call; J.P. was against it. "Lights" is on there for the Vic-element and it is J.P.'s favorite.

I absolutely agree with your comments on Karen; although not a Jayhawks original; King Of Hearts is of a stunning beauty and I think almost every fan misses her contributions to the band.

Proving this point are the tracks on Tim's solo album with Karen on them which really are the best.

J.P.
11-10-2005, 03:09 PM
Thanks Svein,
Great review.
Your opinions are good and appriciated.As Lenno said,we could not get all the songs we wanted too on the compilation,but i'm happy that we have, IMO captured the feel,and changing face of the Jayhawks through the last 20 years!

J.P.:)

Lenno
11-11-2005, 06:41 AM
Reason to Believe was on the list; but just didn't make it.

Svein
11-11-2005, 01:09 PM
For "Precious Time 2" one should perhaps first make a gigantic 200-or-so-CD box with every known version of every song the Jayhawks have played, arranged in the way that each song would come in every known version in sequence. A must for any die hard fan!:D
And then we could have an election here at the board to choose the tracks for the compilation. This would presumably weed out the "Lights" and "Odes"...;)

J.P.
11-11-2005, 01:56 PM
OK Svein...great idea!!!







































I look forward to voting in the poll you put out!!!!;)

J.P.:p

Emmylou
11-18-2005, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by Lenno
Reason to Believe was on the list; but just didn't make it.

Mr Definity wins again eh?:p

Lenno
11-29-2005, 06:28 AM
Originally posted by Svein
For "Precious Time 2" one should perhaps first make a gigantic 200-or-so-CD box with every known version of every song the Jayhawks have played, arranged in the way that each song would come in every known version in sequence. A must for any die hard fan!:D


I listened to 15 versions of "Somewhere In Ohio" one after the other and I loved it! The missus wasn't too pleased though. :D

Precious Time 2: there are some ideas on the table in the boardroom. Very "tentative" ofcourse as the suits would say.

Svein
11-29-2005, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by Lenno

Precious Time 2: there are some ideas on the table in the boardroom. Very "tentative" ofcourse as the suits would say.

Any advice from your 400$/hour lawyer?
Where's the boardroom? Who's invited?

Lenno
11-29-2005, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by Svein
Any advice from your 400$/hour lawyer?
Where's the boardroom? Who's invited?

I am that lawyer! Are you inviting yourself?? Only 50+ shows collectors please, thank you. And this time we're looking for a different angle. Like radio shows.

J.P.
11-30-2005, 04:36 AM
Originally posted by Lenno
I am that lawyer! Are you inviting yourself?? Only 50+ shows collectors please, thank you. And this time we're looking for a different angle. Like radio shows.

Further discussion's about this "New Project" need to be arranged over a Pint of Tennant's in my local L.!!;)

Mr F.:)

Lenno
11-30-2005, 04:40 AM
Originally posted by J.P.
Further discussion's about this "New Project" need to be arranged over a Pint of Tennant's in my local L.!!;)

Mr F.:)

Ssshhh...you just told the secret about our boardroom !

J.P.
11-30-2005, 04:42 AM
Originally posted by Lenno
Ssshhh...you just told the secret about our boardroom !

LOL,
OOOOPPS........:D

Lenno
11-30-2005, 04:57 AM
Originally posted by J.P.
LOL,
OOOOPPS........:D

Next meeting scheduled for January 14th. We need someone to keep record of what important things we discuss. Svein??

J.P.
11-30-2005, 05:35 AM
Originally posted by Lenno
Next meeting scheduled for January 14th. We need someone to keep record of what important things we discuss. Svein??

Sound's OK....As long as he is not drinking 1/2 pints.....:p

J.P.:D

Svein
11-30-2005, 05:47 AM
Originally posted by Lenno
We need someone to keep record of what important things we discuss. Svein??

Just send me copies of all the material you will be working on! (Music as well as liquids.) I'll be happy to share my good taste and arrange all the records chronologically!:D

I'm terribly sorry to say that I don't meet the criteria for joining the exclusive club.:(

Svein
12-01-2005, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by Lenno
And this time we're looking for a different angle. Like radio shows.

My first contribution: Excellent idea!:D

Emmylou
12-03-2005, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by Svein
Just send me copies of all the material you will be working on! (Music as well as liquids.) I'll be happy to share my good taste and arrange all the records chronologically!:D



Don't you mean, arrange them biographically svein?

Svein
12-04-2005, 06:18 AM
Originally posted by Emmylou
Don't you mean, arrange them biographically svein?

Lennobiographically? That's a tough one. I'm gonna need some help.