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U2 => The Music and Lyrics => Topic started by: hollywoodswag on September 13, 2019, 05:00:35 PM

Title: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: hollywoodswag on September 13, 2019, 05:00:35 PM
I was listening to the Last Night on Earth single today, and it got me thinking: were the single edits and/or the Best of 1990-2000 Mike Hedges remixes of the songs that received them improvements over the album cuts? In my opinion, other than Gone, I'd have to say no. Now, of the seven songs in question (Discotheque, Staring At the Sun, Last Night on Earth, Please, If God Will Send His Angels, Mofo, and Gone), most of my listening has been devoted to Discotheque, LNOE, and Gone, but honestly, other than Gone, I found the album versions to be superior. I like having the guitar and effects right out of the gate on Discotheque, and I felt that the longer intro Last Night on Earth's album version kicked it off stronger.

What are your thoughts? Are there particular single edits or "Best of" remixes of Pop songs that you find to be the definitive versions? Are there other remixes or edits outside of even those that you find to be superior to their album counterparts?
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: miryclay on September 14, 2019, 03:52:23 AM
LNOE was recorded here in Toronto on the Pop stop. I like the more aggressive guitar towards the end which obviously came from the live show. Discotheque is a juggernaut with it's many versions. I think I prefer the Pop version.

Please single is interesting in it's raw rock approach. You forgot about Velvet Dress which has a great alternate version. I like the Live version of SATS which you didn't count probably because it is non-studio. I don't find that much variation in Gone.
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: hollywoodswag on September 14, 2019, 05:46:53 AM
For Gone, I felt like that screeching guitar or effect at the beginning to be more prominent in the Mike Hedges mix. I feel like the equality in volume between it and the main guitar part results in a better blend than on the album, where it sounds a bit buried in the mix.

I'll have to study the end of LNOE and that guitar part to see what you're saying. I've never done a back-to-back A/B comparison of them.
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: miryclay on September 14, 2019, 08:48:04 AM
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For Gone, I felt like that screeching guitar or effect at the beginning to be more prominent in the Mike Hedges mix. I feel like the equality in volume between it and the main guitar part results in a better blend than on the album, where it sounds a bit buried in the mix.

I'll have to study the end of LNOE and that guitar part to see what you're saying. I've never done a back-to-back A/B comparison of them.

Edge and Dallas called the sound at the beginning of Gone, the 747 sound. It's made by mixing a DigiTech Whammy WH-1 with some other sounds. See also Tom Morello and Jack White.
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: ian ryan on September 14, 2019, 01:45:14 PM
I think they were all improvements, with the exception of the Best Of version of Discotheque. It stripped out Edge's guitar riff from the chorus and made it sound much more like the live version of the song, aka much more bland. Edge's riff in the chorus was so damn fun and cool.
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: SwimmingSorrows on September 15, 2019, 07:31:12 PM
I don't think any of the Mike Hedges ones are improvements, but the single versions of Please and Last Night on Earth are far superior in my opinion.  The bass on the album version of Please is in the wrong key, for one.  As for Last Night on Earth, the single edit got rid of the annoying talky intro and fixed the vocals in the chorus, which sound pretty bad on the album version.  His voice is gone, and you can tell they're trying to hide it with reverb.  I like that heavier guitar at the end, as well.
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: pan360 on September 16, 2019, 07:38:06 AM
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I don't think any of the Mike Hedges ones are improvements, but the single versions of Please and Last Night on Earth are far superior in my opinion.  The bass on the album version of Please is in the wrong key, for one.  As for Last Night on Earth, the single edit got rid of the annoying talky intro and fixed the vocals in the chorus, which sound pretty bad on the album version.  His voice is gone, and you can tell they're trying to hide it with reverb.  I like that heavier guitar at the end, as well.

I agree. Also the strings arrangement by Craig Armstrong  on Please sounds great. The Best Of mixes are less experimental, more flat. Someone mentions a different mix of Mofo. I don't think there is a different mix apart from the remixes in the single.
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: miryclay on September 16, 2019, 06:24:49 PM
I agree pan360. He must be referring to the POPMART Remix. Which is basically my favourite remix ever by U2. The one with M, "Popmusik" in it. 
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: pan360 on September 19, 2019, 11:42:28 AM
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I agree pan360. He must be referring to the POPMART Remix. Which is basically my favourite remix ever by U2. The one with M, "Popmusik" in it.

Is there a link for the remix you mention?
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: miryclay on September 19, 2019, 05:48:35 PM
https://youtu.be/cORzGlnSzdo
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: miryclay on September 19, 2019, 05:54:17 PM
https://www.u2songs.com/discography/u2_last_night_on_earth_single
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: pan360 on September 20, 2019, 02:10:33 PM
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https://youtu.be/cORzGlnSzdo
Oh, this one you mean. Yes, it's a great mix. Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: zooguitar on October 16, 2019, 10:45:07 AM
Great post, and one I am enjoying reading varying opinions in great responses.

I prefer the album versions. Please in particular is the great electro-jazz song that Radiohead spent the next 10 years trying to outdo. The single version loses the Howie B electronics that added a lot of subtle texture and drama to the song, and the arena-rock rhythm of the chorus is not as compelling as the Buddy Rich-inspired album version. I edited a version of Discotheque that has the album version opening but segues into the original single version of the song. The single version was identical to the album version except the bass line was slightly more prominent and did not have the reverse acoustic guitar loop opening.

Where I break with dogma is that I think the best version of Staring At the Sun is the Sad Bastards mix. I think along with some sequencing changes, if they include that version of SATS on the album, the album does not suffer from the loss of momentum in the middle after the opening techno trio.

My personal playlist of POP that I prefer to the original album:

You make that playlist, a giant Screwdriver, and light a nice spliff, and you get the best of what they were trying to capture with this album.

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I was listening to the Last Night on Earth single today, and it got me thinking: were the single edits and/or the Best of 1990-2000 Mike Hedges remixes of the songs that received them improvements over the album cuts? In my opinion, other than Gone, I'd have to say no. Now, of the seven songs in question (Discotheque, Staring At the Sun, Last Night on Earth, Please, If God Will Send His Angels, Mofo, and Gone), most of my listening has been devoted to Discotheque, LNOE, and Gone, but honestly, other than Gone, I found the album versions to be superior. I like having the guitar and effects right out of the gate on Discotheque, and I felt that the longer intro Last Night on Earth's album version kicked it off stronger.

What are your thoughts? Are there particular single edits or "Best of" remixes of Pop songs that you find to be the definitive versions? Are there other remixes or edits outside of even those that you find to be superior to their album counterparts?
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: zooguitar on October 16, 2019, 12:02:32 PM
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As for Last Night on Earth, the single edit got rid of the annoying talky intro and fixed the vocals in the chorus, which sound pretty bad on the album version.  His voice is gone, and you can tell they're trying to hide it with reverb.

So, so right on about the chorus vocals. I was hoping for the remaster that perhaps they would remix the album version with the re-recorded single version' vocals. His voice was much healthier in the single mix; the dual chorus of him and Edge has much more impact without Bono's obviously hoarse and inconsistent howl in the album version (didn't help he stayed up all night coming up with the chorus vocal melody and recorded them the next day at the mastering studio!).
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: Billy Rhythm on October 16, 2019, 10:22:24 PM
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My personal playlist of POP that I prefer to the original album:
  • Discotheque (mix of album + full length 1997 single version)
  • Do You Feel Loved (original album version)
  • Mofo (original album version)
  • I'm Not Your Baby - Feat. Sinéad O'Connor (outtake)
  • Staring At the Sun (Sad Bastards mix)
  • Gone (original album version)
  • Last Night On Earth (original album version)
  • Holy Joe (mix of Guilty and Garage versions)
  • North And South of the River (outtake)
  • Please (album version)
  • Wake Up Dead Man (album version)

[/quote]

my preferences would be:

1)  Discotheque (album version)
2)  Do You Feel Loved? (live San Diego)
3)  Pop Muzik/MOFO (live Las Vegas)
4)  If God Would Send His Angels (album version)
5)  Staring At The Sun (live Mexico City)
6)  Last Night On Earth (live Mexico City)
7)  Holy Joe (live K-Mart)
8)  Gone (live San Diego)
9)  Miami (live Las Vegas)
10)  Playboy Mansion (album version)
11)  Please (live Las Vegas)
12)  If You Wear That Velvet Dress (album version)
13)  Wake Up, Dead Man (album version)

not a fan of really any U2 single edits/re-mixes that I've heard...  especially from the 'POP' album...:-)
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: miryclay on October 17, 2019, 07:44:21 AM
Nobody picked Velvet Dress Live with Jools
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: pan360 on October 20, 2019, 04:29:59 AM
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Nobody picked Velvet Dress Live with Jools

I love it! It sounds like a totally different song..
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: laoghaire on October 20, 2019, 08:39:35 PM
Billy Rhythm, thanks for that list because I will be checking out those live performances, like San Diego.

I noticed your list doesn't include Rotterdam. May I recommend that version of Discotheque? Here is a great enhanced audio of that performance, and I believe it blows the others away:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=stc6OfS70sM
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: PapaPOP on June 26, 2020, 04:32:59 PM
I have never really understood why the band has such a problem with or dislike of Pop. The songs rarely feature in concert. The issues with being rushed, too many cooks, Mullen's back injury etc. are all well known among U2 fans, but IMO, diamonds need pressure and heat to form, and I still think Pop is their greatest record.

The various remixes of key songs are interesting in their own right, but the album stands on its own as a fantastic achievement IMO.
Title: Re: U2's Pop Single Edits/"Best of" Remixes: Improvements Over the Originals?
Post by: zooguitar on July 29, 2020, 11:03:58 PM
I have a working theory as to why they diss Pop so much, in comparison to an album like Rattle and Hum, which was not even as critically well received upon initial release.

I suspect there was a lot of hard partying during that period, and not just infamously Adam. I think they're maybe a little weary of looking back fondly what was clearly a pretty druggy period for them (think of the first half on E, and the second half chain smoking spliffs). I think perhaps Bono had a particularly nasty experience after dropping E (note I've never taken E, in large part because I've read that a huge depressive episode is the most common after effect). The album musically/lyrically follows this to the dark end at "Wake Up Dead Man".