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  #46  
Old 02-07-2023, 19:39
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Originally Posted by Donkey View Post

I remember listening to Nixon the first time and awaiting an octave jump in vocals. Probably first chorus. Ok, then second verse. Ok, then second chorus. Ok...then after the solo. Oh shit. I am sure James will sing it one octave higher live. Oh shit. Aaaa "and your country toooooo".
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I thought about this before, and I think this is because I believe James considers the lower harmony to be the lead vocal, whereas everyone listening to it considers the higher harmony to be the lead.

Another example, would be in Love’s Sweet Exile, in which he has always sung the word “Alienation” as in the low harmony you can just about hear on the record, whereas I always expected him to take the upper.
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  #47  
Old 02-07-2023, 19:49
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Lifeblood is actually an excellent "Indie Pop" LP I always have been a fan of it, it just was not that good Live but overall the songs are spot on & sung with grace. Nicky said himself its the most pop thing they've done.

The arena tour did not do itself justice because it was not the place to play those songs, you can tell Firefight was also a pop song from an average EP released in April/May 2005
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  #48  
Old 02-07-2023, 20:35
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Originally Posted by UEF View Post
I thought about this before, and I think this is because I believe James considers the lower harmony to be the lead vocal, whereas everyone listening to it considers the higher harmony to be the lead.

Another example, would be in Love’s Sweet Exile, in which he has always sung the word “Alienation” as in the low harmony you can just about hear on the record, whereas I always expected him to take the upper.
OK - I am with James there. I always considered the lower line to be lead vocal in Alienation@LSE. But that is really 1:1 lead vs. backing vocal like Lennon and McCartney did, a rare thing in Manics discography, and it could happen to me too. I originally thought the backing vocal in IfWhiteAmerica chorus is lead. Nixon contains much more over-produced octave-backing vocals, I never thought they could be a lead vocal. I just expected the lead vocal to go higher to get to the normal James's tones where he resonates the best. And it never happens there. Imagine From Despair to Where without the octave jump in the middle of the verse. (Chorus also one octave lower) it would never ever work.
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  #49  
Old 05-07-2023, 01:43
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Would love to hear more demos, and overall learn more regarding the development of Lifeblood.

I've always found the FD era, B-sides, and outtakes featured in God Save the Manics really intriguing ( plus it's my favorite era ), though I'd love to know more about how it all came together.

Last edited by AOfsht; 05-07-2023 at 22:41.
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  #50  
Old 23-07-2023, 12:46
IntlDebris IntlDebris is offline
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Kind of hope everything on this is from the Japanese 2CD version so I don’t need two copies… at the same time, it’d then need a third disc of demos and that’s a risky proposition for an album that was clogging up HMV shelves with £1.99 price stickers a couple of years after release.

I suppose they could do a GATS and fill the first disc with b-sides and that would give half a disc space for some early mixes and demos. If the FD era is included then this is one of the eras with the most b-sides, isn’t it? Ten, plus The Soulmates / Antarctic / God Save the Manics (rumoured to be b-sides from the scrapped third single), then FD, TBTGOG, four b-sides and two remixes, that’s 23 tracks. The only other album that’s in the same ballpark is SATT, I think. Hey, maybe we’ll get the theremin version of Motorcycle Emptiness too.

I don’t think deluxe versions of PFAYM and Rewind the Futurology are completely impossible, although maybe we’ll just get a ‘later b-sides’ compilation to collect all those spare tracks. It wouldn’t be their best collection of songs but it’d be a nice way to get some out of print tracks and digital-only ones together. Maybe it could accompany a ‘band favourites’ type best of (we know one is coming one day).
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  #51  
Old 31-07-2023, 22:31
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Ideally for me I'd love a Bee Gee style 4 CD box set one CD for each member deep cuts and rarities kinda thing.
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  #52  
Old 02-08-2023, 09:38
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Originally Posted by IntlDebris View Post
Kind of hope everything on this is from the Japanese 2CD version so I don’t need two copies… at the same time, it’d then need a third disc of demos and that’s a risky proposition for an album that was clogging up HMV shelves with £1.99 price stickers a couple of years after release.
I think the reissue could break the top ten. Possibly five next year. But it will be added to the original weeks of Lifeblood's 2004 run! I've not saw any difference in album description on that uselessly revamped Chart website.
Lifeblood could do even better than it's first release. Not in weeks. That currencies gone.
It seems to have been blanked out my head where I was when I found the results. Good old Teletext! I can't remember what I felt but must have been so pissed off it was 13 wasn't it? Such a body blow typing it now! So it must have driven us nuts.
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  #53  
Old 20-08-2023, 10:21
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Originally Posted by Son of Stopped View Post
I think the reissue could break the top ten. Possibly five next year. But it will be added to the original weeks of Lifeblood's 2004 run! I've not saw any difference in album description on that uselessly revamped Chart website.
Lifeblood could do even better than it's first release. Not in weeks. That currencies gone.
It seems to have been blanked out my head where I was when I found the results. Good old Teletext! I can't remember what I felt but must have been so pissed off it was 13 wasn't it? Such a body blow typing it now! So it must have driven us nuts.
If they do some cool stuff like they did with Know Your Enemy it could do better chart wise than the original, sure. Just a remaster of all the incredible b-sides with a cool new custom running order on an expanded Japanese edition disk 2 kind of thing would be enough for me. But oh my if we get any remixes that would be the coolest. Everyone Knows No One Cares is a great song that's mixed way dull. So is Automatik Technicolur. Would love new mixes of those.

I'm also intrigued if they change anything on the original album. I still have the original so seeing what they do is always interesting for me. Just hope it's not changing out TLORN for something, that would be incredibly boring.
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  #54  
Old 20-08-2023, 11:34
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I think Nixon will stay, it is one of their better charting singles after all and it does sound better in context after 1985 than it does as a standalone single. If there is any candidate for the chop I think it's between Fragments and Always/Never. Not terrible tracks but neither ever really kick it into gear. Personally I would like to see Askew Road make it into the album maybe before Solitude. Do we think that any lost tracks could make the album? Can't remember if there any lost tracks titles floating about. Perhaps there's something from the FD session.
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  #55  
Old 29-08-2023, 12:13
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0g9dx5g

Nice interview with James about recording a few tracks with Visconti for Lifeblood. Nothing about why they chose a different direction but always a joy to hear James geek out about this stuff. I do hope that when the band 'retire', James takes up a regular radio slot somewhere.
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  #56  
Old 29-08-2023, 12:42
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If they are planning on adding any tracks to the reissue I think The Soulmates is definitely worthy enough.
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  #57  
Old 15-09-2023, 17:24
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Lifeblood is my second favourite album of all time, after only Kent's "You and I, Death", which means I think about it as often as ordinary men think about the Roman Empire -- every day.

It's not a perfect album (no album is), so some minor things could be fixed in this reissue. I'm a little bored and bummed so I will take a while to list them. You have to take as a starting point that LB is VERY good and doesn't need extensive re-mixing like KYE. I don't think these mixes could be improved upon -- or sidegraded -- by Eringa today, they're the best in the whole MSP back catalogue, rivalled (perhaps bested in sound) only by TIMTTMY. Similarly, the sequencing is not only quite long at 12 tracks, but also super strong. There are no missed oportunities like the "what if" of a 2CD Know Your Enemy (which I loved).

So I offer a moderate fantasy, informed by years of listening to Lifeblood on all kinds of different equipment. The aim is to fix the little nags caused by the album having different producers and mix artists with different styles, which creates inconsistencies.

1. The TLORN master's volume is too high compared to 1984, and even a tiny bit too high compared to Empty Souls. It sounds like a punched up "single" master -- without volume adjustment, after 1984 you have to turn the volume down a bit on headohones with okay dynamic range. Not a huge problem by any margin, but I'd bring the TLORN master more in line with the rest of the album, or the rest of the album with its. This is a delicate surgery -- the master's flawless, TLORN sounds super good in general. Might mean the rest of the album needs a tiny bit more punch, while the bass on TLORN takes a tiny notch back? Again, complex juggling, but nothing a competent mastering artist can't achieve.

2. The one (quite suprising, btw!) glaring mistake on Lifeblood is not that one weak song after To Repel Ghosts. Everyone has their own version of this: Emily! Always/Never! Fragments! This disagreement just points to the fact that there is no weak song after To Repel Ghosts! Emily is spectrally well produced, sparkling with incredible details, has a great solo and, yes, great lyrics too UNLESS YOU'RE MADE OF STONE. Always/Never brings back some much needed TLORN type coldness and menace and its lyrics are impressionistic and wonderful not "pointless" -- don't be a doodoo brain! Fragments has an all time great James vocal (can't hold mee-ee-hee!), an extraordinary soundscape and I think nitpicking on the tiny massive hands line is pointless, it must be seen in context of all the amazing lines around it like "eyes as cold as worship", "two minutes silence in a century of screams" and an almost titular "skin against skin and blood against blood". If you fail to "get" any one of these songs then it's because there are too many great, accomplished and impeccably produced songs on side b of Lifeblood's 12 track run (which is a hefty album). You're just spoiled for greatness, as I was in 2004. Then I listened to them TWO MILLION TIMES and now I've ascended to a higher plateau where I realise they're all amazing and I was wrong back then.

The problem, really -- if there is one -- is with To Repel Ghosts! Don't get me wrong, TRG is amazing. It's perfect slotted in the sequence, well respected among critics and fans for a reason. It's just got a noticeably weaker mix than the rest of the album. It's b-sidey cramped, the soundstage is narrower than the other songs, and there is nothing extraordinary in its presentation, no huge moment. Every other song on the album has some showstopper a la Glasnost's guitar solo that fills what appears to be the whole Universe - just not To Repel Ghosts. Not songwriting-wise, that "A soul in pain" part is clearly HUGE, but its not a showstopper in the mix, just barely competent. TRG is also noticeably less punchy, and suffers from uneven mastering, being too quiet when TLORN is too loud (listen to TLORN and then TRG!). This song should get a new "single" type mix that tries to be as close to the original and TLORN type presentation as possible. Not dramatically different, just enough to bring it more in line with the other tracks.

Currently the mix is too close to Everyone Knows / No One Cares or All Alone Here quality, and significantly worse than Everything Will Be (a very handsomely mixed b-side that got a lot of work). That is to say: like a b-side, and somehow worse than the best sounding b-side of the era!

3. The sequencing is unfuckwithable as they said the aughts. Yet one can always try! I think the monotony that somehow blinds the plebs to the incredible sustained quality of the closing 6 tracks could be alleviated. Maybe. While there's really nothing wrong with these songs - they are all 8s, yes even Always/Never and Fragments! -- they all have the same tonal set. They are of the acousting, sparklier, loungier type Empty Souls productions -- unlike 1984 and TLORN which are more New Ordery, more Forever Delayed, more electronic. One of Lifeblood's great strengths is its dual tonality, which the sequencing is aware of too: blue-electronic / red-piano-acoustic. In fact, they make a great effort to reintroduce these colder tones later in the sequencing as well. To Repel Ghosts is one attempt, lightly thwarted by the mix being b-sidey, and it being in the middle, not the end. Always/Never is another, and almost does the trick -- it sits in the middle of those 5 Empty Souls type piano-pop tracks. But it's just one track. And 1984 and TLORN are two, and right at the start. Producing an asymmetry, a sense the album forgot its opening theme, didn't resolve it near the end as well as it could. This in no way stops me from enjoying it -- it doesn't nag at me (like the TRG mix sometimes does on headphones). But still -- could there be a b-side to elevate to album track status, in order to reintroduce that ominous-electronic colour pallet? YES! Everyone Knows / No One Cares. If there's one b-side that is as complete in its composition as the album tracks, and completes its New Order theme it's EK/NK. LB has an LP's worth of great b-sides, and while not my absolute favorite (All Alone Here being that) I think EK/NC is incredible and it could (maybe) be used to expand and balance out the sonic themes on the latter half. This could also make the Empty Souls-like songs stand out more. Put it between Always / Never and Solitude Sometimes Is, or perhaps, as penultimate track? I would not replace anything on Lifeblood with this or any other b-side, though. (For example, while wonderful, I don't think the album needs Antarctic or Soulmates, which are just more piano pop.)

4. The Beatles used to preface their best albums with non-album double A-Sides. Strawberry Fields / Penny Lane for Sgt Pepper, for example. I see There By The Grace Of God (stellar, seriously underappreciated) and Forever Delayed (worth all the praise) as that double A-Side for Lifeblood. Forever Delayed could have a tiny bit more detail in its verses, it's a bit b-sidey and bare and could use the "single treatment" mix wise (although it sounds great compared to To Repel Ghosts). They could be added to the reissue like Strawberry Fields / Penny Lane were added to the Sgt Pepper Giles Martin mixes, just on CD2. Forming a little satellite release you can do before or after the album, as the're so sonically and thematically connected to LB -- yet separate. The masters could be unified with Lifeblood's. No need adding them to the official tracklist, though, as the christian/cosmic lyrical theme is different enough from LB, and the sequence couldn't take it.

5. STRETCH GOAL: All the b-sides, Japanese extras and also all of God Save the Manics , literally all of the tracks from this era are great in some way, but most if not all have b-side production and missing verses. Not much to do about the missing verses (except maybe add new Nicky lines?) but if they wanted a re-mixing project, it would be a DREAM if Eringa took a look at them. Reimagine this incredible material into an In Rainbows CD2 type mix tape. This mix tape could then start with or include TBTGOG and FD. (Unlikely but a boy can dream)

6. Lifeblood's artwork is my favourite of all the Manics artworks. The TLORN and Empty Souls singles are also gorgeous and cool, especially Empty Souls, which is perhaps my all time favorite image added to music. Just putting those warm veins of blood on a single called "Empty Souls" and them separating it into three CDs -- genius. Wish the three of those covers were added as a huge poster. Then please drape my casket with it as you lay me into the cold Estonian soul.

That was my long take on a pointless Friday evening.

Last edited by Marat Sar; 17-09-2023 at 20:14.
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  #58  
Old 15-09-2023, 20:07
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Fantastic post! And they'd just gone to all that trouble to learn how to play it as well!
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  #59  
Old 17-09-2023, 20:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marat Sar View Post
Kent's "You and I, Death"
OT, but agreed on being the best album ever made.
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  #60  
Old 18-09-2023, 14:29
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Kent's "You and I, Death"
another OT: that album does not exist in English, doesn't it? It should be just "Du & jag dφden"...or maybe I misinterpreted everything about your post.
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