DISC 5 | Alternative Mixes, Roughs + Demos
[…continued from last post]
The fifth disc is why these Super Deluxe Boxed Sets can be so interesting to fans who would put an album like “New Gold Dream [81, 82, 83, 84]” under the microscope. Back in 2005, when the DVD-A of this album mixed in 5.1 was released, the producer, Ronald Prent, was not content to stick with the tried and true. That release offered extended and different takes of the album which annoyed purists but delighted me to experience the album in a different way. I made a dub of the high-res 2.0 soundtrack to burn to CD as an alternative version of the album. What UMG have done here is to create yet another alternative version of the album with long takes of familiar songs, some long instrumental versions, and as with the 2005 DVD-A, a completely different version of “King Is White + In The Crowd.”
- “Summertime” begins with a 5:22 duration up from the original album length of 4:37. This was the same version as the one on the DVD-A but in stereo.
- “Colours Fly”is an extended instrumental at 4:37 giving the languid funk more time to stretch out. The two-bar drumbeat intro is intact here for the first time.
- “Miracle” is a 4:50 long remix for album version.
- “Big Sleep” is a 5:09 instrumental version but not as long as the 5:27 version in 5.1
- “In Every Heaven” is listed as full duration at 5:37. It starts with stick hits as the drums and bass begin the song until the kick drum begins. The version on disc 2 was 4:24 – so this was actually the extended version. The one on the 2005 DVD-A was 4:55 and the one on disc 6 is 4:46.
- “Somebody Up There”is full duration at 5:11 but the version on both 5.1 DVDs is 5:45.
- “New Gold Dream” is full duration at 7:01. Officially the longest version out in the wild. We get to hear the glitchy sound of a drum machine being turned on on this version.
- “Glittering Prize” is absent. I’ve heard that nothing but the 7/12/LP mixes were available for this one. We got the long “In Every Heaven” instead.
- “Hunter” was an alternative take at 5:14. The 5.1 version was 6:07 – slightly longer than the usual album version. It still sounded like Herbie Hancock performing the solo on the fade.
- “King” is here in a “monitor mix” at 7:13 sounding like yet another take from the 2005 5.1 version at 7:28.
- “In Every Heaven [early version]” is the real gold dream here and we’ll discuss at length now!
In a word, wow! What a difference from what we’ve previously heard!! This one was just a rhythm box set to “death march” with heavily effected shards of dramatic guitar chords with a synth arpeggio looped underneath is as Jim Kerr laid down a scratch vocal that was vague murmuring to best even Michael Stipe, save for the intelligible title that stood out. It actually sounded like “Feed Me” from Wire’s “The Ideal Copy” four years early!! It was definitely the closest that Simple Minds ever came to Planet Goth and it warps my mind to this that this was the initial form of this ultimately fizzy and effervescent song we have known for a dozen years now.
We only get the first 30 seconds from Soundcloud but it’s enough to get my point across. This version, by comparison, would not have been out of place on “Empires + Dance” or “Sons + Fascination.” It shows how much a live drummer can change the complexion of a song entirely. The band have said that the spry rhythm of “Soundtrack For Every Heaven” was fully the work of Mike Ogletree and here’s yet another reason to decry his all-to-early ouster from the band. While I also love the early version, the vast differences in the finished version points to what an inventive drummer can do for a song that leaves drum machines very much in the shade.