[…continued from last post]
EVERY LAST REMIX
Disc four finally reached the last single from “Animal Magic” in remix form. I only ever owned the remix 12″ of “Don’t Be Scared Of Me” [MONK TX3] which came with five tracks, including “Wildflower” and “He’s Shedding Skin” from the previous album, for some reason. Until recently, I was not even aware that there were two different UK 12″ singles for “Don’t Be Scared Of Me.” That they looked almost identical probably didn’t help.
The A-side to “Don’t Be Scared Of Me [Extended]” had a Justin Strauss + Murray Elias edit session heavy on the stutter effects and with a generous slathering of 808 drum machine and synth overdubs. So much that it had little resemblance to the album track deep into the mix. Sampler manipulation that veered into Dub effects by the coda of the clattery mix that had most of the vocals excised. Only the BVs and chorus were there at the end of the day. The abrupt ending was a shocker when it came at 5:53.
The B-side to the single was perhaps the real payload of strength with a righteous cover of Curtis Mayfield’s classic “Superfly.” The 12″ single had the full length, smoking hot take on the song at a full 6:43. The track took its time to rise up into a full head of steam with the interplay between the horns, rhythm section and funky clavinet building and building until the first instance of that magnificent riff broke the ice and the song began in earnest. The 7″ B-side version was clearly edited down from the full take on the 12″ singles. You really want the full length track on this one!
The “Don’t Be Scared Of Me [Mix]” was a little different to the first 12″ single. I had this one since it first came out in 1986 and it featured the full song structure with all of the verses, but still featured the 808/synth overdubs. The synth riff used as a hook here always reminded me of Prince’s “Automatic” from “1999,” and I wondered if that was the goal of this remix.
Ironically, the “Sweet Murder [Extended Version]” was a full minute shorter than the album mix of the song, but while the song opened deceptively with a fey four count from Dr. Robert and the full strumming of his acoustic guitar with the wah-wah screaming over it, the Reggae of the track had been replaced with the drum machine funk attack giving the track a harder bounce. The powerful male Soul backing vocals added here would prefigure where the band would go on their next album as the BVs and the machines set out to play in the chartland where Jam + Lewis were taking no prisoners at the time.
Another remix of “Digging Your Scene,” marked “Longer” was from the B-side of the UK 12″ [MONK T1] which is one of the versions of this single which have yet to clutter up my record Cell. Instead, I had the track on a US Promo 12″ of “Digging” that called it the “Dub Cosmic Mix” [RCA PW-14327] Which to my mind was a much more descriptive mix title, as it was definitely a maximal Dub mix with syncopated percussive effects and a cut-up vocal reduced to the suggestion of one. If you want the greatest delta from the familiar album cut, this mix is the one for you.
The “Sweet Murder [Murderess Dub Mix]” was a lengthy, nearly eight minute Dub mix with the Reggae chug of the organ overdub used in the “Eee-A-Mix” of the track which was released early on as a bonus track on the “Forbidden Fruit” 12″ single in 1985. Yet it also had the hard drum machine beat and dubbed out vocal snatches, liberally doused with reverb. As were Dr. Robert’s scatting and the backing vocals. And plenty of edit breaks from The Latin Rascals.
Next: …Walking The Blow Beat
Wondering about the book so prominently displayed by Dr Robert, I went searching for it. Red Shelley is a study by Paul Foot of the left wing political groundings of Percy Bysse Shelley’s poetry, so combining poetry and politics https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Shelley
David Simpson – You beat me to that! Every time I saw that photo [which was a lot…] I thought to myself, “I really need to find out about that book!” but you know how it is. So much stimulus; so little memory retention.