letstalkbeatles.com

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Welcome to Let's Talk Beatles

Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: Venus and Mars  (Read 705 times)

Keri

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
    • Music from under my skin
Venus and Mars
« on: June 12, 2014, 03:03:17 AM »

I really like this album. The sound quality isn't very good and I'm not sure if that is because I have an early CD version or it just isn't that good. Take that as another dig at the slow re release programme of Paul's catalogue.

The title track opening I just adore, it's a nice blend of acoustic and spacey, lovely little tune.

Rock Show is a good song but it sounds like a live recording.

Love in Song - I think Paul puts some real feeling into this song, I find it magical.

You gave me the answer - Paul does the Music hall thing so well, very cute.

Magneto And Titanium Man - Another excellent song with a great bunch of comic characters

Letting Go - Great riff great singing again it sounds like Paul means it

Venus and Mars reprise - The song was so short it's nice to have a reprise

Spirits of Ancient Egypt - The first disappointment especially given it had such a cool title

Medicine Jar - Also a bit flat I don't think the attempts to make Wings a democratic band were much of a success

Call Me Back Again - Love the brass on this and Paul's singing is just great. Good song

Listen to what the Man said - Very Paul, very wings kind of cheesy but hey it makes me smile

Treat her gently/ Lonely old People - Nice end to the album, another song I find genuinely moving, I especially like the lonely old people section.

There is a vibe to this album that I really love, in some ways i prefer it to Band on the Run, but it is let down by a couple of dull songs and my copy hasn't got great sound.
Logged

kylenz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
    • Email
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 05:21:36 AM »

Spirits of Ancient Egypt - The first disappointment especially given it had such a cool title

This is one of my favourite songs on the album, in fact it was the song that got me into Egyptology at a very young age, that and 'Pyramid' by the Alan Parsons Project, got me fascinated by the mystery of the pyramids.

The great thing I like about 'Spirits of Ancient Egypt', is the recording of the drum track, and how it has so much reverb/slap-echo behind it, along with the driving rock guitar sound. And it has a kind of mystical eerie ghostly feel about it.. I love it. Was listening the other day to the 'Wings Over America' version and it's also really good.

I do agree though on the sound quality of the album. My original 1975 vinyl had that same tinny trebly sound, with very little bass and midrange frequencies. I remember thinking how rich and bassy Band on the Run and Red Rose Speedway sounded, and then putting Venus and Mars on and that was the first time I recognised high frequencies and treble vs bass etc. Unfortunately all the re-releases to date have done nothing to improve the sound quality. And I can't see Macca re-eq'ing the entire album when it comes to finally remastering it (whenever that will happen).

Another cool thing this album gave me, is an interest in astronomy as a child. The LP came with a sticker (which I put on the lid of the record player!) and a little cardboard bookmark thingy which had information on all the planets in the solar system. From there, I began to read many books on astronomy and eventually a telescope - all due to this one Wings album!  :)
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 05:25:00 AM by kylenz »
Logged

Keri

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
    • Music from under my skin
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2014, 01:02:27 AM »

Spirits of Ancient Egypt - The first disappointment especially given it had such a cool title

This is one of my favourite songs on the album, in fact it was the song that got me into Egyptology at a very young age, that and 'Pyramid' by the Alan Parsons Project, got me fascinated by the mystery of the pyramids.

The great thing I like about 'Spirits of Ancient Egypt', is the recording of the drum track, and how it has so much reverb/slap-echo behind it, along with the driving rock guitar sound. And it has a kind of mystical eerie ghostly feel about it.. I love it. Was listening the other day to the 'Wings Over America' version and it's also really good.


It could just be the execution, Paul is such a good singer I would prefer him singing, I love the title of the song, there is a glamour to Egypt which really appeals to me.
Logged

kylenz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
    • Email
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 02:09:24 AM »

Quote
It could just be the execution, Paul is such a good singer I would prefer him singing, I love the title of the song, there is a glamour to Egypt which really appeals to me.

There are some good harmonies between Denny and Paul on that song though.

One thing that always bugged me about the cd version of VAM, is the choice of bonus tracks - Lunch Box/Odd Sox was included despite being a B-side on Macca's 1980 'Coming Up' single. Chronologically it makes no sense to be on there, though I have read it was actually recorded during the Venus and Mars sessions. Still.. it should've been on the McCartney II cd instead, and 'Goodnight Tonight' should've been on the 'Back to the Egg' bonus tracks.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 02:13:16 AM by kylenz »
Logged

Mervap

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 925
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 03:50:26 PM »

Again, I have dipped into the archive and found this for your perusal:

Quote
I have been re-visiting "Venus & Mars" after not having listened to it in several months...as usual with Paul's solo career, I discovered something different this time around. When listened to back to back, "Venus" sounds as if it should have followed "RRS"...it sounds strange to say that, but I'm doing just that and I hear similarities, a continuity if you will, between them. One must set aside the difference in production values to hear this...to my ears, "RRS" sounds better by far in that catagory. No, I'm speaking of the type of songs to be found on each of them. Most of us have observed that Paul, for better or worse, likes to dabble in whimsy and pastiche, which has been mistaken for insubstantiality by his detractors...both of these albums have this trait in common, tunes that you love and can't get out of your head, but wonder why!

I wonder what came over Paul during the "Band On the Run" era that allowed him to create something more "meaty" from these same ingredients, while "Venus & Mars" and "RRS" are generally seen as inferior to that work...just a thought. Anyone else hear this?

Logged
If love is blind, how will it ever find a way?

kylenz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
    • Email
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 10:45:59 PM »

Again, I have dipped into the archive and found this for your perusal:

Quote
I have been re-visiting "Venus & Mars" after not having listened to it in several months...as usual with Paul's solo career, I discovered something different this time around. When listened to back to back, "Venus" sounds as if it should have followed "RRS"...it sounds strange to say that, but I'm doing just that and I hear similarities, a continuity if you will, between them. One must set aside the difference in production values to hear this...to my ears, "RRS" sounds better by far in that catagory. No, I'm speaking of the type of songs to be found on each of them. Most of us have observed that Paul, for better or worse, likes to dabble in whimsy and pastiche, which has been mistaken for insubstantiality by his detractors...both of these albums have this trait in common, tunes that you love and can't get out of your head, but wonder why!

I wonder what came over Paul during the "Band On the Run" era that allowed him to create something more "meaty" from these same ingredients, while "Venus & Mars" and "RRS" are generally seen as inferior to that work...just a thought. Anyone else hear this?

it's almost like Macca does like to try different locations every time he makes an album. Red Rose Speedway was mainly recorded in LA, Venus and Mars was New Orleans or somewhere like that? And of course, BOTR, recorded smack-in-the-middle, was done in Nigeria.

But yes, there's very little of the whimsy-sentimental side on BOTR.. does this make BOTR a better album? Possibly so. But then again, I don't mind Macca exploring that part of his persona as it brings variety to the table. And 'You Gave Me The Answer' to me is still one of the standout tunes on VAM - without it I think the album would sure be bereft of a great tune!
Logged

Keri

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
    • Music from under my skin
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2015, 09:19:13 PM »

This is the first album I have got of the new remasters, my CD copy wasn't a very great master but I really like the album so I dished out for it. The remastering doesn't change the fact that it isn't so well produced unfortunately, but it's OK. listening to it what struck me was that Wings with BOTR had become a super group and Paul wanted to capitalise on that and this album sounds like a lot of it was made to come across really well in concert, to build some excitement around the group. Most obviously Rock Show and Letting Go but also Magnito and Titanium Man. Rock Show is even mixed to make it sound like it is live (I assume it isn't) so it's not so satisfying to sit down and listen to it.

But I love a lot of the sentimentality on this album, Lonely Old People carries me away and Love in Song is gorgeous, I feel more love for this album than BOTR while recognising it might not be as great.

One really positive thing I'll say about the remaster is that it has the bonus tracks on a separate disc, it is so good having only the original album on the first disc. bonus tracks tucked on the end for me just spoil the shape of the album, so i find this very cool, it shows a level of respect for "the album".
Logged

2 of 3

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1399
    • Email
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2015, 10:14:37 PM »

Thanks for the review Keri. :)

I do have a question though, for anyone who might know the answer. When they re-master...can they not re-produce it too?
Logged

Keri

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
    • Music from under my skin
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2015, 12:26:24 AM »

Thanks for the review Keri. :)

I do have a question though, for anyone who might know the answer. When they re-master...can they not re-produce it too?

I think it would have been a great idea for Venus and Mars, you could include both versions in a deluxe package. other artists have done it. A stereo mix of Pet Sounds was put out, Steve Wilson has done new mixes for King Crimson, Jethro Tull and Yes.
Logged

Greg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 731
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2015, 09:20:44 AM »

I love this album.  I do like the Wings Over America versions of most of these songs a little better than the orig album's though.
Call Me Back live is really really good.
KyleNZ mentioned the tinny sound of it, and I'd agree.  This whole thing could have sounded so much better.

Here is a video of an unboxing of the deluxe set.  Starts at 2:30 into it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h62cs__gTJM

« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 11:26:58 PM by Greg »
Logged

Mervap

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 925
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2016, 06:18:43 AM »

Quote
I do have a question though, for anyone who might know the answer. When they re-master...can they not re-produce it too?

Unfortunately, especially with things recorded onto tape, you have what you have. Sure, you can clean it up and reduce noise, but what is on the track tapes is all you have.....if it was recorded with effects on it, they stay forever. I would be interested to hear this one on the actual 16 track tapes and see what's there. A remix might help...
Logged
If love is blind, how will it ever find a way?

Mervap

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 925
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2016, 06:23:07 AM »

Not sure if I have mentioned this before, but I like the bonus tracks on this one a lot, especially "Lunch Box/ Odd Sox". I think that one was part of the b-side for "Coming Up" along with a live version of the a-side. I like the opening section better than the reggae-esque bit, though.
Logged
If love is blind, how will it ever find a way?

2 of 3

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1399
    • Email
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2016, 08:22:03 AM »

Quote
I think that one was part of the b-side for "Coming Up" along with a live version of the a-side. 

Hmm...I'm not sure I understand you correctly or not, but my copy of the single only has Coming Up studio and Coming Up live. I wonder of other countries got different versions?
Logged

Mervap

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 925
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2016, 08:41:47 AM »

Perhaps they did....mine had two songs on the flip: Live "Coming Up" and "Lunch Box/ Odd Sox".
Logged
If love is blind, how will it ever find a way?

2 of 3

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1399
    • Email
Re: Venus and Mars
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2016, 09:41:54 AM »

Quote
Perhaps they did....mine had two songs on the flip: Live "Coming Up" and "Lunch Box/ Odd Sox".

Oh nice. I guess they are different then. Mine came with 2 versions of Coming Up, a free latte from Starbucks(fair trade) a case of veggie burgers and a gift card to Marks and Spencers.  ;) ;D
Logged
Pages: [1] 2