New versions of old epics. Beautiful Sounds Rev II and it’s free! Free! FREE!
Roger CortonSo you’re working on some new material?
JCHWell actually, it’s sort of teaching an old dog new tricks. I’m remixing some of my older ‘epics’.
RCThat must be weird.
if you purchased a previous version of any song, you can now log in and get any other versions since the initial release
JCHWell, you hear about so many artists who say, “I never listen to my old records!” Well, first of all, I have to play this stuff in front of people from time to time, so it’s not like I have that option. And second of all, I look at it more like composers of old.
RCOh, back to that ‘old composer’ thing again.
JCHBut in this case, It’s worth remembering that almost all big shot composers revamped various pieces; sometimes many times.
RCI didn’t know that. I thought that when a piece was published that was ‘it’.
JCHNope. Well as you know, I wrote software for a while and programmers have had this thing called ‘revision control’ for ever and ever. So you could safely create new versions of a program.
RCLike the patches we get all the time.
JCHExactly. It’s just normal now that we get a product and it gets improved over time.
RCBut isn’t that exactly the kind of ‘cut up’ stuff you hate so much?
JCHNo. It’s just me improving the product. Look, I’m not musician I was ten years ago; or five years ago; or even a year ago. The great thing about music is that it’s like martial arts practice. You can keep improving if you choose to. I think that’s the thing I like best about it.
RCIt’s true. It’s just that nobody else I know talks about it that way.
JCHWhich is a shame. And that’s why more and more I hang with classical players, because for that community it’s still a craft. Anyhoo, the more times I play Beautiful Sounds the more I realise what I should’ve done. Stuff that I didn’t have the skill or taste or whatever to accomplish. So I’m fixing it. And not just for that performance, but for everyone who bought Version 1.0.
RCI was about to say that talking with you gets depressing because you’re always replaying the last nine holes, but then it dawned on me that I do exactly that on the golf course. And that’s not depressing at all.
JCHFore. So there’s a new login area on the web site and if you purchased a previous version of any song, you can now log in and get any other versions since the initial release.
RCLet me stop you there and ask if there some revenue stream involved as with the Remastered versions of your first four albums.
JCHNo. It’s no longer about ‘revenue’. I feel that if you purchased a song, you’re entitled to free updates.
RCI know you’ve done that informally before, so this just makes the process ‘official’.
JCHYes. This simply formalizes the process.
RCI do think there could be marketing potential.
JCHWell perhaps, if for no other reason that the pieces are better than they were.
RCYes, but more than that, it could also be that it’s interesting to see how you alter songs over time.
JCHI suppose I could do that, but truthfully, this is more about fixing things that should’ve been more polished in the first place. There are changes in orchestrations in a few places, but not too many.
RCCan you give me something with sizzle?
JCHWell, I think the biggest changes are with Beautiful Sounds.
RCCool, that one always felt a little empty.
JCHYou’re right. And that’s exactly what I wanted to say about it. The first time we played it, I added stuff automatically. And that’s the thing you read about all the time with composers. Everyone makes adjustments after a first hearing. It’s weird that it isn’t obvious until you actually hear it. But you not only know what to do, but why it wasn’t obvious.
JCHYeah. You learn a lot about yourself. And usually you’re letting non-musical things into the mix.
JCHWhen I was doing Beautiful Sounds I was entering the dark time although I didn’t know it yet. And also, I was nutty about ‘simplicity’. With each record I wanted play less and less. And I went way too far. I was thinking too much. No jokes, please.
RCIt would be like shooting fish in a barrel.
JCHAnd here’s the real joke. I got the structure wrong.
RCWah, wah, wah… (trombone sounds).
JCHThere are all these ideas in the opening that people really respond to.
RCWhich are never heard from again.
JCHExactly. You do listen (laughs). After all my gassing on about ‘structure’ it hit me that I needed to fix my own shit. So, since you mentioned ‘marketing’ how this: I’m gonna give it away to anyone who ever purchased anything.
RCfree! Free! FREE! How come?
JCHJust an experiment. It’s tough to gauge what people really think, but the live response to B.S. was generally so much better than the album version. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone notices. I certainly am grateful for the mulligan.
RCA do-over. That’s an interesting concept.
JCHWell, we live in a time where everyone talks about ‘versions’ as being ‘remixes’. But why not revisit material?
RCLike you say, we live in a disposable culture. Everything is single-use.
JCHNever let it be said that I was trying to make a musical moist towelette.
RCSo how do people get this again?
JCHLike I said, there’s a new Login place on the web site. I’ll be sending out a mass mailing to everyone on the List with their credentials. Just sign in to let me know you’re still alive and whenever there’s a new version of something? It’s yours.
RCIncluding Beautiful Sounds REV2?
JCHWhen I’m done? Including Beautiful Sounds REV2.
RCThought that was it? No siree! If you call now, you’ll also get the amazing Sham Wow Vegetable Peeler.
JCHThat’s pretty annoying.
RCNow you know how it feels.