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  #31  
Old 05-14-2018, 01:05 PM
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Netter75 Netter75 is offline
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Originally Posted by Macfan4life View Post
Skies the Limit is pure pop greatness from Christine. While no longer cranking out to 40 hits since the music industry was changing, the song still proved she still had the formula. She can make simple phrases like You make loving fun into gooey love songs. Skies the limit uses the same formula. I particularly love the keyboard beginning because its classic Christine the way she plays. All 4 singers harmonizing sounds pretty good too. The video was excellent too. If my memory is correct it was filmed in Red Rocks, Colorado. I had to look this up but the song peaked at #10 on adult contemporary charts. Always loved the crack of the drum right before the vocals start. Save me barely cracked the top 40 but had a great video. Fleetwood Mac's first album with no Stevie Nicks single or hit. Times were a changing
Funny how different someone's opinions can be! Skies the Limit took me FOREVER to get into because of that damn keyboard intro. It's sooooo cheesy and over-the-top bright and happy. After many (MANY) listens of the song I've started to appreciate it more. It's quite catchy and the blend of voices on it is excellent. Imo it serves it's purpose as a forgettable opener that showcases each singer.

Behind the Mask is similar in an opposite sort of way. The intro to that song is fantastic and totally draws me in, the build up is alright but it amounts to nothing . The blend of harmonies on the chorus sound awful to me ears, like an indistinguishable blob of bored, breathy vocals that reappear on bits of "Freedom", "Affairs of the Heart", "Stand on the Rock", and "Love is Dangerous". That cool intro never really builds to anything musically either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwboy
I've read posts where people said the album BTM sounded muddled or wasn't produced well. I would love to know what they mean, specifically. I know little about how music is produced, I guess, and so it can be hard for me to understand those kind of comments. For example, how can one tell if the fault is in the production or in the performance itself? If the sound is 'muddled,' isn't that more an engineering issue? I'd really love feedback about this sort of technical question.
Save Me and Freedom are great songs that would have been greater if done differently. These two suffer hard from the muddled production bwboy was inquiring about. I don't know what the term "muddled" means to other people, but I can explain my take on it. The actual mixing of these songs leaves much to be desires. The instruments don't sound like they have any life, there doesn't seem to be a lot of space in the mix to hear what they're doing. It all sort of blends together into this uninteresting mass, which is a shame because many of the songs are good at their core. There are also random guitar licks and keyboard stamps that are thrown in with little rhythm, further distracting from the vocals and actually decent main instrumentation. Affairs of the Heart is similar, making an already mediocre song forgettable because none of the music on it is at all distinct.

I have no idea if I'm explaining this correctly, but for a concrete example listen to Rick Vito's solo version of "Love is Dangerous" and compare it to the BTM version. The instrumentation isn't necessarily better but those instruments and vocals are far more distinct sounding. There also aren't layers of nonsense licks and flourishes to distract from the riff. I guarantee you that if you separated Stevie's vocals from the BTM version they would sound much more passionate and arresting simply by separating them from that production style. For further comparison listen to any of good songs from SYW and decide which ones have more memorable instrumentation. That album may not be a masterpiece but you can't say it's boring to listen to, unlike a good portion of this album (unfortunately).

When the Sun Goes Down is actually a good song and doesn't suffer nearly as much from these production issues but it's sooooo out of place on this album. Next to songs like When It Comes to Love and Skies the Limit it feels like it was spliced from an entirely different album. It does have some nice guitar work and harmonies though.

Stand on the Rock, The Second Time, When It Comes to Love, and Hard Feelings are all garbage from the ground-up as far as I'm concerned. Got No Home, Intuition, any of the three new songs from "The Chain" boxset, Game of Love, and maybe a reworked It Ain't Over (Billy-Christine duet from a solo album) or "Are You Mine" (unreleased Billy-Stevie Duet) would have improved the album greatly. Also if the Mac worked on Desiree it would have absolutely kicked "Love is Dangerous"'s ass and added a true rocker to the album.

That turned into kind of a long rant didn't it hope that gave some kind of a perspective on the issues people have with the production of the album bwboy! Can't speak for everyone but those are definitely my raw opinions of it.
__________________
"I am just one small part of forever" -Think About It (The song that got me into Stevie Nicks)

"The face of a pretty girl x1,000,000" -Isn't It Midnight (The song that got me into Christine McVie)

"The sun is bright, but not too bright to see. When the darkness comes you've got to fly into the light." -Doing What I Can (The song that got me into Lindsey Buckingham)

"I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain" -The Chain (The song that got me into Fleetwood Mac)
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  #32  
Old 05-14-2018, 06:34 PM
bwboy bwboy is offline
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Originally Posted by Netter75 View Post
Save Me and Freedom are great songs that would have been greater if done differently. These two suffer hard from the muddled production bwboy was inquiring about. I don't know what the term "muddled" means to other people, but I can explain my take on it. The actual mixing of these songs leaves much to be desires. The instruments don't sound like they have any life, there doesn't seem to be a lot of space in the mix to hear what they're doing. It all sort of blends together into this uninteresting mass, which is a shame because many of the songs are good at their core. There are also random guitar licks and keyboard stamps that are thrown in with little rhythm, further distracting from the vocals and actually decent main instrumentation. Affairs of the Heart is similar, making an already mediocre song forgettable because none of the music on it is at all distinct.

I have no idea if I'm explaining this correctly, but for a concrete example listen to Rick Vito's solo version of "Love is Dangerous" and compare it to the BTM version. The instrumentation isn't necessarily better but those instruments and vocals are far more distinct sounding. There also aren't layers of nonsense licks and flourishes to distract from the riff. I guarantee you that if you separated Stevie's vocals from the BTM version they would sound much more passionate and arresting simply by separating them from that production style. For further comparison listen to any of good songs from SYW and decide which ones have more memorable instrumentation. That album may not be a masterpiece but you can't say it's boring to listen to, unlike a good portion of this album (unfortunately).
Netter, thanks so much for taking the time to explain those concepts to me, I definitely have a better understanding now. I'm curious- do you think some of the issues on BTM you referred to would be fixed, or sound better, if the album were on a dvd audio, like most of the Deluxe Editions were? Or would the dvd audio just amplify the poor sound quality? Also, where would you say the fault lies- with the production by Greg Ladanyi? Again, thanks for taking the time, and I'd love to hear what others think of the sound quality of BTM.
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  #33  
Old 05-14-2018, 06:42 PM
bwboy bwboy is offline
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Originally Posted by Macfan4life View Post
Skies the Limit is pure pop greatness from Christine. All 4 singers harmonizing sounds pretty good too. The video was excellent too. If my memory is correct it was filmed in Red Rocks, Colorado. I had to look this up but the song peaked at #10 on adult contemporary charts. Always loved the crack of the drum right before the vocals start. Save me barely cracked the top 40 but had a great video. Fleetwood Mac's first album with no Stevie Nicks single or hit. Times were a changing
When you mentioned "the crack of the drum right before the vocals start," that totally hit home for me because that is something I've always loved about the song, too. The video WAS shot at Red Rocks, and someone, I can't remember who, posted they were at that concert and that they filmed the video after the concert was over. I've always hoped that the entire concert might have been filmed and would love to see it released on audio or video, but that ain't gonna happen

As far as Stevie's songs, I remember hearing no Questions Asked exactly one time on the radio, and that was it. I really like that song, actually, but no way was it going to be a hit... EVER. Same thing with Paper Doll, which was actually supposed to be on the Greatest Hits album with As Long As You Follow, but Mick replaced it with No Questions Asked.
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  #34  
Old 05-15-2018, 02:22 AM
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Netter75 Netter75 is offline
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Originally Posted by bwboy View Post
Netter, thanks so much for taking the time to explain those concepts to me, I definitely have a better understanding now. I'm curious- do you think some of the issues on BTM you referred to would be fixed, or sound better, if the album were on a dvd audio, like most of the Deluxe Editions were? Or would the dvd audio just amplify the poor sound quality? Also, where would you say the fault lies- with the production by Greg Ladanyi? Again, thanks for taking the time, and I'd love to hear what others think of the sound quality of BTM.
Glad I could be of some service with that long winded post .. Unfortunately I don't know much about the process of remixing an album to DVDA or what could be done. Obviously they can't remove the layers of Ladanyi production over the album without defying the intent of the original album. As far as the mixing goes.... Maybe? Separating the instruments and vocals and giving them some room to breathe may help. Bring some of the vocals to the front, push those little flourishes to the back... It might work? Hearing Christine and Billy sing "Freedommmm" in separate channels may eliminate the "blob" complaint I levied. Mike Campbell's guitar riff is actually not bad on this song either, even though you don't take note of it as you should under all the mess unless you really pay attention imo. A remix may help make that more distinct and the song more memorable and effective.

If BTM was ever released in deluxe format I'd buy it in a second just to see what they could do with it. I'm all for any opportunity to enjoy these songs more, though I'd be more in for any live tracks. This lineup absolutely killed songs like Save Me, When the Sun Goes Down, and In the Back of My Mind live, let alone material like Isn't it Midnight and Oh Well. Wish a live copy of LID would surface! Someone in the FM camp said they record either audio or video from each tour so they've got something somewhere.
__________________
"I am just one small part of forever" -Think About It (The song that got me into Stevie Nicks)

"The face of a pretty girl x1,000,000" -Isn't It Midnight (The song that got me into Christine McVie)

"The sun is bright, but not too bright to see. When the darkness comes you've got to fly into the light." -Doing What I Can (The song that got me into Lindsey Buckingham)

"I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain" -The Chain (The song that got me into Fleetwood Mac)

Last edited by Netter75 : 05-15-2018 at 02:32 AM.
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