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Re: [ARSCLIST] Public's rights....was offlist archival question from ARSC list member
----- Original Message -----
From: "Aaron Levinson" <aaron.levinson@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> As both a collector and producer of music I am as they say, of two
> minds. In general I solve the problem of extraneous material quite
> simply, I just finish one take. When we have gotten a few passes down
> and have carefully analyzed which one has won the battle of excellence
> the others just get wiped. This insures that only the strongest survive.
> In a rare instance, we might take a coda from one
> take and fly it into the ending of another take that was otherwise in
> all other ways superior. The only time that I feel that the completist
> viewpoint is truly justified is in the case of over-cutting for an
> album. In the days of the LP when we were limited to 40 some minutes of
> running time one might encounter a song that was never used simply
> because it was too long to fit on the album and for no other reason. The
> artist say Mingus, might have written ten songs for the album but when
> all were mixed and matched to fit that one song that ran 6: 35 did not
> make it on to the final master. In this rare case, I can see it
> eventually seeing the light of day quite justifiably. But in general I
> must agree with Tom, the legacy of the artist is almost invariably
> diminished by issuing a bunch of inferior, botched and often incomplete
> recordings. There was usually a very good rationale as to why this music
> was deemed unfit for human consumption.
> By the way, I have always found that the artist is not at all opposed to
> this seemingly Draconian practice, in fact they are quite happy that the
> highest manifestation of their vision available is also the only one
> that will outlast us all.
Well, the applicable (and unmentioned) concept here is "What sort
of music?" For classical music, or pop music performed from "charts,"
there shouldn't be any substantial difference between "alternate
takes"...so "wiping" the unissued versions isn't a great loss.
OTOH, for jazz, rock, and other music where performances are based
primarily on improvisation, "alternate takes" represent part of the
history of a given song and artist. When an "unreleased take" of
Beiderbecke, Ellington, usw. was discovered and reissued, we (the
interested public" had the opportunity to hear another way in
which the artist's mind had "worked"...!
Steven C. Barr