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Topic: H&V Chronology



02/18/01 02:05:17 PM
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: An H&V Chronology

What tape is "tag to part 1"? Describe it for me or tell me what track, from what boot or something.

I'm curious to hear that you think that Brian handed in the track list in December, maybe after the 19th, is that what you said? Wouldn't the track list have to be in a few weeks before the December 15th original release date? Or do you think that they were printed later?

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Replying to:

What this leaves OUT is possible "eras" of the song -- in other words, theories as to what would have been included in any one version at any one point in time.

"Early version": the "linear song" version, with the verses sort of telling a story. Lots of verses, not much else, I think. More like "El Paso" by Marty Robbins, which was Van's inspiration.

"Barnyard Billy" version: verses, "Great Shape," "Barnyard," possibly "H&V Intro" and whatever sketch type of thing you may or may not choose to believe in. I think this is the first version that got recorded -- the earliest incarnation was probably theoretical and not much else.

"Post-Barnyard Billy" version: the December version, incorporating one or many "part 2" sections. Also maybe incorporating "sunny down snuff" -- I'd debate that till the cows came home, but I say yeah. "Great Shape" now its own song.

"Post-Post-Barnyard Billy" version: the early january version, incorporating apparently everything but the kitchen sink.

"Cantina": with or without Mike's vocal contribution, I guess

"Post-Cantina": Cantina, but with "C&W" and the "H&V theme" back in.

"March": add in the real H&V theme, new verse vocals, H&V Intro, the OMP fade. Possibly very like the final version, and maybe with a "part 2" on the other side which is NOT anything to do with the other "part 2" sections that Dom thought were on here.

"Final" -- the final version.

And if I were a bettin' man, I'd say these items were part and parcel of "Great Shape," in order of probability:

1. "eggs and grits"
2. "barnyard"
3. "do a lot" (an early version which nobody's ever heard yet -- maybe Des' "toothbrushing" version, maybe not)
4. "h&v intro" (same as above)
5. any kind of skit or barroom brawl

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Replying to:

This is what I've got so far.

May: Brian tracks the earliest, pre-Van Dyke version of H&V. ALl reports have this early session as a version of the song which incorporated "My Only Sunshine" -- which makes sense, he tracked 'em later in the same key.

October: main tracking sessions. There's an Oct. 17th session logged as "Great Shape," an Oct. 20th session for the verse and "Barnyard" and an Oct. 27th session I'd bet dollars to donuts is for "eggs and grits" and possibly something else as well.

There's an undated session, from pre-Oct. 20th, which has a different set of instrumentalists, at which a preliminary verse was attempted.

Some theories about Oct. 17th: a version of "Do A Lot" in a more H&V-related key, or perhaps if Bellagio is right, maybe the skit?

December: Brian tracks the vocals for the verse and perhaps "eggs and grits" in early December. Then on the 19th he cuts a new "insert" for the song. We don't have this insert. Alas.

Right at this same time he writes the final list for what's going on the album. He includes "Great Shape."

I assume that the Dec. 19th session is right when H&V starts to turn a corner away from the version from H&V demo (the, ahem, "barnyard billy" version) and towards another version. He must indeed have thought the mix was too divergent, or just wanted to put the "barnyard" stuff into its own song.

In late December / early January he tracks even more "insert" sections -- among them, on Dec. 24th, the "grunting" section found on the GV Box Set "Sections" mix. Presumably the other "part 2" sections, or some of 'em, are tracked around this date as well.

Jan. 3rd finds Brian tracking a multitude of things, including "Do A Lot" in E (!), "tag to part 1" which is essentially another "Do A Lot" minus the vocals, in C#, an ascending "ahhh" part, and "alt whistles / bag of tricks."

Jan. 5th finds him dragging "Bicycle Rider" into the equation, as a vocal version is tracked.

Across January, he begins coming towards the cantina version. He tracks the "dum dum" section and "Cantina" on Jan. 27th. He co-opts the fade from OMP right around this time as well. Also: "My children were raised" was cut right around now as well -- odd that this wasn't part of an earlier version, but there you have it. December/January might have also found Brian cutting an early "sunny down snuff" verse -- or at least the backing vocals for them.

Following the Feb. 10th "Cantina" mix, he then starts re-tracking sections yet again. On Feb. 15th he cuts the so-called "C&W" section as well as a version of the "H&V theme" as a fade.

Feb. 28th finds him cutting a new version of the "OMP" tag, and March 1st is the session for "H&V Intro." The final version of the "H&V theme" is cut in this last round of sessions as well, at least vocally.

March -- presumably this is when a "final" mix was done and then ditched. I think this might have been the era of the "two part single," if there ever was one. That last batch of recordings, including the "H&V theme," the "OMP fade," and "H&V Intro" were all cut as "part 2" under a different master number.

Then in July he finishes the single at home, taking elements from the original sessions (the verses, part of a verse vocal, the H&V theme, probably the "sunny down snuff" verse) and adding irritating organ to them.

If you're looking for a version of H&V from the time "Great Shape" became a seperate song -- in other words, a "finished Smile version" -- I think you're looking at it including the "part 2" sections, or at least one of them at a time, some kind of additional insert, and who knows what for a tag. Vague? Yes.



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