Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Heartbreakers - "L.A.M.F. - Original U.K. Cassette Mix" (Cassette/Tape, Track - 1977)

AT LAST! Thanks to our friend Brian Young of the kick-ass rockabilly gang Sabrejets fame, we are able hereabout White Trash Soul HQ after a long and hard trying, to finally witness the original (and now legendary - known also as UK) cassette mix of punk & roll's ultimate uterus 'L.A.M.F.' ! I'm so damn bored to repeat myself so if you're a rookie on this read here first, you may need some introduction cause what you're going to face up within post is quite simply something of a 'holy grail'.
The story goes a little back, during the 'pre-production' days of 'L.A.M.F.T.M.J.B.' when along my buddy Jean Philippe tried our best to come up with a cassette copy of the album but as you maybe already know, failed entirely. Like a Deus x machina somewhere in there and out of a sudden, Brian makes his appearance volunteering but the sensibly tight schedule of the Jets doesn't let him feed our hunger on time. And you know what, some times in life something's not happening for the best. I know this now may sound like some soft-boiled crap to you all, but I do believe it.
Anyway, on our subject and the verdict says clearly this: Yes, the cassette has the original U.K. mix as most of us know for ages like the back of our hands - minus the mud! Yes, it sounds GREAT! Yes, it was a fuckin' bad pressing issue that caused the whole trouble (and legend). Yes, you still NEED to hear this if you consider yourself a serious rock & roll fan. What still mess ups my mind though are those two "why"s?
1. OK, obviously something went wrong with the pressings and the disbanding of Track Records a little later hold up things for a while maybe, BUT... when the bloody tapes (all those!) came to Leee Black Childers' possession or Jungle's afterwards, why not anyone thought to release properly the original mix instead of the 'Lost '77 Mixes'? We live at the digital age goddammit, we were able to hear in the past years without any sound difficulties for instance Slim Harpo kicking the shit out in a 1961 concert or the Link Wray's lost Cadence album for half a century but we can't do the same for the Heartbreakers original mix!!?
2. And what was Track's possible thinking for sending different tapes/mixes to other countries for their own L.A.M.F. releases (not to mention the singles...)? Anyone?
The cassette proves in the end that the 'breakers were right chatter up about it. From the first two concluded  plays I'm able to say that it sounds powerful, dirty and furious as we hoped or better, fantasized! The vocals of Johnny and Waldo for the first time have BALLS (if you think already had, listen up to this baby, ha!), and Billy's bass lines are audible and fat like Bon Scott's Rosie's ass! Oh, and somehow Jerry's drums sound louder. It's not THAT different from the 'Lost 77 Mixes' but in a way it is (I don't know how to put it right, you have to listen for yourself).
So where the mix issue lies? Perhaps on the surviving tapes Alan Hauser got from Childers, don't know. But that's not the answer to my own question No.1. If we're able here at WTS to track down a decent cassette copy, I'm definitely sure that the Heartbreakers rights keepers have (a lot) more chances to find a better one and master from it, if actually the reason why for all these, is a possible loss of the original mix tapes... Shit, I know I'm sounding like I'm bitching now and Brian told me that Alan's an OK  guy, but I got through so much trouble finding this after 15 years or something... you know what I mean?
Anyway, I came home from the office quite late the day Brian's package arrived and I waited for kids to go to bed first. I made the rip and gave a quick shot... I was blown! The first hour of the new day was running its first steps but I couldn't wait till the next morning's arrival to deal with again... I started the upload immediately and mailed Jean Philippe:

"I'm putting up this moment Side 2 of the Cassette Mix, it's 1:30 in the morning I can barely keep my eyes open but you NEED to hear this buddy! I gave a quick (about one minute of each song sliding the bar of the player and all this through my laptop's speakers) listening and it's definitely different! It's the UK mix indeed but with no fuckin' mud around it. A little bit speed-ed up also, don't know if it's because of the tape recorder or Brian's copy, but for a quickie attempt it sounded like the real thing. I need to hear this tomorrow with less wine running through my vains and through my stereo's speakers but don't know man, I don't think it sounds like the Italian, French or any other pressing. "

A few days later came my buddy's answer:

"Well, well, well, you were right, I was wrong! The cassette mix is definitely different from other mixes. I reduced speed by 3% (but it seems faster still), cut the wav files into individual tracks and uploaded it to our account. There's some (expected) hiss on the tape, which could have been easily removed, but I left it as is. I noticed L&R channel are reversed on some tracks (eg. 'Pirate Love' has guitar inro on the left vs. on the right on other pressings), but not all of them (so that's not Brian's mistake in plugin' his gear). What's not easy to tell is 'how much' this mix is different from others. A good part of the difference might be due to the media (tape vs. vinyl) and rig (tape player vs. turntable). The cassette is not muddy, but it doesn't have much bottom end, and sound is quite midrangey. Is it because of the mix or the media/rig? Some tracks are very different though: 'Baby Talk' and 'Going Steady' for example. 'Baby Talk' seems to be what the UK LP would be if it wasn't muddy. 'Going Steady' drums intro is different from other versions (including UK LP). It would have been a blast if we didn't have France/Italy LP already. Anyway, it's nice to finally hear it and know the truth. "

Indeed, 'Baby Talk' cassette take is by far the best we have heard (at least me)! If we had it during the creation of 'T.M.J.B.' would have kicked 'Lost 77' s ass without second thoughts! But as I said, it was meant to be this way. A full post dedicated to the 'media' a couple of thousand lunatics around the world for ages are/were looking for! There's really no need from our side to bull more. You all going to have in a while your own point of view. Just to complete WTS stuff's blurbs I'm adding the one Brian wrote me for the tape had sent me (the old fashioned way, on paper with a cool Sabrejets logo up left and a signature at the bottom- I dig you man!):

"I have heard lots of different stories about LAMF mixes. Some people insist that the French or Italian albums are much better sounding. It's not something I've ever worried too much about. When I bought LAMF (when it came out) I played it to death anyway. I think the problem isn't that it sounded THAT bad - but it does sound pretty feeble in comparison to the records which bands like the Pistols released which cost thousands and thousands of pounds... and took months to record.
It must have been really disheartening for them though - as some of my pals saw The Heartbreakers on the Anarchy tour and everyone (even if they didn't like the band!) told me they blew the Pistols/Clash etc offstage every night...
So if whoever was recording the band could have captured that live sound then it really would have been a killer album...
But there are too many buts and ifs... for sure Track were a waste of space compared to some of the other labels BUT in fairness they DID advertise the first singles and the album a lot. Perhaps the Heartbreakers should have chosen a less controversial topic for their first 45 too... not gonna get much airplay with a song about smack!
Certainly a different producer would have helped - but you can't rewrite history - and even though the reviews at the time mentioned the muddy mix, most people who bought the album couldn't care less. At the end of the day the in fighting and bickering over the album destoyed the band - but that was their own fault. "


What's left now is the hope Jungle to create a box with deep care for all those rumored different mixes that stayed in the can. I mean, who doesn't want to hear 'L.A.M.F.' in a sixties girl pop sounding mix? 

Keep the rocks rollin'!



51 comments:

  1. 320 Version : http://www.mediafire.com/?6qh7mk6cmcm517c

    Flac Version :
    (Pt1) http://www.mediafire.com/?eiwxw7u1won8nxh
    (Pt2) http://www.mediafire.com/?fnlsojlj6zaj71l

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    1. 2 link is died. pls create new)

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    2. Please fx link2?

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    3. Pretty please on fixing part 2? Would make my year (and then some) complete.

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    4. Could you please reupload PART 2? Thanks!!

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  2. Killer! So now the puzzle is complete, and thanks for posting a complete rip of the tape.
    It sounds so different from all the vinyl versions. It's quite a weird listen because it doesn't seem to be all that faster but it's most certainly pitched higher. The mix has much more bite, too. It's certainly the most "in your face" version of this album. Great that we now have this version and the vinyl compilation. Thanks!!!

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    1. The cool thing about all 'Thunder-geeks' my friend is that...thankfully the puzzle hasn't been yet accomplished! I'm sure someday all these 'different' mixes are known that exist gonna be out and start a whole new conversation on this, hehe!

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  3. Thanks Mihaleez for the great versions of this classic album. I was just playing your previous LP mix the other day and totally loving it.

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    1. Gyro! I missed you mate! How are you? Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned more to cum, ha! Cheers man!

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  4. Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!!!

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  5. Hey, could you post pics of the actual cassette, too?! Please?!

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    1. Hey MJ, I'll tell Brian to send me when it's able. Cheers!

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  6. Interesting? The legendary, mythical cassette version of LAMF. I'm surprised the oxide is still clinging to the the tape! It's kinda like combing the carpet and scraping whatever in the middle of the night. For my money, I'll take The Lost Mixes in my spoon! Don't get me wrong? This is most appreciated! Thanks!!!

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    1. Hey man, anyone's got the right to express what he feels, so well done! My intention's not to take the 'purist asshole' side here(you know... the original's the best blah-blah). All this started from our side just because we're lunatics on this! Hey, I dig "77 Mixes" too, come to think of it, I even prefer "Revisited" instead of the million ( and millionaires in some cases) Thunders clones sawed up since! Cheers!

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  7. gonna listen to this tape, and your comments are so tough, thanks for this passionnate blog
    chris in france

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    1. Thanks Chris for finding time saying this! Cheers!

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  8. thanks for this.. ste...

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  9. Well my friend, not sure what to think about this. This mix is far suppier to the lost 77 mixes, which were aimed at the masses not the die hard thunders fans as they claim. I have a bigger Thunders collection than anyone I have ever met, been in several rags discussing it as well. Has anyone thought about sending this file to Walter to get his take on it? I was thinking that I should to see what his thoughts are about thr mix. The UK version even the LP is awesome. Never once thought too muddy as some say.

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    1. Hey Dad! I believe Walter has one already and if not, he remembers clearly about all these. Check my (kinda ancient interview - if you haven't already - here: http://whitetrashsoul.blogspot.gr/2010/01/interview-walter-waldo-lure.html). As you said buddy, I was too in countless conversations about 'LAMF' and I believe any side on this has its own rights. That's why me and Jean Philippe tried the 'LAMFTMJB' version, he-he! Just for the history, for my money (and if I remember right, my partner's JP too) the Italian pressing's the best by far!
      Cheers!

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  10. Thank you so much! This mix is the one! I've been waiting to hear this since I read an interview with Walter around the time of the 84 reunion where he mentioned the cassette sounding fine. I loved the original vinyl AND the lost 77 mixes but this is the best of both worlds. It did sound a bit speeded up though, so I slowed the pitch til it matched the lost 77 mixes, ande now finally i've got the album to sound how it always should have sounded.

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    1. How do you go about pitch correction, or maybe upload a pitch corrected version?

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  11. You cats never cease to amaze me! Bless you all. You are now absolved of all your sins and shall soon be ordained into sainthood.Thanks as always-drwatts

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  12. I dunno about anyone else,but i loved the original vinyl pressing of L.A.M.F.
    Rock'n'roll shouldn't have anything to do with hi fidelity.This is my opinion and not an unwritten rule! But as i am a cassette fan and a heartbreakers nut, i applaude you.

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  13. Forgot to mention that this is,in my opinion, the best mix of the album!

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  14. Anyone who wabnts to change the pitch..download Audacity (free sound editing software)and use the 'Change Tempo' function.

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  15. I've just finished to hear this version for the first time: and its the best without any doubt for me!! Considering this is one of the best rock'nroll albums for me, guess how much thankful I am... Sorry for my English. Keepunkrockin'!! Un saludo macanudo from Spain!!

    daninvader

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  16. Thanks a lot...Orvar66.
    The Chatterbox Forum.

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  17. This made my day! Thanks a lot.
    Robert - also from the Chatterbox Forum.

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  18. IN-FUCKING-CREDIBLE! Thanks so much! The best version I've listened to.

    Is there any chance to upload the entire Italian/French LP for comparison?

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  19. very nice. thanks.

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  20. Thanks for doing this. A true labor of love.

    Very interesting to finally hear this, and to compare it with the LOST MIXES (close, but many differences in the mixes), as well as REVISITED (the way I first heard this material, in the early 1990s). When I first heard the LOST MIXES I thought they had some real selection bias when picking mixes for it, since my point of comparison was REVISITED. Now it's clear that REVISITED was a real outlier, and that the LOST MIXES much more accurately reflected the sound the band was going for on record in 1977.

    Incidentally, the UK cassette version is not only sped-up compared to the LOST MIXES, but also REVISITED (which plays at same speed/tone as LOST MIXES).

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  21. Crap! Missed it. A re-up in lossless would be highly appreciated.

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  22. Revisited? Naaaaaahhhh!!!

    http://netkups.com/?d=75af10708cfb6

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  23. On behalf of all the puds who were sucking the hind tit the first time around, a hearty Thanks! for "Revisiting" this post.

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  24. Hi -
    I bought the original UK LP in 1977. I also bought the Revisited version in 1984 and then two copies of the '77 mixes double cd. It means so much to me. And I had no complaints whatsoever about the original LP sound back in 1977 since I didn't read the album reviews at the time. This, to me, is just the best thing Thunders ever was involved in.

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    1. Yes I am in the exact same boat. I think the problem with the vinyl was that it was a lousy pressing. This cassette version sounds great and really punchy but I have a hard time hearing a difference from the vinyl. I really appreciate it being posted though, because it is really the best rock'n'roll album of all time for me, in whatever format or version.

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  25. Sometime ago I listened the cassette for the first time in YT and it certainly cuts through the bone. Of course I had the original LAMF as an import back then, and I did enjoyed it, as I do all things Thunders. Thanks for sharing. I could only get PT1 of the Flac version but I'm cool...just love the cutting edge of those guitars. Live Rock Culture...share the passion...roll the stone...

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  26. Thank you so so much let us know the real thing,always great taste.

    Flac 2 please re-up!

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    1. @Certifiablockhead & Anonymous: Hey guys, all tape re-upped in FLAC, on January 16 (the ones on Netkups)... Copy the right link, still working!!!

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    2. thank you again!

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    3. the netkups was deleted due to inactivity.

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  27. Wow. Great to find this here. The mix sounds great and superior to "The Lost 77 mixes" (too slushy).
    It's a shame that it runs too fast. Has anyone successfully slowed it to the right speed? Is "The Lost 77 mixes" at the right speed?

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  28. Could somebody re-up side 2 in flac? I just discovered this band, and would love to hear it.

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  29. Could you please re-up side 2 flac files? Thanks!

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  30. Could you please re-up the Side 2 flac files? Thanks!

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  31. Reupload part 2 in FLAC, please! Thanks in advance! (Netkups link broken due to inactivity)

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  32. This is fucking great and KICK ASS. Many, MANY thanks!

    Could you please re-upload the FLAC of side 2?

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  33. Best version of L.A.M.F. not on CD!
    Could you upload the FLAC of side two? Many thanks in advance!
    John Anthony Genzale FOREVER!!!!

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  34. Could you please, please PLEASE re-up the link for the FLAC version of side 2?!

    This is great...many thanks for making this available. Had only heard about this for years and it's great finally hearing it

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  35. RE-UP here---> http://whitetrashsoul.blogspot.gr/2015/02/the-heartbreakers-lamf-original-uk.html

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