MONO - STEREO MIXES

 


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Here is some thorough and interesting information that fellow fans Mac (and Laservampire) were kind enough to share.

 

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED

The original Track "AYE" mono mix was also used by Polydor International for their South African, Australian & Japanese releases and it was also used by France's Barclay Records (considered the best ever mono pressing - matrices "BAR 820 143 A2 / BAR 820 143 B1") which features an Isle Of Wight photo on the cover (see above). This pressing can also be found in the very last runs of the first psychedleic sleeve and very early runs of the Mobious two-fer. So to be sure you are getting the correct pressing with those two versions, you must check the matrix. Beware there are also counterfeits! That mix was discontinued in the UK after the release of Backtrack 10 in 1970 and has never been available since, except in Brazil (1970), Japan (1979 & 1980) and on the French Barclay double LP re-release with "Axis" (art by Mobeus). 

Germany & the rest of Europe never got to hear the original mono mix proper, as from it's first 1967 release they were treated to the dreadful Polydor Europe 'mono enhanced for stereo'  (fake stereo effect) the LP's were also misleadingly labelled 'Stereo' (I bought a new copy during a visit to Sweden in 1972 attracted by the 'stereo' label and was sorely disappointed). This pressing persisted into the eighties through several re-releases. 

The Reprise Records (N. America) original mono release, uniquely, used a selection of these original mono versions replacing three songs with original Track mono singles.

A closer listen to"3rd Stone" will reveal that Jimi actually says "War, speak water" closely followed by a quiet "Speak" (as in "You've got my head, speak electric water" in 'Freedom') On the much clearer Reprise stereo mix Jimi can also be heard to say later in the song in slowed down speech"Yeah, a acid drop can make people fly". For "3rd Stone"", the music is mono with just the vocals and sound effects being separated to create the stereo effect and the "War, speak water" overdub being removed. Other slowed down speech on the song these phrases : "...Let's try one…yeah a acid drop can make people fly huhuh jjhhooooo…"/"The trip has dropped heh-heh, yeah"/"Trip, [sniff] trip"/"But does it work, acid hurt"/"Song is beautiful" and Jimi even says "Hidden lyrics" at one point !
Not forgetting the exchange between Jimi and Chas which you can hear on the MCA box set :

Jimi: Star fleet to scout ship, please give your position, over
Chas: I am in orbit around the third planet of star known as Sun, over
Jimi: May this be Earth? Over
Chas: Positive, it is known to have some form of intelligent species, over
Jimi: I think we should take a look tsssshjjhoooo…..) [only clearly audible on USA stereo]

Reprise Records (N. America) also released their unique selection of tracks in an excellent stereo re-mix (by Eddie Kramer?? & Jimi??, as there are several extra vocals here and there)

 

AXIS BOLD AS LOVE

The original Track "Axis" mono mix was very popular in the UK where it was more common than the stereo mix (which was identified by a small white sticker on the front with 'STEREO' in black text). This was also released in N. America on Reprise. I haven't heard of any other mono releases

The original Track "Axis" stereo mix was released world wide except for Germany and the rest of Europe (outside of France & UK) where they were treated to a substantially different mix. This also replaced the original mono & stereo mixes in the UK when they were discontinued in 1970 and replaced by "Backtrack 11" (but with the extra track band and gap in 'If 6 was 9' now removed). All subsequent UK & European re-releases contained this mix, except for France's Barclay Records releases, until Allan Douglas' re-mastered CD 1993 release on MCA. So for 20-23 years the Europeans etc. have had a different mix of "Axis" from N.America & France.

 

SMASH HITS 

This was released by Track in the UK & Polydor in Japan both in mono & 'm.e.f.s' (fake stereo) editions, it was only available in the rest of Europe on Polydor with the 'm.e.f.s' (fake stereo) pressing . When Polydor UK originally re-released this (1970?) they used the 'm.e.f.s' (fake stereo) version until they re-issued it on Polydor Super about 1973 when they mostly used the stereo Reprise versions (except for "Stars TPWLS Dice", "51st Anniversary" & "Highway Chile" which are mono and "Stone Free" which is fake stereo) although it still has the original cover art with 'Enhanced for stereo from original mono recordings' on the back cover - somebody not paying attention, again! 

These Reprise versions mostly have longer fade outs, which reveal more of the original lyrics & sometimes reveal previously buried lyrics. In the case of "Can You See Me" the double tracked vocals of the original have just been split into separate channels to create a stereo effect, the music is still mono except for the panning of the "twaang' lead guitar overdub a couples of times.

Here are some detailed differences within "Can You See Me" in relation to the original Track mono version :

0.29 "all right" (replacing "yeah" from mono vinyl)
0.52 "yeah, baby" (replacing "all right" from mono vinyl)
1.02 "you must be jokin'" (replacing a very faint "Oh no" from mono vinyl)
1.41 "oh, you'd better open up your ears, baby" (replacing "oh, you'd better listen, baby, ow!" from mono vinyl)
1.51 "aw, shucks" (replacing "ah, how!" from mono vinyl)
"Can you see me?" (mono vinyl has "hear" instead of "see" and "yeah, a-ha" at the end)
"I don't believe you can see me, woah, yeah" (mono vinyl has "hear" instead of "see")
2.31 "You can't see me" (replacing "yeah' from mono vinyl)

Barclay didn't release this in France , but released their unique Greatest Hits mix of tracks instead.

 

ELECTRIC LADYLAND
No mono mixed versions of this album were issued, however there are single LP releases in mono from 1969 in some Latin American countries on the Polydor label, although I've never heard these. Some songs are supposedly true mono mixes and some are stereo merged into mono. the track list is

ELECTRIC LADYLAND, mono, single LP - Sides A and D of the original release.
Polydor Peru (LPG 624.11) also Uruguay (different cover) 1969

Side 1: …And The Gods Made Love, Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland), Crosstown Traffic*, Little Miss Strange, Long Hot Summer NighT, Gipsy Eyes, Burning Of The Midnight Lamp*

Side 2: Still Raining, Still Dreaming, House Burning Down, All Along The Watchtower, Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

*mono/stereo fold

 

There was also this curiosity, a pressing for the US Armed Forces Radio & Television Service (RL-23-9) which had one side of mono "Ladyland" tracks 

Side 1: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN (To Electric Ladyland), COME ON (PART 1), GYPSY EYES, RAINY DAY, DREAM AWAY, STILL RAINING, STILL DREAMING

Side 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOU - SAYID KHAN [the 1st Moslem teen idol], SEPTEMBER BLUE - PAT BOONE, HEY MISTER - FOUR JACKS AND A JILL, MAKE A NOISE LIKE LOVE - GENE AND DEBBIE, DON'T ASK WHY - ANDRE GAGNON AND HIS ORCH., THOSE WERE THE DAYS - AL HIRT, C'MON MARRIANNE - GRAPEFRUIT *

* Jimi, Kathy Etchingham and Brian Jones attended the launch party for Grapefruit's 2nd single "Dear Delilah' (Apple), at the GPO Tower restaurant, London January 1st 1969.

 

BACKTRACK ALBUMS

"Backtrack 1" LP (1970, price: 99 pence!) had the first European release of the Reprise stereo mix of 'The Wind Cries Mary'.

"Backtrack 3" LP (1970, price: 99 pence!) also had the Reprise mix of 'The Wind Cries Mary' plus the first European release of the Reprise stereo mixes of "Hey Joe" & "Purple Haze". The "Hey Joe" Reprise mix would soon re-appear on the UK chart topping posthumous EP "Voodoo Chile", Jimi's only number one 45 release in the UK.

"Backtrack 10" LP (1970) although labelled as mono, was the first release outside of N. America to use the Reprise "AYE" stereo mix tracks, (which I remember as being a very exciting discovery at the time, a full price US import then being prohibitively expensive, this LP cost only £1.00!) except for "3rd Stone" for some strange reason. "Can You See Me" &" Remember" from the Reprise stereo "Smash Hits" could also have been used, but these three tracks were left in mono (the mono "Red House" also has the chat at the end cut) two of which appear to me to be slightly 'm.e.f.s' (fake stereo effect) This compilation of different mixes was the one used for subsequent UK & later European releases. In 1983 the Reprise stereo "3rd Stone" became available on the Singles Album and was eventually added to the HMV AYE box re-release (Spelp97) leaving "Red House", "Can you See Me" & "Remember" in mono [fake stereo?] When Polydor released the CD in 1989 it still unbelievably had "Remember" in fake stereo. The mono French "AYE" was replaced by - to my ears - a slightly 'mono enhanced for stereo' (fake stereo) version (1971?), with the IOW photo cover. In 1991 Polydor Europe & Japan released the complete original Reprise AYE stereo LP version on CD but misleadingly used the original European cover. The alternate take stereo "Red House" was only available in Europe on the "WOW!" bootleg LP (1971) until the release of Allan Douglas' "Kiss The Sky" CD sampler in 1984. So the first European release containing the full set of Reprise stereo mixes was Allan Douglas' 1993 re-mastered CD release on MCA.

 

FAKE TRACK LP's

Track Records closed down in 1978, but in 1981 Polydor Europe released two promotional LP's with the Track logo and labels although these are slightly different from the originals. The LP's were "AYE" and "Axis", they both came in single un-laminated glossy sleeves with the original artwork, although the "AYE" front cover had the added European 'Jimi Hendrix' type, this time in white, but not the added track list on the back. The back cover of "Axis" was plain black with a small print of the original inner cover photo and a track list. Some copies were stamped with gold lettering 'promotional copy &endash; not for re-sale'. "AYE" used the "Backtrack 10" mix and "Axis" used the "Backtrack 11" mix.

Thanks for all this research info Mac !

 


THE BEATLES - Stereo vs Mono
Check out this interesting page about The Beatles mono and stereo mixes -
Here


 


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