[John Howells"Oh Mercy Outtakes" on Wanted Man Music is harsh sounding at the beginning and then later on.
wrote:] >> Could somebody tell what the best CD is of the Oh Mercy outtakes? >> I've got "Have Mercy", and that's not very good. >> >> I hope there's a really good one out there! >> > >I would go for "Deeds of Mercy". Excellent sound.
From comparing track lists in Heylin:
"Oh Mercy Outtakes" has 2 takes of Ring the Bells while "Deeds of Mercy" has 1 take.
"Oh Mercy Outtakes" has 2 takes of Series of Dreams while "Deeds of Mercy" has only 3 takes. (one of these takes is on the Bootleg Series)
In article <30F2F9E7.167E@sgi.com> email@example.com "John Howells" writes: > > Could somebody tell what the best CD is of the Oh Mercy outtakes? > > I've got "Have Mercy", and that's not very good. > > > > I hope there's a really good one out there! > > I would go for "Deeds of Mercy". Excellent sound.Worth noting that an upgrade on the source for Deeds Of Mercy is circulating. I don't have it myself but what little I've heard suggests that the improvement is not dramatic enough to render the CD worthless. (I reserve the right to change my mind :-)
Someone commented that the Wanted Man version of the outtakes CD has two of one take whereas Deeds of Mercy has just the one. Both CDs present the *same* recording but treat the long gap during the middle of the song in different ways. Wanted Man chose to present it as two different versions. Corrections?
Deeds of Mercy is the best Oh Mercy outtakes bootleg CD available.
I am temporarily in possession of both "Oh Mercy" outtakes CDs, "Deeds of Mercy" (Razors Edge label) and "Ring Them Bells" (Moonlight label) and so I've decided to compare them in detail.
Incidentally, my understanding is that the other two outtakes CDs are inferior and therefore not worth considering (plus I don't have them :-). Maybe someone could confirm this? I believe the titles are "Oh Mercy Outtakes" (Wanted Man label?) and "They Don't Deserve It" (?) but I'm probably very wrong.
"Deeds of Mercy" (Deeds) was released some time in 1994 and represented a significant improvement on the previously circulating copy of the "Oh Mercy" outtakes. The superseded tape ran too fast and appeared to have been very unsuccessfully 'improved' using a cheap graphic equalizer.
This year yet another bootleg disc appeared, "Ring Them Bells" (Bells). This in turn appears to be an improvement on all that has gone before, most notably Deeds. There is much reduced hiss, thereby making the listening experience more pleasurable.
However, both Deeds and Bells have different track listings which makes it difficult to say categorically, "if you have Deeds throw it away and buy the new one". This article attempts to compare and contrast the discs.
Where the identical recording appears on both discs, as asterisk will be used to denote the better quality copy.
The songs are presented in the same order as they appear on Oh Mercy, with the extra songs listed at the end.
The track numbering (eg. Political World #1) has been arbitrarily assigned by myself.
-- Deeds Bells Political World #1 8 Political World #2 7 9*All identical performances, identical mixes. Less hiss on Bells.
PW#1: faded out too early, omitting the last verse ("Everything's her's or his").
PW#2: Quality marginally better than PW#1, and the last verse is present. Bells has less hiss.
PW#1 must have been included in error because it is an inferior (incomplete) duplicate of PW#2 and therefore a complete waste of space, time, money, etc.
-- Deeds Bells Everything is Broken 6 7*Stereo channels are switched (reverb guitar is on the left channel on Deeds and on the right channel on Bells). Less hiss on Bells.
-- Deeds Bells Ring them Bells #1 12 1* Ring them Bells #2 14 Ring them Bells #3 16RtB#1: rough mix of released version, without the reverb electric guitar and no echo on the vocal. Contains a cut, omitting the lines:
For the chosen few Who would judge the many When the game is through Ring them bells For the time that flies For the child that cries When innocence diesThe cut is more of a very brief gap on Deeds, but Bells have closed the gap to make it a splice. The latter works better.
Deeds has much more hiss than Bells, and does something very naughty indeed: repeats a verse that was not repeated on the original recording. The last verse ("Ring them bells Saint Catherine...") is replayed on Deeds, spliced so that it's easy not to notice. Note this is not Dylan choosing to sing it again because the piano playing and the singing are identical. I guess this was done because the cut had made the song much shorter but in reality it is pretty pointless.
RtB#2: Same performance as RtB#1 (no reverb guitar) but the vocal has echo applied to it. Starts at the beginning of the song but is cut after the line, "Ring them bells so the world will know that God is one".
RtB#3: Identical to RtB#2 but cuts even earlier, on the line, "For it's rush hour now, on the wheel and the plow".
I see no reason why RtB#3 has been included, since it appears merely to be an incomplete copy of RtB#2.
-- Deeds Bells Most of the Time #1 5 6* Most of the Time #2 13 15*MotT#1: different vocal to the released version. Contains some alternate lyrics, for example, "Most of the time, I'm cool underneath/ Most of the time I can keep it between my teeth". Bells has much less hiss. Stereo channels are probably switched.
MotT#2: identical to the released version. Might be a rough mix, I can't tell. Bells has significantly less hiss than Deeds.
-- Deeds Bells Commentary What Good Am I? 4 5* Slightly less hiss on Bells.Right and left channels switched: on Deeds the acoustic guitar is on the left, on Bells it's on the right.
-- Deeds Bells Disease of Conceit 11 13*Appear to be identical performances. Deeds omits the count in ("two, three") and Bells has less hiss.
-- Deeds Bells What Was it You Wanted? 14This is a different performance to that on "Oh Mercy". Some telling lyric differences confirm this. For example:
Oh Mercy: Deeds of Mercy: You got my attention, I'm payin' attention Go ahead, speak. Go ahead, you can speak(If Bells had omitted the surplus duplicate "Political World #1" it would have had room for this extra take.)
-- Deeds Bells Commentary Shooting Star #1 1 2* Sings half of first line off mic Shooting Star #2 10 12* Forgets wordsSS#1: Bells has slightly less hiss. Deeds has an abbreviated beginning, missing the count in ("two, three, go") and therefore just clips the start of the song.
SS#2: Deeds omits the count in ("two, three"). Bells has less hiss. Stereo channels switched.
- Deeds Bells Commentary God Knows #1 2 3* God Knows #2 3 4* Echoey vocals, harmonica solo (Both contain different lyrics to the "Under The Red Sky" version.) - Deeds Bells Born in Time 8 10* Stereo channels switched, and less hiss on Bells. (Different lyrics to "Under The Red Sky" version) -- Deeds Bells Dignity 9 11*Bells is in significantly better quality than Deeds due to reduced hiss. (This vocal track later used for the officially released single, 1995).
-- Deeds Bells Commentary Series of Dreams #1 15 Series of Dreams #2 16 Series of Dreams #3 17 CD promo versionSoD#1: Split second sound drop out just before the fade out. Quite a bassy recording. Some lyric differences to the officially released version.
SoD#2: Vocals clearer than SoD#1. Bass is lower in the mix and overall sound is better. Lyric change: "In one numbers were burnin'".
SoD#3: CD promo version.
If one were to compile a 'best of' tape (or, indeed, a new bootleg disc) using Deeds and Bells as the only sources, avoiding duplication, the best track listing would be:
Deeds Bells 1. Political World 9 2. Everything is Broken 7 3. Ring them Bells #1 1 4. Ring them Bells #2 14 5. Most of the Time #1 6 6. Most of the Time #2 15 7. What Good Am I? 5 8. Disease of Conceit 13 9. What Was it You Wanted? 14 10. Shooting Star #1 2 11. Shooting Star #2 12 12. God Knows #1 3 13. God Knows #2 4 14. Born in Time 10 15. Dignity 11 16. Series of Dreams #1 15 17. Series of Dreams #2 16 18. Series of Dreams #3 17Bells has less hiss and is therefore in better quality. Note that the hiss has not been reduced artificially. The source tape for Bells appears to be closer to the master tape than Deeds. The stereo channels are switched, possibly for all songs, I don't know which channel set up 'correct'.
Clearly therefore, "Ring Them Bells" is the better disc.
Ben Taylor -- Leeds, England firstname.lastname@example.org
>Date: Sat, 28 Sep 1996 22:58:20 +0100 >From: Ben Taylor"Oh Mercy Outtakes" on label Wanted Man Music does not have the exact same track listing as "Ring Them Bells". "Oh Mercy Outtakes" has some harsh tracks and can be difficult to listen to depending on your equipment, which track, and individual tolerance. "Ring Them Bells" fortunately has much clearer sound and is significantly more enjoyable to listen to.
>Subject: Oh Mercy outtakes CDs comparison > >I am temporarily in possession of both "Oh Mercy" outtakes CDs, "Deeds >of Mercy" (Razors Edge label) and "Ring Them Bells" (Moonlight label) >and so I've decided to compare them in detail. > >Incidentally, my understanding is that the other two outtakes CDs are >inferior and therefore not worth considering (plus I don't have >them :-). Maybe someone could confirm this? I believe the titles are "Oh >Mercy Outtakes" (Wanted Man label?) and "They Don't Deserve It" (?) but >I'm probably very wrong.
EDLIS Boot Advisory Agent
Some extra notes based on Phill Townsend's review of "Ring Them Bells" in the current issue of Isis magazine:
> Deeds Bells > >Ring them Bells #1 12 1* >Ring them Bells #2 14 >Ring them Bells #3 16Phill reaches the same conclusion that these consist of "one complete recording and two incomplete recordings of the same take" but adds "the three tracks run at slightly different speeds".
He also makes a general comment that "...it seems a digital filter has been employed to remove extraneous analogue tape hiss". Not having access to the original circulating tapes it's difficult to verify this. What is clear, however, is that "Ring Them Bells" used better generational source than "Deeds of Mercy".
Thank you and goodnight.
>"Deeds of Mercy" (Deeds) was released some time in 1994 and represented >a significant improvement on the previously circulating copy of the "Oh >Mercy" outtakes. The superseded tape ran too fast and appeared to have >been very unsuccessfully 'improved' using a cheap graphic equalizer. > >This year yet another bootleg disc appeared, "Ring Them Bells" (Bells). >This in turn appears to be an improvement on all that has gone before, >most notably Deeds. There is much reduced hiss, thereby making the >listening experience more pleasurable.A matter of opinion. I had both, and gave them a careful listen -- Deeds of Mercy definitely came out on top for me. Ring Them Bells definitely sounds to have gone through the digital mill to take out the hiss and brighten the sound, but the true presence of the music has been forfeited to a degree. It's not at all bad, but I'd advise any analog fan to stick with Deeds. Phill Townsend was of the same opinion, as was my wife -- and she has an enviably good ear. Bob's voice in particular suffers on Bells, where the metallic edge -- slight as it may be -- makes listening to more than a few songs just a bit tiring.
As for the odd cut on the song Ring Them Bells, I think it's that the original circulating tape have two incomplete takes of Bells, both of which are assumed to be from the same performance. "Oh Mercy Outtakes" has them listed as Take One and Take Two, Deeds of Mercy runs the two together as they are on the tape, and Bells edits it neatly to make one complete song. Only the Wanted Man disc seems wanting in this regard.