Posts Tagged ‘savoy’

New Savoy reissues: solid remastering, but shorter than the original albums

Mountains of Time inner cover with new liner notes by Kieron Tyler, record sleeve with lyrics, and CD.

The new and remastered version of Savoy’s Mountains of Time (1999) was released by Apollon Records last month, and those who pre-ordered the vinyl and CD versions from the Savoy Bandcamp page are finally starting to receive their items.

I have only had a chance to listen to the new CD version so far, but from the first moments of the opening track “Man in the Park”, the increased clarity and detail resulting from Joe Lambert’s new remastering work is striking. There’s an added punch to the drums and the layered guitars sound razor sharp. To my ears, it sounds really good throughout the album.

But those familiar with the original album will also notice that many of the songs are noticeably shorter on this reissue. That was also the case with the Lackluster Me reissue last year, which was 2 minutes 13 seconds shorter than the original 1997 release – but it’s even more obvious on Mountains of Time, which has been shortened by 3 minutes 12 seconds in total, compared to the 1999 release.

While most of the edited songs simply fade out earlier, some of them, like “Any Other Way” and “Grind You Down” have parts missing in the middle of the songs.

According to Apollon Records, editing some of the songs for the new vinyl editions is Paul’s own choice, as it was necessary in order to fit the albums on one vinyl record in best possible sound quality. The original albums were never recorded with the vinyl format in mind.

But that’s not really the issue; regardless of the need to shorten the albums for vinyl, the original full-length versions could easily have been used on the new CDs and digital versions. That has not been done. Additionally, Apollon Records has also chosen not to mention the new song edits anywhere.

They are still fantastic albums, in beautifully presented gatefold covers with new and informative liner notes. But it’s confusing when certain parts of the songs you’re so used to hearing suddenly are missing.

According to some fans, there is also an error on the actual Mountains of Time vinyl record, in the form of a “clicking” noise at the end of some songs that sounds like someone changing tracks. This is not present on the CD version.

For more detailed info about which songs have been edited, check out these comparisons between the original CDs and the reissue CDs:
Lackluster Me (1997 vs 2016)
Mountains of Time (1999 vs 2017)

Pre-order ‘Lackluster Me’ reissue

“An astonishing masterpiece: dangerously catchy and unpredictably intellectual in its gloomy, monumental beauty” (Stavanger Aftenblad, October 1997)

The title font and band logo on the reissue cover differs slightly from the original cover.

The title font and band logo on the reissue cover differs slightly from the original cover.

Savoy’s second studio album Lackluster Me is regarded by many as the band’s finest album to date, and was hailed by critics when it was released in 1997.

The new reissue of the long out-of-print album will be released by Apollon Records in a few weeks time, and is now available for pre-order from:

savoyaha.bandcamp.com
karismarecords.bigcartel.com (Vinyl/T-shirt bundle)
karismarecords.bigcartel.com (CD/T-shirt bundle)

This is the first time the album is released on vinyl, as a limited edition of 1000 copies.
The CD reissue (jewelcase) will also be 1000 copies only.

The vinyl will apparently also include the CD, but it’s unclear if this is the same regular CD in jewelcase or without a cover.

It seems there won’t be any bonus tracks or other added material, but a Lackluster Me T-shirt (edition of 100) can also be purchased, either alone or as a bundle with the vinyl or CD.

Apollon Records plans to reissue all the Savoy studio albums, but Lackluster Me is released first, as Warner Brothers has been slow to greenlight the reissue of Mary Is Coming (1996).

Paul interviewed on BBC Radio

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Paul was a guest on Richard Green’s retro show on BBC Radio Devon last Saturday, 15 October, in connection with his Waaktaar & Zoe project.

The full interview can be heard on bbc.co.uk (starts at 23:30 minutes).

Below are a few quotes from the conversation:

On Waaktaar & Zoe:
“This project has been going for maybe 3-4 years. […] It sort of started with a few songs, and from the very first session I really just loved her voice and that super rich mid-range. She was also very good at just zoning into the mood of the song, which I’m super sensitive to. I could see for every take we did, she would get closer and closer to where she needed to be. For me that was such a kick as a songwriter, because a lot of the times you have to make that up in the arrangement.”

On plans for Waaktaar & Zoe in 2017:
“[The album] is ready to go, so now we’re just trying to figure out how to present it. We’re gonna be concentrating a lot on videos and stuff, and I would love to do festivals next summer. Zoe can really deliver on a stage and I would love to do a bunch of shows.”

On plans for Savoy:
“We’re gonna be reissuing all the old stuff over the next few months, and then I’ll actually finish the mix on the new [Savoy] album this week, with Steve Osborne. So I’m super excited about that too. So that will be coming out, maybe summertime next year.”

On a-ha’s future:
“With a-ha, it’s the three of us always going in three different directions. I would love to make a new album, so I’m pushing for that. But, you know, there’s other plans, there’s maybe an unplugged album in the making…we don’t know. We haven’t said goodbye, so I know there’s gonna be more. So we’ll just have to see where it ends up.”

Apollon Records to reissue Savoy albums

Savoy

Savoy

Savoy have signed a contract with Bergen-based Apollon Records to reissue all their five studio albums on CD, vinyl and digitally; Mary is Coming (1996), Lackluster Me (1997), Mountains of Time (1999), Reasons to Stay Indoors (2001) and Savoy (2004).

“We have signed a contract with Apollon to reissue all the first five Savoy albums. This will be the first time they are released on vinyl and on digital platforms”, Paul told Bergensavisen earlier this week.

No release date has been set so far, but it appears Lackluster Me will be released first, as Warner in the US has yet to greenlight the reissue of Mary is Coming.

“Apollon has shown great enthusiasm for Savoy for a long time and that means a lot to us. It means everything, really”, Paul says on the decision to sign with Apollon Records.

The deal with Apollon does not include the new Savoy album, which will hopefully be released sometime later this year.

“The new Savoy album will be mixed now before the summer and has not been signed to any label yet”, Paul says.

Paul is also preparing to release the album he’s recorded with Zoe Gnecco. A music video of a song from the album will premiere at the a-ha fan convention in Oslo later this month. More info on a-ha.com.

Savoy recording new album in New York

Savoy

Savoy

Frode Unneland has been in New York this week, to work on the next Savoy album together with Paul and Lauren.

Paul posted a few pictures on Facebook and Instagram today, confirming that the band is currently recording at a studio in Rhinecliff, New York.

They were originally planning to finalize the Savoy album in the summer of 2014, but that was apparently postponed until now.

In an interview with the newspaper Åsane Tidende last week, Frode said they are planning to release both a new album and to reissue the old Savoy albums on vinyl.

Frode is also drumming for another band at the moment, Evig Din For Alltid, which released their third album last month, entitled Tilbake Til Byen. It includes two songs written by him. He says the two bands are quite different entities:

“It’s really fun and exciting to be a part of Savoy, but it’s a totally different world compared to Evig Din For Alltid, which is more like a bunch of buddies hanging out. But it’s really exciting to be working together with Paul; we’re having a great time together”, Frode says in the interview.

Savoy’s last studio album was released in 2004, while a double “best of” album of old songs, re-recorded versions and some new songs followed in 2007. The band last performed together in 2008.

Update on new Savoy album

New album from Frode, Lauren and Paul

New album from Frode, Lauren and Paul

Savoy-drummer Frode Unneland was interviewed by Åsane Tidende this week, in connection with his other band Evig Din For Alltid which will be releasing its second album Åtte Minutter Fra Solen on September 5th.

Back in April, Paul told a-ha.com that a new Savoy album – the first since 2007’s Savoy Songbook Vol. 1 – would be finalized with Frode this summer. The Åsane Tidende interview now states that Frode will be going to New York next month to work on the Savoy album with Paul and Lauren. But when it will be released remains to be seen.

As for Paul, he’s been working on something in his home studio in Oslo this summer, with Karl Oluf Wennerberg on the drums. Karl Oluf posted a picture from the sessions on Instagram last month.

Links:
Evig Din For Alltid on Soundcloud and Facebook

Paul on Facebook and Instagram

Paul: New Savoy album in the works

Frode, Lauren and Paul in 2007.

Frode, Lauren and Paul in 2007.

The second part of the Q&A with Paul is now up on a-ha.com.

Not only is he working on the first Waaktaar album, there is also a new Savoy album to look forward to, Paul says:

“There is indeed a Savoy album in the works. We have lots of new songs recorded and we will finalize the album with our drummer, Frode, this summer. I also would like to release the whole Savoy catalogue on iTunes and Spotify as well as vinyl. So far, they’ve only been released on CD.”

He says his main focus will always be on releasing full albums:

“The album concept seems to be a bit washed out these days, but that’s what I grew up with so I’ll always have that as the main focus. However, it is fun to release a track like “Manmade Lake” and get an immediate reaction. I definitely want to do more of that.”

He also repeats what he’s said in the past, about how the idea to end a-ha felt like a business decision:

“The idea to end the band was forced. Not natural. It felt like a business decision to me. Just someone’s bright idea.
We can still play, still sing, we still have tons of songs to record.
And we still have a huge loving audience!
…crazy.”

Read all of his answers, including info about the cover image of “Manmade Lake”, what he’s been listening to lately and his thoughts on songwriting, over on a-ha.com.

For more updates from Paul, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud.

An update on Paul

Picture by Jakob

During Saturday’s Q & A session, a fan wanted to know what Paul is up to these days.

Catherine from a-ha.com said:

“I actually have some information from Paul. He is really excited to be getting prepared to release some music very soon. He asked me to pass along his thanks to all of you for your interest in his projects. And I told him that we get a lot of questions on the website about what Paul is doing, and he was excited and glad to hear that. Very soon you’ll hear more, and he’s looking forward to connecting with you more online.”

Harald Wiik added:

“He is doing really well, and he’s written a lot of new music. I think he’s got probably a couple of albums worth of songs. Of which I’ve heard around 7 or 8, but they’re really, really good, so I hope you get to hear them soon.”

Another fan followed up on this, asking if this new material is in connection with Weathervane or Savoy.

“The plans are not that concrete, so I can’t really speak on behalf of Paul. But I don’t think it’s Weathervane. It may be Savoy. It may also be…there’s a female singer that has recorded a lot of Paul’s songs, that may be released. And maybe he’ll write a song for Morten, who knows…”, Wiik said.

Paul turns 50

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy – the incredible songwriter and guitarist in a-ha, Savoy and now Weathervane, the live performer, vocalist, instrument collector, producer and visual artist – can celebrate his 50th birthday today, September 6th.

Happy Birthday, Paul!

(You can post your own birthday greetings to Paul on a-ha.com and on a-ha.com’s Facebook page)

More Weathervane promotion

On stage at the Amanda Awards

The Weathervane promotion in Norway continues. Today Paul and Jimmy appeared on P4’s morning radio show, where they performed another acoustic version of “Weathervane”.

A shortened MP3 podcast of the show can be downloaded here. The interview starts at 11:45 minutes.

 

In an interview with newspaper Bergensavisen Paul says that Frode Unneland, who played drums at the Amanda Awards on Saturday, could be joining Weathervane on a more permanent basis:

“Yes, that’s absolutely an option. He’s part of the family, after all. Frode is a fantastic guy, both as a musician and as a person.”

Frode himself wouldn’t mind doing more work with Weathervane:

“That would of course be interesting – it’s always fun to work with Paul”, he tells the newspaper.

He’s also looking forward to more Savoy:

“There will definitely be another Savoy-album, we just need to find time to do it”, Frode says.

Paul tells Bergensavisen that his unused a-ha songs could turn into Weathervane songs instead:

“I always have a bunch of material lying around and I may end up using the songs intended for a-ha in Weathervane. We have already tested out some stuff in the studio.”

He also hopes to do something with Weathervane in the US:

“That would have been really interesting. All of Jimmy’s contracts have been signed in the US and he has his whole network of contacts over there. For him it’s actually very exotic to be here in Norway.”

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