[Jandek] Re: Blue Corpse Edits

Jim Reed jim.r at connectsavannah.com
Sun Apr 10 14:49:56 PDT 2005

I have no direct knowledge of this, only what I have read here. However,
things of this sort are actually much more common than one might think in
the world of re-pressings and reissues.

I would wager that it is only because of the extreme fetishism which
surrounds Jandek's back catalog that such slight nuances, changes and minute
differences in running times are even being noticed - let alone causing such
a fuss.

Has it ever occurred to anyone that perhaps the reason for these slight
edits and the remastering job itself is one of necessity? By that I mean
that the original 2-track mixdown masters were most certainly analog, and
may have been stored improperly or damaged in some way. If that's the case,
the edits may have been dictated by glitches or dropouts on the tape which
Jandek (or some intrepid engineer at his behest) deemed worthy of
elimination or attempted masking.

If the masters themselves have gone missing or been in some way destroyed or
compromised - which can happen even to major label releases of mainstream
importance, let alone cheap, homemade tapes of dubious quality - then it
would definitely be proper to make minor adjustments or remixes rather than
let the title go out of print forever.

New folks are discovering Jandek all the time. Some because it is a very
minor fad, and others who are legitimately into what he's up to regardless
of some (supposed) hipster caché. Sure, that's going to rankle those of us
who've supported and encouraged the man for some time, but "them's the
breaks," as they say.

The truth is that "we" don't own him, he owes us nothing, and if he becomes
the flavor of the month for a brief period, the very nature of his art
virtually guarantees that this brush with near-fame won't last. If anything,
there'll be a backlash of some sort within the outsider, record-collector
geek intelligentsia, and - in the long run - his work may end up becoming
even more ostracized than it already is.

As far as the Zappa reference goes, you may be privy to information I mam
not, but it was always my understanding that due to improper vault
conditions, the original Mothers masters had deteriorated to the point where
the oxide was actually flaking off the tapes and rendering some of the
rhythm tracks completely useless. I was led to believe that Zappa re-tracked
those parts as closely to the originals as possible, to basically salvage
the entire records, rather than let crappy-quality multiple-generation
submasters of the original versions be the final versions for posterity.

I heard he was furious and depressed about having to do this, but saw no
other viable way of  preserving the overall quality of the (entire)

Just my thoughts.

- Jim

on 4/10/05 5:19 PM, jandek-request at mylist.net at jandek-request at mylist.net

From: Steve Bouton <sleeve at efn.org>
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 22:32:49 -0700
To: jandek at mylist.net
Subject: [Jandek] Blue Corpse edits

For some reason, this really, really bothers me.  I don't trust artists
who think they can second-guess themselves later in their careers and
try to rewrite their history.  This is very different than including or
cutting studio chatter.  It reminds me more of the butcher job Frank
Zappa did on the early Mothers albums when they came out on CD.  I have
a lot of trouble thinking of the new version of "Only Lover" as
"authentic" in any way.  Jeez, it was almost 20 years ago.  Leave the
damn song alone, man.  I know it's his trip and he can do what he
wants, but again, I think this is a troubling development.


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