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Rory's Live Albums, Real Or Memorex?

PostPosted: 17 Aug 2014, 16:52
by capo
Yeah, kinda of a smart ass thread title, playing on the old Memorex adds we grew up with. The question I am raising, in light of the soon to be released Irish Tour 40th cd, is what amount, if any, of Rory's official live releases, have been 'fixed' or 'doctored' to fix mistakes, miss notes, out of tune instruments, ect. which occur naturaly in a high energy show like Rory performed. My opinion is little if any has been done, and I'm speaking of "Live In Europe", "Irish Tour". and "Stage Struck". Rory was only human, yet, after having listened to hundreds of Rory's boots, its downright astonishing how, night after night, he was nearly flawless in his exections of solos, never the same notes, always challenging himself. Most Live albums are famously not so live. History is replete with stories, confirmed by the artists themselves, that parts or whole songs were re-recorded in the studio. For instance, KISS Alive, the album that broke them and even detractors consider one of the greatest live albums, was all but rerecorded in the studio, except for the drums, with great producer Eddie Kramer behind the board. Even the crowd noise was 'sweetened'. Most live albums are not so "live', but I think Rory is the exception. I think what was put on tape those nights, is what we hear on the albums. Its not a integrity issue, its the norm in the industry to fix up live albums, but I don't think Rory had to resort to any major reworking on his live albums. Do others have a opinion on this?

Re: Rory's Live Albums, Real Or Memorex?

PostPosted: 17 Aug 2014, 18:12
by RobertaSparrow
You can pretty much tell by the amount of bootleg material out there, and of course those of us who saw him live from the audience. Everyone has an off night now and then, but listen to the bootlegs, even of some of his warm up stuff, Rory was always at his best live. I think with Rory, even in the studio, he knew his spontaneity was his strong point. Of course, many of the bootlegs are of marginal quality as far as the recordings themselves- after all, those were illegally recorded and retained. But, were it not for that unofficial catalog of unauthorized recordings we would have even less to remember our hero by, and that would be a shame.

I am convinced that, unlike most performers who go through the motions night after night, Rory always gave it all he had once he hit the stage, and each performance was like a snowflake, no two are alike, and no doubt some absolutely extraordinary moments were lost forever because no one had a recorder running.

Far as Rory's official live recordings, Daniel could probably address the technical side, but I'd be willing to bet, aside from some acoustic cleaning, tweaking and removing of troublesome artifacts attributable to the medium itself, what you hear is what Rory played. IMHO. :mrgreen:

Re: Rory's Live Albums, Real Or Memorex?

PostPosted: 18 Aug 2014, 21:28
by maybeiwill
Frankly, IMO it would actually be a crime to try to "fix" Rory's live performance recordings! Even in his studio albums, he wanted to retain that spontaneous, real, in-the-moment sound that only a live performance can give. Real or Memorex - I'll take the "real" every time! :D

Re: Rory's Live Albums, Real Or Memorex?

PostPosted: 19 Aug 2014, 12:06
by RobertaSparrow
maybeiwill wrote:Frankly, IMO it would actually be a crime to try to "fix" Rory's live performance recordings! Even in his studio albums, he wanted to retain that spontaneous, real, in-the-moment sound that only a live performance can give. Real or Memorex - I'll take the "real" every time! :D


I agree- it would be immoral, near sacrilege to tamper with Rory's actual work, although I think Rory's estate would do well to take some of those bootlegs and clean up the poor quality artifacts due to the cheap and shoddy mediums used, and restore them as near as possible to what the audience would actually hear, and market and sell them.

Re: Rory's Live Albums, Real Or Memorex?

PostPosted: 19 Aug 2014, 14:54
by maybeiwill
I totally agree that the bootlegs could use a "re-boot," so to speak. That would be worth the time and energy - to be able to hear them clean and clear would be this Rory fan's great pleasure!

Re: Rory's Live Albums, Real Or Memorex?

PostPosted: 19 Aug 2014, 17:49
by Tokeiihto
maybeiwill wrote:I totally agree that the bootlegs could use a "re-boot," so to speak. That would be worth the time and energy - to be able to hear them clean and clear would be this Rory fan's great pleasure!


Especially since some bootlegs feature arguably even better performances than the officially released live recordings. And yes, no studio tinkering - cut and paste of different versions, overdubs, etc. - please. I prefer my live albums unaltered, warts and all.

Re: Rory's Live Albums, Real Or Memorex?

PostPosted: 19 Aug 2014, 20:18
by no_noise_reduction
does anybody here know AC/DC's 'If You Want Blood' live album? According to official label promotion it was recorded in different European places when it was actually recorded entirely at the Glasgow Apollo in 1978. No overdubs and messing around as far as I am aware and one of my favourite live albums of all time.

Re: Rory's Live Albums, Real Or Memorex?

PostPosted: 21 Aug 2014, 09:44
by Tom Jonas
Rory was unique because his live perfomances were so much better than the polished versions made in recording studios. And his style was enigmatically unique. In some way it sounds like two guitars, one playing the chords and, at the same time, one neck-breaking solos and riffs. None of the other giants, like Hendrix, Clapton, Peter Green played in this way, they were dedicated soloists. I have no idea how Rory achieved this technically.
Were the chords in some way added or amplified afterwards? I doubt it.

Re: Rory's Live Albums, Real Or Memorex?

PostPosted: 21 Aug 2014, 11:22
by RobertaSparrow
Tom Jonas wrote:Rory was unique because his live perfomances were so much better than the polished versions made in recording studios. And his style was enigmatically unique. In some way it sounds like two guitars, one playing the chords and, at the same time, one neck-breaking solos and riffs. None of the other giants, like Hendrix, Clapton, Peter Green played in this way, they were dedicated soloists. I have no idea how Rory achieved this technically.
Were the chords in some way added or amplified afterwards? I doubt it.


I agree, except for Hendrix- I think Rory and Hendrix could stand toe-to-toe in that respect, in the way he could make one guitarists and one strat sound like two top-notch guitarists sharing the same performance. Two amazing musicians from the same generation, both gone too soon.