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 Post subject: Roxy vs. YCDTOSA vol 2.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:47 pm 
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Why do people always compare these two albums? Out of Stage vol 2.'s 20 tracks, only five are also on Roxy and Elsewhere...<br><br>Just wonderin'

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 6:36 pm 
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They are both culled from one set of shows by the same core band a year apart, Roxy is earlier, the songs aren't as tight yet, and there is a horn section and second drummer added.    Helsinki is a year later, the songs are faster, tighter, and the horn section is gone.  But it is the same core band, so they are a good way to contrast.  For me Helsinki wins hands down, no contest.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:31 pm 
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I agree, Roxy is a great album and I still really love it, but between the two, I have to pick Helsinki as well.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:40 pm 
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Here's the crux of the biscuit for me.   First off, it's unfair, because roxy is only one cd, and helsinki is two.... so it's unbalanced, but there is precedence for this, as Burnt Weenie and Uncle meat are often compared (and I do feel a strong link between the two)  and in that case, Burnt Weenie wins for me.   <br>The helsinki - roxy debate, is more one sided though, due to the fact that my favorite material is mostly on helsinki.  Inca, RDNZL, Duprees. These are three monster tracks, perfected by that band.   And of the repeat tracks, helsinki wins in most areas, (Pygmy is a tie for me, as the jam is great, but Napolean's little song, followed by Dummy up, is excellent listen after listen!)   Dont you ever wash Echidnas' are kind of a toss up, but the Cheepnis on Helsinki just RULES.   No contest, even without the hilarious stuff on the Roxy edition, the vibe is just THERE!   add the georgeous Tush tush tush opening, and it's hands down.  (plus, that Inca is my favorite track of music by anyone ever, so it's a little one sided.)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:01 am 
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I slightly prefer Roxy's more polished sound (probably due to the studio overdubs), but Helsinki's great as well and the band is unbelievably tight. The only thing.. I don't like the Helsinki version of Village of the Sun all that much, with all the tempo changes.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:56 am 
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I love Napoleons Little Sax solo on Village of the Sun from Vol2  :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:31 pm 
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[quote author=Studebaker link=board=albums;num=1140565653;start=0#0 date=02/21/06 at 17:47:33]Why do people always compare these two albums?<br>[/quote]<br><br>Zappa himself states in the liner notes to Helsinki that this was essentially the Roxy band, except tauter and more cohesive. Same line up on both albums, same tour (virtually), same sound, some of the same material. <br><br>I prefer Roxy. Not to discount the greatness of Stage 2, but that lick of gloss, and the taut yet loose feel of the band make it unbeatable.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:02 pm 
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I think they're really two pretty different bands, even though they have a lot of the same members, because of the differences in drummers.  The more shows from the '73-'74 era I hear, the more apparent the changeover between the groups in that era becomes.  For me, the bands with Ralph Humphrey playing drums were much more jazz and fusion influenced: Frank gave a lot of room to George Duke, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Bruce Fowler for solos, and almost every show included improvising space for most of the band members.  The band with Chester Thompson in late 1974 and early 1975, in contrast, seems to have a heavier emphasis on funk and art-rock (which makes sense, given that Chester would go on to be in Weather Report, probably the fusion group with the heaviest emphasis on groove, and then Genesis).  <br>The Roxy band, then, is really the ultimate bridge between the two eras: all the jazz and fusion flair of the '73 band, all the heavy funk and art-rock talent of the '74 band.  Because of that, I think Roxy & Elsewhere is better overall than The Helsinki Concert.  The only way it could be better would be if Jean-Luc Ponty was still in the band!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:48 pm 
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The difference between the two for me would be the degree of warmth I get from Roxy and more of a chill from Helsinki.   Hmm... that's kinda confusing I guess.<br><br>Roxy has more heart.<br>Helsinki is pure technical mastery.<br><br>Roxy has a nice atmosphere that Helsinki misses.<br><br>Helsinki is a band at it's peak and although I love it ... it's missing that playfulness (even though there's some in the Helsinki show... not much compared to Roxy).<br><br>I have different copies of Roxy that seem to have different mixes too... anyone notice this.  Maybe the vinyl and cd are different in the mastering mixes.<br><br>I just love the horns on Roxy too... makes the compostions bloom into a flower!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:49 pm 
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[quote author=knepo link=board=albums;num=1140565653;start=0#6 date=02/22/06 at 13:56:47]I love Napoleons Little Sax solo on Village of the Sun from Vol2  :)[/quote]<br><br>The "fast" version of Village has always driven me crazy I can't stand it. I never understood why FZ changed it for 1974. But at least he brought back the groovy, soulful version in 1978. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:08 pm 
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I agree. The Roxy version is a gorgeously straightforward pop melody, and Napoleon's vocals are lush. The sped up Helsinki rendition has absolutely no weight to it whatsoever.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:15 pm 
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TIE

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:28 pm 
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I think the wackerman helsinki myth has been pretty reliably debugged.   <br>I do prefer the village on Roxy, but helsinki still wins.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:57 am 
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The bass drum does sound really out of place, though.. I think the original kick was poorly recorded and they triggered some kick drum sample using the original signal.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:51 pm 
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I read an interview where one of the engineers who worked on Helsinki said that was a rumour, but I don't remember who it was, so don't take my word.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:30 pm 
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My answer to this involves emphasising FOWL's post much earlier in the thread that this is an unbalanced comparison. If you compare R&E and OSFA as a pair with YCDTOSA vol 2 then R&E and OSFA win hands down for me. YCDTOSA vol 2 is like a really good quality bootleg for me rather than one of his main albums. It's a special project. R&E on it's own wins for me. If I was asked the unthinkable question that I had to give one up, either R&E or YCDTOSA vol 2, I would have to keep R&E.<br><br>I like YCDTOSA vol 2 as a pure concert album, but I don't like the fast versions of Village Of The Sun, Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?, Cheepnis and T'Mershi Duween. That's what I really like about the '88 live versions, that they don't mess with the speed.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:19 pm 
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RE and OSFA VS. Helsinki, now there's a good comparison!   Helsinki still wins for me, but it's close!  

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:07 pm 
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I've read all that "yes the kick drum is triggered/no it isn't/who shot J.R.?" stuff, and it certainly is confusing, but to my ears, there's no way that the drum sound isn't triggered.

--It sounds nothing like the kick drum Chester played on any other album (and the kit he played around this time has a very distinctive sort of sound--high snare with some tape or muffling, deep toms, and a pretty full kick, unlike the more "clack"-ish one on Helsinki).

--The kick drum on Helsinki sounds pretty much exactly like Chad Wackerman's kick drum on Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch and Them or Us.

--If you listen to the excerpted/edited guitar solo from Helsinki in the OSFA version of "Inca Roads," the drums sound more or less the same as they do on Helsinki, EXCEPT for the kick drum, which sounds more like Chester's normally does.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:09 pm 
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the roxy version of "village of the sun" crushes the helsinki version, but that aside helsinki is better

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 2:47 pm 
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ROXY just crushes all the way through!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 6:27 pm 
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Gotta say I prefer the epic Pygmy Twylte on YCDTOSAVOL.2, as opposed to the not-long-enough version on Roxy. With that being said, I think Roxy is little better because it was meticulously crafted. But on the other hand, there's some great visceral playing on Helsinki. It's weakness is the others strength, on both albums. Roxy has a nice flow to it, that's how it was designed. Helsinki is more of a historical,audio snapshot.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 6:34 pm 
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historical snapshot? OK that sounds like a good analogy to me.

I like Roxy more because it was the first album I listended to and thought hey there are real notes involved and not just humor.

Then One Size Fits All comes out and blows me away!

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