Camp Motorpsycho » General

What song is better on record than live?

(34 posts)
  • Started 6 months ago by pfnuesel
  • Latest reply from Punj Lizard

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  1. pfnuesel
    Member

    I guess we all agree that Motorpsycho is a live band and that many of their songs only unfold their complete beauty in a live setting. I wonder, though, if there are any songs that you prefer on record. I'm not talking about a particular live show, where the sound was bad or the jamming in a given song was relatively uninspired, but want to hear from songs that in all the different versions that have been played over the years, just never reached the grandness of the studio version. Are there any songs like this? (I actually do have one particular song in mind, but I want to hear your opinions first.)

    Posted 6 months ago #
  2. TraktorBass
    Member

    Gullible's Travails never quite hit the spot live if you ask me. Lack of instrumentation is probably why.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  3. The Wheel, although I love it every time they play it. And The Golden Core. Have they ever nailed the vocals live?

    Posted 6 months ago #
  4. JERO
    Member

    For me, that must be Manmower. It was the very first impression I ever got way back on late night MTV, with that strange animation videoclip, and I was mesmerized and immediately moved by the emotional musical content of it. That melody on the mellotron!..what is this band, how come I did not notice until then...next day, to the record store, bought Timothy's Monster, and there started my journey through MPworld! The studio version has kept for me that strange melancholic intimacy, and still after all these years the mellotron at the end can bring tears to my eyes. It will forever stay impossibly beautiful, play this at my funeral, etc. Live renditions though, to me just bring it down to "another song", with sometimes a jam expansion that ruins it's compactness, it's like this little pearl of a world of it's own becomes something ordinary, even if ordinary at a MPgig is still great. Same with the other Holy song in my MPbook: Sungravy. Don't know if it even has been performed live ever? Guys covering it on the net...just don't do it, don't touch it! These two recordings are so perfect, nothing can improve on them.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  5. supernaut
    Member

    Bartok, something always feels kind of odd during the verses. It doesn't thrive as much as on record. I think it's because of the tempo and the half-time groove. It feels like the handbrake is stuck.

    Manmower and AIL, there I prefer the unextended album versions. The whimsicalness of the first and the atmosphere of the latter work better on the album for me.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  6. pfnuesel
    Member

    If I remember correctly, Sungravy was played in Fribourg in the year... 2009, maybe? It was a completely different version, though, and it took me almost the whole song to figure out what song that actually is. I remember, back then when I heard that song, I immediately knew that they are still the best live band on this earth. After years of doubt, where I tried convincing myself that Motorpsycho without Geb is just not Motorpsycho anymore.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  7. BronYAur
    Member

    I agree on Golden Core, not exactly a live masterpiece.
    I'd dare to say UN CHIEN D'ESPACE, but everybody would insult me! The live K9 suite is great, but my love for the band was born when I first noticed the instrumental part from the AADAP album, those suspended drums, that saw-synth, that crescendo... so I love it enough to surclass the monstrouns live version!

    The whole Death Defying Unicorn... I find it very confused in the live versions, ANY live verson... but maybe I only listened to bad versions!

    Posted 6 months ago #
  8. Devotional
    Member

    Woah... It goes to show how different we perceive things. I think The Golden Core and Un Chien are both total bliss live. And the Øya-Wheel (2010 - not the horrible 2006) ate the album version for breakfast imho. And how about those long, beautiful '95-versions? Or the Super/Wheels of 98/99?

    Gullible's Travails, on the other hand, came to mind for me too as not translating too well in concert. Of the more "songy"-tracks, Little Ricky Massenburg was maybe not a great song to begin with, but it was even worse live, as was When You're Dead. I'm not a fan of that era in general, but I'd be interested to hear from fans of LTEC/Phanerothyme/IALC how you felt those tracks worked live in comparison to the studio versions, because of the stricter arrangements. They stretched out on tracks such as Go To Cal and Whip That Ghost, but maybe some of you prefer that strictness, whereas I just felt that the whole MP-machinery was held/forced back.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  9. Juergen
    Member

    7th Dream is a masterpiece on the "Manmower" EP but the only live version which was recorded (Bergen September 1994) led to nowhere. Nothing of the mood of the studio version was captured live.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  10. pfnuesel
    Member

    I think Little Ricky Massenburg is a masterpiece, both live and on record. As far as I remember they didn't differ that much, or did they? What if? on the other hand... never understood why this one made the cut for the record.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  11. Be
    Member

    Last years Golden Core in Bremen was about perfect!

    Posted 6 months ago #
  12. Devotional
    Member

    Masterpiece? Well, there you go. It's amazing how this band manages to tie in all sorts of preferences. It reminds me of an interview I read with Daniel Miller of Mute Records, where he said something along the lines of "I'm probably the only person in the world who likes every single record on the label."

    Whenever I badmouth the 2000-2002 era I'm quick to add that I have a lot of respect for what they did, which was being progressive, challenging themselves, and pushing themselves to the very limits of their capabilities as players, arrangers and singers - without the net of fuzz and feedback. It was a brave move.

    "What If..." wasn't played a lot, iirc. But the studio version shouldn't be too hard to top.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  13. Ivan
    Member

    i definitely would say Sungravy, Manmower and maybe Fools Gold. these songs are pure gold and they and their mood can´t be reproduced on stage.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  14. otherdemon
    Member

    @Juergen: Then you should check out the live version of 7th Dream from Krach am Bach 2013.
    Because that version is beautiful, IMO.

    Bartok and Ocean In Her Eye comes to mind for me. I love both on their respective records, but I feel they've never been able to make satisfactory live-arrangements and do anything exciting with 'em live.

    And also What if... and Mirror & The Lie. Both were superboring on IALC, and they managed to be equally boring live (even though What if... was drastically re-arranged). Thank god these have been skipped since the autumn 2002 tour.

    And I must respectfully disagree on any negative opinions regarding Chien, Manmower, The Wheel and TGC

    Posted 6 months ago #
  15. Flippern
    Member

    I find The Cuckoo to be really off when played live, simply because Bent is singing on the record, but Snah is singing live. The three past times Ive seen them in concert they have played that song, and Snahs singing is just not good enough for this song, I think. Especially in that crazy middle part I cant help but laugh a bit, haha. Reference (1:38:10): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa9wf9TFgn8&t=5895s
    Anyone agree?

    Posted 6 months ago #
  16. Devotional
    Member

    @otherdemon: Ha, I felt like I was the only person who loved "The Mirror And The Lie" when it came out. It was slaughtered here, iirc (called "pretentious" and whatnot), and nobody seemed to think it was anything above okay. To me, it was and still is an absolutely beautiful track - lyrically and musically. Best track on IALC, and the absolute antithesis to throwaway stuff such as "Neverland" and the aforementioned "What If...".

    I enjoyed it live too, but felt it was a missed opportunity not to elaborate on the final part. I felt - and feel the same about the glorious mid-part in "Big Black Dog" too. I wish they could eventually glue themselves to it Golden Core-style, but instead the drums in particular just hover around it, creating wonderful tension, but no release. That is the point obviously. But frustrating nonetheless. In the case of TMATL, the thought of that final part with steady drums + heavy tractor-bass, and Baard taking care of the subtleties... The mind boggles.

    PS: Glad to have you onboard for Chien, The Wheel and TGC.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  17. otherdemon
    Member

    The thing is, I understand what they tried to do with Mirror & The Lie. I just don't think they were anywhere close to pulling it off. In that respect, I like 30/30 from LTEC better (plus that one was killer live w/ Storløkken in those church concerts of 2011)

    For me that track, What if... + Composite Head are 3 of the worst MP tracks ever. And they're all located on the 2nd half of IALC. A shame, because the 1st half is pretty good. And I like Neverland, even if they played it to death and was fairly boring live

    Posted 6 months ago #
  18. Hans Boller
    Member

    Dear Friends,

    The Mirror and the Lie is an amzing piece of music. 99,9% of all "Alternative Rock" artists wish they could write a track like that. I'm glad you all agree!

    Regards,

    Hans

    Posted 6 months ago #
  19. Paolize
    Member

    Totally agree with you, Hans Boller. The Mirror and the Lie is amazing

    Posted 6 months ago #
  20. supernaut
    Member

    AIL he said, then he watched Glocksee 1996 and stood baffled.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  21. marc
    Member

    I was so lucky to see The Wheel twice. First time, at Oya 2006. As Devotional mentioned, it was rather disappointing. Mainly, due to the fact that the sound was pretty weak... as was Jaco's drumming (Solid, but lacking that necessary dynamics/punch). Plus it was bright daylight, people were cheering and for whatever other reason, it simply didn't work - at least how I imagined the song to be live. However, I got over it and this year's Dresden show 100% made up for it. Although I found the show a bit difficult, they absolutely nailed that song!!! What a brutal, beautiful beast.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  22. Punj Lizard
    Member

    @ marc - did you get my email re: Dresden?

    Posted 6 months ago #
  23. Blashyrkh
    Member

    I think the whole The Death Defying Unicorn is better on album than it was live.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  24. marc
    Member

    @Punj Yes, thanks a bunch!

    Posted 6 months ago #
  25. Punj Lizard
    Member

    @ marc - Yr welcome.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  26. Great King Rat
    Member

    For me, it's Wearing yr smell. I only heard it live once, last year, when they played that mellow version. That didn't do it for me at all. The original is such a groovy tune! Unfortunately I wasn't around in the early and mid-nineties when they still played it, and I couldn't make Oya a couple of years ago. So I don't know how it used to be live.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  27. pfnuesel
    Member

    The song I had in mind when starting this thread was: Plan #1. I absolutely love this song, but whenever I heard it live recently, it didn't reach that perfection. And the live versions didn't make up for it with jammy midsections or other outstanding incidents. Though I'm sure, over the years, there have been some marvelous and far out versions of this song.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  28. Plan #1? Good choice!

    Marvelous is subjective, but having been to a concert or two, and having listened to most of what is out there, I cannot think of a particularly far out version. Although it has been played live on almost every tour since it was released. Dampsaba makes it very easy to check, at least for the years up to and including 2006:

    They only played it once in '93 - that's right, it was not part of the Demon Box live sets - while it was played a lot in '94, '95, '96, and '97 before it was rested for a year and a half.

    Then the Baard-era re-introduced it in the fall of '99, still sounding like itself, nothing radical about it. They played it during all of 2000, before it got a rest again.

    It was back in 2006 when they had Jacco on drums.

    Kenneth-era played it in '08, '09, '10, '14, and '15 (Demon Box concerts).

    And with Tomas it has been played in both '17 and '18.

    But as Bent explains in the 2014 tour video, they have two kinds of songs. The ones that are to be played like they originally were written, and the ones that can be experimented with and used as vehicles for exploration. Plan #1 is clearly the first kind.

    The most special version I can think of is from A Box Full of Demons. Not because it is far out, but because it is massive with two drummers.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  29. shakti
    Member

    Interesting to see a lot of people agree with me that Manmower is better without the jamming. I think they have done some beautiful live versions, particularly the very low key '98 ones. But I am not a fan of the drawn-out noodley ones they have done lately.

    Bartok has also been singled out. It is so immensely powerful in its studio Version, so even if I the one they did in Drammen recently was very good, they don't seem to nail that Sabbath-y heavy swing live.

    Plan #1 has always been killer live, even if it usually stays very true to the formula. I think the power of that one is increased live.

    Interestingly, while STG is one of their best live songs overall (the über-skronky '98 versions are off the chart great!), the impact of the main riff when it appears after the intro is never as great as on record. Probably to do with dynamics and how the PA and amps just can't deliver the punch in the same way in a live setting.

    The same problem is apparent with The Golden Core. It can be a transporting experience live, but usually there is annyoing audience interference, and a lack of additional oomph and punch for the final cathartic crescendo.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  30. pfnuesel
    Member

    Interestingly, while STG is one of their best live songs overall (the über-skronky '98 versions are off the chart great!), the impact of the main riff when it appears after the intro is never as great as on record. Probably to do with dynamics and how the PA and amps just can't deliver the punch in the same way in a live setting.

    Very good observation. I always felt the same way about STG, but until now I couldn't put my finger on it. Now I can. Maybe something similar could be said about Sinful, Wind-borne, but I haven't heard this one live for a while now.

    Posted 6 months ago #

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