Trim the fat and reveal a classic

So this has come up a couple of times recently (mostly re: radiohead and TKOL admittedly) - alternative tracklistings that improve records. Could involve trimming a half-baked novelty item or throwing in a couple of contemporaneous B-sides, but what other albums benefit from a nice presumptuous fan rework?

Will start with The Great Escape by Blur. There is an oddly slanted melancholy gem in there waiting to be polished. Obviously Country House has to go, along with a couple of back-end filler pieces (I can’t remember what Could Be You sounds like even when it’s playing). Something like:

1 Stereotypes
2 Best Days
3 Fade Away
4 TOPMAN
5 Mr Robinson’s Quango
6 He Thought of Cars
7 Dan Abnormal
8 The Universal
9 Entertain Me
10 Yuko and Hiro

Any others?

1 Like

I’ve said this before but I think The Suburbs by The Arcade Fire would be a 9/10 album at least if it was ten tracks long

The Suburbs
Ready To Start
Modern Man
Rococo
Empty Room
Half Light
Month Of May
We Used To Wait
Sprawl I (Flatland)
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Maybe with the reprise of The Suburbs to play out.

9 Likes

I have a Big Thief one that’s more of a thought experiment since it would completely destroy Two Hands, but what about:

Contact
U.F.O.F.
Cattails
From
Open Desert
Orange
Century
Betsy
Terminal Paradise
Jenni
Magic Dealer
Not

Pull Strange (a bit too jaunty) and add Not to the end (playing the role of Christmas Steps) so Jenni / Magic Dealer naturally resolve into it.

(The album is great as it is)

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QOTSA’s S/T album. Pull You Would Know, replace it with The Bronze.

Regular John
Avon
If Only
Walkin on the Sidewalks
The Bronze
How to Handle a Rope
Mexicola
Hispanic Impressions
You Can’t Quit Me Baby
Give the Mule What He Wants
I Was a Teenage Hand Model

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Usually I hate the idea of making albums shorter and disagree with pretty much every suggestion along those lines, but I think Hartfield’s True Color, True Lie would benefit significantly from pulling tracks 9, 10, and 11.

Changes from a good hour long, 13 song album that drifts before the end to a very good 45 minute, 10 song album without any dead spots or pacing issues.

Reason
Girl Like You
True Color
Wonderful Word
Nineball
It Could Happen to You?
16 Lover’s Rain
Strangers When We Meet
A Sorrowful Heartland
Stand By Me

(Found out about them in the shoegaze thread a couple years ago, listen to this one at least if you haven’t heard them yet)

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Mogwai Young Team

Like Herod
Mogwai Fear Satan

I don’t advocate this, but I remember reading an early-ish Stuart Braithwaite interview saying if they got the chance to re-release MYT it’d be a 12" with Herod on one side, Satan on the other and nothing else. He lied, obviously :laughing:

6 Likes

The fact I can’t remember any of the songs you’ve trimmed is quite telling.

It’s still a 9/10 album because the songs you’ve listed are all so good though.

Love Girl Like You

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David Bowie - Outside.1

  1. Leon Takes Us Outside
  2. Outside
  3. Hearts filthy Lesson
  4. A Small Plot Of Land
  5. Hallo Spaceboy
  6. I Have Not Been To Oxford Town
  7. No Control
  8. The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction
  9. We Prick You
  10. I’m Deranged
  11. Strangers When We Meet
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Tough to get The Fragile down to one side (especially as there is a track to add), but I’m going to try…

1 Somewhat Damages
2 The Day the Whole World Went Away
3 The Wretched
4 We’re in this Together Now
5 The Fragile
6 Just Like You Imagined It
7 Into the Void
8 Please
9 Looking Forward to Joining You, Finally
10 The Big Come Down
11 And All That Could Have Been (from the Still EP)
12 Pilgrimage
13 La Mer
14 The Great Below

A pretty sprawling single LP, but they were all the rage back in 1999 so probably appropriate

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I think Murmur by R.E.M is arguably the finest debut LP ever made.

Remove ‘Perfect Circle’ and it’s an absolutely perfect set of songs.

Appreciate that they would have put huge thought into the order of songs and it was quite probably included as a sort of breakwater at the end of the first side of the record, but still.

Used to think this tracklist would make The Life Of Pablo a decent album

  1. Ultralight Beam
  2. Father Stretch…
  3. Pt. 2
  4. Famous
  5. Feedback
  6. Highlights
  7. Waves
  8. FML
  9. Real Friends
  10. Wolves
  11. Frank’s Track
  12. 30 Hours
  13. No More Parties in LA
  14. Fade

But I’m not sure I’ve even listened to this version for about 4 years, let alone the whole thing. Might try this version later and see how it holds up

Wu Tang Clan - Wu Tang Forever

  1. Triumph
  2. As High As Wu Tang Get
  3. Cash Still Rules/Scary Hours
  4. Severe Punishment
  5. Reunited
  6. For Heaven’s Sake
  7. Older Gods
  8. It’s Yours
  9. Visionz
  10. A Better Tomorrow
  11. Impossible
  12. M.G.M
  13. Hellz Wind Staff
  14. Heaterz

Could maybe trim off, say, ‘Older Gods’ and ‘Impossible’ and have a great 12 tracker but this is still fucking amazing.

4 Likes

Hail To The Thief

Thom Yorke posted about leaving out “A Punchup at a Wedding”, “We Suck Young Blood”, “I Will” and “Backdrifts”. So then you’re left with:

2+2 = 5
Sit down, stand up
Sail to the moon
Go to sleep
Where I end and you begin
The Gloaming
There, there
Myxomatosis
Scatterbrain
A wolf at the door

39 mins all killer rather than a bloated 56 mins

3 Likes

Quite like Punchup. Backdrifts and Young Blood can fuck right off though. Am indifferent to I Will.

Thinking about it Backdrifts might be my least favourite Radiohead track outside of the early bilge. Nails on chalkboard stuff. Just so shrill.

Yeah I don’t mind punch up either so could leave that on and be happy. Agree with you about backdrifts. I also skip we suck young blood

Counterpoint: QOTSA is already perfect, You Would Know is a great track and adding The Bronze, along with the other two tracks on the reissue, is s rare instance of a band adding fat and diminishing a classic.

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I thought Reflektor would be the obvious AF pick here, but even keeping myself to 6 or 7 tracks I can’t quite make a classic out of it.

Reflektor
We Exist
Here Comes the Nighttime
Dunno
Dunno
It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus)
Afterlife

Joan Of Arc is quite fun,if a little Spinal Tap

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I started doing this without realising you’d already done it, and the only track I was considering that you don’t have was Bells of War, so take my like :heart:

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