In response to J: 'Spirit of Abandonemnt' from Bono

rob okorn ([email protected])
Sun, 19 Jul 1998 00:43:46 PDT

It seems you have gone off on a tangent bypassing any real counter
points and just trying to attack credibility since you've finally come
to your senses on the vocal issue.
1) j writes 'Sweet fire of Love(whatever that is)' then claims it must
be some reject b-side since after all since b-sides aren't good enough
for the album they must be inferior. Since you've never heard the
awesome vocal for this superb track, it's your loss, it also speaks
volumes about your quick to reject logic. Luminous Times and spanish
Eyes were superb tracks, the fact they're b-sides is irrelevant to their
relative merit, the band didn't want to release a double album back them
when vinyl and cassette were the more prominant. The 3 tracks which in
your books are inferior reject tracks all have superb vocals and are
great tracks, I'm sure many can attest to that. Your logic mirros your
definition of looseness and spontaneity being about everything but the
song itself whereby you fixated on the extraneous elements of a
performance myopically as usual.
As far as sound and technology in the 90's vs. the 80's. If you know
anything about mics you'd relaize many of the most often used mics today
incorporate the same capsules that were used 20 years ago. As far as
your perfect soundboard, what do you call the sound of the popheart EP,
it was ultra compressed, flat as a pancake sonically, zero dynamics, the
recording was flat and sterile with the compression sucking the life out
of it. So much for technology advancing, the 83 era Under a Blood Red
sky blows it away sonically. Sarajevo sonically didn't cut it, flat
again, the usual compression from a broadcast. As far as acoustics for
an audience recording, the 80's had a lot more indoor venues in the
5,000-15,000 range, on popmart we're talking massive open air football
and soccer stadiums that are acoustically challenged.
I guess j is only clinging on the flasetto vocal, it's the only vocal
facet left. If the falsetto sends tingles down your spine I'm happy for
you. I'm sure you wouldn't like the falsetto on JT on fire's UF track
since after all it was in the 80's when he couldn't possibly have any
control over the vocal.
As far as your Sting argument, he's always been regarded as an egomaniac
and perfectionist, he was a music teacher in his previous life so while
everything he does is more structured it loses it's real life rawness.
On sponataneity and looseness, Bono did speak directrly on this issue in
an 87 press conference where he he poignantly said the key for music is
in the 'spirit', in the 'spirit of abandonment' he continued. I'll give
j a clue, spirit of abandonment is a synonym for looseness/spontaneity.
If a song is so rigid in it's performance, it lacks that spirit of
abandonment, that sense of realness.
J, you're free to explain why the band is tuning things down with the
slower pitch.
J, enjoy those ultra compressed sterilzed popheart tracks, you can
debate amongst yourself how much flatter it may have sounded if the
compression ratio was more than 8:1.

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