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Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?



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  #21  
Old September 13th, 2009, 12:25 pm
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

Live music, when done well, easily beats studio music. Imo, if a band is good live, then they're a good band. If they're bad live, and don't sound as good, they weren't any good to begin with. To put it another way: if you need audio engineers to make you sound good, then you're not good. Also, live performances have an energy that gives the songs so much more power than a studio performance.

Here's an example. The song is Shine by Collective Soul:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BF5Lz6-iQ0 - live
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPslBGjuRL0 - studio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKROlUWkbsQ - best

The last version is by far the best. Even taking into account the fact that the studio version does not have an orchestra, the studio version could never produce the same energy and power as the live version. Everything comes together in that last version; a good band, a good song and a fantastic set-up. Studio could never, never, match it.

Another example, this time Until The End Of The World by U2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI6sBdA99c8 - studio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejJdfkFjKCA - live

Same thing; live is better.

And it's not just rock either. I've seen live performances of Pavarotti that are superior to studio versions. And I've been to a DNA Strings concert, which was better than their studio albums, and they're an instrumental group.

Of course, music being a very subjective thing, this is all my opinion, but I really think that a good band is much better live than in studio. Studio, while good, feels sterile. And note, I am also assuming a good sound setup and a good venue, as the best band in the world could sound terrible with a bad setup and venue. Although, I suspect that at rock concerts they boost the guitar volume 'cause those speakers can handle it. Do the same with a studio track and your home theatre speakers might just blow up!

(and my apologies to dial-up users for using youtube vids as an example. I know how frustrating and expensive it can be for those things to load on dial-up. Hence, I suggest only watching the 'best' version of Shine. That, imo, is worth the time.)


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  #22  
Old September 13th, 2009, 12:35 pm
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

^ Great post

I'd be a bit suspicious of a band who sounds good on an album and terrible live. If you cant cut it live, it kind of destroys your credibility IMO


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  #23  
Old September 14th, 2009, 12:45 am
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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Originally Posted by Hysteria View Post
^ Great post

I'd be a bit suspicious of a band who sounds good on an album and terrible live. If you cant cut it live, it kind of destroys your credibility IMO
Agreed. Alot of artists sound great in the studio, like Kelly Clarkson and Lady Gaga, but I've heard Kelly Clarkson live on an awards show, and she's just plain awful! I've also heard that Lady Gaga can't sing at all live. So for me, I like studio for some artists, but if they can sing live, like Muse, I definitely lean towards that.


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  #24  
Old September 14th, 2009, 9:54 pm
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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I've also heard that Lady Gaga can't sing at all live.
Not sure about that, but she can definitely play the piano, so that's something.

I take people's point about bands who can't cut it live being bad bands, full stop.

However, there are some artists who either flatly refuse to tour at all, or really hate touring and do it as little as they can get away with, and not because they're rubbish musicians who couldn't cut it live if they tried, but for other reasons. e.g. Kate Bush, who was so traumatised when a lighting technician was killed in a stage accident on a tour early in her career, that she's never toured since. There are other artists who don't like touring because they don't want to be away from their families for months at a time.

And I've seen quite a few artists who are great live musically, but who are painfully shy, have no stage presence and really can't do the whole showmanship thing, so it wasn't that great a show (the last time I saw David Sylvian, there was nothing wrong with his singing or playing, but it was so blatantly obvious that he didn't really want to be there, that it was hard to enjoy the concert).

And then there's Bob Dylan - I've never seen him live myself, but he's famous for being absolutely shambolic live on occasions - in fact, when he tours, part of the attraction is supposed to be the pot luck element, as you never know from one night to the next whether he's going to be brilliant or toe-curlingly awful.

So, I don't think all great bands and artists are always the best live performers.


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  #25  
Old September 15th, 2009, 12:17 am
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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Originally Posted by LewsTherin View Post
Live music, when done well, easily beats studio music. Imo, if a band is good live, then they're a good band. If they're bad live, and don't sound as good, they weren't any good to begin with. To put it another way: if you need audio engineers to make you sound good, then you're not good. Also, live performances have an energy that gives the songs so much more power than a studio performance.

Here's an example. The song is Shine by Collective Soul:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BF5Lz6-iQ0 - live
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPslBGjuRL0 - studio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKROlUWkbsQ - best

The last version is by far the best. Even taking into account the fact that the studio version does not have an orchestra, the studio version could never produce the same energy and power as the live version. Everything comes together in that last version; a good band, a good song and a fantastic set-up. Studio could never, never, match it.

Another example, this time Until The End Of The World by U2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI6sBdA99c8 - studio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejJdfkFjKCA - live

Same thing; live is better.

And it's not just rock either. I've seen live performances of Pavarotti that are superior to studio versions. And I've been to a DNA Strings concert, which was better than their studio albums, and they're an instrumental group.

Of course, music being a very subjective thing, this is all my opinion, but I really think that a good band is much better live than in studio. Studio, while good, feels sterile. And note, I am also assuming a good sound setup and a good venue, as the best band in the world could sound terrible with a bad setup and venue. Although, I suspect that at rock concerts they boost the guitar volume 'cause those speakers can handle it. Do the same with a studio track and your home theatre speakers might just blow up!

(and my apologies to dial-up users for using youtube vids as an example. I know how frustrating and expensive it can be for those things to load on dial-up. Hence, I suggest only watching the 'best' version of Shine. That, imo, is worth the time.)
Awesome post... and great find -- in terms of the Collective Soul song. I used to have it on my Youtube... but I haven't been able to find another good version. Thanks for the link!

I can see where you're coming from there in terms of live performances... they for the most part would be better, depending on the band and other circumstances. How they're doing elsewise (I saw a BAD performance by Genesis once... that proved this one to be true...) can affect a performance. If someone isn't playing up to par -- that can make a performance really be bad in the long run.


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  #26  
Old February 24th, 2010, 11:39 am
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

For the most part I think Studio music is better than live. But some songs are better live. It just depends on how it sounds. Also in live music the audiance can distract from the music which is not so good in my opinnion. In studio music you can hear the whole song, no interruptions...


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  #27  
Old February 24th, 2010, 11:47 am
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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For the most part I think Studio music is better than live. But some songs are better live. It just depends on how it sounds. Also in live music the audiance can distract from the music which is not so good in my opinnion. In studio music you can hear the whole song, no interruptions...
What interrupts live music? I've been going to shows religiously for around 7 years and only once has a song been interrupted (a security guard tackled someone who was trying to stagedive and went way too far so the band stopped midsong to break it up).

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I'v never seen a band live so I guess I couldn't really say. However, I personally enjoy and always have the studio versions. Theres so much more detail in them than a live performance couldn't do.
I don't really think this is true anymore. Thanks to advances in technology musicians are able to completely recreate their sudio songs in a live setting and 9/10 they sound better IMO.


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  #28  
Old February 24th, 2010, 11:56 am
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

Another factor that's just occurred to me: multi-instrumentalists.

In some bands I like, the guitarist is also the keyboardist and, fabulously talented as they are, even they can't manage to play both instruments at the same time when they're playing live, so the live show loses an instrument that the studio version has (although sometimes it forces them to be innovative and do something different to get round the problem, and the live version can gain because of it).

Also, one artist I like, Jim Moray, is a multi-instrumentalist who is so niche that realistically he can only tour small venues on a very low budget, which massively affects the repertoire he can play live: there are some songs he won't attempt live, because piano is an integral part of the studio arrangement and he simply can't afford to lug a full-size piano around with him on tour.

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Posted by Hysteria
What interrupts live music? I've been going to shows religiously for around 7 years and only once has a song been interrupted (a security guard tackled someone who was trying to stagedive and went way too far so the band stopped midsong to break it up).
In my experience, people talking over songs (not a problem with loud genres, but can be awful in more acoustic music), going in and out of the hall to go to the loo/get drinks etc, the person next to you or in front of you distracting you with an obtrusive recording device, a very tall person insisting on standing directly in front of you, one member of the band accidentally starting to play the wrong song and ending up having a bit of a domestic with another band member onstage, sound systems breaking down mid-gig, instruments going out of tune mid-song, drunken hecklers...

Not that most of this is enough to destroy the live experience for me.



Last edited by Melaszka; February 24th, 2010 at 12:03 pm.
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  #29  
Old March 1st, 2010, 3:09 pm
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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In my experience, people talking over songs (not a problem with loud genres, but can be awful in more acoustic music), going in and out of the hall to go to the loo/get drinks etc, the person next to you or in front of you distracting you with an obtrusive recording device, a very tall person insisting on standing directly in front of you, one member of the band accidentally starting to play the wrong song and ending up having a bit of a domestic with another band member onstage, sound systems breaking down mid-gig, instruments going out of tune mid-song, drunken hecklers...

Not that most of this is enough to destroy the live experience for me.
Yeah I reckon that'd be pretty rare. I've never had my live ruinedby people talking. My guess is the only time that could possibly be an issue is for an acoustic show. I think the rest is just atmosphere. Yes there are annoying people at shows but it all adds to the vibe of the show IMO, that's why no two are the same.

As for multi-instrumentalists, I saw Placebo a couple of days ago and the band consists of three guys, but they have a six-person live band. That's one, very easy, way of getting around that problem. It really fleshes out their music.


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  #30  
Old March 1st, 2010, 3:17 pm
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

I take back what I said about Lady Gaga not being able to sing live.

When I heard her on the MTV Music Awards, I actually liked her live version of Paparazzi better than the studio version. She seems to have a really strong voice, but I think on her first album they edited her voice too much in alot of the songs. (Ex. Paparazzi, Poker Face) On her second album, I think they kept to her actual voice alot more, which I like. It sounds more like her live voice to me.


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  #31  
Old March 1st, 2010, 3:51 pm
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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Originally Posted by Hysteria View Post
Yeah I reckon that'd be pretty rare. I've never had my live experienced by people talking. My guess is the only time that could possibly be an issiue is for an acoustic show. I think the rest is just atmosphere. Yes there are annoying people at shows but it all adds to the vibe of the show IMO, that's why no two are the same.
No, that's true, I suppose - I've had the drunken heckler experience on a couple of occasions and it actually makes the show more edgy and exciting.

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As for multi-instrumentalists, I saw Placebo a couple of days ago and the band consists of three guys, but they have a six-person live band. That's one, very easy, way of getting around that problem. It really fleshes out their music.
Works for a lot of people, but it depends on the band. Some of the bands I like just don't have the budget to start hiring session musicians and/or have such a strong internal rapport that bringing in an outsider would just kill the chemistry and/or have a very strong punk, do-it-yourself philosophy which precludes hiring extra, temporary staff.

Then again, those bands usually get over the multi-instrumentalist problem by just playing the song live in a different arrangement than it is on the record, which is a bonus - a song you love, but in an exciting new arrangement. The thing is, though, I wouldn't say they were better live than in the studio - there are advantages and disadvantages to both the live and the studio versions.

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Originally Posted by dumbledores1fan View Post
I take back what I said about Lady Gaga not being able to sing live.

When I heard her on the MTV Music Awards, I actually liked her live version of Paparazzi better than the studio version. She seems to have a really strong voice, but I think on her first album they edited her voice too much in alot of the songs. (Ex. Paparazzi, Poker Face) On her second album, I think they kept to her actual voice alot more, which I like. It sounds more like her live voice to me.
Yes, I was quite surprised when you said she couldn't sing live, as I'd always understood that she was very talented.



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  #32  
Old March 1st, 2010, 4:56 pm
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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Works for a lot of people, but it depends on the band. Some of the bands I like just don't have the budget to start hiring session musicians and/or have such a strong internal rapport that bringing in an outsider would just kill the chemistry and/or have a very strong punk, do-it-yourself philosophy which precludes hiring extra, temporary staff.

Then again, those bands usually get over the multi-instrumentalist problem by just playing the song live in a different arrangement than it is on the record, which is a bonus - a song you love, but in an exciting new arrangement. The thing is, though, I wouldn't say they were better live than in the studio - there are advantages and disadvantages to both the live and the studio versions.
I don't really see how it's much different from using a backing track (which a vast majority of bands do these days). I'd rather have live musicians. I mean, when I saw Placebo the three extras hung out the back so they weren't ruining it or getting in the way. Muse perform with an extra guy too and he usually only becomes fully visible at the very end (which is fair enough considering the work he does I guess). I'd much rather see my favourite bands just the 'real' members, as they are, but that's not always possible. And unlike you I actually really dislike it when a song is performed totally differently live I mean, I don't want it to sound exactly the same but changing the arrangement all together gets on my nerves.

(also sorry about my multiple typos in my last post! I think I've fixed them all now, it's quite early in the morning here )


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  #33  
Old March 1st, 2010, 9:02 pm
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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I don't really see how it's much different from using a backing track (which a vast majority of bands do these days).
Well, yes, that's the other common way that multi-instrumentalists get round it.

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I'd rather have live musicians.
On the whole I would, but it depends on the genre/band - if they use a lot of programming and sampling on their records, obviously those elements can't really be played live.

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I mean, when I saw Placebo the three extras hung out the back so they weren't ruining it or getting in the way. Muse perform with an extra guy too and he usually only becomes fully visible at the very end (which is fair enough considering the work he does I guess). I'd much rather see my favourite bands just the 'real' members, as they are, but that's not always possible.
No, I don't think there's anything wrong with using extra musicians - apart from anything else, most solo artists have to. I just don't think it would work with every artist.

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And unlike you I actually really dislike it when a song is performed totally differently live I mean, I don't want it to sound exactly the same but changing the arrangement all together gets on my nerves.
It's obviously a personal taste thing. Some different arrangements are horrendous, but to an extent I like it.

Quote:
(also sorry about my multiple typos in my last post! I think I've fixed them all now, it's quite early in the morning here )
Didn't notice any of them and, anyway, I've just spotted and amended the glaring typo in mine!


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  #34  
Old March 2nd, 2010, 3:02 am
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
On the whole I would, but it depends on the genre/band - if they use a lot of programming and sampling on their records, obviously those elements can't really be played live.
I assume you mean without backing tracks? The only time I've seen it done with live musicians is with Slipknot but they have 9 actual members


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No, I don't think there's anything wrong with using extra musicians - apart from anything else, most solo artists have to. I just don't think it would work with every artist.
Yeah that's true. I'm usually a bit disappointed when I see my favourite bands have extra live members. I mean, it doesn't ruin the experience but I build up this idea of band with x-number of members in my mind, and that's what I'm used to seeing/hearing. Maybe I'm just picky

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It's obviously a personal taste thing. Some different arrangements are horrendous, but to an extent I like it.
Yeah I'd agre with that. To use my 200th personal example, I saw Jane's Addiction the other day and they were amazing but it took me ages to work out what song they were playing at the end. It was my favourite song! But they'd slowed down the arrangement so much it sounded completely different. It was still good but I was a bit hurt they chose MY song to change I think a lot of the time live performanes add in extra instrumental parts to songs which I think is fine and even makes it more interesting, it's just when they change the entire tempo that it annoys me.


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Old March 2nd, 2010, 4:17 am
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

I've never been to a concert so I can't comment there. However I saw LotR performed to the live orchestra. That was absolutely amazing. It was expensive(everything in Radio City is) but seriously if anyone is a LotR fan hearing the orchestra live is sensational. The girl singing in Elvish...well it was awesome.


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Old March 2nd, 2010, 8:48 am
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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And unlike you I actually really dislike it when a song is performed totally differently live I mean, I don't want it to sound exactly the same but changing the arrangement all together gets on my nerves.
Musicians grow and evolve and so naturally their interpretation of their works changes.

Plus, sometimes it's the only way you can hear a song played the way it was intended. "Born in the USA" wasn't written to sound as it does on the album, but as a down tempo aucoustic piece, which is what it is when played live.


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Old March 2nd, 2010, 9:11 am
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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Musicians grow and evolve and so naturally their interpretation of their works changes.

Plus, sometimes it's the only way you can hear a song played the way it was intended. "Born in the USA" wasn't written to sound as it does on the album, but as a down tempo aucoustic piece, which is what it is when played live.
But I've heard/seen some songs performed live with a completely different arrangement for no apparent reason, and 9/10 it doesn't work as well. I don't mind if it's an improvement but if you're a big fan of the artist/s and you can't identify the song, something isn't right IMO.


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Old March 2nd, 2010, 1:04 pm
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

I love it when musicians perform their tracks differently in live shows! I've heard some mind-blowing interpretations in concerts. I like remixes and different arrangements in general, but hearing it for the first time live, with the whole stage environment and live euphoria adds greatly to a new interpretation of an old track. Especially if it's one of the artist/band's older or classic tunes, I love to be surprised by a fresh take. Bjork in 2008 had the Istanbul crown run wild with a markedly "heavier" arrangement of Army Of Me. I loved it!

I also don't mind backing tracks or electronic music in live shows. Pet Shop Boys put up a spectacular show almost exclusively with computers.


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Old March 2nd, 2010, 5:39 pm
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

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I assume you mean without backing tracks? The only time I've seen it done with live musicians is with Slipknot but they have 9 actual members
Well, since I haven't mentioned Transglobal Underground for...ooh, at least 5 minutes, in their live shows they often use far more live instrumentation and less sampling/programming than on the records, it's often a very, very different sound, but (I gather - I've only actually seen them once...so far) the exact mix of pre-recorded sound and live instruments varies very much according to how many/which personnel they have available on that particular tour/night.

Quote:
Yeah I'd agre with that. To use my 200th personal example, I saw Jane's Addiction the other day and they were amazing but it took me ages to work out what song they were playing at the end. It was my favourite song! But they'd slowed down the arrangement so much it sounded completely different. It was still good but I was a bit hurt they chose MY song to change I think a lot of the time live performanes add in extra instrumental parts to songs which I think is fine and even makes it more interesting, it's just when they change the entire tempo that it annoys me.
Glad they were as good as you'd hoped. Yeah, the slowing down the tempo thing can be a bit self-indulgent - I've been annoyed by other bands doing it.

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
Musicians grow and evolve and so naturally their interpretation of their works changes.
Yes. It's very interesting hearing David Sylvian reinterpreting old Japan songs in a completely different way, 30 years on. I've seen him do some lovely, simple, pared-down-to-the-basics arrangements - just him an acoustic guitar, which made a refreshing and radical change from the really artificial, experimental synth pop of the originals. Then again, it doesn't always work - I've heard him murder "Ghosts" on a couple of occasions, by crooning it in this really cheesy, loungey jazz voice.

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Originally Posted by Hysteria View Post
But I've heard/seen some songs performed live with a completely different arrangement for no apparent reason, and 9/10 it doesn't work as well.
There has to be a clear rational behind why they're doing it, or it can be cheesy and self-indulgent.


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  #40  
Old March 3rd, 2010, 6:37 am
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Re: Which do you prefer: Studio music or Live music?

Do I prefer Studio or Live music? If I only had the chance to hear the music and I wanted the best quality possible, I'd pick studio.

But nothing can re-create the energy of a great live performance.


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