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Old 11-01-2011, 11:37 AM   #1
jj
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Default earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

i'm sure not all here have the Warner demo's (mine are misplaced but I'd digitized a half a dozen 'selects' beforehand... and where those files are, beats me)

so yeah, this channel has several cool GL rarities including this early demo version of Too Much To Lose

imo, really interesting: different lyrics, phrasing, vocal tone + nifty ending




it was recorded mid-60s - the version we know from Songbook was 1972



i'd say this tune (great for driving) and it's vibe still falls into my Gord top 12

Last edited by jj; 11-01-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:07 AM   #2
JohninCt.
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

Thanks for this. Amazing difference. I kind of like his raw singing on the first version better, but musicly the 2nd is so neatly done.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:03 AM   #3
charlene
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

I like both but find the first one a bit too nasal. In the 2nd he's found his voice. It's a great tune, some wonderful imagery too.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

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Originally Posted by JohninCt. View Post
Amazing difference. I kind of like his raw singing on the first version better
same here...i prefer the lower key/pitch of the original

he decided to move it up a notch in the later version (Bb, originally A)

i don't understand all the fuss with capo movement, cos i'd say Gord had a big enough range to be able to still sound great (perhaps not optimal) if he'd played Sundown in E or IYCRMM in G... anyhow, changing keys on piano has brought much mental stimulation, you just hope muscle memory doesn't take over, lol


interesting except from 2008, American Songwriter:


"...Lightfoot feels fortunate that all of his session players over the years have been willing to overlook the fact that he plays nearly everything on the guitar with a capo at the second fret, a move that allows him to stay in vocal range, but forces his sidemen to play in awkward keys.

“I could never come to terms with the fact that I would have to walk into a recording studio and tell a guitar player to get ready to play in the key of F# or the key of B. I was embarrassed about that,” he admits. “I once had to ask Vassar Clements if he could please tune his fiddle down a half tone so I could play a song in E flat,” he says incredulously. “And he just did it! He just tuned ‘er down and away we went.”

Last edited by jj; 11-02-2011 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

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Originally Posted by charlene View Post
I like both but find the first one a bit too nasal. In the 2nd he's found his voice.
interesting that you say that...that must be a good example of distinguishing pitch and 'tone' (then again, by definition, i think they are same thing)

the second one is in a higher key but a lower vocal tone

i like Gord's higher tones, unless you're talking about GG2 forward

eg) i love the raw Circle is Small....but always pass over the re-recorded version on EW (which they decided to put on Songbook, production quality I suppose)
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

Thae capo has always interested and confused me, maybe jj or one of the more musically astute can enlighten me.

Is there some particular technical reason for the Capo.

For example, if the Capo is on the second fret and Gord plays an "A" making it a B with the capo. Why not just have no capo and play a B?

Or why not just write the song in B rather than A+ Capo.

Is there actually any musical difference between playing a B chord without a capo and playing an A chord plus a capo (making a B)?

Or is it just a matter of using the capo to make things more easily pickable?

I would love to know more about this!
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:41 AM   #7
charlene
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

I don't know pitch or tone but he sounds nasal...like a stereotypical bluegrass singer at times. not as annoying tho.IMHO
lol
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

oh, i have on old thread to link to that has some great input by real musical folks

it's easier, imo, the fingers dont have to stretch so far across fret and it opens up all sorts of doors if you want to refine your vocal pitch without having to rework chord progressions and fingering...but some like the higher ring of a capo-ed guitar and it also brings alternate voicings for when you have two guitars blending

a voicing is like a different chord inversion...on simple piano you will hear a different ring to a chord because the highest note played usually resonates the most.... CEG versus EGC versus GCE versus something like CGC

it's also easier, or more natural, on guitar to play passing licks or chords in some keys...I play IYCRMM and SFAWN in A on guitar with no capo, but the segment of SFAWN with the 3 minor chords in row doesn't flow too well for me... then again, when I play in G with capo +2, there are also some flow issues, lol
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

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Originally Posted by charlene View Post
I don't know pitch or tone but he sounds nasal...like a stereotypical bluegrass singer at times. not as annoying tho.IMHO
lol
true, i don't like his GroundHog voice (sound like AM radio baseball announcer, lol)...or even those early Dylan-ish phrasings

even his first live versions of EMR are or 'higher tone' ...i think more years years of constant smokes deepen the tone...then years of other nastier bad habits raised it again

i generally like the early tones of singers...for instance i dont listen to much by Elton or Joel after their first few albums

on the contrary, it was nice to hear John Stinson's baritone voice deliver Gord's wonderful Inspiration Lady...i told John he has to sing every song from Gord's last 3 albums so I can hear what they would have sounded like if they were laid down in the 70s
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

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Or is it just a matter of using the capo to make things more easily pickable?
in the last 30 seconds of this interview, Gord implies admiration for those who play 'open'


i guess if it were to obtain different voicings, then i'd almost rather see a bunch of guitars on stage that have a variation of alternate tunings

it's pretty cool and dry at nights up here even in summer, and the guitar in a cool cottage or around a campfire was something we would never want to put any more stress on the neck by diddling with capos (i call them vices, lol) ...and especially 12 string guitars!

if someone started playing in G and it was too low then we move to A or jump to C or D ...man, those 4 key signatures alone can take you far and a the guys with the mouth organs would usually be able to join in

don't misread me, the capo s a great tool for learners with small hands who can't afford to move through a 1/4 or 1/2 guitar (a tenor?)...i also like how guys will quickly clamp on a combo of two capos and achieve a drop D tuning (like EMR) without having to wait for them to actually drop the D

more on the pros side, check out SFAWN and the staggering of one guitar with capo + 2 in G and the lead with capo + 7 in C ...lovely stuff
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

ok, young stranger...enjoy some of the great input of (not to leave anyone out but...) cathy, melissa, amberwaves, fezo, 12stringmike...but my fave post is by unsettled1, LOL

http://www.corfid.com/vbb/showthread...highlight=capo
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

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Originally Posted by youngstranger View Post
For example, if the Capo is on the second fret and Gord plays an "A" making it a B with the capo. Why not just have no capo and play a B?

not many in B: the Wreck is in key of B and Gord uses capo +2 and plays in A

but most of the time he has capo +2 playing in G, which takes him to key of A

Or he plays capo +2 in D, which takes him to E OR plays C, taking him to D


if he played, as you say, in key of B then he might typically have to play and transition to chords such as F# G#m C#m D#m (yuck) on guitar ...E is no sweat

instead he can play common and 'close knit' chords like G C D Am Bm Em

char, maybe this video will show you the diff in moving from key of A to Bb
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:28 AM   #13
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

Thanks for all these replies and the old thread, very interesting about voicings etc.

I can understand wanting to avoid some of those chords, particularly on the 12-string.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

Thanks for posting this, jj. I haven't listened to the rarities on Songbook in a long time and almost forgot about this song. It always reminds me of an old friend/carpenter who did a lot of work on our previous house. He was a nomad of sorts, liked his beers...a huge talent who could have made tons of $ but sort of worked from job to job and enjoyed it that way.

I like the 2nd version best btw...agree with Char about the first one being too nasal.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

here's the '2nd hand capo' at work.... Ed Kuepper uses them a lot

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Old 11-04-2011, 07:09 AM   #16
JohninCt.
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

I have listened to this song about 5 times now and I don't see 'nasal' as being true. I use high quality earphones and the only thing I have noticed is he is not close to the microphone, also the recording technique was different back then from his later recording of this song. Maybe with a pair of common computer speakers it would also sound thinner or nasal. His voice is not coming through his nose, but is from his vocal cords in his chest, diaphram etc., much like he always sang when he was younger. Nowadays he may be singing more through his nasal passages at times, but not as much as he was the year before his bad illness.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: earlier demo recording of Too Much To Lose

It's very different sounding than his "Remember Me" sound..his voice then was full bodied/resonant..This seems thinner/nasal to me..
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