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I was in the shower and "Venus Stop/Stopped The Train" popped into my head randomly.    Been waiting almost 20 years for an official release of that track.  I just realized that this could be out this year.  Summerteeth deluxe (though delayed a year) was announced in early September and released in November.  Could we be approaching an announcement?  Has anyone heard anything?

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I remember Jeff stating that YHF can't be remastered due to something with the tapes or something along those lines.

 

Venus Stopped The Train was officially released by Jay Bennett.

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i've never really heard of an album that can't be remastered, but they wouldn't necessarily have to remaster it for a deluxe reissue.  i know they remastered Summerteeth, etc., but as the album reissues get later, i don't even know why they would necessarily need to remaster them

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YHF is such a monumental album for them. I bet something will come out. A live disc from that tour would be excellent. & not that I blame him but Jeff seems to be pretty into monetizing everything he can. I checked out his new thing & it wasn't cheap at some levels. I signed up for the free version as I'm on a limited income. I have to exercise self discipline on stuff & 2 years into forced retirement it's working out ok.

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a live disc would always be excellent, but i have all of the deluxe editions, the front of house and roadcase shows....and that's something like 120+ live shows?  i'm sure it will be like the Summerteeth, where there is a disc of outtakes/demos and a live show.  i remember people raving over the demos that leaked around that time, but i haven't listened to them in 15+ years outside of "Venus Stopped The Train."

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If I was a betting man, which I am not, I would bet on the band releasing a new album this fall. As we know from TTS, they have obviously been recording it and there was a photo of Pat working in the studio with a session musician circling around. Assuming it's a real photo, we can tell that the album is, likely, pretty far along because using session musicians would probably be one of the later stages of tracking (you wouldn't hire a session musician for a song that could get scrapped or could get re-worked/re-recorded/etc, right?). I guess it's always possible they could release the album (digitally) in September and have YHF Deluxe in November, or vice versa, but I'd bet they wouldn't want to space the releases out a bit more. Though, Love is the King and Summerteeth Deluxe were a month apart.... so I guess it's possible. Looks like Summerteeth Deluxe was announced in early September (I made a thread on September 2nd) so we could hear soon. That said, compiling these sort of releases takes a lot of work. Last I heard record plants were backed up 8 - 9 months. If they were going for a 2021 release they would have had to have this finished only a few months after Summerteeth Deluxe was released to get it pressed in time, which makes me think this will probably be a 2022 release at the earliest.

I have to imagine YHF Deluxe is happening though, even if what has leaked is all there is, there's some very impressive unreleased music from that era. Plus I would die to hear an official release of live 4-piece WIlco from that era. 

 

On 8/4/2021 at 3:49 PM, chisoxjtrain said:

I remember Jeff stating that YHF can't be remastered due to something with the tapes or something along those lines.

 

Venus Stopped The Train was officially released by Jay Bennett.

I remember Jeff saying that on TTS but I believe he meant that the album couldn't be remixed since it was done on tape and so many elements were spliced together but I'm sure they have the stereo master tapes sitting around somewhere. And that's what mastering engineers use, a tape of the finalized mix, not the raw tapes where each instrument can isolated/adjusted. Could be a moot point because I don't believe the Summerteeth was remastered when it got the deluxe treatment anyways. Just one man's opinion but I'd argue that YHF probably doesn't need a remaster, it sounds just fine. Repress the album on a cool colour and add in a few discs of bonus stuff and everyone will be happy!

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My two-cents. From a sound-nerd perspective - and consistent with what chisoxjtrain alluded tothe mixing process of YHF is a bit of an outlier in Wilco's catalogue. So much of why the album sounds like it does is because of Jim O'Rourke's amazing editing work, where he stripped back multiple layers and paced arrangements and sections; essentially decomposing everything and rebuilding the songs back up with Jeff and (I think) Glenn present at the tiny SOMA studio.

 

This is one of the critical parts of the making of YHF that regrettably never got a look in during the filming of I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, but this is because Jim didn't want the cameras anywhere near him and the rigorous process of mixing the album. "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart", "Radio Cure", "Jesus Etc", "Poor Places" and "Reservations" has Jim's fingerprints all over them: the layering, pacing and colouring is so him! 

 

Being a huge O'Rourke follower (if that wasn't already apparent), I believe that his mixing on YHF was one of his last predominantly tape-based mixes, so there would have been actual tape cutting and splicing going on and there's a possibility that given parts were literally binned or bounced down successively then exported into Pro Tools. I remember reading something where Jim talked about how edited/bounced down everything was that the prospect of working backwards to the original mixes would be practically impossible. Accessing individual tracks would be very tricky. Now, they can do this with The Beatles albums - sophisticated algorithms would play a part - but it's a lot of work even then. In the case of YHF, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of alternate mixes and longer edits existing though. The curious thing the case of recent remasters of albums that Jim had a hand in from this era. In particular, Stereolab's Cobra and Phases (1999) contains several tracks that Jim worked on where he applied similar editing technique to YHF and - in the case of Cobra ("Italian Shoes", "Blue Milk") - the band managed to restore and expand these tracks. However, there's a lot of other variables to consider...mixing is such a mysterious domain.

 

By the time of AGIB, I think all of it was recorded with Pro Tools, so it's a different story with potentially remastering that album. That could be redundant though imo, since I consider AGIB as one of the best-sounding records I've ever heard. As a bit of additional trivia, Jim had done the original mix of SBS but this was ultimately rejected by the band since Jim had applied a much more reductive/less-band room sound and everybody wondered where their parts had gone. Indeed, as much as I like SBS, certain songs do suffer a bit from their busy and cluttered arrangements and I would love to hear what Jim's mix sounded like!

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6 hours ago, TCP said:

I remember Jeff saying that on TTS but I believe he meant that the album couldn't be remixed since it was done on tape and so many elements were spliced together but I'm sure they have the stereo master tapes sitting around somewhere. And that's what mastering engineers use, a tape of the finalized mix, not the raw tapes where each instrument can isolated/adjusted. Could be a moot point because I don't believe the Summerteeth was remastered when it got the deluxe treatment anyways. Just one man's opinion but I'd argue that YHF probably doesn't need a remaster, it sounds just fine. Repress the album on a cool colour and add in a few discs of bonus stuff and everyone will be happy!

 

As an audio engineer here, I'll say that this is exactly right. Mastering is the treatment of a stereo track to get it sounding ideal and prepare it for reproduction. I do think the "remastered" tag sometimes actually means "remixed" but they don't call it that because among laymen those terms mean totally different things (can you imagine the fury and confusion if some of these classic albums were rereleased with the word remix on them?). I might have read the same interview, and Jeff mentioned it after saying he thinks YHF has really poor fidelity and some of the elements sound boxy or tinny.

 

I think the majority of YHF features mixes of tracks on both analog tape and ADAT tape, which has been a pretty obsolete medium for a long time. Syncing machines with different formats was a monstorous headache.

 

But the less audio nerd side of this is how much unheard YHF era material is there? They put stuff from the excellent Woodgrain/Australian EP on Alpha Mike. Various demo versions of the record have circulated. Are their more curiosities from this time? I'd like to think there are, but maybe most of it has already been shared.

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High five! I'm also an audio engineer, or at least, that's what I went to school for... Mastering is definitely the least understood part of making a record. And as you mentioned, it doesn't help when remastering and remix are often used interchangeably and remix can mean two different things!!

I definitely have some rose tinted glasses for YHF, I like the way it sounds. And unlike Being There or AM, which both sounded very much "of their time", so remasters made sense, YHF doesn't sound like anything else, 2002 or not. It's aged well IMO. But probably fair point about some things objectively being boxy or tinny. I'd argue it's part of the charm!

I don't know if there's any songs we haven't heard from that era, but definitely the AM, BT, ST boxes had surprises, so there could be. Even if what's on the "engineer demos" is all there is, I'd still find owning that stuff officially exciting. Corduroy Cutoff Girl, Venus Stopped The Train, Not For The Season, Alone, etc. But I wouldn't be surprised if there's at least some alternate mixes, takes, and demos that have never leaked. They worked on that record for a long time.

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^ Nice!

 

Yeah, I think maybe Leroy was right when he said that any of the supposed short comings in the sound are blessings. My glasses are also rose tinted.

 

Even after the Alpha Mike Foxtrot smorgasbord, I assume that there are loads of unheard tunes and versions sitting around the loft.

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Interesting info up top regarding the mixing of YHF and all that went into it. How reducing and/or backtracking the original mix process to remix would be difficult, if not impossible. Typically there are many studio and session logs, etc. to reference. Maybe there were and those are what give credence to the impossibility. I kind of make sense of it all by recognizing...that is what makes YHF a true piece of art. The creativity, passion and skill that went into creating it, during any given moment and using whatever technique or tool at hand to make it sound what they wanted it to sound like.

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i for one don't like when albums are remixed.  i feel like they are futzing with the historical document.  i'm thinking of The Beatles expanded editions, All Things Must Pass, The Band, etc.  the way i see it, if they are going to do it, okay, fine, but at least make the original album (remastered) a part of the box.  don't just release the remix and tons of bonus material in a box.

 

obviously, they won't remix it.  even if it were possible, they haven't remixed the past three reissues and i don't really care if they remaster it.

 

as far as if the bonus material is new to us or not, that's kinda beside the point.  owning it officially is what i'd like to do.

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On 8/5/2021 at 11:33 AM, you ever seen a ghost? said:

a live disc would always be excellent, but i have all of the deluxe editions, the front of house and roadcase shows....and that's something like 120+ live shows?  i'm sure it will be like the Summerteeth, where there is a disc of outtakes/demos and a live show.  i remember people raving over the demos that leaked around that time, but i haven't listened to them in 15+ years outside of "Venus Stopped The Train."

 

Funny you mentioned those demos. I pulled out the demos and the "Engineer Reference Demos" recently since hadn't listened in the same amount of time.

 

Here's a great recap if anyone needs a refresher:

 

https://100greatestbootlegs.blogspot.com/2016/08/61-wilco-yankee-hotel-foxtrot-demos-flac.html

 

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Since I'm not an audio engineer, I enjoyed reading this thread and learning some things from those of you who are more expert. Thank you!

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9 hours ago, Beltmann said:

Since I'm not an audio engineer, I enjoyed reading this thread and learning some things from those of you who are more expert. Thank you!


Ditto! Sometimes I feel like half of Wilco’s fanbase are either involved in music production somehow or are musicians themselves…haha. (I am neither, so it’s always interesting to hear the technical aspect of things, even if it usually goes over my head.)

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back in 2015 or so, when the Loft installation was part of Solid Sound, wasn't there a listening station with outtakes and unreleased studio recordings being played? I didn't spend much time at it and can't recall much obv, but am thinking there are leftovers to be plundered for sure. 

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5 hours ago, tinnitus photography said:

back in 2015 or so, when the Loft installation was part of Solid Sound, wasn't there a listening station with outtakes and unreleased studio recordings being played? I didn't spend much time at it and can't recall much obv, but am thinking there are leftovers to be plundered for sure. 

I think those were outtakes from A Ghost Is Born. Or was it The Wilco Book? I guess they were sorta the same sessions. 
 

I’m way more excited for a possible AGIB deluxe edition. I feel like we’ve heard everything from the YHF era with the 2 sets of demos that circulated, but I hope that’s not the case.

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When the band offered a free Vimeo stream of IATTBYH in May of last year, the accompanying website mentioned the following:

 

Quote

Film First is currently working on a new 4K transfer and restoration of I Am Trying To Break Your Heart from the original 16mm film elements, which will be released later this year.

 

We're now almost 1,5 year later, and I haven't seen a reissue yet. It would be absolutely fantastic if they included a Bluray disc with a deluxe reissue of the album. After all, the Mermaid Avenue anthology also included a dvd of Man In The Sand.

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On 8/11/2021 at 10:37 AM, u2roolz said:

I think those were outtakes from A Ghost Is Born. Or was it The Wilco Book? I guess they were sorta the same sessions. 
 

I’m way more excited for a possible AGIB deluxe edition. I feel like we’ve heard everything from the YHF era with the 2 sets of demos that circulated, but I hope that’s not the case.

This is how I feel as well! I bet there is some interesting AGIB stuff lying around. Those songs went through so many transformations from when they were debuted on the road to when the studio versions came out 2-3 years later. Alternate versions of "Spiders" and "Muzzle of Bees" would be particularly interesting, but who knows if studio recordings of those exist or not.

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  • 2 months later...
On 8/6/2021 at 1:26 PM, blureu said:

 

Funny you mentioned those demos. I pulled out the demos and the "Engineer Reference Demos" recently since hadn't listened in the same amount of time.

 

Here's a great recap if anyone needs a refresher:

 

https://100greatestbootlegs.blogspot.com/2016/08/61-wilco-yankee-hotel-foxtrot-demos-flac.html

 

So I had both demos discs back in the day but that computer has since crashed and burned.  I’d like to get these tracks again but can’t seem to find an active d/l anywhere.  Any chance you could set up a file share for me to access?

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