Intriguer Deluxe Reissue discussion

I listened to Two Minutes of Silence this morning because of the post in the other thread.  Only listened to it once, but who is that singing the verses?  It didn't sound like Neil.  Admittedly listened via streaming on an iPad, so not exactly best possible sound quality.

The additions of the alternate (and tremendous) Isolation, The Only Way To Go Is Forward and Eyes Grow Heavy on Intriguer make this a heavy lean for me among the re-issues, although there are certainly some great nuggets spread among all the albums. Tip of the cap to Jeremy and Neil for seeing this project through.   

Interesting... I like the demo of Isolation, but I prefer the album version just because of its atmosphere. I also much prefer the album version of Twice if You're Lucky, the piano makes the song for me.

It's not really surprising though, as Intriguer is probably my 2nd favourite Crowdies album (after TA of course) so I guess the production and arrangements on it suit my tastes (shrugs)

Surprised no one's mentioned Two Minutes of Silence. I don't want to reveal too much for those still holding out till they get their copy but wow that song is unusual. It took me a few listens to really appreciate it but I'm starting to get into its dirge-like crawl. I thought Neil recorded Dizzy Heights because he felt the material was too experimental for CH but nothing on that album is as different as this!

Spencer Goode posted:

Surprised no one's mentioned Two Minutes of Silence. I don't want to reveal too much for those still holding out till they get their copy but wow that song is unusual. It took me a few listens to really appreciate it but I'm starting to get into its dirge-like crawl. I thought Neil recorded Dizzy Heights because he felt the material was too experimental for CH but nothing on that album is as different as this!

Well, I asked for some feedback on it and Nonsense, since I don't have mine yet, but I got no response. "Dirgelike crawl", huh? Moreso than White Lies and Alibis?

 

Steve Shealy posted:
Spencer Goode posted:

Surprised no one's mentioned Two Minutes of Silence. I don't want to reveal too much for those still holding out till they get their copy but wow that song is unusual. It took me a few listens to really appreciate it but I'm starting to get into its dirge-like crawl. I thought Neil recorded Dizzy Heights because he felt the material was too experimental for CH but nothing on that album is as different as this!

Well, I asked for some feedback on it and Nonsense, since I don't have mine yet, but I got no response. "Dirgelike crawl", huh? Moreso than White Lies and Alibis?

 

Oh, my! Sorry I missed your post! I guess my point about no one mentioning it is way off.  

White Lies has a certain tension and release pattern but to me Silence just drifts by. The irony is that Silence has sharp lyrical contrasts between dark war imagery and an ultimate overall theme of hope.

Spencer Goode posted:
Steve Shealy posted:
Spencer Goode posted:

Surprised no one's mentioned Two Minutes of Silence. I don't want to reveal too much for those still holding out till they get their copy but wow that song is unusual. It took me a few listens to really appreciate it but I'm starting to get into its dirge-like crawl. I thought Neil recorded Dizzy Heights because he felt the material was too experimental for CH but nothing on that album is as different as this!

Well, I asked for some feedback on it and Nonsense, since I don't have mine yet, but I got no response. "Dirgelike crawl", huh? Moreso than White Lies and Alibis?

 

Oh, my! Sorry I missed your post! I guess my point about no one mentioning it is way off.  

White Lies has a certain tension and release pattern but to me Silence just drifts by. The irony is that Silence has sharp lyrical contrasts between dark war imagery and an ultimate overall theme of hope.

No worries, that wasn't meant to be a slap at you!  As far as Nonsense goes, someone mentioned Strangest Friends showing up in there; how many songs make up this medley? Are all the rest "new"? Does the book mention titles? Neil had said they laid down about half an album worth of new material, but a four-minute song and a nine minute medley means there is probably a bit more out there in limbo. Maybe we'll hear it someday, but if there is ever a new CH release, I very much doubt Neil goes back to this stuff, doesn't seem to be his M.O.

Have to say that of all reisueis, Intriguer Deluxe is most interesting to me, and will be first to pick it up (unfortunately not in material position to buy whole box set at once :

Not only I am outcome "heretic" here  who enjoys Intriguer more than most of previous material (both old CH and others), but it seems to me that there is on Intriguer B side more songs which was never released before in any version (by that I mean that on other B side albums we have many live versions of previously released or demos for later released songs). Here we have two finished songs from album that (sadly and unfortunately to me) never saw the light of day. And we have some demos and live versions and studio finished of never released songs. Plus that we have live versions of songs 2 years before releasing, in form in which many fans fell in love (TIYL or ESOTW). And above all, this B side album gives wide view on one CH era which was to me absolutely brilliant! I still think that songs from that era was Neil strongest from time of CH Together Alone till these days. Finished result which came from album Intriguer is sadly something else - we can talk about maybe poor choices of songs which made final cut or maybe some different approach in production and recording, though. All in all, I cant wait to lay my hands and ears on it!

* and I can say for those who didnt hear studio version of song Intriguer yet - great joy is waiting for you. Welcome!

If Neil thinks Woodface was two songs too long, I think Intriguer was at least two songs too short. For me, I would add AT LEAST Better Things and The Only Way to Go is Forward (for you, Mariola!), but there was a lot of good material available. Should have had the title song, too, even if it is a bit cheesy. It's fun.

I agree, Steve thats why I listen Intriguer as 13 tracks album, almost from day one (Intriguer song, Eyes grow heavy and Turn it around), thanks to one nice and kind fan here As 13 tracks album with those 3 on wright places, its almost masterpiece album to me... only wish there was less infuence of Wilco on production and recording process.. I think this was a reason for some lack of energy...

So exactly what are the origins of "Two minutes of silence" and "Nonsense of course"? Various recordings by the band after Intriguer was finished? 2011? Edited and overdubbed by Neil in 2015/2016? The first is one song and the second an edit of various bits and pieces?

Guy., dont know for 100 % sure (Jaffaman will probably answer better), but I think these two songs are from shortly after Intriguer era (2011.)  and they are part of "40 % finished " new CH record under production of Nick Launey. Wonder where rest of that 40 % (probably at least 2 or 3 songs) ended?

lavar78 posted:

"God Lives Over the Road" (like "Lost Island" on TOE) is a different mix than the previously released version. I was shocked to hear the now familiar instrumental beginning to the song interrupted by Neil singing to me in Latin! Whoa!

I wasn't aware that this had been previously released. When and how did that happen?

Indeed they were  I haven't received my ToE deluxe yet because it remains unreleased in the UK, so I'm intrigued to hear you say that Lost Island is a different mix. I'm also interested to know how you know that God Lives is a different mix...

Mariola,  you are not alone in your feelings about Intriguer. I like it as least as much as woodface and Together Alone,  but agree you make a good point about Jim Scotts production. 

At 10 songs,  I think the balance is perfect. Never a desire to skip tracks. an understated masterpiece to my ears. 

 

I'm just imagining Intriguer produced my Mitchell Froom or Giles Martin. ��

Sam Vimes posted:

Paul,

I'd check on TOE if I were you (unless you are talking vinyl). I have TOE in my possession, direct from UMG.

Indeed. It appears that UMG has sourced copies before the retailers. Amazon is showing a release date of this Friday. To be honest, it's not as if I'm lacking any new CH music to listen to

Well well well. Isn't the bonus disc for Intriguer just, dare I say it, intriguing?

Like the bonus disc for Afterglow, this bonus disc can be heard as a 'lost' album if you want to remove the live tracks at the start (not that you would). So much great stuff on here and worthy of being on it's parent album. The demo of "Isolation" is so different to the album version that it qualifies as a new song altogether rather than an alternate demo version. "Only Way To Go Is Forwards" and "Beautiful Life" is a good arguement for the songwriter/band themselves sometimes not being the best judge of their own material. "God Lives Over The Road" is almost hypnpotic in it's approach and could hear this as a closer on the Intriguer album. Hell, it wouldn't be out of place on Dizzy Heights.

The last two (well actually three) last tracks are fantastic as well and it's a pity that they aborted these sessions in 2011. Maybe it's not too late to go back and continue work with Nick Launay? I have heard of far worst ideas. Great to have a easter egg with Strangest Friends tagged on the end.

As far as the album proper, I have always liked it and I think 10 songs, 40 minutes is a suitable length. However with these bonus cuts, fans can have fun re-compiling Intriguer and have a different tracklist of 10 songs altogether and STILL make a compelling listen. Isn't it um, intriguing that Afterglow and Intriguer, albums which don't have the highest status in the catalogue benefit greatly from these deluxe editons?

That's a fab post, Dazz. I'm so impressed with the deluxe of this; actually prefer Isolation and Saturday Sun in their 'new/old' guises. Only Way To Go Is Forwards is my favourite on the whole of discs 1 and 2. I always loved the original TIYL but that version you may recall where Neil gets the crowd to sing a note first and then the band join in. Plus the marvellous Falling Dove live from that period. In short, I think I would have completely dug an Intriguer a bit less adorned and perfected if such a word. Please don't get me wrong, can't mess with Neil's choices and these are just my personal preferences. One thing for definite, Intriguer disc 2 has made the whole thing come alive.

After all; was I wright or was I wrong when I said (in 2008. already) that Intriguer material has been Neils strongest from TA album?

So glad and happy to read all these enthusiastic and joyfull posts about these reissues (all, not only Intriguer)!

Still didnt grab anything from these, but after Painaporo discussion about lost album between TOLM and Woodface, little bit tempted to grab first Woodface Deluxe

Finfan posted:

 actually prefer Isolation and Saturday Sun in their 'new/old' guises.

One thing for definite, Intriguer disc 2 has made the whole thing come alive.

I completely agree with both of these statements.  

I find the Intriguer version of Saturday Sun to be virtually unlistenable.  There's a great song buried under there!

I've listened to the Intriguer bonus material pretty much exclusively for over a week now, and I absolutely love it.  Two Minutes of Silence is utterly haunting.  I wonder what inspired it.  Also happy beyond belief to have the original arrangements of Twice if You're Lucky and Either Side of the World back.

Okay, time for me to move on to another album now!

I seem to be the only one that prefers the final versions of TIYL and Isolation (although the original versions are still great - especially Isolation ) It is great to hear how good Saturday Sun is underneath all that distortion, I've always liked the chorus but I could skip the rest.

How about that version of Archer's Arrows though? I found the different feel of the song intriguing (sorry!) but I love the lyrics of the album version and I can't enjoy the alternate version quite as much without them.

Two Minutes of Silence was inspired by the Christchurch earthquake in 2011.

I am really loving all the bonus discs and while very hard to pick a favourite, Intriguer may just be it for me. It is the one I find myself going back to the most.

It may be due to my mild disappointment when the original album came out. I was at Leigh Saw Mill when they first trialled the songs, and I was disappointed that my favourite songs from that night either didn't make the cut or had be drastically changed. I also struggled with the cover art work a bit too. For me, it was the first CH album that hadn't lived up to my expectations, but possibly my fault for building them up so high. It wasn't that I didn't like the album, it just wasn't what I had hoped it would be.

The bonus disc now gives me the songs I missed when Intriguer first came out (as well as some extra treats), and I really like the songs from the Launay sessions. Strangest Friends works well as a CH song IMHO. 

 

Hawk57 posted:

I seem to be the only one that prefers the final versions of TIYL and Isolation (although the original versions are still great - especially Isolation

 

Not the only one. I love the album version of TIYL, apart from wishing the end was longer. 

Yes and amen to everyone in this thread saying the Intriguer bonus disc is their favorite. So very good.

Thom Bullock posted:
Hawk57 posted:

I seem to be the only one that prefers the final versions of TIYL and Isolation (although the original versions are still great - especially Isolation

 

Not the only one. I love the album version of TIYL, apart from wishing the end was longer. 

Yes and amen to everyone in this thread saying the Intriguer bonus disc is their favorite. So very good.

Definitely not the only one. I much prefer the album versions of "Isolation" and "Either Side of the World." "Twice If You're Lucky" is a bit of a wash. While I like the feel of the original live mix, the unsettled (and inferior) lyrics are a turn off. Give me the second, heavier version any day.

FWIW, I also see the alternate "Saturday Sun" as a missed opportunity to showcase "Cars Collide."

I do like the new material, though.

Thom Bullock posted:
Hawk57 posted:

I seem to be the only one that prefers the final versions of TIYL and Isolation (although the original versions are still great - especially Isolation

 

Not the only one. I love the album version of TIYL, apart from wishing the end was longer. 

I can't stand the album version of TIYL, it's too slow and the echoing effect sounds awful. I still remember the disappointment I felt when Intriguer came out and I found they had butchered what should have been my favourite song from the album.

Also for me this is the weakest bonus disc of all, not because of the quality of the songs (some absolute gems on here) but because aside from 5 tracks (the last two, Even If and the two Alt versions) I already had everything from this disc.

thejera posted:
Thom Bullock posted:
Hawk57 posted:

I seem to be the only one that prefers the final versions of TIYL and Isolation (although the original versions are still great - especially Isolation

 

Not the only one. I love the album version of TIYL, apart from wishing the end was longer. 

I can't stand the album version of TIYL, it's too slow and the echoing effect sounds awful. I still remember the disappointment I felt when Intriguer came out and I found they had butchered what should have been my favourite song from the album

 

There's a certain sense in which the bonus discs make clear that it's best we don't see too much of the creative process until it's run its course. If we'd grown up with the dance version, would we think Together Alone "ruined" Walking On The Spot? Difficult though that is to imagine...

If our first exposure to TIYL or Either Side... was on Intriguer, their standing might be much different. 

Fair enough I love the piano part of TIYL and it probably has my favourite drum track of any Crowdies song. But it does require a certain mood to enjoy - a tired Sunday afternoon suits the slowness of the album version 

You raise an excellent point about the already available material - it's probably the only thing stopping it from being my favourite bonus disc.

Thom Bullock posted:

If our first exposure to TIYL or Either Side... was on Intriguer, their standing might be much different. 

Yes of course, you make a good point and I have no problem with other people preferring a different version. One more reason to be thankful for the bonus discs, so many options now!

Thom Bullock posted:
Hawk57 posted:

I seem to be the only one that prefers the final versions of TIYL and Isolation (although the original versions are still great - especially Isolation

 

Not the only one. I love the album version of TIYL, apart from wishing the end was longer. 

Yes and amen to everyone in this thread saying the Intriguer bonus disc is their favorite. So very good.

I love the final version of TIYL but, like you, wish the ending went on longer. It seems ideal for the kind of end-of-song rock-out we got on Nails in My Feet. That said, I also loved the earlier (still abandoned) version of the song that featured a wholly different lyric/melody.

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