Overdubbing on dwell albums is a contentious and polarising apply on the planet of music. On one hand, overdubs could possibly be seen as a mandatory motion to be able to produce the very best outcomes, with tweaks to vocals or crowd noise merely touching up the magic that’s already there. Alternatively, overdubs can masks and obscure the music that was initially performed, to the purpose that some dwell albums hardly sound like dwell albums in any respect.
A number of the most well-known dwell LPs of all time, together with Kiss’ Alive and Little Feat’s Ready for Columbus, have been subjected to in depth overdubs after their preliminary dwell recordings. Even a band as beloved for his or her singular dwell performances because the Grateful Useless weren’t exempt from sprucing up their recordings within the studio. One of many Useless’s most necessary albums of their profession, 1972’s Europe ’72, was a vital dwell doc that additionally occurred to be subjected to quite a few overdubs after the very fact.
Most of those overdubs got here within the type of vocals. Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and Donna Jean Godchaux all tweaked, and typically fully re-recorded, their vocal performances for the ultimate mixture of the LP. Garcia and Weir added further guitar overdubs on plenty of tracks, whereas pianist Keith Godchaux overdubbed a couple of new keyboard components as nicely. When it was all mentioned and carried out, just one music from the ultimate combine acquired no overdubs in any respect.
That was Ron ‘Pigpen’ McKernan‘s authentic ‘Mr. Charlie’, written with lyrics from in-house Useless lyricist Robert Hunter. Virtually instantly upon arriving again within the States, Pigpen started falling ailing and would solely carry out yet another live performance with the Useless after the Europe ’72 tour earlier than retiring from all band actions. In fact, Pigpen was dying, his physique breaking down from years of intensive alcohol abuse. In the course of the overdubbing periods for Europe ’72, Pigpen was the one member absent.
Keith Godchaux added some further piano traces to Pigpen’s second of two songs included on the ultimate album, ‘Hurts Me Too’, however with out the course of its author within the studio, ‘Mr. Charlie’ was left untouched. Each of Pigpen’s songs have been left to the very finish of the overdubbing periods, with the Useless hoping that Pigpen would finally get well sufficient to hitch them for the ultimate mixes. That didn’t occur, and simply 4 months after the discharge of Europe ’72, Pigpen died of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage on the age of 27.
Try the one true dwell music from Europe ’72, ‘Mr. Charlie’, down under.