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Bad Judges Of Own Material

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    Posted: August 19 2011 at 21:35
A while I made a thread about Jethro Tull and the experience I had listening to their b-sides, rarities and outtakes where I regularly found myself going "WHAT? Why wasn't that included on the album? Who shelves such a wealth of good material?" etc

I now have another artist I'm having the same experience with, Elvis Costello, getting deluxe reissues of his albums which include as many as ten or more outtakes and alternate versions. And as you can guess from my opening, I'm finding quite a lot of it obviously superior to things that made the album.

This is definitely the exception. I've trawled through outtakes and rarities of quite a few artists and while there's always the odd goody, more than half the time you're going "Yeah I can see why this wasn't included." But Tull and Costello seem to routinely put strong songs in the trash. And I know it's not just me, the "you can make a better Tull album out of shelved material than some of the official LPs" sentiment is something I've seen several times.

I remember when Oasis's outtakes set came out, there was a song on there called Acquiesce that blew everyone away and people were asking them why on earth that wasn't made a single. I've also seen people give Pete Townsend a kicking for removing Pure And Simple (some people have even called it the best Who song) from Who's Next.

What other examples are there?

This is a good idea for a thread because I'm sure a lot of us would like to be pointed to hidden gems without going through the time consuming (and sometimes profoundly unrewarding) experience of manually going and actually listning seriously to all those outtakes sets.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jammun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2011 at 22:44
I'm not sure they were bad judges, they were just operating within the limitations in terms of fitting all of the stuff on one LP, time-wise.  Tull is a good example, in that one of their better LP's -- Living In The Past -- was made up of many of those songs that for whatever reason did not make it on the standard LP releases.  Costello, who knows?  I've got the expanded editions of some of his early stuff but I still think an album like This Year's Girl is pretty much perfect at it stands in it's original incarnation.  Same goes for The Who's Who's Next.  Same goes for many of The Who's albums, though Live At Leeds in it's 'deluxe' edition is certainly welcome.  The same can't be said for the Blind Faith album.  Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone.  Spirit's Clear re-release had the otherwise unavailable 1984 on it...again, certainly welcome.  Ya start digging in the archives, ya find some diamonds, ya find some crap. 
 
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Lincoln County Road or Armageddon.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2011 at 00:06
A related thing is single selection. REM are notorious for choosing the "wrong" singles and Peter Buck once saud almost every conversation he had with a fan included a "Why wasn't x the single?" moment.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2011 at 05:49
Not perhaps the kind of contribution that would be expected on a prog forum but anyway, ABBA seemed to misjudge their material towards the end of their career.  How on earth didn't Elaine make it to Super Trouper, being comfortably better than On and On and On or Lay all your Love on Me. Likewise, Under Attack and Should I Laugh or Cry are Visitors B sides and could have been included in place of the drab One of Us or the weak Two for the Price of One.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jammun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2011 at 14:47
ABBA is always welcome here in the general music forum, I'd hope.  I know there's a lot that hate 'em.  I love that Euro-synth pop, sorta the b*****d offspring of true prog.
Can you tell me where we're headin'?
Lincoln County Road or Armageddon.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Truth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2011 at 14:50
Porcupine Tree's Recordings is some of the coolest material they ever released and it's all album outtakes or b-sides.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2011 at 17:37
The rapper Nas is famous for his Lost Tapes compilation. It's almost unanimously agreed to be better than many of his official LPs.
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