DEE EDWARDS: I CAN DEAL (BUT WITH WHICH VERSION?)

Dee edwards i can deal with that

Dee Edwards’ “(I Can) Deal With That” is one of the best crossover ballads I’ve ever heard but for the longest time, I had no clue that there were two versions on De•To, from the same year1 It was Nydia Ines Davila (long-time Daptone PR chief), who schooled me to the fact that the two versions are based around the same master recording. What I assume to be the second mix (based on matrix numbering) is basically the original mix + strings + a tambourine and (to my ears), it’s mixed better 2.

I already owned V2 (w/ strings) and because I was impulsive and had some money to burn, I recently copped V1 and was able to do a side-by-side listening. So can you:

Dee Edwards: (I Can) Deal With That (v1, no strings)
From 7″ (De•To, 1977). This version is also on Searching For Soul.

Dee Edwards: (I Can) Deal With That (v2, with strings)
From 7″ (De•To, 1977)

The consensus I heard was that V1 was better because it lacked the strings but to my ears? I have to say: V2 sounds better if only because the mix sounds a lot cleaner. What say you?

  1. Just to confuse things even more, Edwards re-recorded the song in 1990 for the Morning Glory label.
  2. The second version also has “1977″ on the a-side label which the original version does not. Otherwise though, the two labels look identical and both have the same catalog #. Yeah, confusing.

SHADES OF SOUL, EP 2.14: SUMMER JAMS FEAT. DJ SOFT TOUCH

Shades of Soul, EP 2.14: Summers James with DJ Soft Touch by Soul-Sides.Com/O. Wang on Mixcloud

Clifton, aka DJ Soft Touch, might damn well be the best dressed DJ in town (provided, it might be a low bar but seriously, Clifton is dapper). He’s a long-time resident at Funky Sole but also DJs at both the Standard and Ace Hotels (downtown), Rubbish in North Hollywood, and many other parties around the city.

He put together a pair of sweet sets for our summer song series (my actual spins marked by an *):

    *Ronnie Foster: Summer Song (remix from The New Groove)
    Style Council: Headstart for Happiness
    Six Feet Under: She’s Not There
    Barbara Acklin: Am I the Same Girl
    Curtis Harding: Keep on Shining
    Small Faces: I Feel Much Better
    *Kenny Dope Unreleased Project: Comin’ Inside
    Dodgy: Good Enough
    Mighty Ryaders: Evil Vibrations
    The Exits: You Got to Have Money
    Derek Martin: Sly Girl
    Boogaloo Assassins: No No No
    Jerry Jones: Compared to What

BAD RAP EDITS

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I’m sympathetic to the fact that record labels were under pressure to create clean edits of rap songs, especially in the 1990s. It may seem quaint now to read about C. Dolores Tucker or the Parents Music Resource Center in an era where any kid can listen to songs on YouTube and experience 1000x the profanity…and that’s just in the comments (*rimshot*). Nonetheless, creating radio edits was good business, a nod to DJs to let them know that it’d be safe to play this new single without the FCC getting on their ass.

However, clean edits are an art. Some artists simply recorded two different versions of their lyrics (*cough cough* “My Hitta” ain’t fooling no one) but usually, it was up to someone at the label (read: probably an intern) to do a quick edit using the existing studio tapes. I always thought that Gang Starr did it up nice, with Premier scratching over where the profanity would have been. In other cases, an engineer simply dropped the lyrics out while the beat continued to play on. That wasn’t so bad if you only had a few words to deal with but if you’ve ever heard KDAY’s radio edit of “Ain’t No Fun,” the end effect is like masturbating with your elbows; it’s possible, it’s just not that enjoyable.

But until today, I’m not sure I ever heard a radio edit done as sloppily as this one:

Civilized Savages: Ill Rhyme Skill (original clean edit)
From 12″ (Armageddon, 1994)

I mean…you can tell the label cut some serious by the fact that no one thought to check their label design to avoiding putting key text over where the spindle hole is supposed to go. It makes the b-side title confusing…I thought it was “New Rule Flava” for the longest. It’s not surprising then that the clean edit would be similarly wack. What they did was clip out any profanity but without an instrumental bed. Given that this was 1994, I’m assuming someone had a razor and was literally splicing tape to make this edit. I originally thought that my speakers were going out until I realized what was going on.

Now…I like this song and would have very much preferred the option to have a dirty version that didn’t sound like _____ so I loaded it into my multitrack editor and came up with what I think is a pretty good edit-of-the-edit.

Civilized Savages: Ill Rhyme Skill (edit of the clean edit)
From 12″ (Armageddon, 1994)

I used the 4 bar intro of the song to fill in the spaces where sound was originally cut out and from what I can hear, it works rather organically and likely would have been similar to what a proper radio edit would have done to begin with. Did I really need to spend an hour or so working on this? No…but it was bugging me so much, I just had to do something about it. Enjoy.


Edit: I didn’t realize that Chopped Herring reissued this EP in 2009including the original dirty version.

SHADES OF SOUL, EP 2.13: SUMMER JAMS FEAT. MILES TACKETT

Shades of Soul EP 2.13: Summer Jams feat. Miles Tackett by Soul-Sides.Com/O. Wang on Mixcloud

For my latest Shades of Soul (summer) episode, I invited Miles Tackett (FB/Twitter) to join. Folks know him best as the founder of Breakestra and for the very long-running weekly Funky Sole party. He’s got a new album out: Fool Who Wonders and I invited him in to talk about the album, his career and a few of his favorite summer jams.

POCKET GEAR

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A random post that’s (mostly) not music related but I was thinking about the things that I rely on most at any given time of the day and I narrowed it down to four items I literally don’t leave home without.

•iPhone 5S. ‘Nuff said. I don’t rotate the music enough but I keep a playlist that’s strictly “new arrivals + favorites” that ends up being very handy when I come up with my “year end” posts.

Quirky Wrapster. Because those %)!!)( iPhone earbuds always get tangled in my pocket otherwise).

Big Skinny card holder wallet. I’m strictly a “front pocket wallet” kind of guy and these are fantastic for that purpose.

•Prescription sunglasses (I get mine from Eyebuydirect.com). It’s terribly cliche for someone in L.A. I suppose but I spend so much time either in the car or on my bike, shades are essential.