I’ve been listening to The Impressions’ This Is My Country/Young Mod’s Forgotten Story a ton the last few weeks. Though recorded as separate LPs, I always just lump them into one since they’re so similar in theme and feel that they just feel like a single album that happened to be released in two installments. What I especially love about this faux-double album is that my favorite song off of it keeps changing every few weeks. Right now, it’s “My Deceiving Heart,” but at one point, it was “Seven Years.”
First of all, here’s the original version in stereo:
On some level, I must have realized the song was recorded with some purposeful panning but it wasn’t until I was listening to it again recently, with one ear bud out, that I realized how separated the left and right channels were from one another. Here’s the right channel, mixed down into mono:
The most prominent element here are the lead vocals by Mayfield, with the occasional back-up accent (but not the doo-wop vocals which are exclusively in the left channel). I also hear the the piano which I think are mostly in the right as well. What’s also prominently missing: the horns (though you can hear their ghostly presence in the background). Those can all be found in the left channel:
Here are those horns, loud and clear, along with The Impressions’ smooth croons, the rhythm guitar, the vibes, and possibly one or two other elements (tuba?). Musically, this sounds more like the final mix than the right channel version but without Mayfield’s vocals, it feels like an instrumental version…something that you might have found on the flip of the single’s 45 release.
All said, I prefer the final, full stereo version. 😉