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carlo
09-21-2010, 11:36 AM
Hey guys,

I'm listening to "Tears of a Clown" on the 35th Anniversary Box-Set right now. Why does this version sound different to my ears? I've heard this song so many times, but this version sounds a little faster paced...?? Or is it just me?:p

soulster
09-21-2010, 01:47 PM
That's because it is different. I don't know if you realized it, but that box used the hit 45 RPM singles versions. Until that box, many hadn't been heard since the 45s were first released.

"The Tears Of A Clown" single version had previously been issued on the first Hitsville U.S.A. boxed set. The single version uses a different drummer, has the bass on the intro, and has more compression applied....and it's mono.

Most people have gotten so used to hearing one of the two stereo mixes that they have totally forgotten about how different the 45 sounded.

I don't think they sped it up, though.

Carlo, i'm surprised you didn't know the differences!

westgrandboulevard
09-21-2010, 02:17 PM
I think the version on 35th Anniversary is the US 45 version?

Interesting as, to my ears, I would say it is not faster paced, but actually slower than the version released here in the UK, which is slightly different, and powers along...and I must say, is the one I prefer!

soulster
09-21-2010, 06:15 PM
I think the version on 35th Anniversary is the US 45 version?


Yes. I prefer it too.

rovereab
09-21-2010, 06:32 PM
The mono Make It Happen LP version of TOAC has a different lead vocal take to the well known UK stereo, US stereo and US mono 45 mixes.

robbert
09-22-2010, 08:13 PM
I may add: TOAC was a Miracles' album cut on Make It Happen in 1967.

When (radio?) DJ's started to pick up the song in 1970 (in the wake of a huge UK Tamla-Motown revival, including This Old heart Of Mine and others), the 1967 version was released as a 45 in the UK and it soared to the no. 1 spot.
I don't have the UK 45, so I don't know if it was mono or stereo, but considering the UK Motown policy in those days I assume it was mono.

In The Netherlands we ordered at Motown USA a STEREO tape of the original song from the Make It Happen album, which was promptly sent. In short: the Dutch pressing of the TOAC 45 in 1970 was the 1967 cut, in stereo (and it reached the Dutch Top-10 in the late summer of 1970).

Meanwhile... back in the USA, Motown tried to cash in on that UK No. 1, but somehow found it necessary to give the 1967 cut a 'contemporary boost', so an extra drum track and percussion were added, among other things. I assume there was also some remixing. I never liked that version, though, because the original had a bright sparkling sound, which the 1970 remixed version lacked.
If the over all tempo was slowed down a bit, my ears say YES, but I never checked it out with a metronome.
By the way... the 1970 version went to no. 1 in the USA, too...

Which European countries took the original cut or the 1970 version for their 45 release, I don't know, but as we in Holland were coordinating the Motown releases for the European mainland, I assume the 1967 version was released as a 45 all over Europe.

marv2
09-23-2010, 02:47 AM
Robbert, the version that was released in the United States of "Tears of A Clown" was much better than what you got over there. I have the old album, "Make It Happen" and our version (the updated version of 1970) of the song was the best version period. Sorry.

midnight johnny
09-23-2010, 09:11 AM
I may add: TOAC was a Miracles' album cut on Make It Happen in 1967.

When (radio?) DJ's started to pick up the song in 1970 (in the wake of a huge UK Tamla-Motown revival, including This Old heart Of Mine and others), the 1967 version was released as a 45 in the UK and it soared to the no. 1 spot.
I don't have the UK 45, so I don't know if it was mono or stereo, but considering the UK Motown policy in those days I assume it was mono.

In The Netherlands we ordered at Motown USA a STEREO tape of the original song from the Make It Happen album, which was promptly sent. In short: the Dutch pressing of the TOAC 45 in 1970 was the 1967 cut, in stereo (and it reached the Dutch Top-10 in the late summer of 1970).

Meanwhile... back in the USA, Motown tried to cash in on that UK No. 1, but somehow found it necessary to give the 1967 cut a 'contemporary boost', so an extra drum track and percussion were added, among other things. I assume there was also some remixing. I never liked that version, though, because the original had a bright sparkling sound, which the 1970 remixed version lacked.
If the over all tempo was slowed down a bit, my ears say YES, but I never checked it out with a metronome.
By the way... the 1970 version went to no. 1 in the USA, too...

Which European countries took the original cut or the 1970 version for their 45 release, I don't know, but as we in Holland were coordinating the Motown releases for the European mainland, I assume the 1967 version was released as a 45 all over Europe.

Robbert...I didn't think you were trying to debate which was the best version...you just gave some interesting information and said which version you liked better. I have a special place in my heart for the "untweeked" original version too...and I agree with you about the sparkling sound of it that got lost when they created the denser 1970 version.
John

topdiva1
09-23-2010, 10:25 AM
Thanks to you guys I am ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS learning here!!! This recording no matter what version is a true true Classic!!!!!

They just cannot, for some reason sing produce and/ or make great recordings like this - what the heck has happen to music!!!!

Thanks guys!!!

tamla617
09-23-2010, 10:57 AM
i've just learnt something again!
and echo topdiva's thanks!

i've got make it happen and tears of a clown,same album 'cept for title.
i've never even thought there would be a difference.i'm going to get my ears sorted!

Sotosound
09-25-2010, 05:27 PM
The UK got the original stereo mix. The UK matrix number was YTMG 745A, with the "Y" denoting that the track was in stereo.


(If it had been mono then the matrix number would have been TMG 745A).


The US mono single mix is slowed down. You don't really need a metronome to tell the difference because slowing it down changes the pitch, meaning that the song ends up in a different key. If you've got both versions then play them one after the other and you'll see what I mean.


The 1970 US stereo mix isn’t slowed down, and it retains the newer 1970 drum track but uses the original bass line. It also appears to have been entirely remixed from the original multi-track since the Miracles’ backing vocals are much cleaner and undistorted.


(On the original stereo mix the backing vocals are very distorted and even break up at times. This might have been a deliberate choice considering that some Motown mixing engineers really went to town with distortion in the mid-60s.)

My personal preference is for the original version since the drummer has a lot of energy but also a wonderful lightness of touch, and he really drives the track along. Just listen to his initial pick up – it’s fabulous. The bass (JJ?) is equally great.

(Fortunately for we Brits, the original stereo mix also places both the drums and bass dead centre in the mix, allowing them to drive things along. This was less than usual for Motown in 1967.)


The drummer on the 1970 version, however, had to follow the track rather than drive it, and, to my mind, this shows. The drumming style might have been slightly more contemporary but it is also a bit ponderous and boring. For me the initial pick up is a let down.


The bass suffers just as much on the US single mix, again probably because the bassist (BB?) wasn’t in the studio playing with an ensemble. Instead, he probably had to sit there with headphones on and, effectively, do karaoke bass.

There's another thread or two around on the old SDF about this track that explains why the track couldn't be released as a single when it was first recorded, which basically revolves around Smokey's use of a non-Motown drummer (the drummer from his touring band) on the track.

The one thing that I'd really love to hear is the original mono mix from "Make It Happen". This track is long overdue being heard. Is anyone aware of this having ever been released on anything other than the original mono “Make It Happen” LP?

alexstassi
03-25-2018, 01:09 PM
Sorry I know this is an old thread but just wanted to add the UK Version of Tears of A Clown is actually the version on One dozen roses....

You can hear the differences between the version on Make It Happen & One Dozen Roses . same tempo but the main difference you hear right away is the prominent hi hat on the intro of the UK single that isn't on the 67 album version.
This just has a shaker.. also the drums are different... Kick snare Kick-kick on the UK single on the 67 album version.. snare is on almost every beat

The US version is slower and has a different groove.... both versions of the single are great in their own right

arr&bee
03-25-2018, 04:06 PM
Speaking of smokey-i recently heard a classic[live]version of-a folk in the road.

RanRan79
03-25-2018, 06:08 PM
I'm glad this thread was revived because I was planning on asking the group what the differences were between the versions. I know there's a version that I've come to like and a version I'm not too crazy about (there was a point in time when I didn't care for TOAC at all). I needed to pinpoint which version is which. I think it's the UK version that's my favorite.

RanRan79
03-25-2018, 06:09 PM
Speaking of smokey-i recently heard a classic[live]version of-a folk in the road.

Think you mean "Fork In the Road". "Folk In the Road" was the Weird Al version.:p

lockhartgary
03-25-2018, 06:29 PM
1967 Make It Happen US Mono Version
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpzbkAHJNK0

lockhartgary
03-25-2018, 06:34 PM
UK Mono Version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwut8Hi1oyU

mysterysinger
03-25-2018, 06:54 PM
1) My - that 1967 Make It Happen US Mono Version in really weird - first time I've heard that.

2) What is shown as a UK mono version above is surely the UK stereo version as it has the YTMG prefix. This is BY FAR the best version.

3) The UK single was issued with 2 different B' Sides - "Who's Gonna Take The Blame" or "You Must Be Love" - I've no idea why.

lockhartgary
03-25-2018, 09:36 PM
1) My - that 1967 Make It Happen US Mono Version in really weird - first time I've heard that.

2) What is shown as a UK mono version above is surely the UK stereo version as it has the YTMG prefix. This is BY FAR the best version.

3) The UK single was issued with 2 different B' Sides - "Who's Gonna Take The Blame" or "You Must Be Love" - I've no idea why.

Yes, there is stereo separation on the UK mono version. I didn't catch that the first time.

Sotosound
03-26-2018, 07:36 AM
Sorry I know this is an old thread but just wanted to add the UK Version of Tears of A Clown is actually the version on One dozen roses....

You can hear the differences between the version on Make It Happen & One Dozen Roses . same tempo but the main difference you hear right away is the prominent hi hat on the intro of the UK single that isn't on the 67 album version.
This just has a shaker.. also the drums are different... Kick snare Kick-kick on the UK single on the 67 album version.. snare is on almost every beat

The US version is slower and has a different groove.... both versions of the single are great in their own right


The UK single release was the original 1967 stereo mix. It was pulled from "Make It Happen" when the UK Motown office was searching for a follow-up to the hit re-issue of "Tracks Of My Tears".

The (fabulous) drummer on this track is allegedly Melvin Davis from Smokey's touring band at that time, and this is allegedly why the track wasn't released as a single back then, i.e. Melvin Davis wasn't an official Motown drummer and Berry Gordy said "No.".l

The "hi hat" that you're describing can be found on the US stereo remix, with Uriel Jones' new drum track but without Bob Babbitt's new bass line, and running at the right speed. This new stereo mix and the slower US mono single mix were both done in 1970 after the UK gave Motown USA good reason to revive the track.

To my understanding "One Dozen Roses" was released after TOAC hit the charts, not before.

alexstassi
03-26-2018, 09:48 AM
The UK single release was the original 1967 stereo mix. It was pulled from "Make It Happen" when the UK Motown office was searching for a follow-up to the hit re-issue of "Tracks Of My Tears".

The (fabulous) drummer on this track is allegedly Melvin Davis from Smokey's touring band at that time, and this is allegedly why the track wasn't released as a single back then, i.e. Melvin Davis wasn't an official Motown drummer and Berry Gordy said "No.".l

The "hi hat" that you're describing can be found on the US stereo remix, with Uriel Jones' new drum track but without Bob Babbitt's new bass line, and running at the right speed. This new stereo mix and the slower US mono single mix were both done in 1970 after the UK gave Motown USA good reason to revive the track.

To my understanding "One Dozen Roses" was released after TOAC hit the charts, not before.


Man this is confusing.... On the Complete Motown 1's box set (the one with the cd's housed in the mini hitsville) it lists the version with the hi-hat as The UK version of the single.... So that's actually the U.S stereo mix... and the slower version with the new bass line was the U.S. Mono mix. (listed as the US single on this box)

Then for me my favourite version is the U.S. Stereo mix then.

alexstassi
03-26-2018, 10:31 AM
1) My - that 1967 Make It Happen US Mono Version in really weird - first time I've heard that.

2) What is shown as a UK mono version above is surely the UK stereo version as it has the YTMG prefix. This is BY FAR the best version.

3) The UK single was issued with 2 different B' Sides - "Who's Gonna Take The Blame" or "You Must Be Love" - I've no idea why.


Oh my, I just heard the mono lp version now... the melody line on the lead vocal don't sound right at all

RanRan79
03-26-2018, 11:24 AM
Man this is confusing.... On the Complete Motown 1's box set (the one with the cd's housed in the mini hitsville) it lists the version with the hi-hat as The UK version of the single.... So that's actually the U.S stereo mix... and the slower version with the new bass line was the U.S. Mono mix. (listed as the US single on this box)

Then for me my favourite version is the U.S. Stereo mix then.

It is confusing! But I think my fav has to be re-labeled the stereo mix.

lockhartgary
03-26-2018, 11:45 AM
The stereo version certainly does have bouncier and more ebullient lead vocals.

mysterysinger
03-26-2018, 02:55 PM
Shortly after "Tears of a Clown" became a huge UK hit, EMI tried their hand again by re-issuing "(Come Round Here) I'm The One You Need". Both tracks were then added to the tracks from the US "A Pocket Full Of Miracles" album to produce a UK LP entitled simply "Smokey Robinson & The Miracles". A photo of Smokey was made up (in)appropriately.

14079

STML11172 Tracklist
A1 Flower Girl *
A2 Who's Gonna Take The Blame *
A3 Darling Dear *
A4 You've Got The Love I Need *
A5 Get Ready *
A6 Bridge Over Troubled Water *
A7 The Tears Of A Clown
B1 (Come 'Round Here) You're The One I Need
B2 Something / Something You Got *
B3 Point It Out *
B4 Don't Take It So Hard *
B5 Backfire *
B6 The Reel Of Time *
B7 Wishful Thinking *

robb_k
03-26-2018, 03:42 PM
14081
The 1967 vocal by Smokey is 1000 times better than his 1966 vocal. That makes the difference between the tune being 45 "A' side material, and album filler material. Also, both Melvin Davis' AND Uriel Jones' added drum track helps make it much better. I prefer The US 1970 single version at rated at 100 (perfect), to the UK 1970 version, at 97, to the 1966 US LP version, at a significantly lower 82.

mysterysinger
03-26-2018, 04:38 PM
The drumming on the US single version sounds awful, lacks punch and hinders the track. The UK 1970 single has it all (but then that's the one I got used to lol). JMHO.

I think there are also different versions of "I'm The One You Need".

lockhartgary
03-26-2018, 05:47 PM
I think there are also different versions of "I'm The One You Need".

Yes, the US mono and US stereo mixes are different. The mono mix is WAY better.

Motown Eddie
03-26-2018, 05:54 PM
The drumming on the US single version sounds awful, lacks punch and hinders the track. The UK 1970 single has it all (but then that's the one I got used to lol). JMHO.

I think there are also different versions of "I'm The One You Need".

Yes; there are different versions of "(Come 'Round Here) I'm The One You Need". The stereo and mono mixes of the song have different lead vocals from Smokey Robinson. And as with most of Motown's work from the '60s, the mono mix has more punch.

Motown Eddie
03-26-2018, 05:57 PM
Wouldn't it be nice to have an expanded 'deluxe edition' of Smokey & the Miracles Make It Happen LP? It could include all the different mixes/takes of "The Tears Of A Clown" under one roof.

TomatoTom123
03-26-2018, 07:51 PM
I had no idea there were so many mixes of "The Tears Of A Clown"!!! This makes me agree with Eddie that an album with them all on would be excellent and super helpful, lol

rovereab
03-27-2018, 07:38 AM
If the US version was slowed down any more it might have been a case of "Melvin Franklin and the Miracles" :)

My ideal mix would be the US mono mix running at the correct speed. Perhaps someone could "Make It Happen" :)

alexstassi
03-27-2018, 11:05 AM
If the US version was slowed down any more it might have been a case of "Melvin Franklin and the Miracles" :)

My ideal mix would be the US mono mix running at the correct speed. Perhaps someone could "Make It Happen" :)



Not that hard to do... i'm on it.... it just needs pitching up 50% of a semitone

alexstassi
03-27-2018, 11:20 AM
Literally took me no time to do. Here's Tears of a clown U.S. Mono mix at correct speed

(http://youtu.be/a2cMDOBCae4)
https://youtu.be/a2cMDOBCae4

Boogiedown
03-27-2018, 01:41 PM
thank you AlexS for pulling this thread forward !

Your sped up version makes Smokey sound younger , but for my ears it makes the record sound a bit rushed , albeit more cheery in the process .

This is my favorite Smokey song and its a wonderful group effort , The Miracles presence is intricate and their earnestness does a great job at keeping the song in motion.
I had always heard that it took years to be released and I never understood why , so learning about the drummer finally explains that.

Of particular interest is this original version with what I guess is Smokey's initial stab at laying down the vocals , fascinating to then hear them properly fine tuned. What a difference. Thank goodness the UK researchers didn't hone in on this version!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpzbkAHJNK0

Great stuff!

alexstassi
03-27-2018, 03:19 PM
[QUOTE=Boogiedown;448269]thank you AlexS for pulling this thread forward !

Your sped up version makes Smokey sound younger , but for my ears it makes the record sound a bit rushed , albeit more cheery in the process .


If you listen to the original 67 stereo mix and my sped up version you'll notice they're both in the same key.... I think the reason it might sound rushed is Bob's overdubbed Bass Line.... but for me it sounds more natural in this way than they slowed down u.s. mono mix... it never sounded right to me being that touch slower.

Again for me I do like the 1970 stereo version... it just sounds that bit punchier than the original stereo version.. of course the 1970 single wouldn't have existed without it.

And as you said.... a massive props has to go out to Karen Spreadbury of the Motown UK Fan Club for pulling this out of the bag, otherwise it would have just been "that last track on the make it happen album"

rovereab
03-27-2018, 04:42 PM
Literally took me no time to do. Here's Tears of a clown U.S. Mono mix at correct speed

Many thanks - that sounds good to me. The USA mono single mix drags along to my ears!

marv2
03-27-2018, 05:29 PM
Literally took me no time to do. Here's Tears of a clown U.S. Mono mix at correct speed

(http://youtu.be/a2cMDOBCae4)
https://youtu.be/a2cMDOBCae4

That's how I remember it sounding on the radio and on record at home.

marv2
03-27-2018, 05:30 PM
When I hear this song now on oldies radio, it always sounds very sped up.

marv2
03-27-2018, 05:36 PM
Whenever they would perform it on TV, it would be slowed down. Note the backgrounds on this:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsI-DB-25e8

alexstassi
03-27-2018, 07:19 PM
That's how I remember it sounding on the radio and on record at home.


This is how I always knew the U.S. mix.... just sounds like it's dragging


https://youtu.be/iqxndAG7Vew

alexstassi
03-27-2018, 07:23 PM
Marv, unless you meant this version.... which i now know as the U.S. Stereo single from 1970.. and the one they included on One Dozen Roses


https://youtu.be/4heHLbchPKk

lukpac
04-22-2019, 03:43 PM
A few comments and questions:


I'm glad this thread was revived because I was planning on asking the group what the differences were between the versions. I know there's a version that I've come to like and a version I'm not too crazy about (there was a point in time when I didn't care for TOAC at all). I needed to pinpoint which version is which. I think it's the UK version that's my favorite.

I think the various versions have been spelled out, but I'll list them out for clarity:

1 - 1967 mono mix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpzbkAHJNK0) from Make It Happen mono LP. Same recording, but totally different Smokey vocal that isn't found on any of the other mixes. Sadly, unlike the other mixes, I'm not aware that this has been reissued digitally.
2 - 1967 stereo mix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMEz0lB6hBI) from Make It Happen stereo LP. This was later issued as a (stereo) 45 in the UK in 1970.
3 - 1970 mono mix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CbBJguORNg) released on 45 in the US after the success of the UK 45. This contains a re-recorded bass line (noticeable in the intro and breaks) and a new drum overdub with prominent hi-hat.
4 - 1971 stereo mix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp9lwDax5rM) from One Dozen Roses LP. Retains the drum overdub from the US 45 but skips the bass overdub.


14081
The 1967 vocal by Smokey is 1000 times better than his 1966 vocal. That makes the difference between the tune being 45 "A' side material, and album filler material. Also, both Melvin Davis' AND Uriel Jones' added drum track helps make it much better. I prefer The US 1970 single version at rated at 100 (perfect), to the UK 1970 version, at 97, to the 1966 US LP version, at a significantly lower 82.

Two questions:

1) What do you mean by "1967 vocal" and "1966 vocal"? Are you referring to the common (most mixes) and mono Make It Happen vocals, respectively?

2) What "1966 US LP version" are you talking about? Make It Happen wasn't released until 1967. And while the mono Make It Happen mix differs from the UK 45, the UK 45 is the same mix as the stereo Make It Happen mix.


Marv, unless you meant this version.... which i now know as the U.S. Stereo single from 1970.. and the one they included on One Dozen Roses

Note the One Dozen Roses stereo mix was *not* released as a stereo 45, at least in the US in 1970.


The (fabulous) drummer on this track is allegedly Melvin Davis from Smokey's touring band at that time, and this is allegedly why the track wasn't released as a single back then, i.e. Melvin Davis wasn't an official Motown drummer and Berry Gordy said "No.".l

Besides the fact that I *highly* doubt that Gordy would reject a possible hit because of who played on it, this story simply doesn't make sense considering the history of the recording. The music was written and recorded before any involvement from Smokey. Stevie Wonder and Hank Cosby wrote the music, Cosby produced the track, and then Stevie presented the song to Smokey at the Christmas party in the hope that he could write lyrics for it. Smokey tells the story here, and I've read exactly the same thing in various places:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlVQ8XuSrSA

Robinson: "...Stevie came to me at a Christmas party, and he said 'Smoke, man, I got this track, man, that I've recorded here. It's a great track, but I can't think of a song to go with this track man. Listen to this for me and see if you can come up with a song for it.' So I said 'OK!' So I took the track, and you know, I took it home, I listened to it, when I first heard the track, you know...the track that he gave me that night was complete, it's the one that's on the record, he had already recorded the track and did the music and all that, you know..."

Why would Smokey's touring drummer play on a track that had no involvement from Smokey?

mysterysinger
04-23-2019, 03:02 AM
The UK stereo single version (from "Make It Happen") remains by far the best being much crisper and cleaner than any overdubbed fake. The overdubs drag the song back and add a very uncomfortable ring at the start. Why do that to such a great song. It was also a massive hit in the UK in its MIH stereo format. One other curiosity is that it got released with two different B sides for some reason and I much preferred "Who's Gonna Take The Blame" which sounded great.

marv2
04-23-2019, 09:59 AM
The UK stereo single version (from "Make It Happen") remains by far the best being much crisper and cleaner than any overdubbed fake. The overdubs drag the song back and add a very uncomfortable ring at the start. Why do that to such a great song. It was also a massive hit in the UK in its MIH stereo format. One other curiosity is that it got released with two different B sides for some reason and I much preferred "Who's Gonna Take The Blame" which sounded great.

"Who's Gonna Take The Blame" is one of my favorite Miracles songs.

mysterysinger
04-23-2019, 12:36 PM
Yes it's an excellent track