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original Boats vs Definitive Boats


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Not sure if this was ever discussed, but I often wondered what you guys preferred. The original Boats against the current(song) or the version from The definitive collection. I have always liked the original feeling that Eric was sensational at conveying the heartfelt lyrics.But I suddenly grew fond of the Definitive version,the very gentle and soulful background vocals were done PERFECTLY. It adds anoter dimension to the feeling of this gem. But I still like the original better. I don't know if Eric ever mentioned the story behind it all.

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Not sure if this was ever discussed, but I often wondered what you guys preferred. The original Boats against the current(song) or the version from The definitive collection. I have always liked the original feeling that Eric was sensational at conveying the heartfelt lyrics.But I suddenly grew fond of the Definitive version,the very gentle and soulful background vocals were done PERFECTLY. It adds anoter dimension to the feeling of this gem. But I still like the original better. I don't know if Eric ever mentioned the story behind it all.

LOVE this subject!.. I prefer the original singer/songwriter version without the background singers who just weren't 'soulful" enough for me. It seemed to smell of Clive Davis' heavy hand IMHO. One mighty injustice regarding Eric's songwriting skill is his soul. I guess white kids from Cleveland, who like rock, can't have soul. wink I could name several ec songs in a moment's notice that , handled correctly, are as soulful as anything done by any fair-skinned midwesterner. (BATC for one.....also "Someone That You Loved Before" as another...even "When You Need Someone"). I guess Eric, in all his incarnations, had to fight the image bugaboo across many genres. Too bad!

I think the fact that ec has had the most eclectic collection of singers cover his songs speaks volumes about how his music crosses genres.

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I HATE the one with background vocals.To me, they detract from the intimacy of the song and the lyric. This version was done at Clive's behest. I was sure he'd hate it. Wrong!

I REALLY HATE that he snuck this version on "The Definitive Collection", a group of songs I chose, and ruined my favorite song for me.

I think I remember your performance on the Merv Griffin show (smoking on the set during the talk segment hahaha)....with Clive and I think Melissa Manchester. I'm almost positive you played both ABM & BOATC. I could be mistaken....but that was raw, captivating emotion. Those aren't exactly short songs as well. It's a shame there isn't a TV show like that where the singer/songwriter could play his work the way it was meant to be.

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Ironic, this is EXACTLY how McCartney felt about The Long and Winding Road. He hated the background vocals and music Phil Spector layered on his recording a year later without his approval (and possibly knowledge) and the other boys let release on the Let it Be album.

The stronger the melody and lead vocal performance, the less distractions you need. I love the way Eric's voice is so out in front in the mix on the original.

I've posted this before but here is the most stripped down version of LAWR that you'll ever see, and may be one of the best.

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I was LOVING the version with the background vocals until I heard the ORIGINAL!! Then again thoese vocals were a bit draggy and mopy for me.

I don't understand why any artist's work would be altered by Clive or Phil. Boats, Change of Heart and Long and Winding Road were all just spectacular in their original forms!! I'm just glad for the multimedia section of this board so that we are all able to hear Eric's work as he intended for it to be heard!!

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It's the original version LuvLoveheartpump of Boats, all the way, for me. That's one of the reasons I asked andiemay to make this fab video, because the other ones on YouTube at the time had the background arrgh vocals:

Beautiful and sweet Elle!

I would say that the video was totally made BY You!!

Cause you sent me that Energy, and the ideas of Splendor...

I was just a medium happy

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Clive is a brilliant record executive, but he never understood "subtlety."

Every song is not meant to be "bombastic." Every song does not need the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and a fifty piece string section. As a matter of fact, the better the song is, the less it needs.

I've always maintained that a truly great song should work with one instrument and one voice. Everything else is icing on the cake, and you can ruin the cake with too much icing. Sometimes less is really more.

Can you imagine "All By Myself" with a choir in the background (see the Ray Coniff singers version)? How silly! Some songs require intimacy. Especially when you've got a voice like Paul Simon's. He sounds so innocent. He doesn 't have the voice of a Whitney Houston, which can rise above the orchestra and choir. You need to hear the lyrics, and feel his loneliness. Just like All By Myself and Boats.

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Eric, i luv the version w/ the background vocals. When i got the Defintive Collection CD and i heard that version of Boats, i was a little suprised when i heard how different it was.

I luv both versions of Boats, and i really mean that. smilesmilesmile The songs that u chose 2 put on The Definitive Collection were all really great. Your music is what helps me make it through the tough days @ school. :thanx:

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  • 1 year later...

I HATE the one with background vocals.To me, they detract from the intimacy of the song and the lyric. This version was done at Clive's behest. I was sure he'd hate it. Wrong!

I REALLY HATE that he snuck this version on "The Definitive Collection", a group of songs I chose, and ruined my favorite song for me.

Hi Aventurine...I did not know how to move this thread to our original discussion, but here is Eric on the subject of "Boats" on the Definitive Collection...

Jean

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1) I like the original better than the 'Definitive' version (for all the reason's Eric and everyone else here at ec.com has mentioned)

2) But that doesn't make the 'Definitive' version wrong. It just makes it a re-mix.

Of course, purists hate remixes. "Ya don't mess with perfection!!" But someone once said "perfection is consuming" So it seems we're only human after all!!

Dave

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Dave, you are so right! It's just a sad reality when the artist's input/opinion is so grossly disregarded. Eric's concise post on the subject sounded angry and hurt. It's a shame that Eric was thwarted as often as he was; if people were more collaborative with him, just imagine the creative output we could have enjoyed.

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