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Talking Heads – Unreleased Rough Mix Reel-to-Reel Tape, From Producer Ed Stasium’s Collection (with unreleased tracks)

A unique reel-to-reel master tape of unreleased rough mixes of Talking Heads 77, with two alternate tracks.  We obtained this from Ed Stasium, the album’s co-producer/engineer/mixer, who describes this one-of-a-kind tape in his accompanying letter of authenticity:

Talking Heads 77: Sundragon Ruff Mixes Reel 02  /  Ed Stasium’s Original 7 1/2 IPS 1/2 Track Stereo 10 1/2″ Metal Reel and Box

“Ruff” mixes are quick one take reference mixes used for artist, producer, engineer and/or record company for listening and evaluation during the progress of the recording.  The actual final mix for “Talking Heads 77” was done at Mediasound whilst this “Ruff” was mixed very quickly at Sundragon Studios on a Roger Mayer recording console with limited outboard gear.  The recording console, individual track balances, panning, EQ, compression, reverb/delay effects etc are entirely dissimilar from the ones used on the final mixes.  Mediasound had a Neve 8068 recording console, an abundant amount of outboard gear and we only mixed a song a day (maybe two) spending considerably more time on the mixing as opposed to the :ruffs” which were probably done in one take.  From Sundragon Studios: “In progress” versions after the basic recording was finished, before final overdubs.  Some alternate and incomplete vocals.

In addition to the alternate mixes described above, this tape includes two rarities: an early version of the song “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel” which was not included on this album, but re-recorded for Talking Heads’ second album, More Songs About Buildings and Food, and an alternate version of “Psycho Killer”, with Arthur Russell on cello, and acoustic guitar and alternate vocals/lyrics (versions of both were eventually released as bonus tracks, but these are the original alternate mixes).

Included is a CD with Stasium’s digital transfer of the tape, his signed letter of authenticity, a second document titled “Talking Heads 77 “Ruff Mixes” and a third document, “Preserving Ed Stasium’s Magnetic Tape Archives”.

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