Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

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WestwayKid
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Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by WestwayKid » 07 May 2018, 9:47am

I saw this briefly mentioned in another thread and now I can't find (I think regarding Marky's work on GEER) - but the discussion was about Joe's playing on GEER and there was a question of whether or not he was even in the mix or whether all guitars were the courtesy of Mick. Guess I never really thought about it - just assumed he played on every album. Thoughts? Mick was obviously a better guitarist - but Joe definitely had a distinct sound. I feel like I can hear him in the mix on most recordings - but Rope is maybe the one where I struggle the most to pick out his parts.

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Re: Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by msza2 » 07 May 2018, 9:55pm

Joe's rhythm guitar is easily heard in the intro to English Civil War. But, yeah, it does tend to get lost in the GEER mix, which is too bad because it's such a defining element of their sound.

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Re: Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by Heston » 08 May 2018, 1:21am

You can hear the Telecaster quite well on All the Young Punks but it seems to be MIA on a lot of the other tracks. Safe Euro Home has no discernible Joe, even when it breaks down to two guitars at the end.
I just polished off some Low Country shrimp & grits and a mess of collards. That's a hell of a strain on the arm.

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Re: Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by Chairman Ralph » 10 May 2018, 2:17am

You can hear the Telecaster quite well on All the Young Punks but it seems to be MIA on a lot of the other tracks. Safe Euro Home has no discernible Joe, even when it breaks down to two guitars at the end.
They also did a lot of comping of individual performances -- as ROUTE 19 details -- and Mick was also known to redo or overdub parts that he felt weren't up to scratch. A lot of that is attributed to Paul's bass, but it wouldn't surprise me if Joe's guitar came in for some of that treatment, too. So any (or all) of those factors might explain the MIA factor.

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Re: Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by muppet hi fi » 10 May 2018, 7:50pm

Chairman Ralph wrote:
10 May 2018, 2:17am
You can hear the Telecaster quite well on All the Young Punks but it seems to be MIA on a lot of the other tracks. Safe Euro Home has no discernible Joe, even when it breaks down to two guitars at the end.
They also did a lot of comping of individual performances -- as ROUTE 19 details -- and Mick was also known to redo or overdub parts that he felt weren't up to scratch. A lot of that is attributed to Paul's bass, but it wouldn't surprise me if Joe's guitar came in for some of that treatment, too. So any (or all) of those factors might explain the MIA factor.
Cheers, Ralph. Still haven't read Route 19, but will seek it out in the local library system.

I will say that on "Last Gang In Town" it's clearly (maybe most clearly) Joe on the main rhythm guitar: it's his obvious upstrokes and sonically the most identifiable Tele tone.
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Re: Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by Inder » 10 May 2018, 8:14pm


Chairman Ralph
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Re: Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by Chairman Ralph » 13 May 2018, 2:25pm

I forgot one other example in this discussion: the first album, where (as Gray details in Last Gang) most of Joe's frantic guitar strokes apparently didn't make it to the final product -- with Mick replacing a lot of it, plus the bass, as well.
Cheers, Ralph. Still haven't read Route 19, but will seek it out in the local library system.

I will say that on "Last Gang In Town" it's clearly (maybe most clearly) Joe on the main rhythm guitar: it's his obvious upstrokes and sonically the most identifiable Tele tone.
Makes sense to me. From his 101'ers days on, Joe always had a way of spicing up the most obvious-sounding chord changes or guitar licks. One of my favorite examples is The Leader, which largely takes place off one chord (F), but he doesn't just play a straight, duh-duh-duh -- I think he's moving one or both of his other two fingers (pinky or ring) up and down off the barre shape to get the duh-duh-duh-duh-duh, duh-a-duh-duh-duh rhythm that drives the song. A subtle, but important, distinction, IMHO.

By all means, get Route 19. It contains a lot of interesting detail, not only about the work that went into LOndon Calling, but about the recording process, in general, particularly for the layman who doesn't know much about it. One of my favorites, and one of the best books out there, I think.

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Re: Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by Heston » 14 May 2018, 11:56am

Chairman Ralph wrote:
13 May 2018, 2:25pm
I forgot one other example in this discussion: the first album, where (as Gray details in Last Gang) most of Joe's frantic guitar strokes apparently didn't make it to the final product -- with Mick replacing a lot of it, plus the bass, as well.
Now I remember that quote from the engineer Simon Humphries about there being not much Joe on the album but I wonder if he just means he was drowned out by Mick a bit. I can hear the Telecaster all over the album except for Janie Jones and it certainly sounds like Joe's style.
I just polished off some Low Country shrimp & grits and a mess of collards. That's a hell of a strain on the arm.

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Re: Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by Chairman Ralph » 29 May 2018, 1:40am

Now I remember that quote from the engineer Simon Humphries about there being not much Joe on the album but I wonder if he just means he was drowned out by Mick a bit. I can hear the Telecaster all over the album except for Janie Jones and it certainly sounds like Joe's style.
It certainly does, though if I recall correctly, SH claimed that a lot of Joe's guitar parts got largely scrubbed, for technical reasons -- so maybe Mick re-did certain things (of which he was definitely capable), or they comped together the best of the takes they had? Then again, SH is the only one I recall ever being quoted along those lines, so I think we'd have to hear a bit more corroboration of his claims. In any event, doesn't take away from the power and majesty of that album.

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Re: Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by WestwayKid » 29 May 2018, 6:59am

I was just reading Route 19 and sounds like Joe's guitar was generally always in the mix - just not always a prominent feature. Also interesting that he liked to record his vocals while playing guitar - even if it wasn't plugged in - to help himself stay in the mood/rhythm.

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Re: Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by Dunster » 11 Jun 2018, 12:43am

Doesn't Joe play a lead guitar bit in 48 Hours?

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Re: Joe's guitar on studio tracks?

Post by Heston » 11 Jun 2018, 10:29am

Dunster wrote:
11 Jun 2018, 12:43am
Doesn't Joe play a lead guitar bit in 48 Hours?
Yeah.
I just polished off some Low Country shrimp & grits and a mess of collards. That's a hell of a strain on the arm.

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