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Moonlight 9635 [T-068]

Studio On The Move (New Orleans, LA); March 7-24, 1989

Tracklist: Ring Them Bells, Shooting Star, God Knows, God Knows, What Good Am I, Most Of The Time, Everything Is Broken, Political World, Political World, Born In Time, Dignity, Shooting Star, Disease Of Conceit, Ring Them Bells, Most Of The Time, Ring Them Bells

DEEP: A fine collection of the "new" Oh Mercy outtakes tape, which I'm told has been in circulation about a year. To my ears, "RTB" sounds a couple of generations better than Deeds Of Mercy, with virtually no hiss and a less bass-heavy sound. It also sounds a lot more punchy and clear. However, this collection does not entirely supersede Deeds -- it does not include the 3 takes of "SeriesOf Dreams" or the take of "What Was It You Wanted." It does, however, have additional versions of "Shooting Star," "Political World," and 2 abbreviated versions of "Ring Them Bells." All in all, an excellent and very worthwhile collection of outtakes, most of which are drastically different lyrically and musically from their released counterparts. Essential listening and highly recommended.

CDG: This one has gone through a digital filter too though, so it has less tape hiss, but also sacrifices some of the warmth. No need for this upgrade if you already have these tracks.

rmd: An improvement on all that has gone before, most notably Deeds Of Mercy. There is much reduced hiss, thereby making the listening experience more pleasurable. The source tape appears to be closer to the master. Clearly therefore, Ring Them Bells is the better disc, if not quite so complete (Ben Taylor).
Ring Them Bells definitely sounds to have gone through the digital mill to take out the hiss and brighten the sound, but the true presence of the music has been forfeited to a degree. It's not at all bad, but I'd advise any analog fan to stick with Deeds Of Mercy. Bob's voice in particular suffers, where the metallic edge -- slight as it may be -- makes listening to more than a few songs just a bit tiring. (Matthew Zuckerman)
Sound quality is excellent and the songs themselves tend to be noticeably different, although not necessarily superior to, the released versions. Nice stuff, but not something I want to listen to all that much.