AOTW: BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID-Burt Bacharach

Harry

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This week's Album Of The Week is SP-4227, the soundtrack to BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID by Burt Bacharach.

The album had no liner notes, other than the movie credits:

Original score composed and conducted by
Burt Bacharach
From the 20th Century Fox Production starring
Paul Newman
Robert Redford and
Katharine Ross in
Butch Cassidy And
The Sundance Kid
A George Roy Hill-Paul Monash Production

Track listing:

The Sundance Kid (2:10)
Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head (B.J.Thomas vocal) (2:57)
Not Goin' Home Anymore (3:27)
South American Getaway (5:14)
Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head (instrumental)
On A Bicycle Built For Joy (B.J.Thomas vocal) 3:07
Come Touch The Sun (2:27)
The Old Fun City (N.Y.Sequence) (3:59)
Not Goin' Home Anymore Reprise (1:04)

Harry
...preserving the AOTW, online...
 

Rudy

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Despite the repeated songs here, Butch Cassidy has some great music on it. The "Raindrops" vocal theme is repeated twice--the first being the #1 single sung by B.J. Thomas, and the second is under "On A Bicycle Build For Joy," which features an instrumental break in the middle. (If you've wondered why Thomas sounded so rough on this track, he was fighting a nasty cold at the time...this "first take" was used on the soundtrack, while the more polished version became the hit single.) There's also an instrumental "Raindrops" here. "Not Goin' Home Anymore," its reprise, and "Come Touch The Sun" are all the same melody. So out of six tracks, there are only two melodies among them. (And as for the number of titles a song has gone under, "Not Goin' Home Anymore" also appeared as a Sandpipers track called "Where There's A Heartache," not on this album however.)

Fortunately the remaining tracks are good enough to pull off a good album. The "Sundance" theme sets a good tone for the film and the album. "South American Getaway" chronicles their bank robbing spree down in South America and is full of starts and stops, like their spree. "The Old Fun City" is a neat period piece. Overall, a good album that brings back a lot of memories from the film.

(Although I somehow think of someone yelling "Elaine!!!!" every time Katharine Ross appears on the screen. :wink: )

-= N =-
...ready for a Sundance/Sting marathon...
 

cakeicer

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One of my favorite soundtracks and movies. Remembering the Oscar awards
ceremony when they showed the clip of Butch and Sundance jumping off the cliff into the river, they bleeped out the "OH, S---" How times have changed!
When I see Katherine Ross I always think of The Stepford Wives, "I thought
you were my friend Joanna" :confused:
 

LPJim

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Thanks for posting this.
This AOTW was reissued as A&M SP/CD 3159 but I believe it's now out of print. It also was issued on CD by the Karrussell Label of Australia. The album is slightly over 27 minutes long.
JB
 

Harry

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The BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID album is still apparently available from major online retailers like CDNow. Go through the link on the main page to find it. Good price too, $9.49. Click on THIS to check it out.

Harry
NP: BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID, Burt Bacharach
 

Harry

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LPJim said:
Thanks for posting this.
This AOTW was reissued as A&M SP/CD 3159 but I believe it's now out of print. It also was issued on CD by the Karrussell Label of Australia. The album is slightly over 27 minutes long.
JB
I still have my original SP-4227, ochre label stock copy, and well worn. I think I must've played "South America Getaway" enough times to wear out the grooves. I later replaced it with CD-3159.

One thing that's always bugged me about this disc is the funny processing put onto the track of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" - the main vocal by B.J.Thomas. In the A&M version that you hear on this album, the ukelele starts in basically mono. Just as B.J.Thomas is about to sing, you can hear the sound expand to some kind of fake stereo. When the tack piano enters, it comes into the right channel, then the background vocalists appear in the left channel. Meanwhile, the main vocal still has that "unfocused" sound to it.

The original Scepter records version doesn't have this fake processing. It's clear and clean in the middle. In fact, the Scepter track opens with the same mono ukelele and BJ.Thomas' vocal with the bass and guitar are also essentially mono. When the tack piano enters in the right, it's much clearer and more defined than the A&M version. So are the background vocals.

I have the Sceptre version on the LP B.J.Thomas' GREATEST HITS VOLUME 2 (SPS 597). I also have it (although in reversed stereo) on B.J.THOMAS SINGS HIS VERY BEST (SP-4005) on Springboard Records (licensed from Scepter).

Sadly, I can't find the clean stereo version on any other CD I have. Both the LOVE SONGS OF BURT BACHARACH (Hip-O HIPD-40166) and the Burt Bacharach Box Set THE LOOK OF LOVE COLLECTION from Rhino feature the fake stereo A&M version.

I wonder if the clean version is available on any B.J.Thomas CDs out there. I'll have to investigate.

Harry
...in a drought emergency with "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" playing, online...
 

Rudy

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I believe it was the Haeco-CSG processing that caused the "phasey" effect, which only affected the bass frequencies (which supposedly improved the LP tracking on mono systems). If it's appearing on the CDs, then it's apparent they used LP masters, not the original tapes. To me, it sounds almost as bad as when two speakers are wired out of phase. (I think the Haeco-CSG phase shift was 90 degrees, where an out of phase signal is actually 180 degrees.)

I think I once developed the ultimate torture device: I once wired a pair of headphones out of phase. It sincerely felt like my ears were being sucked out!! There was also the time I told my buddy to crawl into the trunk of his mustard-yellow '73 Chevy Nova and switch the wiring on one of his 6x9 speakers; when he got back in the car, he was amazed that the speakers actually had bass! (His dad had wired it up.)

-= N =-
...correcting the phase online...
 

Harry

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Ah yes, Haeco-CSG. There it is, right on the back of the LP.

If it's appearing on the CDs, then it's apparent they used LP masters, not the original tapes.
Even Rhino? For the box set?

90 degrees is about right, since 180 will totally eliminate whatever's in the middle in mono. And it is most noticeable when listening with headphones.

Question: since my last AOTW posession was Carpenters OFFERING at 4205, and this begins a string of Haeco-CSG albums for me, are there any albums between 4205 and 4227 that have Haeco-CSG?

Harry
NP: "South American Getaway" from this weeks AOTW
 

Rudy

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Harry said:
Ah yes, Haeco-CSG. There it is, right on the back of the LP.

Even Rhino? For the box set?
Apparently. :confused: It may be a case of A&M offering only one tape vs. Rhino getting to pick what they used. (And technically, the Bacharach track doesn't sound all that bad other than the phasey bass.)

Harry said:
Question: since my last AOTW posession was Carpenters OFFERING at 4205, and this begins a string of Haeco-CSG albums for me, are there any albums between 4205 and 4227 that have Haeco-CSG?
Possibly. I get the feeling it was "all the rage" for a brief while, until someone woke up and realized that first, mono equipment was not worth supporting and second, that the processing did not sound very good at all.

Harry said:
NP: "South American Getaway" from this weeks AOTW
Wearing it out on CD yet? :wink:

-= N =-
NP: radio at work (Harry's favorite line)...although "work" is at home...
 

Bill

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Recently at a Burt Bacharach forum on-line, I suggested that the "Butch/Sundance" OST be remastered and remixed and expanded to include a bonus video of the famous bicycle scene to which B.J. Thomas's recording of "Raindrops" was overdubbed.

It's way past time that this recorded gem gets the makeover it deserves!
 

Harry

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Rudy said:
Apparently. :confused: It may be a case of A&M offering only one tape vs. Rhino getting to pick what they used. (And technically, the Bacharach track doesn't sound all that bad other than the phasey bass.)
This is where it gets a bit confused. If the track on A&M was "licensed from Scepter", then A&M only had *permission* to put it on the soundtrack, so then why wouldn't Rhino seek out whoever the heirs to Scepter are in today's world to get the track -- the original non-phased version?

Harry
NP: radio at work (Yep! Still!)
 

Harry

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Bill said:
Recently at a Burt Bacharach forum on-line, I suggested that the "Butch/Sundance" OST be remastered and remixed and expanded to include a bonus video of the famous bicycle scene to which B.J. Thomas's recording of "Raindrops" was overdubbed.

It's way past time that this recorded gem gets the makeover it deserves!
Good point. Many old soundtracks are getting the remastering treatment these days. I'm thinking of the old STAR WARS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, John Williams kind of soundtracks. And there seems to be a market for them. This album could be expanded, as you say, to include more of the incidental music cues from the movie in addition to the formal "songs" that were originally released.

Harry
NP: radio at work
 

Bill

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Randy Newman's Ragtime soundtrack is also being reissued with a bonus demo track next month on Rhino. Butch has to be one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time. I can't think of a reason why it shouldn't be redone.
 

Rudy

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Bill said:
Recently at a Burt Bacharach forum on-line, I suggested that the "Butch/Sundance" OST be remastered and remixed and expanded to include a bonus video of the famous bicycle scene to which B.J. Thomas's recording of "Raindrops" was overdubbed.
This reminds me of the After The Fox soundtrack CD, which includes a snippet of the film. Although, ironically, a clip without any of Bacharach's score in it. :confused:

Didn't I read recently that Butch was due to be released on DVD in a better (widescreen) transfer, or is it out already? Or was I thinking of news about The Sting that was finally getting a widescreen treatment?

-= N =-
 

W.B.

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F.Y.I., HAECO was short for Holzer Audio Engineering Co.

Certain A&M singles were also issued in this process, notably "Song of Joy" by Miguel Rios and "All Right Now" by Free. When listening to HAECO CSG-processed stereo records phase-cancelled or mono, it reminded me of listening to old Edison 78's cut vertically instead of laterally.

In addition, Atlantic was an apparent exponent of HAECO CSG during the period 1968-69 (although lacquers for Columbia pressings of Atlantic LP's and 45's mostly were mastered at Columbia's own studios, and Columbia, to the best of my knowledge, didn't use HAECO).

"This recording employs the HAECO CSG System and can be played either stereo or monaurally."
 

Harry

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Worst HAECO-CSG processed single on A&M HAS to be Carpenters "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town." I almost prefer the mono b-side of my promo copy.

Speaking of which, why in the world would they need a mono track anyway if the HAECO-CSG process solved all of the world's problems!

Harry
...who always thought that the "HA" in HAECO stood for Herb Alpert, online...
 

Rudy

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Harry said:
Speaking of which, why in the world would they need a mono track anyway if the HAECO-CSG process solved all of the world's problems!
Funny thought! But the mono singles weren't just summed into mono, they were usually mixed as mono to avoid the stereo cancellation when the channels were summed together. That's why mono album mixes may differ slightly from a stereo album played with the "mono" switch on.

-= N =-
 

William

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Harry said:
I think I must've played "South America Getaway" enough times to wear out the grooves. I later replaced it with CD-3159.
Oh yeah! :D

"South American Getaway" is one of my favorite soundtrack cuts ever. 'Twas my first exposure to swinging jazz waltzes and to swinging vocal "scat" groups--by now, both enduring interests of mine. The tune worked marvelously in the film, and even the title is an ingenious pun.

I really admire the chutzpah it must've taken for Bacharach to put such an insane piece of music in a film sountrack. They don't make movie music like this anymore!
 

Rudy

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Harry said:
This is where it gets a bit confused. If the track on A&M was "licensed from Scepter", then A&M only had *permission* to put it on the soundtrack, so then why wouldn't Rhino seek out whoever the heirs to Scepter are in today's world to get the track -- the original non-phased version?
It could have been easier for Rhino to get a tape from A&M than whoever/whatever Scepter has become. I don't have the box in front of me, but I wonder if it's licensed from A&M instead of Scepter, or vice versa?

-= N =-
NP: not a radio at work
 

Mike Blakesley

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This is my least favorite of all the Bacharach albums on A&M, because of all the repetition. In fact, having the various tracks titled differently sorta reeks of consumer fraud to me. It's obvious, if they'd have given the same-melody tracks the same title, the album probably wouldn't have sold as well.

I do like some of the tunes though. "Raindrops" is a classic of course. I almost can't stand to listen to the "On a Bicycle" version because of the rough vocals. It sounds more like a "demo" than a soundtrack song! (I am not sure if the instrumental version is in the movie, can anyone confirm?)

Of the remaining songs, I tend to like "Sundance Kid" the best. It has that classic Bacharach sound and would fit on some of the other albums.

I've never listened to "Raindrops" on headphones so can't say I've ever noticed that funky processing. I have the song on several CDs though, so might have to check it out. I have a "Very Best of B.J. Thomas" which hasn't been mentioned in this thread...the only reason I bought it was for the song "That's What Friends Are For" which I only had on an LP before.
 

Rudy

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Mike Blakesley said:
This is my least favorite of all the Bacharach albums on A&M, because of all the repetition. In fact, having the various tracks titled differently sorta reeks of consumer fraud to me. It's obvious, if they'd have given the same-melody tracks the same title, the album probably wouldn't have sold as well.
This wasn't so true back in those days, but I can point out other soundtrack albums that basically just reprise the same theme throughout. The After The Fox soundtrack isn't very good, and repeats a lot of "cues" that I could do without. A shame I basically bought it only for the one track.

I don't know if repeated songs is worse, or soundtracks comprising of regurgitated oldies, generic faux-classical bombast, or lame new songs by current popular artists. The days of a soundtrack as "art" (a la Mancini, etc.) are long gone.

-= N =-
 

jimac51

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I'm reviving this thread because American Movie Classics had the movie on their"+" series Sunday 6/16. They ran a letterbox version of the film and streamed trivia about it underneath(a poor man's running commentary like Lasderdiscs and DVDs.) Some interesting bits about the music 1-There is only 25 minutes of music during the film, including opening credits. 2-There are only three chunks of music after the credits in the entire movie-the bicycle scene,the trip to Bolivia and the South American Getaway-there is no music used underneath any other scenes in the movie.3-Katherine Ross is a featured part of all three music montages-there is no stand alone music for scenes with just Butch and/or the Kid.4-Director George Roy Hill used Simon & Garfunkel's "59th Street Bridge Song(Feelin' Groovy)" when editing the bicycle scene and gave it to Bacharach and David with the song included so they could get an idea of what he wanted-"Raindrops"is what they delivered.5- Some Fox execs didn't understand why "Raindrops" was in the movie at all but were silenced when it grew as big as the movie and won an Oscar.6-A couple of years after the movie was made,Fox came upon hard times, and,like other studios,auctioned off property. Burt Bacharach came just short of winning the bid for the bicycle that Paul Newman used, the winning bidder eventually presented the bike to Paul's wife,actress Joanne Woodward. Mac
 
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