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Main » 2007 » November » 14 » Nightshadow - 1968 - The Square Root of Two
Nightshadow - 1968 - The Square Root of Two
"Square Root Of Two" 1968 (Spectrum 2001) [bonus 45; poster; 1000p]
"Square Root Of Two" 1979 (Hottrax 1414) [remixed; altered sleeve; 200p]
"Square Root Of Two" 199 (no label, Europe) [blue vinyl; +2 tracks]
"Square Root Of Two" 199 (CD Cosmic Mind, Italy) [+2 tracks]
"Vol 3: The Psychedelic Years 1967-69" 2003 (CD Hottrax 60012) [LP +9 bonus tracks]

And here's another longtime legend, reissued as early as 1979.
The band was usually known as Little Phil & the Nightshadows and had roots in the pre-Beatles era, but changed their name due to legal complications at the time. Unlike the Litter LPs I think this really is as great as people would have you believe, particularly side 1 which is like listening to a comp of killer fuzz acidpunk 45s. Beyond Phil's showmanship and the blatantly druggy lyrics and sound fx the fact remains that the superb songwriting puts most "Nuggets" classics to shame, and the band is completely at home in a sound that was unusual for the deep South. Some silly songs close the LP but all over this must rank among the top early garage psych LPs. Apart from the LP they had some killer 45s in 1966-1967. [PL]

The Nightshadows discography is very complex and includes multiple versions and remixes of the same recordings, as well as 45s released under aliases, withdrawn records, and more. Here's an attempt to sort "Square Root" out: 1) The 1968 original came with a bonus 45 that contained the band's risqué songs 'Hot Dog Man' and 'Hot Rod Song' on Banned records (both also on the LP); this with 900 copies of the LP. The poster was supposedly included with the remaining 100 copies that did not include the 45, although some subsequent finds of sealed copies have included both the 45 AND the poster. 2) The 1979 Hottrax release is a unique remix with "So Much" having an extra guitar lead, while "60 Second Swinger" has a loud fuzz riff added throughout. "Anything But Lies" has been shortened by 1 minute. Both front and back cover have been altered, as well as the running order. 3) Both the European 1990s bootlegs are sourced from the 1979 remix rather than a 1968 original. 4) The recent CD series is the easiest way to get a complete picture of the Nightshadows. Vol 3 has all tracks from the LP except "Hot Rod Song", which can be found on vol 2. "So Much" is the 1979 remix version, while "60 Second Swinger" and "Anything But Lies" are the 1968 LP versions. The running order from the LP has been completely broken up. Some of the unreleased bonus material is very good.


Nightshadow - 1968 - The Square Root of Two

It bears repetition: the "Square Root Of Two" LP in its original 1968 format has NEVER been reissued, to this day. The difference in sound and mix to both the 1979 vinyl reissue (which was bootlegged in the 1990s) and the 2003 CD is so pronounced that you can determine which is which after only 15-20 seconds into any track.

The key areas for comparison are:
- different mixes of "So Much" and "60 Second Swinger" with whole guitar tracks added
- clarity of vocals, in terms of separation from the backing track
- overall clarity of sound
- degree of stereo separation
- running times altered due to fadeouts and edits
- track sequencing

The 1979 remix is so different from the 1968 original that it should be regarded as a wholly separate work, and in certain spots may actually be superior to the earlier Spectrum release.

The 1980s-1990s bootlegs are based on the 1979 remix, something which not many people realized at the time. They also add a couple of bonus tracks.

The 2003 CD reissue on Hottrax is a lot closer to the 1968 original than the 1979 remix yet differs in important areas, both in terms of mixing and overall sound.

"The Square Root Of Two" (Hottrax 1414, 1979)
- remixed by band member Aleck Janoulis for the reissue

1. Prologue 3:27
2. So Much 2:12
3. In The Air 2:50
4. Plenty Of Trouble 1:48
5. I Can't Believe 9:31

1. 60 Second Swinger 3:08
2. Illusion 3:00
3. Anything But Lies 2:37
4. Turned On 3:44
5. The Hot Rod Song 3:03
6. The Hot Dog Man 2:25

The overall sound is clearly different from the 1968 original mix, more compressed and "garagey". The vocals blend into the backing tracks and there is overall less separation between the instruments. It makes the recordings sound more primitive and muddy than they actually were.

The track order has also been changed, with the extended "I Can't Believe" placed at the end of side 1, and "So Much" following the freaky prologue. At least to me this is a superior running order to the 1968 original.

a) the "Prologue" is now almost 10 seconds shorter due to an earlier fadeout.
b) "So Much" has an excellent guitar lead that enters for about 10 seconds at the 1:10 mark, playing a figure somewhat like "Born To Be Wild". On the 1968 version there was no lead instrument in this break, just the rhythm section.

c) "60 Second Swinger" has seen even more drastic changes, as a loud fuzz guitar overdub plays the basic riff throughout the song; on the 1968 version the organ was the lead instrument, with no fuzz in sight. Just as on "So Much" this could be seen as an improvement.

d) "Anything But Lies" is drastically altered with a whole minute (almost exactly 60 seconds) of fuzz/organ rave-up removed vs the original 1968 version; the remix also downplays the psych-effect backing vocals somewhat.

The Hottrax reissue met with enough interest for Janoulis to embark on two other Nightshadows-related projects; the first official release of the "Live At The Spot" album of 1967/1969 live recordings (Hottrax 1430, 1981), and a reunion LP with 1 side of more old live recordings titled "Invasion Of The Acid Eaters" (Hottrax 1450, 1982). Details on these LPs can be found in the Acid Archives Of Underground Sounds.

More Info (source's page) Here

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Category: Psyche/Garage/Folk | Views: 1398 | Added by: Opa-Loka | Rating: 0.0/0 |

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