Author Topic: Legendary Curve tape unearthed  (Read 1428 times)

ruskprick

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Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« on: August 17, 2012, 06:11:55 AM »
In the summer of 1993 UK music magazine Select reviewed the upcoming Curve album "Cuckoo", and gave it 5 out of 5 (well deserved if you ask me - it's still one of my Top 5 Albums Of All Time). However, the tape the reviewer had been given differed from the album that was eventually released on September 13 that year, in that it contained samples of American writer Ken Kesey (author of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"). When the album was released those samples were removed. In several interviews at the time Toni Halliday explained that Mr Kesey had been fine with Curve using the samples, but that he refused to sign a contract, and therefore Curves record label got cold feet and forced them to remove the samples. Toni vowed to eventually release the album with the samples intact at a later stage, but just a few months later Curve split up for the first time and when they finally got together again 3 years later the whole thing seemed to be forgotten about.

As an avid collector of all things Curve I've been searching day and night for this promo tape ever since the album was released, but I have never even seen a picture of it let alone heard any snippets of the removed samples. In 2005 I had the opportunity to ask Dean Garcia a few questions over email, and of course asked him about the tape, but he didn't seem to remember how many copies were made. This is what he wrote to me:

Quote
Andrew Collins did have an advance copy, some must have been made because we had to recut the record a few weeks after because of KK so some got out, The BMG vault has nothing like that as we recently found out when comping together TWOC tracks they had virtually nothing, we had to dig deep into the DAT box to recover most of it. I don't recall the KK comp in the box we had, that would all have gone to Virgin/Charisma USA and BMG here in London...The church/Anxious was recently sold on and all the contents farmed out I got all I could find from the vaults but I'm sure there would have been a box or two missed...I used to have a copy on dat so now it might be time to dig into the very big bag of dats and have a closer look...I'll let you know if I find anything

After that I pretty much gave up any hope of ever getting to hear this version of the album, let alone get my hands on an original copy of that precious tape. But about a month ago suddenly a strange tape appeared on eBay. It was sold by a British seller who put out a load of rubbish tapes, and the opening price was 99 pence.  What sparked my interest was that even though it contained the same tracks as "Cuckoo", it didn't have a proper title (only called "Album" on the inlay), which indicated that it was a very early version. And by closer examination I found that some of the track times seemed to be almost a minute longer than on the regular version of the album. I didn't dare asking the seller to send me samples from the tape, because if it was the genuine thing then he would be alerted and the price would rocket. So I put in a bid for a few hundred pounds, crossed my fingers hoping that it would be the genuine thing and that no other Curve collector would have noticed the auction. Eventually someone did, but I still got the tape for a ridiculously low GBP 16. I was just going away to UK on holiday, so I had the seller send the tape to a friend of mine living in Crewe. I dug out my old Walkman and brought so I could be able to listen to the tape when we met. Of course the Walkman didn't work, so I had to wait to hear it until I got home. I didn't really hold out much hope of the tape being The One, but there was a slim possibility so I was rather nervous when I put it in the cassette deck, and I almost shat my pants when the intro to Missing Link started and turned out to sound very odd - low key electonic beats and then ... incoherent ramblings from Ken Kesey! Wow. Wow.

I really didn't think that I would ever get to hear this tape, let alone own it. I'm still shell shocked. As a friend of mine put it: "You have now tasted the ultimate fan experienceÖ the obscure tape unearthed at a ridiculously small price.  Iím not sure it can go any further towards the summit of fandomís pleasures than this."

Mr Kesey appears on four of the tracks (A1, A5, B1 and B5). Below you'll find some pics of the tape. As for the contents of the tape I have already digitalised it, but I will need to get it dehissed and smoothed up a bit. I will then start to spread it among the shrinking Curve community. We've waited far too long to hear it and I know there are people out there as desperate to hear it as I was up until a few days ago.








Feed The Collapse

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 06:22:56 AM »
I never knew of this. I guess this sheds a bit more light on the album's title. Aside from the samples, does it differ in any other ways?

« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 06:25:38 AM by Feed The Collapse »

ruskprick

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 06:44:57 AM »
I never knew of this. I guess this sheds a bit more light on the album's title. Aside from the samples, does it differ in any other ways?

I really haven't overanalyzed this yet - it was a long time since I listened to this album wearing headphones (probably 17-18 years or so...) - but as far as I can tell all the songs sound the same as on the finished album. But the intros/outros to Missing Link, Unreadable Communication, Turkey Crossing and Cuckoo do seague into these songs, albeit only for a few microseconds.

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012, 07:15:58 AM »
yeah, I noticed the discogs.com listing for this and it seems like the samples act as intro/outros to the album's respective sides, but nothing else mentioned.

ruskprick

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2012, 07:51:18 AM »
yeah, I noticed the discogs.com listing for this and it seems like the samples act as intro/outros to the album's respective sides, but nothing else mentioned.
It was me submitting the info on discogs...  ;)

Ghost World

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 01:22:23 AM »
That's a great story and an interesting piece of forgotten history. Must feel very gratifying. Looking forward to hearing it.

Soft As Snow

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 10:42:46 AM »
can i get a copy of flacs? please :)

ruskprick

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 12:40:22 PM »
can i get a copy of flacs? please :)
In due course. It is my intention to make the contents of the tape available (for free) asap. I'd just like to have the audio cleaned up a bit first. There's a guy working on this, but I've no idea how long it will take. I'll keep you posted.  ;)

Swallow my Honey Power

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 02:41:53 PM »
Definitely looking forward to hearing this! Thank you!

Nowhere

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2012, 02:22:02 AM »
I'm a big Curve fan myself, and would definitely love to hear this if you can share it

ruskprick

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2012, 05:44:15 AM »
Time for an update: The analog restoration process seem to take a while, so I've decided to go ahead with a limited sharing of the raw files. Anyone interested in a sneak preview, please send me a PM with your e-mail address.

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2016, 08:28:57 PM »

Soft As Snow

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2017, 02:34:59 PM »
So is this  same as the tape? I don't recall sending a message to get the raw files. If dean's release is different, then can someone share the raw files again? :)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 06:11:53 PM by Soft As Snow »

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Re: Legendary Curve tape unearthed
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2017, 09:01:19 PM »
I didn't get any raw files, though I imagine it's the same. Dean's thing has two previously unreleased tracks that were only released in radically remixed forms.