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Music : Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas - Do You Want To Know A Secret?: The EMI Years 1963-1983 [4CD Remastered Box Set] (2009)
 
http://i79.fastpic.ru/big/2016/0725/b1/d7bb3e97eee560a36f783feb7c6a69b1.jpg

Artist:Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas
Title:Do You Want To Know A Secret?: The EMI Years 1963-1983
Year Of Release:2009
Label:EMI Records [50999-2-67897-2-9]
Genre:Pop Rock, Merseybeat
Quality:CBR 320 kbps / FLAC (tracks +.cue,log,scans)
Total Time:5:06:04
Total Size:735 mb / 1.43 gb
WebSite:Album Preview
http://i80.fastpic.ru/big/2016/0725/03/c8bf4b183708d9446974bc81a77dd603.jpg
INFO
This is the latest in EMI's series of 4-CD box sets devoted to the label's 1960's beat group's, and the set follows the same pattern as the "Gerry & The Pacemakers" box, in that it gives you the complete released recordings(+ unreleased material) in mono sound, a previously unreleased 1964 concert in remixed stereo, and a reasonable sampling of the group's stereo versions. The sound quality is excellent(unlike the Gerry & The Pacemakers set where the vocals on the mono mixes sounded shrill)

Stereo gained acceptance from UK consumers several years later than in North America, and so EMI/UK believes that UK consumers would prefer the mono versions. In this series of box sets, even for those artists where some or all of the multitracks exist, EMI have opted to present the already released recordings via original 1960's mixes, remixing only where it was neccessary in order to obtain previously unreleased material.

The group's live E.P. appears in the set via the original mono mix, but you also get a complete composite concert in remixed stereo, taken from the two 1964 California shows from which the E.P. was derived. Apparently, the group played the same 11 songs at both shows, so it was a matter of selecting the best performances and recordings of each song. Be cautioned that the group could be quite ragged live. Billy's live singing is erratic. He sings off-key on the hits, but sings well on album tracks. He is not helped by a recording fault which renders bassist Ray Jones inaudible on some songs. This, and the absence of George Martin's piano playing renders the group's instrumental sound thin. In fairness, the group may have had difficulty hearing themselves due to the screaming audience. Still, it's an interesting documentation of that era.

The Dakotas also had a side career releasing a few singles on their own, and you get these tracks too (some presented in both stereo & mono) and unreleased material. Despite what you would think, not all of these tracks are instrumental, and an unidentified member (probably Mike Maxfield) provides vocals on some.

As for the recordings with Billy, you get their lone album ("Listen") in both its' mono & stereo versions, and all the hits, some of which were especially written by Lennon & McCartney (mostly by Lennon), including "I'll Keep You Satisfied", "Bad to Me","Do You Want to Know a Secret" & "From a Window". Amongst the rarities included are a rendition of Lennon/McCartney's "I'm in Love"(later a hit for "The Fourmost", which was previously released in 1991 on an American CD "The Definitive Collection"). Unlike most of the other box sets in this series, there's no sessionography, so it's not possible to say whether this set gives us every existing unreleased track, though the 132-track set claims 30 previously unreleased songs or mixes.(some of the previously unreleased tracks appear in both mono & stereo).

Much has been made of Billy's vocal limitations, though certainly George Martin's expert production concealed some of the shortcomings of Billy & bassist Ray Jones, and resulted in some memorable recordings. George Martin has made derogatory comments about Billy's singing abilities over the years, but in fairness, it should be noted that Billy was naturally a baritone, but either the Dakotas or George Martin were setting the keys uncomfortably high on many songs, to have Billy sing in a tenor range, where he sometimes had pitch problems. Still this resulted in hits.

Billy was able to have two hits("Trains & Boats & Planes" & "Little Children") without Lennon/McCartney songs, but like many Northern beat groups, Billy J.Kramer & the Dakotas had difficulty adapting to the times, and Billy also blames substance abuse problems for his commercial downfall. After becoming sober in the 1980's, he briefly recorded for both the EMI & RAK labels, and those singles are also included here, including the anti-nostalgia "You Can't Live on Memories", a rare co-write from Billy himself, who was previously not a songwriter. While still not a vocal powerhouse, he certainly didn't lose any vocal quality (at least not up to that point).

As for the decision to use only original mixes of the released recordings, it should be noted that EMI/Uk executives (for unknown reasons) disliked engineer Ron Furmanek's remixed stereo versions of 1960's EMI beat group recordings done for a series of 1991 EMI Records Group/North America CD's titled "The Definitive Collection", and so few of these mixes have never been issued in the UK.

Billy was unable to achieve one satisfactory take of Lennon/McCartney's I'm in Love", but Furmanek was able to assemble a (quite acceptable) composite of two takes, whose release EMI/UK executives disapproved of. How curious that Furmanek's stereo composite version appears in this set, albeit summed down to mono with additional E.Q. & reverb.

Unlike two other sets in this series of 4-CD boxes, this set is entirely free from mastering gremlins, and sounds great. Whether you need this much Billy J.Kramer & The Dakotas depends on you. This is obviously for hardcore fans and completists. Others would likely be satisfied by one of the numerous hits compilations.

The packaging is attractive, but the booklet is the most minimal of any of the 4-CD boxes in this series. There's no sessionography, recording dates or info about where(and on what single or album each track was first release) Still, the previously unreleased studio material is consistently good.
TRACKLIST:

Disc 1 :
01 Do You Want To Know A Secret? (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
02 I'll Be On My Way (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
03 I Call Your Name (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
04 Bad To Me (1998 Remastered Version)
05 The Twelfth Of Never (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
06 Dance With Me (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
07 Pride (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
08 Sugar Babe (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
09 Da Doo Ron Ron (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
10 It's Up To You (Mono) [1997- Remaster]
11 I Know (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
12 Still Waters Run Deep (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
13 Yes (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
14 Beautiful Dreamer (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
15 Great Balls Of Fire (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
16 Anything That's Part Of You (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
17 Tell Me Girl (Mono) [1997 Remastered Version]
18 I'm In Love (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
19 I'll Keep You Satisfied (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
20 Little Children (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
21 They Remind Me Of You (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
22 Second To None (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
23 From A Window (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
24 Tennessee Waltz
25 Every Time You Walk In The Room (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
26 It's A Mad, Mad World (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
27 Twilight Time
28 To Take Her Place (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
29 Under The Boardwalk (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
30 It's Gotta Last Forever (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
31 Don't Do It No More (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)

Disc 2 :
01 Sugar Babe (Mono;Live;2009 Remastered Version)
02 Twilight Time (Mono;Live;2009 Remastered Version)
03 Tennessee Waltz (Mono;Live;2009 Remastered Version)
04 Irresistable You (Mono;Live;2009 Remastered Version)
05 Sneakin' Around (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
06 When You Ask About Love (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
07 Looking Around (Mono)
08 Bet No One Ever Hurt This Bad (Mono)
09 That's The Way I Feel (Mono)
10 Trains And Boats And Planes (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
11 I Live To Love You (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
12 Neon City (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
13 That Ain't Good For Me (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
14 I'll Be Doggone (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
15 Upstairs (Mono)
16 Down In The Boondocks (Mono)
17 We're Doing Fine (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
18 Forgive Me (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
19 Listen (Plus Studio Conversation;Mono; 1998 Remastered Version)
20 I'll Take Charge (Mono)
21 Take My Hand (Mono;1998 Remastered Version)
22 You Make Me Feel Like Someone (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
23 Going Going Gone (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
24 Kinky Chinese Girl (Mono)
25 Sorry (Mono)
26 Cruel Sea (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
27 The Millionaire (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
28 Magic Carpet (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
29 Humdinger (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
30 Oyeh (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
31 My Girl Josephine (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)

Disc 3 :
01 Dance With Me (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
02 Pride (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
03 I Know (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
04 Yes (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
05 The Twelfth Of Never (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
06 Sugar Babe (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
07 Da Doo Ron Ron (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
08 It's Up To You (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
09 Great Balls Of Fire (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
10 Tell Me Girl (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
11 Anything That's Part Of You (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
12 Beautiful Dreamer (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
13 Still Waters Run Deep (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
14 I Call Your Name (Stereo;1997 Remastered Version)
15 Long Beach Intro (Live)
16 I'll Keep You Satisfied (Live)
17 Pride (Live)
18 Bad To Me (Live)
19 Sugar Babe (Live)
20 Twilight Time (Live)
21 I Call Your Name (Live)
22 Little Children (Live)
23 Tennessee Waltz (Live)
24 When You Walk In The Room (Live)
25 Irresistable You (Live)
26 From A Window (Live)
27 I'll Keep You Satisfied (Stereo;2008 Remastered Version)
28 Tennessee Waltz (Stereo)
29 It's A Mad, Mad World (Stereo;2008 Remastered Version)
30 Twilight Time (Stereo)
31 To Take Her Place (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
32 Under The Boardwalk (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)

Disc 4 :
01 It's Gotta Last Forever (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
02 Sneakin' Around (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
03 When You Ask About Love (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
04 That's The Way I Feel (Stereo)
05 Trains And Boats And Planes (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
06 I Live To Love You (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
07 Neon City (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
08 That Ain't Good For Me (Stereo;2008 Remastered Version)
09 I'll Be Doggone (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
10 Upstairs (Stereo)
11 Down In The Boondocks (Stereo;2008 Remastered Version)
12 Forgive Me (Stereo;1998 Remastered Version)
13 You Make Me Feel Like Someone (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
14 Kinky Chinese Girl (Stereo)
15 On The Rebound (Mono)
16 I Count The Tears (Mono)
17 Ludwig (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
18 Taboo (Mono)
19 My Girl Josephine (Stereo)
20 Peter Gunn (Stereo)
21 (Tibet) Magic Carpet (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
22 Oyeh (Stereo)
23 San Diego (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
24 Warm Summer Rain (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
25 Ships That Pass In The Night (Mono;2009 Remastered Version)
26 Is There Any More At Home Like You (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
27 Blueberry Hill (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
28 Stood Up (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)
29 You Can't Live On Memories (Stereo;2009 Remastered Version)


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