I'm talking about bad edits and poor mixes, which are probably even more prevalent than an all-out screw up, because they're deceptive: It feels so right...but then it's just seconds of pleasure. Here's a short list of '60s (and one from 1971) singles you want to get right if you're bringing music to a party, making a mix CD, or putting the stuff on the airwaves:
Marvin Gaye--What's Going On: The version that starts with chatter from Marvin's football pals from the Detroit Lions, Mel Farr and Lem Barney, is obviously the coolest mix of a track that often starts with saxophone and no vocals or talk when it's on the radio.
Paul Revere & the Raiders--Steppin' Out: Stinging blues guitar riffs (from the late Drake Levin?) don't matter a bit if your version is significantly shorter than 2:30. You need the full 30 seconds of Mark Lindsay's rap at the end, where he seems to pave the way for what the J. Geils Band's Peter Wolf would do later. Even Rhino's otherwise fabulous expanded Nuggets box didn't get this one right.
The Dave Clark Five--Catch Us If You Can: There's one with a good scream right before the harmonica solo, and there's one with a wimpy scream (the latter may not even be by the late Mike Smith, because he could do some shoutin'). The perfect take is on Hollywood Records' The History of the Dave Clark Five.
Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels--Devil With a Blue Dress On & Good Golly Miss Molly: If your version doesn't run about 3:10, you've got a crappy edit. Nothing's gonna take away from the Wheels' manic energy, but if your edit skips the last "fee fee fi fi fo fo fum" and goes right to "wearin' pearls and diamond rings," you should get a refund.
Martha & the Vandellas--Heat Wave: I'm unsure when this happened; perhaps it was at the dawn of the CD age. But there's a version swimming in echo that is heard far too frequently rather than the mono mix, which highlights drummer Benny Benjamin's incredible Motown syncopation. That's the one that jumps.
Archie Bell & the Drells--Tighten Up: It's your choice which version you go for...could be the track with the groovy bass guitar intro, or the single, where the drums just smack you in the face. Either way, you get some of the finest boasting in all of Rock'n'Soul: "We not only sing, but we dance just as good as we want!"
And when you're bringing some Grass Roots...NO! You never bring the Grass Roots to a