Numero Group: By The Numbers


Lou Ragland: Between the Sheets
February 23, 2012, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Lou Ragland

Vinyl and compact disc proofs for Lou Ragland’s massive anthology arrived within 24 hours of one another. For the better part of the morning, our human/feline staff fawned over pages and pages of text and context, documenting the Cleveland genius in poster-sized bites.

I Travel Alone will land on nationwide record shelves March 27th, and will be available in 3-CD and 4-LP incarnations. Pre-order here.


3 Comments so far
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was totally STOKED to get this box-set, until i got one last night. packaging is AMAZING, just as grand and glorious as the Boddie box, but… the mastering on some tracks on the ‘Bandmaster’ LP full of 45’s is pretty bad.i have OG’s of all but the Volcanic Eruption 45, and that is nice to finally hear…but…what the hell happened with the ‘Good For The Gander’ 45??? the version here is completely different from the OG 45, has what sounds to me like ‘scratch’ vocals(hes going ‘blah blah bluah’ during the last 2 lines of the second verse), and sounds totally muddy compared to the original 45. and the Wildfire 45 is totally lacking the high-end clarity of the original, not to mention the low-end-THUMP.

was really nice to finally hear the Agency Recording acetate. Mr Ragland himself once offered to sell me a cdr of it 9 years ago when i was corresponding with him. i didnt have the $ then for what he wanted, but he eBayed it a couple weeks later & got much more than he asked me for, so its all good.

why wasnt the Love For Dollars And Cents 45 included???!!!??? a Far Superior version of “The Next World” than the over-produced and ‘not-quite-as-up-tempo’ as the re-done version on “The ConVeyor” LP???

why not the Lou Ragland And The Bandmasters 45 on Way-Out??? its his 1st vinyl outing!!

and why not the Out Of Sights version of “I Cant Take It” from Saru label in 1968?? although nowhere as finished/fleshed-out as the version Mr Ragland issued as a Hot Chocolate 45 a few years later, its the Same Exact backing track, and would shed some light on what Mr Ragland was doing at that time; not to mention a GREAT 45.

i mean no harm on this Box Set. its an Incerdible Document on someone who deserves more than he ever got. but i think some minor things could have been done better.just my opinion.

my complaints aside, i will be ordering a Love Apple 12″ from your store momentarily. and i wish i could get a Mod Squad LP to tuck in with my Boddie Box Set and the 80-odd Boddie 45s i already have saved from junk-shops and flea-markets and Goodwill’s/Salvation Army’s over the last 30+ years, here on the East Side of Cleveland.

Clevo Soul Never Die!!!

~wedge

Comment by wedge

Wedge,
Sorry you were displeased with aspects of the Lou Ragland box set, heretofore referred to as 042. In an effort to buttress the decisions we made, I’ll gladly walk you (and any spectators who may have gathered) through your critique.

1.) Q: “what the hell happened with the ‘Good For The Gander’ 45???”
A: The version of “Good for the Gander” you hear on 042 is the original mix (not the 45 edit) which is nearly twice as long as the version minted on Co-Co records back in 1971. It is the exact same take, just longer, and we’ll take a long version over an edit any day of the week.

2.) Q: “why wasnt the Love For Dollars And Cents 45 included???!!!???”
A: Love For Dollars and Cents’ rendition of “Into the Next World” is produced by Lou Ragland, not performed by Lou Ragland. It was never our intention to include the productions of Lou Ragland, which are numerous, and far flung sonically and style wise. Luckily, many of his finer moments behind the board are included on other Numero releases. In fact the very track in debate was featured on Burned at Boddie, pressed in limited quantities, released on LP, CD, and cassette on Record Store Day 2011.

3.) Q: why not the Lou Ragland And The Bandmasters 45 on Way-Out??? its his 1st vinyl outing!!
A: We felt that the Bandmasters 45 did not fit the overall feel of 042, nor shine much light on Lou Ragland’s songwriting/arranging genius. Written by Joe Scott and popularized by Johnny Ace in 1954, the doo-woppy “Never Let Me Go” nor the yackety instrumental “Party at Lester’s” felt like a fitting or flattering introduction to Ragland’s catalog. “I Travel Alone,” on the other hand…

4.) Q: and why not the Out Of Sights version of “I Cant Take It” from Saru label in 1968??
A: See #2

In response to your issues with fidelity (“sounds totally muddy” or “totally lacking the high-end clarity of the original, not to mention the low-end-THUMP”), we hope you will acknowledge that these matters are a matter of taste, and that which lacks “low-end-THUMP” in your hears might possess all the thump our ears demand. We could even make the argument that the original “Good For the Gander” as issued on Co-Co is muddy, and that our first-generation remaster of the session, is in fact superior.

We’d also warn that if you have an aversion to “‘scratch’ vocals” or instances where Ragland might be heard “going ‘blah blah bluah’ during the last 2 lines of the second verse,” you avoid the Love Apple 12″, as it is very informal (intimate to our ears), and contains a lot of studio babble and assorted missteps. It is for those very reasons that we love it. Because when else do you get to sit in on a late-’70s recording session with Lou Ragland? Like you, we love Lou Ragland, and felt this was the best way to pay homage to a man who someone certainly “deserves more than he ever got.”

Thanks for your purchase, and we hope this helps you enjoy (if not understand) the collection of music you have before you.

All the best,
The Numero Group

Comment by numerogroup

I can dig it. obsessive collectors & obsessive compilers will always have minor quibbles & arguments over things that would make casual music ‘listeners’ shake their heads in disgust.

maybe you can assemble a box set called “The Genius Of Lou Ragland” full of his productions from the past, and some of his even more obscure associations…the world needs this!!!

Comment by wedge




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