@ agillis : What? Any theory stating that the quality of a world class maestro and musician is due to his lyrics, does not compute. (Like Cash, Dylan and so on, worked with Ben for his lyrics?). I'm inclined to agree on Ben's voice being "a little weak" - or rather, to me it's good enough, but it does not have the qualities to stand out properly in the mix, sonically. (He is a great harmony singer though, mind you!) I would even say that his lyrics are "a little weak" too. Still this does not - like your theory suggest it would - by any means disqualify the music, or Ben from being brilliant. To put the actual music out of the equation is absurd. Ben's way to write and arrange is great -what more, his way of playing and performing music is legendary! Truly surpassed by none. And this fact alone makes him and his music interesting to me. All beautifully highlighted by him starring that radio show recently - where his stripped down solo versions really knocked me over (bing the King of Keyboards, he even played a ghostly beautiful and dark vibe guitar, perfectly!) And this underlines what qualities are in the music alone, in these songs and in the fingers of their maker. Even his voice came through stronger in that fashion, imho. So never mind the lyrics too much, or the slightly over produced and clinical vibe of the album even. Just mind the music and the musicianship. Obviously Ben's got nothing on Tom in terms of lyrics and singing (or songwriting and commersially useful on-stage carisma for that matter) but to me it's all about his playing, his touch and his coolness. As the maestro of the music - Stan the machine, Mike the virtuoso, Tom the smooth rebel, groovy Ron and multigenius Scott may all excuse me for saying so - musically Ben is the nr one of the Heartbreakers and one of the best ever, anywhere. That is not to say that he needs the others to shine! Or just a guitar will do, apparently...
Just listened to this show.. for the third time. The beautiful, stripped down takes of the songs really strikes me as being the ultimate versions. They come alive with a nerve and puls lacking a bit on the album. Most of all I'm amazed at Ben's guitar skills! Simple but absolutely mesmerizing in spooky vibe. Best I've heard in quite a while! Glad he had the guts. He knows what he can do. The maestro.
yeah, they won't let me comment either, but I can comment the comment.. and I just wanted to say this is great news! Ben's my musical hero and I'd been waiting for this..! looking forward to it.
Well put Mike! Well put people.. JJ.. will miss you!
Good call! Generally speaking, the social awareness and generosity of this band speak heaps of their hearts and minds and what better way to honor that and support "the good side of the force", as it were, than for us ourselves to take part in some of what we feel strongly about and pitch in when given a chance?
Of course, I wasn't effected in this specific case, but I've already thought along the same lines as you guys anyway.. Hence I've long since traded my -from both sides of the rope deemed as highly unsound and defunct- membership in the HCC for a worthier cause.. ;) Also, I auctioned off a mint condition promo print TP record recently for charity purposes.. But -having to think about myself as well- that was just 'cause I had a spare copy! :D
Anyways, TPHB, fellow fans.. You guys rock! Been enjoying reading and hearing about the tour and the way this odd occurance have played out in the end. Thanks to all for being real in the face of grim greed! Enjoy the rest of this awesome tour - You lucky b-rds..!!
Europe says "Hi" and "We miss you!!" Please come back and play 2/3 shows any time!! :) Even half shows would do it (- at least as long as the evil middlemen, ticket ghouls and mobsters are duly left empty handed and stupid looking) We - as I'm sure you understand - more than gladly pay for the music, for the fun and the decency between people, for friends helping friends and for good people rocking out with other good people, and screw the rest of it. Being it 1, 2, or.. 4 thirds of the way, you rock!