Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Long versions

I heard the long version of "Suzie Q" by Creedence Clearwater Revival today. It had been so long since I had heard this version that I forgot that it even existed. Of all the long/short version songs that I grew up with, this is the only one that comes to mind that I like better in its shortened form.

Short versions were created for Top-40 or AM radio stations, trying to keep the song's length under what I'd presume was 3 minutes. Sometimes late at night, they would play the long version, preceded by a lot of hype.

Here are the long/short version songs that I can think of off the top of my head:
"Light My Fire" -- The Doors. It's the first one of this ilk as I remember it. The cutover to the short version is so abrupt. Our local oldies station, which plays almost all 70s music these days, still plays the short version. Grrr, I always feel cheated. Our Classic Rock station plays the long version.
"25 or 6 to 4" -- Chicago. Also played in truncated style on the oldies station and long version on the Classic Rock. By this time the engineers had figured out a much smoother transition in the short version.
"We Won't Get Fooled Again" -- The Who. Hard to believe? This version didn't last long on AM when it came out. It's been a really long time since I heard the short version. IIRC, it was a very abrupt cutover.
I may be misremembering, but I thought "Layla" came out in a short version. Even if it did, who would want to hear it? It was bad enough that Clapton did it "Unplugged". (Indulge me a little hyperbole, please.)

If anyone happens by and can comment on other songs, I'd appreciate it. I'm sure there are others -- candidates would have been "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by Vanilla Fudge and "In-a-gadda-da-vida" (sp?) by Iron Butterfly but I can't recall a short version of those.

Update 11-Nov-2008:
I recently heard 2 songs that had long and short versions but I only remember one of them. In this case, the long version is worse than the short version. It's Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On?".

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