Too often these days the studio is the artist's biggest downfall. When a band is live, or recording out of the second cousin's bedroom, then the music is raw, alive and energetic. They perform live, they gather a few hundred fans, they record their EP in their auntie's nephew's garage and they give it out free at gigs - then they get a record deal, and they get to the studio, and they have all this expensive musical equipment they've never heard of before, and they get all excited, and the next thing you know, the album is out and it's all over-produced and a far cry from the grated demos of a few months before. When I first heard Arctic Monkeys whenever it was, 2005 perhaps, I had fifty odd demos and love recordings of them that I've since, regrettably lost. It's regrettable on two fronts - first, they were all lively, energetic affairs that were each worthy of their own record deal (which, of course, they got). Second, each and every track was far better than the album equivalent. It was a huge disappointment, even if I did still adore the album for a good month or two after it came out.
Today I found the studio version of one of my favourite tracks of 2008 - the excellent 'We've Got Obsessions' by Marina and the Diamonds. I'm glad to say that whilst it has indeed gained much production value, it has lost nothing more than the 'We've Got' of the title. It's still an excellent track, and whilst it's going to take some getting used to, it's not quite the same as changing 'Scummy Man' to 'When The Sun Goes Down' - this song is still as good, of not better than, the original.
mp3: 'We've Got Our Obsessions' - Marina and the Diamonds
mp3: 'Obsessions' - Marina and the Diamonds