What are the differences between the single and Eponymous mixes? A couple different users listened to my rip and seemed to agree they were the same. Looking at my old posts, this was in Jan of 2018
Ok... I just spent 3+ hrs DEEPLY comparing MY PERSONAL Hib-Tone 45 (ripped to .wav), the Eponymous CD version, and just for fun, the "Cassette Set" version of Radio Free Europe.
This is something I've wanted to do for years!
I put them all into Cool Edit Pro as 3 separate tracks in a multi-track recording so I could isolate each as needed and listen to super short loops over and over again. I got some really good headphones and went to work...
I CAN FIND ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE HIB-TONE 45 AND THE EPONYMOUS VERSION!!!
I (going off the information of many books) have been WRONG for a long while.
I ALWAYS thought the Hib-Tone and the Eponymous versions were different!
I am NOT saying that there ISN'T a "Mitch Easter mix" out there somewhere (in contrast to the "Johnny Hibbert" one), because that has been documented in books and internet (see my links in earlier posts). From them debating which version to put on the hib-tone single and Johnny Hibbert "winning out", to someone else asking Easter to autograph their hib-tone single and him telling them "you know I didn't make this".
Maybe those stories ARE all true, but in my opinion "Mitch Easter's mix" is NOT on Eponymous.
Or anything else that I own...
I sure can't find/hear any difference!
Tony Fletcher in "Remarks" does say "Hibberts input is hard to quantify. Various tapes of the Drive-In recordings do not clarify what was done before Hibbert's appearance and what was added afterwards."
https://books.google.com/books?id=JmLQQFIEjtAC&pg=PT68&lpg=PT68&dq=differences+in+Johnny+hibbert+and+Mitch+Easter+mixes&source=bl&ots=FO_fwDnwOn&sig=ACfU3U0f2z6TpghEV8sAGgoIGeyYmjc_UA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjC4eb1_vnfAhUCr1kKHWReBo0Q6AEwE3oECAQQAQ#v=onepage&q=differences in Johnny hibbert and Mitch Easter mixes&f=false
Also in Gary Nabors 1st pressing of "Remnants: The REM collectors handbook" on pg 64-65, he says about Eponymous, "The major selling point of the album was the inclusion of the original Hib-Tone version of 'Radio Free Europe' (though this time it was the brighter Mitch Easter mix of the track that was released, and not Hibbert's mix)."
This was published in 1993 BEFORE any "internet confusion" would have skewed his statement.
But I sure can't hear it!
The liner notes of Eponymous saying that version is the "original Hib-Tone single" seems totally CORRECT to me. I am happy that they are "right" after thinking they were wrong for so long (since at least 1993).
OTHER FINDINGS FROM THE COMPARISON:
Both the Eponymous and Hib-Tone tracks have a super small drop out on the left channel of the opening sound effect 0.35sec after the start. It sticks out like a sore thumb when you look at the .wav file in an editor. Further proving that part at least is identical...
Hib-Tone version is 0.7sec longer/slower than Eponymous version. But that most likely is due to my turntable speed. The weird thing was that the Cassette Set version was the EXACT same length as the my Hib-Tone though... (taking in to account no "sound effects" at the beginning of cassette set) You would think variances in cassette tape speeds compiled with turntable speeds would have made that very unlikely wouldn't it?
In general the Cassette Set version has less overdubs and echo by far and is much "cleaner" sounding. BUT what's really weird is that for it to supposedly be the "raw original stripped version" that got used on their demo tapes, there is a very obvious HEAVY overdub/echo/production on the very first word of the song ("Decide") on the Cassette Set version that is NOT on the Hib-Tone/Eponymous version! So strange... You'd think it would be the other way around.
Right before the "Straight of the boat" pre-chorus on the Hib-Tone/Eponymous version there are 2 "tick" mouth sounds. I can't tell if these are someone "counting off" to the chorus or what, but the Cassette Set version is missing the 2nd sound that is there ~1:10~1:11 on my Hib-tone/Eponymous versions.
This happens again before the 2nd "Radio Station" (still not sure if that's what Stipe is saying) pre-chorus. The Hib-Tone/Eponymous has ONE of these "tick" mouth sounds, and the Cassette Set version has NONE.
Right around 2:56 the Hib-Tone/Eponymous version has a very obvious tambourine hit right before the "Straight of the boat" pre-chorus. The Cassette Set version does NOT have this at all.
I feel like what we know as the Cassette Set version is maybe the one that people have referred to as the "Mitch Easter mix" in books,etc??
Johnny Hibbert wasn't even around when it was recorded, so he shouldn't have had any influence over it, and it does seem much cleaner and brighter than the others. These authors have just all been wrong to say that it is what's on Eponymous, though.
I sure wish I could ask these authors and Johnny Hibbert and Mitch Easter and anyone else(!) to tell me what they hear differently! But as I said earlier, as far as I am concerned the Radio Free Europe Hib-Tone 45 and the version on Eponymous ARE THE SAME! Period!! Done!
Now time to compare "SITTING STILL" !
I threw the RFE from the "And I feel fine... IRS Years" (Disc 2) into the multi-track comparison as well, and although the amplitude/levels are higher, it is an exact "thumbprint" match to the Eponymous version when you look at the .wav file. Once I got the levels the same I could jump between them and tell absolutely NO DIFFERENCE that I was even flipping back and forth. EXACT SAME.