Kill Uncle has often been derided for its bland, undeveloped production. I’ve remixed the album and re-ordered the tracks in an attempt to bring its production quality closer to “Your Arsenal” or “You are the Quarry” (since I don’t have the original master, I couldn’t mix it as precisely as I’d like or undo the reverb on Morrissey's voice). In some cases I just filled out the sound with guitars/emulated the live version, and in others I adding new elements to enhance the song (for e.g., Driving Your GF, End of the Family Line). Hope you like it, thanks for listening either way. It's available at:
Here was my approach to changes (I remastered all the songs, which improves the clarity and makes them sound consistent relative to one another):
1. Our Frank – significant changes. Original has boring, hokey production, like a Madness song. I added a number of guitars to fill out the song and make it edgier.
2. Asian Rut – no changes. The song is unusual, a storytelling in ¾ time (a waltz beat, which limited the musical possibilities). I experimented with adding guitars, cymbals, etc., but decided to leave it alone because anything I did wouldn’t be better, just different.
3. Sing Your Life – moderate changes. Original is okay but lacks “edge”. I added the strumming and distortion riff used by the band in the KROQ session.
4. Mute Witness – mild changes. Original is really well produced, just a little thin in the background. I added a couple of background guitars mimicking the original riffs to fill out the sound.
5. King Leer – moderate changes. Original lacks the swing of the band’s live version, so I sped it up and added some guitars and a small bass riff to make it closer to the live version.
6. Driving Your Girlfriend Home – significant changes. Original has boring production, lwith hardly any musical changes between the verse, chorus and bridge (like beat poetry over a jazz improv). I added guitars/harps to improve the emotional effect of the song.
7. I’m the End of the Line – significant changes. Original has terrible production (the tempo’s off, the drums and bass have no groove). I sped up the song, added a new bass line and a number of string parts to create some drama.
8. Tony the Pony (this song was on my US released CD) – significant changes. Original has okay production, though the bass line is too similar to Sing Your Life and the instrumentation is predictable. I added some guitar riffs to take it in a new direction.
9. Found Found Found – no changes. Good production.
10. There’s a Place In Hell for Me and my Friends – no changes. Original has good production, and the KROQ live version is a good alternative rock version.
11. The Harsh Truth of the Camera Eye – mild changes. Again, the song is unusual, and the production’s carnival-esque atmosphere plays off of this. I felt the tempo was languid and the intro/outro indulgent, so I sped up and shortened the song (and since I think it’s the weakest of the songs, moved it to the end of the album), but otherwise left it alone.
If you add in the singles/b-sides from this era (My Love Life, the Loop, Pregnant for the Last Time), I think it improves the album dramatically, just like the re-release of Maladjusted was improved by the various b-sides.