Pabs sang with the band only a little over 2 years, but there are lots of recordings from that time thanks to several live tapes of gigs at clubs and parties. The list of songs you see here starts out with all of the studio recordings, and then switches to those live tapes. Other than that, they are not in any particular order except that the better quality stuff generally comes first. You will see several versions of the same songs in some cases. Deciding which was better was too difficult, so you get to hear all the options. Some tapes survived storage better than others, and the original recording quality varies as well. The basic theme here is that you can hear what the band was doing even if the recordings aren’t perfect. You will see the recording source in parentheses after the track name in the player list.
RECORD (45 rpm discs) TRANSFERS:
TRACKS A - B Interestingly, the first time the band went into a studio, it was the most prestigious facility they would ever work in -- The Hit Factory in New York City. Dave Shrier acted as producer, played tenor sax on the songs, and brought in Randy Brecker to play trumpet. The engineer was a heavyweight, too, but his name doesn’t come to mind. An auspicious first outing. The final mixes were lathed on a 2-sided Acetate 45, and now transferred from that disc.
TRACKS C - D The Perception 45 was recorded at Blue Rock Studios in NYC also, with Dave Shrier producing again. It took very little time to cut those songs, expedited by Perception’s desire to spend as little money as possible getting them done. These tracks are transfers from one of the remaining singles.
TAPE (1/4” reel-to-reel) TRANSFERS:
TRACKS 01 - 20 in the playlist are studio recordings -- or studio-ish recordings as opposed to live performance recordings -- of original songs. All have been slightly re-mastered to match levels and clean them up as much as possible (without a big-budget restoration studio or CSI-style equipment).
NOTE: Track numbers referenced below are the numbers just ahead of the track names -- not the song numbers at the far left.
TRACKS 1 - 2 These are from rough mix reference tapes made between the recording and the final mixing sessions for the Hit Factory recordings (A and B above).
TRACKS 3 - 4 Three songs were tracked during the recording phase at Blue Rock studios for Perception Records, but “Woodstock High” was never finished. The rough mix of “Lucky” from those sessions is lost. These are a rough mixes before the final mix of “Big Shoes” and “Woodstock High”.
TRACKS 5 - 8 The Barn Tapes (Barn) were home recordings made in the Haywards’ barn. All but “Software Superstars” were re-mixed by John Senior from the original 4-track masters in March, 2011.
TRACKS 9 - 11 These were recorded at RCA studios (RCA). There isn’t much background available on them, but they preceded the Blue Rock sessions.
TRACKS 12 - 20 These all were done at Frank Virtue Studios (Virtue) in Philadelphia. Frank didn’t like people using headphones, so the overdubs were done with the basic tracks being played back through a speaker in the studio -- very unorthodox.
FROM TRACK 21 ON you will hear live recordings from a concert, a dance, and a party. Some of the band’s inter-song banter has been preserved for atmospheric purposes. These were cleaned and matched to the extent of the available technology, but numerous flaws remain. It’s still fun to listen to. There are a few cover tunes that the band would play as well.
TRACKS 21 - 35 This recording was made by a friend of the band -- Corby Reimer -- at a party hosted by Bill Hayward’s sisters at their folks' Chester Springs (CS) house underneath the barn in front of the horse stalls. There are a few instances where tape ran out before the end of a song, so you may hear an edit or unusual fade out. Couldn’t be helped. Overall, Corby did an admirable job capturing the performance. These are good renditions of Soup songs live.
TRACKS 36 - 45 These tracks are from a live performance at a dance / concert at Harcum Junior College (HJC) in Bryn Mawr, PA. Can’t find a credit for the recordist, but it was fairly well done. UPDATE: Read THIS. The same issue with getting all the songs on tapes happened here as well -- the incomplete “Big A America” for example. Still, it’s another good time capsule of how the band sounded live.
TRACKS 46 - 54 Had enough yet? If not, bear with the fluttery hiss on the right channel to hear a more professional approach to a concert as the band played a set at Duck Soup (DS) -- the club. This was the performance mentioned in the accompanying review (see PRESS CLIPPINGS below). The intensity still comes through the noisy recording, and makes it a worthy addition to this collection.
There is much more music to hear in the other eras of the band, so wander around in this site and explore at your leisure.