by Leo Casey



Part 4: A Mathematician’s Detailed Comparison...

...of The Vinyl Fades-Out Version To The Remastered CD Non-Fades-Out Version (Primarily For ‘Fan-atics’)




We will compare the Fades-Out studio version of the song ‘Marquee Moon’ with the Non-Fades-Out studio version. The two specific versions of the song ‘Marquee Moon’ compared are from: A) the vinyl (UK) 33.33 r.p.m., LP, Elektra K52046, 1977, Fades-Out version: 9:55.3, just the song itself, does not include any silent lead-in or silent lead-out; and B) the digital (USA) remastered CD, Rhino / Elektra 72930, 2003, Non-Fades-Out version: 10:41.4, just the song itself; does not include any silent lead-in or silent lead-out. (Recall from above that the other four vinyl 1977 LP versions are also 9:55.3, but that the other six CD versions are 10:37.5.)

A detailed analysis of where significant ‘moments/sections’ and guitar-passages of ‘Marquee Moon’ begin and end on the two versions was performed. For those who would be satisfied with a description limited to only a few important differences between the two versions, skip immediately to Section (B) below. However, for those, who are interested in more detail or who might be amused at seeing how a possible obsessive-compulsive, non-musician, and fan might approach a mathematical analysis of the differences, you should read both (A) and (B) below. (You will find no guitar tabs nor a discussion of a Mixolydian scale here, but hopefully you will enjoy this alternative exposition of the song’s construction as well as a few laughs.)

Verlaine’s singing cuts through the music and creates yet another tempo within the music; e.g., he deliberately stresses and stretches out the last word (or two) of almost every stanza for dramatic effect. In some cases, Verlaine takes more than one and a half sec. to enunciate a final word. Almost all of the song’s principal guitar-passages take flight from these elongated words. For that reason, the time-line below is closely associated with these key words.

Note 7: For all of the times below, any silent lead-in time on the LP has already been subtracted.

(A): The Vinyl (UK) LP, Elektra, 1977, Fades-Out Version:


0.0 - 1:04.9: the song’s canonical three interwoven rhythm parts (at 31.2 is first appearance of vocals, ‘I remember’);
1:04.9: beginning of Lloyd’s 1st guitar-passage; it occurs 3.2 sec. after Verlaine finishes stressing the word ‘elsssse’ in the line: ‘hearing something elsssse’;
1:37.0: occurrence of a guitar-crescendo, about 1.7 sec. after Verlaine finishes the phrase ‘Just waitin’ ’, marks the end of Lloyd’s 1st guitar-passage (lasts 32.1 sec.);
1:37.0 - 2:26.1: the three interwoven rhythm parts occur for the 2nd time for 49.1 sec.;
2:26.1: 2.4 sec. after Verlaine stresses the word ‘sadddd’ in the phrase ‘don’t you be so sadddd’, is the beginning of Lloyd’s 2nd guitar-passage;
2:57.5: end of Lloyd’s 2nd guitar-passage (lasts 31.4 sec.);
2:57.5: 0.3 sec after Verlaine finishes stressing the word ‘Hesitatinnnn’ ’... , is the beginning
of Lloyd’s 1st and only guitar-solo;
3:09.5: end of Lloyd’s guitar-solo (lasts 12.0 sec.);
3:09.5 - 3:13.5: Lloyd’s very short 4th guitar-passage of 4.0 sec.;
3:13.5 - 3:54.2: the three interwoven rhythm parts occur for the 3rd time for 40.7 sec.;
3:54.2: 2.8 sec. after Verlaine stresses the word ‘againnnn’ in phrase ‘... got out againnnn’, is
the beginning of Lloyd’s short 5th guitar-passage;
4:25.5: 1.6 sec. after Verlaine finishes the words ‘Unh Uhhhh’ in the phrase ‘ ...ain’t waitin’ Unh Uhhhh’, there is a guitar-crescendo which marks the end of Lloyd’s 5th guitar-passage (passage lasts 31.3 sec.);
4:25.5 - 4:50.2: three interwoven rhythm parts occur for the 4th time for 24.7 sec.;
4:50.2: Verlaine’s long guitar-solo begins;
4:50.2 - 5:06.6: relatively simple but elegant guitar-strumming (16.4 sec.);
5:06.6 - 5:38.4: languid (i.e., adagio) and dreamy playing (31.8 sec.); however, over approximately the next 1:40, the tempo of Verlaine’s playing increases dramatically;
5:38.4: the pace of his playing increases to allegretto for 7.5 sec.;
5:45.8: the tempo has progressed to allegrissimo for 21.3 sec.; as the tempo increases in stages, Verlaine’s playing concomitantly becomes more inventive and more and more ferocious;
6:07.2: the tempo has become velocissimo for 21.1 sec.;
6:28.3: the tempo is full-fledged presto for 19.0 sec.;
6:47.3: the tempo is now prestissimo for 31.9 sec.;
7:19.2: the solo slows and becomes more arranged and structured as opposed to improvised; this section of the solo is made up of two legendary parts: Part 1’s first-half consists of six repeated guitar-lines. (Note: Each guitar-line lasts 3.5 sec.; in what follows, a beat occurs wherever there appears the capital letter ‘D’, ‘A’, or ‘T’.):

DootAh, DartAhDo Do Do Do Do Do;
DootAh, DartAhDo Do Do Do Do;
DootAh, DartAhDo Do Do Do Do;
DootAh, DartAhDo Do Do Do Do Do;
DootAh, DartAhDo Do Do Do Do;
DootAh, DartAhDo Do Do Do Do Do;

7:43.2: Followed by a seventh line:
Do; Do; Do; Do; Do; Do;
which serves as a transition to the second-half of the Part 1;

7:47.3: the second-half of Part 1 begins, and consists of the first-half's lines 1 through 5 being repeated but at twice the tempo (each guitar-line lasts about 1.8 sec.), and the first-half's line 6 is replaced by a new line:

DootAhDartAhDo Do Do Do,Do, Do;
DootAhDartAhDo Do Do Do, Do;
DootAhDartAhDo Do Do Do, Do;
DootAhDartAhDo, Do Do, Do,Do, Do;
DootAhDartAhDo Do Do Do, Do;
DootAh,Dah Do DartAh Do, Do, Dah;

8:11.5: Part 2 of this later section of the solo begins, and consists of twenty four short, repeated guitar-lines over the next 24.0 sec:

UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;
UttAh, Utt;

8:35.5: these twenty four are followed immediately by a series of 8 short, quick UttAh Utt’s; these 8 are played in double-time over the next in 4.1 sec., ending Part 2 at: 8:39.6:

UttAUtt;
UttAUtt;
UttAUtt;
UttAUtt;
UttAUtt;
UttAUtt;
UttAUtt;
UttAUtt;

8:39.6: Part 3 of this later section of the solo begins with a guitar-crescendo, which is followed immediately by beautiful, ‘bird-like’ guitar notes, which continue for 28.4 sec. Within these ‘bird-like’ sounds, are interspersed seven additional guitar-crescendos, separated from each other by 4.0 sec.;
9:08.0: the ‘bird-like’ sounds and Verlaine’s solo end with a final (8th) guitar-crescendo (so, the length of Verlaine’s solo is 4:17.8 = 9:08.0 minus 4:50.2);
9:09.3: Ficca’s gently hits his cymbals,
9:16.5: then the drums;
9:20.5: as the bass joins-in, the song has reverted back to the three interwoven rhythm parts for the 5th and final time (for 47.3 sec.);
9:42.1: Fade-Out begins as Verlaine stresses the consonant ‘d’ in the word ‘doubledddd’ in the final occurrence of the sentence ‘I remember how the darkness doubledddd’ (the Fade-Out lasts 13.2sec.);
9:55.3: the exact end-point of the (UK) LP version of ‘Marquee Moon’ occurs just as
Verlaine stresses the consonant ‘g’ of the second ‘listeningggg’ in the sentence ‘I was listening, listeningggg’. This fading and faint second ‘listeningggg’ is the absolute last sound emitted on the vinyl (UK) LP version. So, when playing your own LP (or a vinyl-to-digital-transfer of it), if you do not hear the final ‘I was listening, listeningggg’ then you do not have
your playback volume set loud enough (or its vinyl-transfer process was ended prematurely).

The song’s five separate three-interwoven, rhythm parts total: 3:46.7 (or 38% of the UK LP.). Lloyd’s four non-solo guitar-passages total: 1:38.8 (or 17%). Lloyd’s solo is 12.0 sec. (or 2.0%). Verlaine’s solo lasts 257.8 sec. = 4:17.8 (or 43%).

(B): The Remastered CD (USA) Rhino/Elektra, 2003 Fades-Out Version (10:41.4):


The first 9:55.3 of the 10:41.4 of the Non-Fades-Out (aka guitar-crescendo-ending) version of ‘Marquee Moon’ on the 2003 Rhino, remastered CD version are identical to the vinyl (UK) LP 1977 Fades-Out version. Actually, it is the first 9:56.9 of the Rhino CD that are identical. This is because the 2003 remastering corrected the speed of the original 1977 master tape; it was slowed-down by a tiny amount (0.28%) from the 1977 recording speed used for the 1977 vinyl versions of song-length 9:55.3. Although it’s a tiny percentage (less than 2 hundredths of a sec. per minute), because of the long length of the song this results in a difference of 1.65 sec. I.e., at the instant that the 2003 remastered CD Non-Fades-Out version gets to the stressed consonant ‘g’ of the second ‘listeningggg’ in the final occurrence of the sentence ‘I was listening, listeningggg’, it is slightly out of out of synchronization with the 1977 LP version’s end-point by 1.65 sec. (thus, the 9:56.9 instead of 9:55.3 above in (A)).

For the 2003, Rhino CD, Non-Fades-Out version (and with the remastered version’s slight speed-correction): The song’s six three-interwoven, rhythm parts total: 4:31.8 (or 42% of the UK LP). Lloyd’s four non-solo guitar-passages total: 1:39.1 (or 16%). Lloyd’s solo is 12.0 sec. (or 1.9%). Verlaine’s solo lasts 4:18.5 (or 40%).

Unlike the vinyl (UK) 1977 LP Fades-Out version, the Non-Fades-Out, 2003, Rhino, remastered CD version does not end with ’I was listening, listeningggg’, but instead continues for another 44.5 sec. beyond the ending of the Fades-Out version. The Rhino liner notes for the song ‘Marquee Moon’ say 10:47. 10:47.3 is the exact length of the track; however, this includes 0.3 sec. of ‘lead-in’ silence before the song begins and an additional 5.6 sec. of ‘lead-out’ silence after the song has ended. Using the Lossless wav file of ‘Marquee Moon’ extracted from this Rhino remastered version, and playing it back with Total Recorder, we got a song-length of 10:41.4 (i.e., elapsed time 10:41.7 - 0.3 sec. of silent lead-in). This is a difference of
5.6 sec. from the Rhino liner notes’ 10:47. Recall from above that all five non-remastered CD versions are 10:37.5 (a difference of -3.9 sec. from the 2003 remastered version).

Here are the details on the additional 44.5 sec of the 2003 Rhino Non-Fades-Out version of ‘Marquee Moon’:
i) From 9:56.9 to 10:08.0 (i.e., from 9:57.2 - 0.3 to 10:08.3 - 0.3), Verlaine completes the entire ‘I was listening, listeningggg’ stanza by singing ‘to the rain. I was hearing, hearing something elssssse’;
ii) Then from 10:10.6 to 10:27.7 (i.e., from 10:10.9 - 0.3 to 10:28.0 - 0.3) is a reprise of the first 17.1 sec. of Lloyd’s very 1st guitar-passage, i.e., what he already played at 1:05.1 (at 1:05.4 - 0.3) of the song, but with a slight change: the final 3.0 sec. of this 17.1 sec. guitar-passage is played at a considerably slower tempo making its upcoming guitar-crescendo less abrupt;
iii) This guitar-crescendo or guitar-‘swell’ (i.e., a rapid crescendo, followed by a gradual diminuendo), whose second-half includes tinkling piano notes, occurs at 10:27.7 (10:28.0 - 0.3);
iv) By 10:32.0 (10:32.3 - 0.3), the guitar-crescendo has been slowly decaying for 4.3 sec. allowing the emergence of repeating and tinkling piano notes;
v) Despite its decay, the guitar-crescendo continues to reverberate faintly, then ghostly, until at 10:40.2 (at 10:40.5 - 0.3), after a total of 12.5 sec. since it first began, the guitar’s reverberation can no longer be heard over the still audible tinkling piano notes;
vi) The piano notes, themselves, have grown weaker-and-weaker, and at 10:41.4 (at 10:41.7 - 0.3), after a total of 9.4 sec. of piano, there is total silence.

Note 8: Lenny Kaye recalls that in late 1976 (or early 1977) Elektra gave Verlaine an advance tape of the rough-mixes of the song ‘Marquee Moon’. Kaye listened to the rough-mixes and told Verlaine that he preferred the Non-Fades-Out version, but Verlaine said that he preferred the Fades-Out version. According to knowledgeable sources, the original non-remastered 1987 cd version of the song ‘Marquee Moon’ uses a different mix that was available from the late 1976 - early 1977 studio sessions for the LP. Use of this different mix for the cd version of the song, was done by Elektra without Television’s knowledge.




Technical Notes On How Song-lengths of Analogue Versions of ‘Marquee Moon’ Were Determined:


All times were measured to the nearest 10th of a sec. using an extremely accurate digital stop-watch (with new battery). The stop-watch’s accuracy was determined by comparing a Personal Computer clock‘s interval of exactly 60 minutes and zero point zero sec, i.e., 60:00.00, to the
stop-watch’s actual elapsed-time for these same 60 minutes. It was determined that the stop-watch had an error of only + or - 0.0023 of a sec. per minute measured. This is equivalent to an error of less than + or - 0.05 of a sec. for all 24 of the measurements of live versions of ‘Marquee Moon’, and for all eleven officially released versions. So any stop-watch error was negligible even in a very long version.

In addition to Total Recorder, we determined the exact ending(s) through multiple and careful listenings with high quality Sony Model MDR-V700 headphones. In a few instances, we also determined the ending(s) of vinyl version(s) by placing our right ears up against our hi-fi’s VMPS 808 speakers for the last 10 sec. of each version with our hi-fi’s Pioneer 9100 amplifier’s volume set at almost its maximum. These results always agreed with the headphone results within one or two tenths of a sec.

All calculations of the lengths of vinyl records’ times for studio versions of ‘Marquee Moon’ used our Thorens TD-166 Mk II turntable with a Grado Z1+ cartridge. All measured times of ‘Marquee Moon’ were subsequently adjusted to correct for any speed errors (i.e., deviations from exactly 33.33 r.p.m. or 45.00 r.p.m.). Record/CD companies’ times of ‘Marquee Moon’ that appear on a vinyl record’s circular paper-label (or its liner notes or dust jacket), or companies’ times printed on the cd itself or its jewel-case, are all notorious for being inaccurate. They always are off by several seconds (sometimes by as much as 10 sec.) as they include the silent lead-in and silent lead-out before and after the song itself. (It is also worth nothing that many cd-players’ clocks often include the silent lead-ins or/and the silent lead-outs.)

Note 9: Although it might be tempting (and seem infinitely easier) to make use of various existing vinyl-to-digital-transfers of the song ‘Marquee Moon’ (from such bootlegs as Television Singles Volumes 0, 1, And 2; or Back Into The Graveyard; or Triple Feature; or The Complete Rarities) to facilitate measuring the length of ‘Marquee Moon’, it turned out that the accuracy of these transfers’ was poor; their song-lengths were often off by several seconds. This was due to the bootlegger’s turntable speed errors, or even, in some cases, to the bootleggers prematurely ending their vinyl-to-digital-transfer process before ‘Marquee Moon’ had entirely finished playing on the turntable!


[To contact Leo about any of this use this link: E-mail]