MiscMK guitar style and licks

Rehearsing Southbound Again

I recently made a backing track and started to rehearse Southbound Again (live version, not an easy one I think) from Dire Straits’ first album. In fact the live version they played from 1977 to 1979 (often as an encore) is a totally different song than the studio version. Unfortunately not one single video exists of it so noone has ever seen how/what/where Knopfler played exactly there. The only complete TV concert from this time was Rockpalast, and they spoiled Sultans of Swing there (Mark played the second solo when it was time to play the first), so they played Sultans again instead of Southbound Again for the last encore.

I recorded myself rehearsing with a small digicam (a Panasonic Lumix FX37), unfortunately the sound is not very good – if I do it properly I record the sound to Cubase with the PC and sync it with the video. I have no idea when I might find the time for a proper recording – always a hassle because you obviously don’t want all those little mistakes on it so you might end up doing it a dozen times or more until you get a version that seems alright – so I simply put this video online as what it is – a rehearsal.

I don’t copy (or even learn) particular versions, I rather end up mixing improvisation and all the little licks I heard on various versions, I really wouldn’t be able to play it again exaclty like this.

The effects and the amp are almost the same as on the Brothers in Arms clip from last week, I think I only reduced the gain from 9 to 8 for a cleaner sound.

Please don’t ask for the backing tracks of my videos. It is an awful lot of work to produce them so it does not make sense to me to sell them for a few cents (unless you’d sell a lot of them, and in this case Iwould probably hurt some copyrights). Also don’t ask for tabs, I don’t use them myself and for this reason don’t have any.

11 thoughts on “Rehearsing Southbound Again

  1. Very good ! Great job Ingo, as usual 🙂

    I like the way you introduce the album riff around 4:50

    BTW, why do you prefer the demo-live version ?

    I like the album version very much. It has a more punchy “groove”

    And I must confess that the drummer I play with don’t like the demo-live versions that I gave to him 🙁
    So I have to play album version…

    What I like in the live versions is the “staccato” like you play at 3:33
    and of course, it has a longer solo, and the extra verse which figure on the album booklet, but was not sang by Mak in studio. Did he forget it ?

  2. I simply like the live version very much, but the studio version, too. They are two different tunes for me in a way.

    I guess that the second verse was left out on the CD (and on many live versions, too, I also left it out) was because the song seemed to be long enough without it. Also don’t forget that a side of a vinyl album was limited in length.

  3. Yes I know about the vynil limited lenght, but the 1st album is not so long (41′..), so I rather guess for a “musical” decision to not include this verse.
    Maybe, it was sang and played during the recording, and then edited during the mix…like Gallery, or What it is 🙂 🙂 🙂
    But unfortunately, there’s no mexican promo with Southbound on it, so we’ll never hear this extra verse :(:(:(:(

    BTW, do you know the exact lenght for vynil sides ?
    I know that many songs of BIA have been edited on the vynil version because of this (almost all songs of the side A, not WOL)
    But the whole album on CD is 55’15 long.

    And many prog rock albums were long too, e.g. Selling England by the pound (Genesis-1973) is 53’42 long; and I’ve never heard about vynil edited version of this (wonderful) album.

    So BIA could have fit in a vynil lenght, regarding the total length, but the side A was not long enough.
    So, do you have more precise infos about that ?

    I’ve also heard about different quality for vynil “burning” (I know it’s not the term, but it’s all I’ve found 🙂 ). A less quality provided more lenght. A famous example is Hey jude, where the engineers “compressed” (idem 🙂 ) the song to fit in a single side.

    As you are a tech master, can you explain us more about this ?

    thanks in advance 🙂

  4. I tried to find out the maximum length of a vinyl record but only found vague data: 20-25 mins per side. It seems there is no absolute maximum but the rule “the longer, the closer the needle tracks = worse sound quality”.

    I guess you are right that the missing verse would have fit in but was left out for musical reasons.

    Another thing I found: a vinyle singe can have 4-5 minutes, but Sultans is almost 6 minutes. And I can verify that often these singles soon sounded “grainy” and distorted (I guess I have 3 or 4 for this reason). Also in some countries one verse (“and a crowd of young boys”) was left out on the single, maybe because of this, or too long to be played on the radio.

  5. Yes about the single thing. It’s confirm the thing I heard about hey Jude.

    for the LP, it must be a little longer than you say, because the Genesis album has this sides lenghts:
    side A = 25’03
    side B = 28’40

    also, tubular bell is :
    part 1 = 25’36
    part 2 = 23’20

  6. Hi Ingo

    Realy nice site, lot’s of good information here!
    i’ve been realy wondering for ages why they played Southbound again so differntly from the album version?
    To me it looks like Mark was too anxious to do overdubs (that specific introriff) so they were not even able to play the song life.
    Any information on this?
    Thanks

    Regards,

    Andy de Ronde

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