Artist Ken Westphal suggested this title for this new version of the “Collector’s Sedition” CD, and I thought it was very appropriate, as well as smile-inducing. Why a re-work and re-release?
A “Director’s Cut” is usually a version of a film that is (more) true to the vision of the work that the Director originally intended.
In the year 2000, I was in the middle of a very prolific period of composing, in addition to finishing up several previously unreleased songs. In a conversation with Phil Ehart of Kansas, I mentioned to him that many of these pieces sounded to me like Kansas material. We agreed to do a “reunion” album, and I gave the band their pick of the songs, which became “Somewhere to Elsewhere.”
That left 14 or so songs that needed a home, and my label (Numavox) was sorely in need of a new release. At the time it seemed the right thing to do, and there was pressure to do so, so Collector’s Sedition Vol. I was released. It was, in fact, the collection of demo recordings (although elaborate for demos), of the material from that single burst of creativity. In no way did I view these songs as “seconds” or “leftovers” In fact, I was somewhat surprised at some of the material that Kansas had chosen, and some that they hadn’t.
What I came to regret over time, however, was that the (demo) versions of the songs had been released at all. In retrospect, they deserved the same production and attention to detail as the rest of the material. Fortunately, as an artist and producer I can afford myself the luxury of an extensive overhaul of the album.
So what is this new version of Collector’s Sedition Vol. I - what was done?
Every song has been, for the most part re-recorded. The only tracks that were retained from the original were some, but not all of the lead vocals, and a few of the guitar tracks. All of the re-recording was done 24-bit instead of 16, and better equipment and technique was used. The electronic drums that were used originally (as a convenience for the demos), have been replaced by either live drums (Mike Patrum), or vastly superior digital sample kits. The same is true of the bass tracks - the sampled sounds were replaced by live performances. (Craig Kew)
Where there were orchestral sounds, they were evaluated, mostly re-written and re- performed, and recorded using, again, vastly superior engines and software libraries of real sounds.
In addition, there is a new bonus track included from the period. (So Ends the Show)
Of course every song has been re-mixed and remastered. (With the exception of “Song Du Jour”, which is not included. Unfortunately the masters to that song were lost or destroyed, so only the original mix has been re-mastered, and will be offered on iTunes only).
So is this difference dramatic to the listener? To some, perhaps not. For most, hopefully yes.
For me - absolutely!. As an artist, I can now be at rest with Collector’s Sedition and remove it from my list entitled: “If only I had ......”