And, they don't give up. They are looking for the original of this too, another one of my demos from years ago. It is called ''What we (gonna do'' and it is currently private on YouTube and has been for years 'Walk Away The Winner' is one of five songs conceived, written, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered in London between July 2009 and it's officially release date 1st March 2013. Five new songs were written in a mid 70s Philly/Disco style and each one had two versions for the release, a full mix and an alternate version. There were numerous recordings of the songs made between 2009 onwards, in effect demos, until released. The albums concept was because I had recently been to Philadelphia in September 2008 and written/produced/recorded some songs with Philly guitarist (MFSB/Salsoul Orchestra), song writer, producer Bobby Eli. Our relationship developed because of the www.soulfuldetroit.com forum where we first communicated around 2002/3 with subsequent visits to the States where I met him face to face at his home. He had kindly invited me to attend the second week recording the Detroit leg of 'The Soulful Tale of Two Cities' album tracks in 2006 which was a real thrill. I had also been to Detroit in March 2008 where four of my songs were recorded by ex Motown session musicians and others. That period of 2008/9 I was extremely busy trying to learn the business of releasing these recordings in addition to the legalities of song registration with the PRS/MCPS and PPL in the United Kingdom territory.
Writing the songs
As usual I only wanted to write and produce, so on my shift days off from Sky TV in London, I started creating the 'Make Five' songs, coming up with titles and laying down some chords and melody ideas over time as well as the other music admin I had to do. I simply named the new Logic files as Phillygroove plus a number at first like Phillygroove 2 as I had no song titles at that stage. For example 'Double Up' was started in February 2009 and simply titled 'Phillygroove' in my (DAW) Logic Audio until I came up with a proper title. WATW was different if I remember. I was watching a TV programme with my wife called 'Master Chef' and one of the judges said something like '..and let's see who walks away the winner'. There, the song title was born. This song does not appear to have been one of the 'Phillygroove' ones though as I think I may have started it with a proper title. If I find an earlier version I will update this.
How I started these songs circa 2009 in the first instance was to import some Salsoul drum samples which I had as a result of a 2001 competition I entered by Future Music magazine (UK) and Salsoul Records who were looking for the next 'Spiller'. In 1999 Spiller had used a Salsoul sample from 'Love is you'/Carol Williams in their release 'If this ain't love' and had a hit with it.
Incidentally, my entry to that competition was called 'Stretchin' Out' and originally the working title being simply 'Salsoul' as I didn't have an immediate name. It morphed in to 'Stretchin' Out To Play' at one stage, but I reverted back to 'Stretchin' Out'. I heard nothing back from the competition. I finally released the instrumental version of that song 20 years later in 2021.
I used my trusted Yamaha V50 32 note 8 track sequencer as my keyboard to address midi sounds on the Windows computer/sound modules via Logic Audio. From memory the instrument sounds are more than likely from my Yamaha SW60XG internal sound card and/or Sampletank plug ins plus Logic sounds like ES1 bass which is on WATW (need to check that), and maybe Proteus 2000 external sound module instruments which I was experimenting with around that time. One of the issues with the SW60XG it was only 32 note polyphonic, so for strings, pianos, electric pianos, vibraphones etc, it used up the capacity quite quickly. At one stage I was having to record WAV files of some instruments on some songs to release the notes for other instruments, if that makes sense. I think once I updated the Windows PC and Logic I had access to other plug in solutions for instruments and didn't need to do that.
So during the period 2009/2011 this was critical. I was writing the songs and migrating from a Windows PC to a MAC whilst using Logic Audio. This caused all sorts of problems like loosing my Windows Yamaha SW60XG card sounds for example and it instrumentation set up whilst migrating files to the MAC. My 2009 demo recordings had the Windows set up and sounds. I have all the original Logic files and can see the early versions of the song used the Yamaha SW60XG card sounds and other sources. On the 17th September 2009, the last WATW Logic Audio featuring the Salsoul drum samples was saved and from then on they were no more, as I adapted the track to get real drums on board by manually inputting snares, crashes, fills, kick etc whether from 'The Drummers of Motown' CD or other sources. I needed to be more specific for the drummer than just a looped sample. I uploaded the 2009 early demos to YouTube/Soundcloud before migrating to a MAC. From memory I worried about using the samples so made those videos private and indeed by the look of it deleted WATW off YouTube/SoundCloud.The first MAC Logic Audio file was the 6th May 2011.
Sourcing a drummer and bass player
So it crossed my mind circa 2010 that my good friend Simon Moss, drummer of 'The Clouds' a 90s Manchester band, may be interested in playing the drums on the five songs and he said yes. He had a new midi drum set he could play like real drums, but neither of us had a clue how to export the midi files that I could use in my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and select different drum kits, so we just used the audio record facility in mono. And that is a big part of the drumming on all he tracks on the 'Make Five' 2013 album. I added crashes (the crashes were a little low so I added many 'over the top', toms, other drumming elements to try and replicate what Earl Young may have played in a Philly studio environment. As for the bass, I had come across JamersonHook on YouTube and contacted him. He, in my opinion is prolific and puts his heart and soul into his work. Ironically, Gavin Morris was also from Manchester just like Simon.
The 'original' version - CDO/REACH
One of the issues I suspect with the mix tape is that I uploaded to YouTube maybe a couple of 2009 versions which sound different to the released version(s). I have two urls for those uploads, but I deleted them off YouTube a long time ago. Understandably, I now realise that anybody familiar with these may suspect the official 2013 release versions are not the same. The slate/label below was created in 2009 in Powerpoint and was probably used with a 2009 demo (22) which I still have and I suspect is the one on the mix tape (or part of it). When I first heard the mix tape version, because of the quality I felt it was the released version and had been tinkered with, maybe speeded up and my real bass electronically removed and replaced. However, looking back over the files, it is one of my 2009 demo bass/Salsoul drums versions before I commissioned the bass player and the drummer for the track.
Notice I didn't use the Bandtraxs name for demos back then, instead 'Reach' as a label. I had only just come up with the Bandtraxs name and had used 'CDO' on a test release of a funky track called 'Don't tell your mama' as I didn't know how to sell or distribute audio on the Internet at that time. There are no prizes for guessing what the artist name CDO stands for. I used Cool Edit/Audition to make the audio mixes to import into Adobe Premier to make the YouTube upload files back in those days. I probably also uploaded to SoundCloud too and deleted because I was always running out of space so economised by getting rid of things nobody commented on or listened to.
Soul Source forum post 2009 - WATW demo version 30
Here is a post I did the end of 2009. I have not been a member of this forum for quite a long time now. Click the image to go to the web site and read for real. Playing this version back, it has the new manually sequenced drums on and the Salsoul samples removed/muted to be my vision to how the drums should sound on the released version for the drummer to practice.
Carl Dixon blog August 2009
My original pitch for the song on my blog published 20th August 2009. I do not use the Carl Dixon blog so much now, just the www.bandtraxs.com one.
Lyrics for 'Walk Away The Winner' 2009
My intention for all the 'Make Five' songs was to eventually write lyrics for them and release sometime in the future. I did just that with 'A Little Of The Big Stuff', which I released with The Formellas in 2017. Here are a snippet of lyrics for WATW. Note these will be sung with the that melody organ/string figure prevalent in the song.
Another Disclaimer: this was a long time ago. There will be recollection issues, so will update any discrepancies.
Inspiration for the song
In the first instance I would say 'what would the Philly writers come up with for an MFSB instrumental'? It was their 'Universal Love' album that influenced me in the early 70s, then the Philly Whispers releases like 'A mother for my children', 'Once more with feeling' and then The Salsoul Orchestra and any other Philly derived releases whether New York City, Three Degrees, Harold Melvin etc. Also the Barry White version of Satin Soul was important as it showcased the many guitar parts in the song.
For WATW I needed something different for the beginning...a fanfare of drums maybe and a dramatic slow start, and then to the groove. I halved the intro as it was taking too long early on. Something extremely significant happened with the drums on the released version of this track and that story for another day. I also had Van McCoy and Mozart 40th in my head with the string figure I came up with. The earlier versions do not have the hi hat figure which came off the 'Drummers of Motown' sample CD I bought in New York in 1999. All demos I uploaded to YouTube/Soundcloud had that sample I believe as well as the 2013 released versions proving it is definitely not a 1975 recording as the CD was only released in 1999.
There were at least four other contenders for the 'Make Five' album and all done in the same way as 'Walk Away The Winner'. They too were all started in 2009, but never made it. There are a few here included in this 2002/2009 montage (click the graphic) I just created specifically for this project. These are incomplete at this stage and may well be resurrected. Notice the last track' Walk Away The Winner', this is another earlier alternate version and has the double intro scenario which I thought was too long so shortened it. The last but one track called 'What we (gonna do)' was once part of a song called 'Salsoul/Stretchin' Out/Stretchin' out to play' and became and entity on its own, but never released. However, I renamed it 'Soul Recession and it went to Philly in 2008 as an idea for the 'Soul Recession' which was re written and recorded with Double Exposure.
An email comment from an established Philly vocal performer 12th August 2009
"just this minute had the chance to listen to, Walk Away the Winner and I must say that I liked it very much. I think you have truly captured the sound of the, Salsoul Orchestra, as well as "MFSB & TSOP. It is a winner, (smile), in the fact of it being right in the pocket of the (70's) Disco music style.
Here's hoping that it becomes a smash for you!! "
An email comment from an established Philly musician/producer/song writer 13th December 2009
I feel as though Ive been whisked away in my time machine to 1973.
I love it. You are really getting good at it.
hollidayevery 2 years ago