Monday 8 July 2024

'Walk Away The Winner'/The Formellas (CDO) - July 2024 Demo 70s 'Sounds Like Vinyl Vocal Mix 12'

and now the 'Vocal Proof Mix'

July 2024
The current demo vocal 'Sounds Like 70s Vinyl' Mix 12 version of 'Walk Away The Winner' by The Formellas (CDO) now with the new guitar work and further vocal updates. Also, just added the alternate version 'Sounds Like 70s Vinyl Proof Mix'.

'Walk Away The Winner' was conceived in London 2009 after I returned from a visit to Philadelphia for writing and recording other material with Philly MFSB/TSOP/Salsoul Orchestra legend Bobby Eli. It spent a few years being tweaked and was included on the 'Make Five' album by Bandtraxs, released in 2013. 

The first test recordings/demos in 2009 were billed as CDO as the 'artist' as I didn't have a proper group name established then. Those early demos were created on an old version of Logic Audio (Windows). Today's 'bounce' option was not available in those days either which made it complicated to record each version of a production. I was angry when Logic Audio stopped supporting Windows updates and were bought out by Apple, however the final work for the 2013 released version(s) was completed on a new MAC computer and Logic Audio (circa 2010 to 2012). This is the latest vocal version featuring The Formellas where the vocals were recorded in 2024.

SPOILER: looking back, I was not happy with the production released in 2013. I was in a hurry and sloppy. I changed part of the song and should not have. The reason will become clear one day and all part of the story I guess.

To Do List:
1) mastering
2) design sleeve art
3) complete sleeve notes
4) release world wide
5) promote
ETA: September 2024

Potential Track Listing
1) Stereo vocal radio mix
2) Stereo instrumental radio mix
3) Mono vocal mix
4) Mono instrumental mix
5) Stereo vocal 'sounds like 70s vinyl' mix
6) Stereo instrumental 'sounds like 70s vinyl' mix
7) Stereo vocal 'proof' mix
8) Stereo instrumental 'proof' mix
9) Stereo vocal 'more proof' mix
10) Stereo instrumental 'more proof' mix
11) Stereo vocal plus 5% mix
12) Stereo instrumental plus 5% mix

Musicians/Artists on 'Walk Away The Winner'
Guitars/wah wah 1: Mark Baldwin
Bongos/Tambourine/Wah wah guitar 2: Carl Dixon 

Software plug ins/sequencing  
Piano, Electric Piano, Vibes, Glockenspiel, Bass, Harpsichord, Flute, Horns, Strings, Drums, Harp (authorised sample), some drum elements (authorised samples): Carl Dixon

Additional b/v's 1: Anna Melkman
Additional b/v's 2: Rosa Melkman
Additional b/v's 3: Ian Nicklin
Additional b/v's 4: Carl Dixon
Additional b/v's 5: Lakshmi Hariprasad

MUSIC Publishers/Record Labels
This song/audio/recording does NOT contain the 1974 'TSOP' (MFSB) song melody, any Salsoul drum samples or include any Philly musicians. Thanks to the world wide publisher who instigated a copyright infringement claim against me via YouTube and then rescinded it after I stood my ground. And, still no apology.

PHILLY/Funky/Disco fans in Italy (Bologna)
This composition is from 2009 NOT 1975 and the official released version(s) were 2013 and yes, it is different in places to the previous demos done from 2009 onwards. Any Italian '1975 mix' tapes that contain this song features one of my 2009 demos (speeded up by approx 5% with added reverb) which is currently not posted anywhere or available as having two Salsoul (drum) samples which I cannot use or clear. The processing used on the mix tape made it sound so much more different to the released version. I had not realised when I heard the mix tape, that the DJ had actually downloaded my demo off YouTube by the looks of things. I cannot remember exactly when I removed it, it may have been days, weeks or even years after.

All versions may sound a little 'Philly' here and there, but are not and that was my intention. There is another legitimate (The Funk Brothers/Drummers of Motown) sample hi hat figure used a number of times in these productions along with a 'crash' used many times which were only recorded in 1999 and released on CD for music creators/song producers/writers. The hi hat figure is on every demo and released version that has been available to date including the version on the '1975' DJ Miki CIAK mix tape. The libellous comments on social media by some individuals telling the world that I stole the song are disgraceful. The dissection of what I did and how I did it is justified I guess, as I do this myself on songs constantly, but defamation is unacceptable.

Thank you to those and some Americans & Canadians who have been interested and complimentary about the song and it's history.

The legitimate sample CD where a hi hat figure and 'crash' were obtained for use in the production of 'Walk Away The Winner' including the 2009 recording included on the DJ Miki (CIAK) '1975' mix tape. This CD was released in 1999. So whether 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 or 2023 & 2024, those samples will be on the releases and any demo recording(s).

Bobby Eli - MFSB, The Salsoul Orchestra, The Interpretations, The Philly Groove Orchestra
This 'The Formellas' song/production (version), when/if released will be dedicated to my Philly friend/co producer/writer/guitarist/arranger Bobby Eli who passed away in 2023. We co wrote (along with Chiquita Green) and produced 'Soul Recession' performed by Double Exposure & 'There I go falling in love again' performed by Chiquita Green. He, along with all the MFSB, Salsoul Orchestra, TSOP, PhillyGroove musicians, writers, producers etc inspired me to write and produce.

A communication from Bobby to me circa 2013:-

"You really nail the classic Philly sound, especially early Salsoul. Which programs are you using to create this stuff?"

Knowing Bobby's name on records from the 1970s, meeting him in 2003, writing and producing with him in 2008 was a fabulous journey. He taught me much with his knowledge and expertise. This photo is 2008 outside his studio in Philly. Left to right: The wonderful Earl Young (one of the greatest drummers ever/singer/song writer/producer), myself, Rikki Hicks (percussion - it was he who played the congas on 'I love Music' by The O'Jays), Bobby Eli (multi award winning writer/producer/guitarist/arranger), Jimmie Williams (Bass - it was he who came up with the bass figure on 'Ain't no stopping us now'), Dennis Harris (guitar/arranger, an original member of The Trammps(?) - a cousin of Norman Harris), T G Conway (song writer/pianist/producer - it was he who co wrote 'Ten Percent' with Allan Felder for Double Exposure). Oh how I wish I had these musicians on WATW. The song did not exist back then:

Back to WATW :-) Salsoul/Future Music Magazine competition samples
I have decided not to pursue clearance for the two Salsoul samples used in my 2009 demo(s), which appears on the DJ Miki 1975 mix tape. They became available to songwriters/producers in 2001 via a 'Future Music' magazine/Salsoul competition. It is far too complicated and costly so I will potentially release a 2024 version which will include some 2009 demo & 2013 release elements plus other updates and a vocal. I was hoping to secure permission to use the 2009 demo on the 2024 album which had the samples included, but sadly that will not happen now.

As I have found my 2009 demos, all those who dispute its legitimacy would be able to hear for the first time the FULL version I created and not the shorter excerpt on the '1975' mix tape if I posted it on line. The mix tape scenario which by definition can only have been compiled after 2009 when I wrote the song and uploaded a version to YouTube/SoundCloud, could be something DJ Miki did believing that WATW was a 1975 unreleased recording. Or, somebody else has made a fake mix tape up in the last few years after DJ Miki's sad passing which would be extremely disrespectful. I keep wondering whether DJ Miki actually contacted me about the recording back then and I maybe sent him a copy! I'll never know because I cannot remember.

Written & Produced in England
Not Philly, not Detroit, not anywhere in the USA or the Moon, but London & MediaCityUK. This version evolved via my Windows/MAC computers and the various Logic (Audio) Pro software from 2009 to May 2024 in London/MediaCityUK using midi/files/audio etc from 2009 onwards. The keyboard I used to record the midi was via my Yamaha V50 which I still have. The various early mixes/demos were processed though 'Logic', 'Cool Edit Pro' and later 'Adobe Audition' then uploaded to YouTube/Soundcloud with video processing in 'Adobe Premiere' where necessary. I still have and use: the V50 keyboard, the guitar doing some of the wah wah figures, the bongos (can't use as broken) and the tambourine. And yes, this is me, with the guitar that appears on the 2009/10/11/12/13,23/24 WATW recordings. And note bottom left the V50 keyboard I used to write the song:

My gut feeling is I will use those instruments on the sleeve art as they have a connection to all the versions of the song.

Song instrumental ©Carl Dixon 2009. Some lyrics written in ©2009 & the balance ©2023

++ NOT for airplay - thank you ++

The first official instrumental releases of 'Walk Away The Winner' by Bandtraxs were in 2013. They were mastered at Metropolis Studios, Chiswick, West London on the 2nd January 2013 by Tim Young.

Stay tuned for 'Sounds Like Vinyl' Mix 13 & release updates

Head here for the 2013 'Walk Away The Winner' releases:

©Bandtraxs 2024