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Thread: History of 'Happy Landings'

  1. #1
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    History of 'Happy Landings'

    Hi there!

    I have been trying to unravel the history of the 'Happy Landings' recordings. I've just recently obtained a copy of the 'Happy Landings And Lost Tracks' CD, and this is obviously the 'Happy Landings' album as it was intended for release in 1996. I've found an archived mailing list entry from Jeff Neben of AXIS Management on 17th September 1996 which gives the tracklisting as follows:

    1. Modern World
    2. Two Different Views
    3. Going Without
    4. Free Man
    5. Happy Landings
    6. Ocean Blue
    7. We Once Held Hands
    8. Sweet Pandemonium (Imposters Remake)
    9. Mayfly
    10. Elected

    I'm sure I've read in the past, another proposed tracklisting (probably 1997) which included 'Lonely As A Lighthouse' and 'Butterfly', and I seem to recall another track by the title of 'Louise'(?). I'm assuming that this revised tracklisting came about as a result of the (re)recording sessions in Nashville during 1997, from which came the 'Happy Landings' 5-track EP?

    Obviously there is quite a history to 'Happy Landings' before it eventually transformed into 'Elemental', but if anyone could give me a proposed 'Happy Landings' tracklisting for the intended 1997 release, that would be absolutely terrific.

    Thanks for reading,

    Kind regards,

    Rodney Meiklejohn
    (Dunedin, New Zealand)

  2. #2
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    Further to my original posting, I realise now that the Nashville recording sessions of late '97 - early '98(?) resulted in the 'Elemental' versions of the tracks.

    What I'm after is the tracklisting for 'Happy Landings' as was intended for release after the reworking of the tracks by Stephen Tayler and Sadia early in 1997 which resulted in the 5-track EP. In my opinion these are the best versions of the tracks and I can't help but imagine how 'Ocean Blue' and 'Mayfly' sounded if they too had been reworked during that time. I expect the 'Elemental' version of 'Ocean Blue' is an edit of a much longer version, similar to the original as appears on the 'Happy Landings And Lost Tracks' CD.

    I'm sure I recall seeing a tracklisting for the album which at that stage included the true 'lost' tracks, 'Lonely As A Lighthouse', 'Butterfly' and 'Peace Louise'.

    If anyone's memory is jogged by any of this, I'd love to hear from you!

    Regards,

    Rodney Meiklejohn
    (Dunedin, New Zealand)

  3. #3
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    i have another question regarding these sessions, i have an EP called "Happy Landings" with four songs...i got it roughly a year before "Elemental" yet I dont see it for sale anywhere but i do hear it was limited to only 1000 copies..is this true? and if so, how collectible is it?

  4. #4
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    (irwin98): You're obviously not referring to the 5-track EP CD release in July '97 then?

    What are the four tracks on your CD and what's the cover art like? Any other details you can provide would be very helpful.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Kind regards,

    Rodney Meiklejohn
    (Dunedin, New Zealand)

  5. #5
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    happy landings

    actually i was referring to that ep, it has the five songs (i wasnt near a copy when i posted earlier) all it says on the cd is hit and run music and my copy actually came with two duplicate sleeves (lucky me i guess)
    how rare is this though? someone told me there were only like 1000 or 2000 of them made and given out at shows..

  6. #6
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    once more

    the 5 songs are

    two different views
    going without
    happy landings
    freeman
    we once held hands

    and the cove shows the wing of a plane with the word 'above' backwords

    the spine says the FIXX from the forthcoming Happy Landings

  7. #7
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    (irwin98): What you have is the promotional CD release from July 1997 for the 'forthcoming' 'Happy Landings' album, which never eventuated of course.

    The Fixx had recorded the album originally in 1996, but it didn't get released (refer my original posting on this subject for details). Some or all of these tracks were re-recorded and/or remixed with addtional production work by Stephen W. Tayler and Sadia in early 1997. It is their 'versions' of the tracks that appear on this 5-track EP which was not an official release (hence no barcode etc...) but was sold at some of The Fixx gigs mid-late 1997 and was available from some particular on-line outlets as well. Sorry, I don't know exactly how many were pressed, but I'd imagine 1,000 - 2,000 would be about right. But I guess you could say that it is rare in the sense that not all of The Fixx fans have got a copy, and so far it's all we have of what I personally consider to be the best work by The Fixx to date. Sure... I like all the other work as well of course, from 'Shuttered Room' through to 'Ink', but there is something extra special about those 'Happy Landings' recordings, and after Stephen W. Tayler and Sadia worked on them, they were just perfect in my opinion. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with 'Elemental', not because of the 'new' tracks, but because of the 'third' versions of the 'Happy Landings' tracks that I like so much.

    My great 'quest' now, is to try and discover how many of the original tracks were actually reworked by the production team of Stephen W. Tayler and Sadia, and what the proposed tracklisting was for the 1997 release of 'Happy Landings'. I absolutely love the 5-track EP and have always been saddened by the fact that the rest of the album wasn't released or made available. And now that the 1996 version of the album has been released as 'Happy Landings And Lost Tracks', it's probably less likely that the true 'lost' tracks such as 'Lonely As A Lighthouse', 'Butterfly' and 'Peace Louise' will actually get to see the light of day. But there's always hope...

    Actually, can anybody give an opinion on 'Lonely As A Lighthouse'? It was played live during some of the gigs - what's it like? A good track like the rest of the 'album' or not? Has anybody heard 'Butterfly' or 'Peace Louise'?

    Thanks again,

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Rodney
    (irwin98): ...Actually, can anybody give an opinion on 'Lonely As A Lighthouse'? It was played live during some of the gigs - what's it like? A good track like the rest of the 'album' or not?
    Thanks again,
    I agree with Rodney here that the SWT/Sadia productions were a bit superior to the original Martin Rex work.

    As far as Lonely As a Lighthouse goes, the song f*&ing ROCKS! It is so killer that the e'mail Fixxtures named the list after it, hence the Fixx e'mail list is called "Lighthouse".

    The Fixx made attempts to record Lighthouse in the studio but were unsuccessful at capturing the sound and dynamics that Lighthouse deserves. I'll bet a different Producer (perhaps SWT/Sadia) could land it proper on tape (oh, I guess we use hard drives these days).

    There are live recordings of Lighthouse floating around out there, however the quality of such bootleg recordings does not do Lighthouse justice.

    Hope this helps
    Steve

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Steven B.
    And that song is available where?
    Gosh, if your e'mail wasn't disabled on this board I might be able to help.

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