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RATE: Catcher in the Rye (1999) - Brian May Demo

RATE: CATCHER IN THE RYE  

297 members have voted

  1. 1. RATE: CATCHER IN THE RYE (BRIAN MAY)

    • GnR classic. Worthy of the original band. Feels like a lost Illusion III track. Axl ruined it with Bumblefoot.
      93
    • Love it. Not sure if it's worthy of classic GNR, but it's really good. The demo has a ton of potential.
      72
    • It's good. Nothing more, nothing less.
      28
    • Meh. Another Chinese song that is just...whatever.
      23
    • It sucks. Truly. Dizzy playing a 2 hr bongo solo is more interesting than this song.
      7
    • The final album version with Bumblefoot is way better. I like how it was changed into more of a hard rock song.
      31
    • GUNS N' ALIENS. Whether it's good or bad is irrelevant. STRADLIN'
      7


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My least favorite track on Chinese Democracy regardless of which version. 

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13 hours ago, DieselDaisy said:

Only Axl Rose would have a solo by Brian May - I repeat Brian bloody May - only to decide to jettison the thing in favour of one of his dimwit hacks.

This. You just don't mess with a solo by Brian May.

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It's good. A more classic feel to it. But it doesn't sound like Chinese Democracy, dare I say an unfinished version. I'm pro-Bumble on this one.

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50 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

My least favorite track on Chinese Democracy regardless of which version. 

Oh really? That surprises me. ^_^ Not Scraped?  Personally my least favourite is a tie between Scraped and TIL, both of which are excruciating to my ears. 

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11 minutes ago, MyPrettyTiedUpMichelle said:

Oh really? That surprises me. ^_^ Not Scraped?  Personally my least favourite is a tie between Scraped and TIL, both of which are excruciating to my ears. 

It's a divisive album, that's for sure! 

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You guys are weird. The most excruciating song on CD is The Blues - and I actually really liked the live version from '02. Not sure wtf happened to the final version :lol:

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2 hours ago, EvH said:

This. You just don't mess with a solo by Brian May.

It was messed with from the beginning. Each individual note. Every bend, every phrase, was artificially constructed.

Brian May may have played the solo, but it was written by Sean Beaven.

This speaks to the madness of the whole production of the album; nothing was good enough. However long Axl had Brian in the studio, it wasn't enough to satisfy him. 

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I prefer the album version. Not sure if any of the other demo-versions are better (it's been so long since I've listened to the demo versions), but I prefer the album version to the Brian May-version. 

I am really fond of Bumblefoot's solo at the end. 

Edited by Thorbear

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1 hour ago, RONIN said:

You guys are weird. The most excruciating song on CD is The Blues - and I actually really liked the live version from '02. Not sure wtf happened to the final version :lol:

Nooooo...don't say that!  It's one of my favourites! You really don't like it?  OK, I'll concede the first minute is a bit...cheesy...but when the chorus kicks in...awww how can you not be moved?  Plus it's all about Slash. :slash:

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4 hours ago, AlterL said:

Love it both ways, Bumble's take is my favorite. Anyone enjoyed Buckethead's remix?

is this a joke?! What bucket remix?

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13 hours ago, Towelie said:

Bumblefoot is an infinitely better guitarist than Brian May.

Never had you down as a Queen fan, Diesel.

Bumble is a better guitarist than 99% of guitar players worldwide, shame he is great writing songs nobody gives 2 shits about.

Brian in the other hand..

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28 minutes ago, ToonGuns said:

is this a joke?! What bucket remix?

The remix that Evader did some years ago. Pretty great if you ask me but I guess is not as popular as some of his other work, he is the guy that did the Silkworms mix that sounded like a studio track using the live renditions of the song.

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Catcher reminds me of Coldplay: bland dross. I think if somebody put a gun to my head and requested my favourite songs from that album I'd cite 'The Blues' (2001-02 version) and 'Madagascar' (Rio 3 - it has to have Buckethead, that song).

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There is absolutely a feeling of a track from the middle, between the Illusions and ChiDem as a final product. Really fascinating stuff. I love the old IRS demo that sounds more natural as well.

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4 hours ago, felixGNR said:

Bumble is a better guitarist than 99% of guitar players worldwide, shame he is great writing songs nobody gives 2 shits about.

Brian in the other hand..

I love me some Queen but just because Bumble doesn't move units doesn't mean his songs mean any less. 

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Bumble is one of the most talented guitarists of this generation for sure but I honestly don’t like the majority of his songs, they all sound too goofy or bland. I liked some ideas of his newest album but it’s a shame a man with such talent and love for music doesn’t produce anything really interesting.

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58 minutes ago, AxlRoseCDII said:

Bumble is one of the most talented guitarists of this generation for sure but I honestly don’t like the majority of his songs, they all sound too goofy or bland. I liked some ideas of his newest album but it’s a shame a man with such talent and love for music doesn’t produce anything really interesting.

Amazing talent for playing doesn't always translate into amazing creativity and feel for melody sadly. Buckethead had both of those traits in spades. Bumble is more limited in comparison to Bucket. Slash beat both Bucket and Bumble when it came to feel and melody (in a very specific niche: rock music). 

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2 hours ago, DieselDaisy said:

Catcher reminds me of Coldplay: bland dross. I think if somebody put a gun to my head and requested my favourite songs from that album I'd cite 'The Blues' (2001-02 version) and 'Madagascar' (Rio 3 - it has to have Buckethead, that song).

Objectively speaking - in your opinion: could Duff, Stradlin, and Slash save this song and turn it into something great if they took Axl's lyrics and rebuilt it from the foundation?

I think the drummer on this demo is Josh Freese.

1 hour ago, h2sublime said:

There is absolutely a feeling of a track from the middle, between the Illusions and ChiDem as a final product. Really fascinating stuff. I love the old IRS demo that sounds more natural as well.

Exactly what I thought re-listening to it again. Feels like a track from Use Your Illusion III that picks up where Civil War and Estranged left off. Axl drifting more into mellower, Queen-style rock balladry. The song has a 90's brit rock feel to it.

 

7 hours ago, appetite4illusions said:

It was messed with from the beginning. Each individual note. Every bend, every phrase, was artificially constructed.

Brian May may have played the solo, but it was written by Sean Beaven.

This speaks to the madness of the whole production of the album; nothing was good enough. However long Axl had Brian in the studio, it wasn't enough to satisfy him. 

Couldn't have said it any better. Can you imagine Slash putting up with that kind of shit? If Axl was cutting up his November Rain and Estranged Solos from hours of different runs and piecing it together like some Frankenstein solo? No wonder Chinese Democracy feels so lifeless sometimes - it's literally had the life sucked out of it in the studio - there's no "live" sound to any of it - Slash and Adler were key to that.

6 hours ago, MyPrettyTiedUpMichelle said:

Nooooo...don't say that!  It's one of my favourites! You really don't like it?  OK, I'll concede the first minute is a bit...cheesy...but when the chorus kicks in...awww how can you not be moved?  Plus it's all about Slash. :slash:

Okay okay, the rest of the song has its moments but that first minute is sooooooo cheesy though. That's where we really needed Slash and Duff to write a sleazy, filthy GnR riff to layer over those pleading Axl vocals lol

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18 hours ago, Towelie said:

There is absolutely nothing remarkable about Brian May's playing on Catcher, other than the fact that it's played by Brian May.

Classic case of people judging the music by how much they like the musician, rather than what said musician actually creates. I could've played Brian's Catcher solo in the first six months of learning the guitar. Bumblefoots I would likely struggle to play even now, having played for over a decade.

Well - speaking just for myself, this demo's appeal really lies in the fact that I prefer it as a more mellow rocker compared to the hard rock sound of the final version. I also feel like Bumble overplayed the heck out of it. I know the situation recording that song wasn't ideal for him and I give him the benefit of the doubt, but that outro just feels like a hot mess to me. There are some good runs in there but it's just too much. I feel like that's just the MO with Axl's solo band and even where he was heading with Illusions - it's just more, more, more. More overdubs, more synth, more layers, more instruments, more guitars and solos. 

That demo is a rare example of Axl actually going with a less is more approach (by Axl standards anyway) and letting the song breathe a bit with less walls of sound. I suppose it's really a stylistic choice when it comes to preference in the end - do you like the song as more of a hard rocker with blazing solos or a more subdued and understated song. And May fits the latter style quite nicely. 

14 hours ago, appetite4illusions said:

Everything about the '99 demo was much more interesting. The sound textures, while rough around the edges, were elegant (same thing as classy, right?).

Not only is the Brian May solo stupendous in terms of tone and feel, but if Axl wanted people to know Chris Pitman made his mark on the music, then he ruined it by castrating the synth solo towards the end.

Again - couldn't have said it better. Elegant was the word I was looking for, thanks. As someone else said here, the song has a more "classic" feel to it thanks in large part to Brian and Axl's shocking "less is more" approach - no doubt influenced by Beavan's stripped down style. 

I always dug the synth part around the 2 minute mark - nice little musical interlude there. 

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I like Catcher a lot but I prefer the album version to the demo. I like Bumbles solo A LOT more than Brian Mays, and I really like Queen so I'm kinda bummed out by this myself :lol:. The drums and Axl's vocals are imo better on the album as well. 

Overall the demo version feels to unfinished and messy for my taste. I think a lot of why I prefer the album versions of most CD song to the demos and pre-CD live versions is because I wasn't around during the early CD era, I became a fan after CD was released so those version are what I'm used to.

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