Tuesday, December 28, 2010

E-40 & The Click Week: Day 3, Watered Down & Dirty

If you thought what Jive did to Federal was bad (and you were right; it was), wait'll we get into what they did to The Click's debut full-length, Down & Dirty. Like Federal, Down & Dirty was released before E-40 blew up with "Captain Save a Hoe" - specifically, 1993. And like Federal, Jive picked it up and rereleased it (in 1995), but only after making some drastic and somewhat baffling decisions.

Just to give you an idea of how much damage was done: the original Down & Dirty was 18 songs long. Well... at least the cassette version was. The vinyl version shaved off a few to fit onto a single LP. But the reissue is only 11 songs long; that's seven gone missing! What's more, even some of the songs they kept were completely remixed. You have to ask, how much of the album does that even leave after all that tinkering and slashing? I mean, heck, seven songs is almost an album onto itself.

Let's break it down song by song, shall we?

1. Let's Get Drunk - REMIXED - Let's be fair to the remixes. They don't all suck and this isn't a case of every remixed song being ruined. I prefer the original, though, because for some reason the sampled hook plays as funnier, and that's key to this song.

2. On a Mission - REMIXED - This version is actually funkier than the original though, with some cool old school horn samples.

3. Ballers - REMOVED - But it's just a skit, so no great loss.

4. Street Life - REMIXED - Adds elements including a muzak-like flute to the already already over-produced retread of the original "Street Life."

5. Mic Check - REMIXED - The big, overbearing keyboards are the same on both, but this was lacks the funky, rolling piano that Marley Marl used on "We Write the Songs." Boo!

6. Mr. Flamboyant - LEFT INTACT - Though if you're in the market for an alternate version of this song, remember the Mr. Flamboyant EP has a slightly stripped down version.

7. Tramp Dogs - LEFT INTACT - And this is one they easily could've removed, since it's also featured on B-Legit's first album, under the title "Dank Room." That deletion would make sense, but nooo... they had to pull the plug on the songs coming up instead.

8. Old School - REMIXED - And the original is more fun with Malcolm McLaren scratches and stuff throughout.

9. The Shit That Will Fuck Up Your Brain - LEFT INTACT

10. She Was Only 16 - LEFT INTACT

11. Tired Of Being Stepped On - LEFT INTACT - Three songs left alone in a row? Hey, maybe Jive didn't do such a hatchet job after all...

12. Sohabs - REMOVED - ...Oh never mind. Here goes one of the better songs, with a funky beat, flute, and the only appearance by Click member Suga T. It's also an early example of E & The Click introducing the world to their unique slang, which has become a signature of theirs.

13. Daily Routine - REMOVED - A slow, deep and funky solo joint by B-Legit. One of the best songs on the album. Now, I hear what a few of you fans are thinking, "but, Werner, this was on B-Legit's album, too; so who cares?" Yeah, but unlike "Tramp Dogs"/ "Dank Room," this version is completely remixed. And furthermore, it's much better here. Argh, Jive, what were you thinking!?

14. Clicks Concert - LEFT INTACT - But it's just a 15 second skit, so who cares?

15. Porno Star - REMOVED - Holy shit! They removed "Porno Star?" Damn, I love this song! Now I really feel sorry for the people who got the Jive version ...which, remember, was most people.

16. Party In the V-Town - REMOVED - Like the Mr. Flaboyant songs I mentioned, this one adds some fun energy to The Click's catalog, and the horn sample is like something out of The $% King catalog (ok, it probably IS right out of his catalog). I'd really miss this one from the album.

17. You Fucked Up When You Slammed My Motha - REMOVED - Damn, that's it. I don't know wha Jive released, but it isn't Down & Dirty. The Jive version is just some kind of sampler EP or something... it just can't be Down & Dirty anymore.

18. Let's Side - REMOVED - A bevy of funky old samples, fresh scratches and a playful delivery by E-40. This was the title cut of their debut EP and still one of their greatest hits. Sigh...

Flat out, if you don't have the original version of Down & Dirty, you don't have Down & Dirty. Jive straight up decimated this album, releasing only a fraction of what once was. Hell, they completely excised Suga T... I'm surprised they didn't blur out her image on the album cover. Still, the remixes are at least pretty decent - like I said, I think "On a Mission" is actually better on the second version, and I could see people preferring the original "Let's Get Drunk" if that's the one they were first introduced to. So, for hardcore fans, I'd actually recommend picking up both. But there's simply no question which version gets top priority.


  1. I have to admit that the idea of you being into E-40/The Clik kind of ruins my image of Werner von Wallenrod but I can dig it. I'm from a part of the midwest that had all these Bay Area/down south indie labels stuff before they got signed to a major. I dismissed a lot of it because the people championing that kind of stuff had real bad taste but some stuff, Like E-40, you can't ignore. I think B-Legit is horrible but he might be the first rapper with what the kids call "swag" cuz I would always check out his albums because he was unintentionally funny

  2. Ha ha I feel ya. I think you might apprecoate today's entry then. ;)

  3. Perfect! I always enjoy your track-by-track breakdown of changes between different release versions, and this album was made for the Werner treatment.

  4. Sorry Werner but you are in correct about Mr Flamboyant. It was not left intact. The music was; however, the mobster voice snippets were sped up and made incoherent.

    1. Oh, interesting. I'm gonna have to go back and give those a listen.

  5. Incorrect** excuse me... But yes Jive fudged it.