Some while back I posted about the wonderful (though of its time) He Said album, ‘Take Care’. The supporting single release for the album was the uneasy ‘Could You?’. Who knows for sure what the â€˜textâ€™ by Graham Lewis really alludes to, but for me it has always leaned towards some cryptic confession of murder/mercy killing. Despite the opaque nature of the lyric, it looks like there were high hopes for its commercial success as a single and it provides rich pickings for version craziness to be uncovered, with no less than six mix variants across the ‘Could You?’/’Could You (Too)’ main variants.
By my count, these are the versions that exist, at least those I have come across on my travels – as ever, all timings are approximate and intended as a rough guide to the variations in duration across the mixes:
- ‘Could You?’ (LP version) 5’45”
- ‘Could You? (Too)’ 6’04” (wrongly listed as a duration of 5’45” on the UK CD case)
- ‘Could You?’ (UK and West German Single Edit) 4″44″
- ‘Could You?’ (UK 7″ Promo ‘Radio Edit’ and US CD Promo ‘German Edit’) 3’27”
- ‘Could You? (Too)’ (US Edit from US CD Promo) 5’08”
- ‘Could You?’ (‘Stumme Dokument’ Mute CD Promo edit) 4’08”
Are there any more out there?
As to where these edits all belong, it’s worth noting the following;
- The ‘LP version’ is obviously what appeared on the ‘Take Care’ album. You’d be tempted to think perhaps it is also what was used on the various 12″ single versions too, right? But not so. Instead, the 12″ single A sides featured…
- …’Could You? (Too)’ – as well as the A sides of the 12″ single releases, this was also included on CD editions of the LP. ‘Could You (Too)’ is quite a different mix compared to the regular version of the track with extensive additonal overdubs in the way of piano, additional keyboards, guitar and drum programming.
- A shorter single edit of ‘Could You?’ was used on the 7″ singles and also on the B side of the 12″ singles (along with the other B side, ‘He Said:She Said’ – it is just listed as ‘Could You?’ on the sleeves and labels though, no mention made of it being an edit. This edit of ‘Could You?’ is quite subtle, with deft editing scissors shortening sections of the track and leaving the overall structure in place.
- A further, more drastically chopped and changed edit is what is to be foound on the UK promo 7″ as the ‘Radio Edit’ and also on the US promo CD as the ‘German Edit’. Despite the different titles, they sound the same to my ears. Why ‘German Edit’? Could be because Paul Kendall was responsible for the edit – perhaps at Hansa Tonstudio maybe? This edit plays around with the structure of the track a good deal more and starts off on a more rhythmic assault, before the gentler aspects of the first verse appear.
- The ‘US Edit’ of ‘Could You’ is unique to the US promo CD and nowhere else – and in fact, it is an edit of ‘Could You? (Too)’, not ‘Could You?’.
- Finally, a Mute records promo compilation, ‘Stumme Dokument’ features another unique edit, though nothing to get overly excited about – it is just the regular single edit but with a much earllier fade out.
The eagle-eyed with copies of the Belgian 12â€ may notice an odd duration listing… read more on that much further elbow.
The UK ‘Radio Edit’ promo single 7″ that features a drastically re-edited version of the A side has a few things to note round the packaging. The label credits appear to have been based on the 12″ design – so, it mistakenly refers to ‘Could You? (Too)’ on the A side label, while the B side lists both ‘Could You?’ and ‘ He Said: She Said’ – it is only the latter track that is included on the record though.
Before signing off, it is worth clarifying about the Belgian 12â€ single. The labels on that edition states that the A side of â€˜Could You? (Too)â€™ runs for 6â€™15â€ (i.e. longer than usual) while on the B side the version of â€˜Could You?â€™ runs for 5â€™45â€ (as with the album version). In fact, it is the regular version of â€˜Could You? (Too)â€™ on side A, while the B side has the 7â€ edit of â€˜Could You?â€™ just like the various other 12â€ single releases.