HELIX – “Good To The Last Drop” (1990 cassette single)
One thing though that I thought I lost was all my cassette singles. They were stored in a shoebox at my parents’ house, and I thought I lost them in a move. In that box of cassette singles were some tunes that could not be replaced on CD, because they don’t exist on CD. One is the original version of “S.E.X. Rated”, by Helix. There was a remake done on 1999’s B-Sides album with the original lineup, and it’s awesome. There is however an earlier version from the “Good To The Last Drop” cassette single that is early enough that it had to be Paul Hackman on guitar. It was noticably different from the 1999 version, and I have hunted and hunted to find a CD version, but none exist. I tracked down a couple “Good To The Last Drop” CD singles, but they contain just one track, the Remix version of “Good To The Last Drop”, which they later re-released on a Best Of CD.
“Good to the Last Drop”, the remix version, is superior to the album version. The main difference is that catchy keyboard hook. That’s not there on the album version. It’s not available on many CD compilations now, although its B-side is not.
In 2007, my parents were digging away in the basement and they found the box of cassette singles. There are a couple other winners in there too. But the Helix one is there, and in remarkably great shape, probably because BOTH tracks are on each side, so you’d play the tape half as much. The integrity of the tape would presumably last longer. At least if one side starts to sound bad, you can play the other side.
The song is really different from the other version, it starts with a spoken-word intro. Somebody that sounds like a radio DJ says, “Hi, this is Johnny (something?). And this is for the girl that wants me to love her for her mind. But I want to love her because of what she doesn’t mind.” And then the band kicks in, and the lyrics to the song are the same as the ’99 version. Sounds like it could be Fritz on drums. On the cassette sleeve, the track is credited as “Produced by Helix” as opposed to Helix and Tony Bongiovi, as the album was. Recorded at a separate session perhaps? Daryl’s bass sounds great, punchy and driving. In general the track sounds great.
I like how the cover says “INCLUDES BONUS UNRELEASED TRACK”. The back cover reveals the tape was released in 1990, probably late 1990 if I remember, because I seem to remember getting this tape around or during Christmas holidays 1990.
Incidentally, I emailed Brian Vollmer about this version of “S.E.X. Rated” and asked if there was a CD version ever coming. He said he can’t remember anything about another version. I asked Daryl Gray, and his response is below:
try the CD version of Long Way To Heaven album…
Nope. Sorry Daryl! Not there, got that one too. So there you go! A Helix rarity that even the band doesn’t seem to know about. Cool.
Nice work Mike and kudos to your parents for not tossing the whole lot of them. Somehow cassingles passed me by. I don’t recall ever owning one. Now that I think of it I never had a ton of pre-recorded cassettes in my collection but was an early adopter of making my own mix tapes from the line out on my old Teac.
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Hey Tim! It’s probably for the best if you missed out on cassettes…a temporary format at best. I imagine that most of mine have deteriorated beyond listenability!
I need to track down that alternate “Good To The Last Drop” – great song but don’t think it even has a bass guitar in the recording. So odd.
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Fortunately you can get it on a number of Helix CDs now!